This is my NaNoWriMo 2016 project, and hey look, I wrote an extra piece today!
Lisa’s Blog — 11/16
Thoughts on the Anniversary of the Publication of Quest for the Sword of Justice!
PLUS Never-before-seen Quest material!
I remember the day when my mom officially became a writer again, like it was yesterday. We went out and bought LittleBook 12’s together. Well, she bought one and also helped me get one because I was only half-way saved up. Those were great little computers. I think mine is still in the closet somewhere. Along with the wireless headphones I eventually bought to go with them.
You’d think that after so many years of doing this, I wouldn’t get off track so quickly. You, patient reader, would be very wrong.
I wasn’t nearly as scared of my mom being a writer as I think she was. She’s worked for Randy’s TechUSA for a number of years at that point. Nothing like the lure of a steady paycheck, even if the job is crappy from time to time. What isn’t crappy from time to time? I was working QA back then, instead of design, and it was fun. I was so happy for her when she announced she was going to write again. She’d wanted to do that since she was a girl, and I’m so happy she finally dove in.
The best days were the ones where her friend Melanie would come over and we’d act out scenes for her stories. My mom never admitted it, but I think she did that just so she could get unstuck. She always said that we were just helping her to visualize things she’d already thought of, and indeed she often handed us some kind of outline or script beforehand…but I don’t think Quest would have ever been finished if not for Melanie’s determination and my weird random impatience.
My first act as editor/story consultant on that book was to tell my mom to kill half the characters off…and then she promptly did it! I was a little shocked! She kept going on and on about stuff like meaning, and how important those characters had been to her since college. And yet, she went with my suggestion! I didn’t know how much I was helping the book at that time.
Don’t even get me started on the turtle. God. Damn. That. Turtle. People ask me about the turtle all the time, and I don’t know readers. I don’t know any more than you do. To this day I wonder whether she was just messing with me or whether the turtle was always intended to be such a big part of the story. She still hasn’t told me the truth, and I suspect she never will.
My second official act as story contributor was to start writing fantasy back story. As a kid, and even now, I love backstory, even if it never actually informs the main plot. I’m sure that many of you out there are content to plunge into lore, even though that notion is completely counter to every popular theory on successful writing. Too much lore and you’ve lost the reader. Much like this blog post.
Here now, for the very first time anywhere, and to celebrate this Anniversary, is some of that lore I wrote at the tender age of 12. My mom asked me to come up with an origin story for that weird floating sword. I was constantly bugging her about the sword. “Mom, where did the sword come from?” “Mom, why isn’t there more stuff about the sword?” “Mom, why isn’t this story named Jeff the Turtle?”
Eventually she got tired of my torrent of insipid questions and told me to just go and write the thing. So I did. And now you can read it. Or run away. Up to you!
The Sword of Justice didn’t always exist. Its creator was the legendary immortal smith Elaxidor. The gods of the world asked him to create the world’s finest sword, and then they imbued it with all sorts of hidden power. Elaxidor forged the sword in the fire of Mount Keldor, which he had transported by hand to his kiln by skilled craftsmen.
He worked day and night for a month to create the sword. He used a piece of exotic metal from each of the eight kingdoms, so that they would all be tied to its fate. The core was formed from a special allow of his own creation. Upon finishing it, he realized it was the greatest sword he would ever make. He was envious of the gods for their ownership of such a blade, and tried to keep it.
So they struck him down.
The sword could only be wielded by those with godly blood inside them. Time and again, the sword was used to turn the tide of battle, or to commit acts of violence, or to open holes in the very fabric of space time.
Sadly, though it bore the name Justice, it was often not used for such noble ends. Justice, like beauty, changes by the one who beholds it.
Eventually the descendants of the gods decided to lock the sword away. They used its dimensional powers to travel to a far away planet, they built it a sanctuary, and they locked it away.
Only three now remain who have access to its power, and it remains to be seen whether any of them would use it for its named purpose.
To the rest of the world, it has fallen into myth.
It’s me again! Present-day Lisa! Pretty goofy right? I was really pleased with this when I finished it. I rushed it over to my mom, and then she revealed to me her personal origin story for the sword, which she had written in college.
Amazingly, several parts of it were nigh-identical.
For past-me, that should have been this mind-blowing moment where I realized how much of myself I owed to my mother. But, instead, I just went “cool!” and bounded off to the living room to play Space Enforcer with Megan.
Speaking of which, I think I still have Megan’s spare controller. Which I haven’t returned for over a decade. I uh. I have to go.