Expansion Expression Foreword (+ Recording!)
And now I'm currently all caught up with forewords/afterwords. Here's the foreword/preface for Expansion Expression, which sort of kicks off the vibe for the novel and the series moving forward. It's definitely lighter than the other ones. As always, I enjoyed writing and recording it.
Starting with a Party
One, two, three, four, let’s start again, shall we?
Five is a base number, fitting it comes after four, the mysterious fortuitous one. Even more fitting is that five is the number that is emblazoned on the spine of Expansion Expression, book five of the Adventures of the Trinity and the One. Maybe not fitting. It’s obvious, right? Book five has five on it. Wow. Shocking.
It’s really shocking in that awe-inducing way that I made it to book five. Not at all shocking in the bad way or the how could I do this I didn’t think I could but in the way that is: damn, I really am good.
I wrote four books that I believe to be fantastic. Flawed in each their own way, but fantastic nonetheless. I did that. I spun together stories that sung together and reflected scenes I had deep within my Neraq for many years. I crossed over the line that I drew for myself that meant that I did it.
But there’s always an after. Here we are.
I knew where I wanted to go beyond Of Fractured Edges. I set it all up. Caveat: the events in the distance were more like legends of yore than specific detailed scenes that I knew from heart. There were things that happened that I knew happened, but it was all messy and chaotic when I had done it originally. It was a legend to myself. I had my concrete adventures and some shards of this legend, but for the most part, it was…yeah, it was a mess. There was some feeling out to be done. The exact form of it needed to be made. It did, of course.
And where does Expansion Expression fit into this journey of charting out a new saga? Well, it kicked it off for one. But it also didn’t.
Expansion Expression is the book I knew when I wrote Threads that I wanted to be the fun romp. I wanted its essence to be light hearted. Not another intense adventure. There were loads of those to come beyond number five. No. Five was a pause. A break before everything, well, broke.
I wanted it to be the fun adventure episode that’s not the most important plot wise but it’s fun. It shows the good parts of the characters and develops them and maybe furthers the big story along but it’s focus is on having a good time.
I mean, the characters and I needed something simple like that. Especially with what was to follow. It was a deserved rest.
I did things in Expansion Expression that I questioned initially. Like, I want to do this, but should I? It’s-
Whatever. I’m doing it because it’s awesome.
There’s one particular event or turn that I knew I needed to do but some stupid chirping was like, bashl, that’s…but I silenced that noise because the voices of the characters and the whole being of it was just sublime. It’s hilarious to start and then there’s real soul to it.
That’s basically a good summary of Expansion Expression. It’s really funny, at least to me, but there’s some solid talking and development going on.
Did I mention it’s funny? I love the crack chapters thrown in throughout the series. You know, back in the old days, everything was basically crack that wasn’t something else. Humor was the heart.
In some ways, perverse humor of a highly droll nature is still a good chunk of the beating essence of my world. There’s more nuance now but book five is like one big callback to-
Actually, it’s one big callback of sorts. I love callbacks, but, wow, Expansion Expression probably has one of my greatest in there. Or maybe a few.
Okay, I’ll be frank here. Expansion Expression isn’t a great literary work. It does have some moments that I find to be well written by my standards and were the best of the type I had ever written, but it’s not a ‘great’ book. It’s not trying to express loss, madness, or existentialism or anything. It’s expressing how life is meant to be savored and enjoyed by doing just that.
I believe it succeeded based on the merit, the most important factor that I enjoyed writing it. What I was trying to get across I experienced in full. I laughed and I felt excited for the future.
And if you feel any of that when reading Expansion Expression, awesome.
Well. Without further rambling on my part, let the party begin.
Amethyst Shards Afterword: Burnout
This afterword is about, well, the burnout I experienced around the time I began Amethyst Shards and how it impacted the book itself.
Commissioned Art of Dien!
As a member of the main cast, commissioning Dien was inevitable. But, Dien, by nature, was going to be trickier to get done. As a Dracite, she really has no commonality with a Human at all…as she is a Dracite. As in, a Dragon. Dragon artwork is a specialty of its own, so I knew I had to find someone who was specialized in it. But, thankfully, I knew someone who excelled in this type of work and that I...