Happy Saturday and Howdy Folks!
I’m writing to you from San Francisco where I get to participate in SF in SF with (gasp) Tad Williams. I’ll be rolling out the prelude to Requiem, the fourth volume in the Psalms of Isaak, at tonight’s reading. I test-drove it on a SFWA audience last winter and it went over pretty well.
Sitting here in the hotel overlooking the bay, I’m a bit amazed at all of the changes I’ve faced in my life — not just as a writer but as a human — and it takes me back to the P’Andro Whym quote from Lamentation: ”Change is the path life takes.”
I don’t like change very much.
Well, some change. I don’t mind very much the change from the disillusioned Baptist Preacher Boy reading his best pal’s copy of The Dragon Bone Chair in 1994 to the Wholly Secular Writer Boy who 18 years later is reading and sitting on a panel with one of the masters of fantasy. That was a pretty good change. But along the way, I surely didn’t appreciate or comprehend what was coming and all the changes that went with that.
When I was writing Lamentation, that mantra stuck with me and it became a constant reference throughout the Psalms of Isaak. Change is the path life takes. It’s just a fancy way of saying “evolution happens.” And when we’re in the thick of it, change can be hard and painful and full of uncertainty but it can also bring us to unexpected places…like tonight.
Not long ago, I received a note from a fan telling me that my book had changed his life. I was stunned. I don’t think of my books as life-changers at all. But this fellow told me that it had showed up at a dark time in his life and that those words about change really rung true for him. So true that he made them into a bookmark (which Jen has suggested we consider doing to market Requiem). I was really touched that he took the time to share with me both his experience and how those words from my book helped him.
When I look back on the last 18 years, there’s been an ocean of change. Some of it terrifying. Some of it glorious. Some of it stealthy as a Gypsy Scout at first then wild as a knife-fight with an enraged Jin Li Tam. All of it has ultimately been worthwhile.
Still, I don’t like change much. But I love life and I’m good with the path it needs to take in order to carry me further along the way.
And one thing hasn’t changed: I’m still a Fan Boy peeing himself a little about hanging out anywhere near Tad Williams.
Trailer Boy out.