Every year I’m filled with an urge to participate in NaNoWriMo, yet I’ve only managed to do so a few times, and completed it fewer times than that.
Something about November being a stupid-busy month for me makes it damned hard to sit down and write creatively. November is my ‘Murphy’ Month. If shit is going to happen at all through the year, it’s probably going to happen in November. Though a few other months are starting to compete for the title.
Still, it’s half way through October, and I’m getting that urge again! So much so that, when I logged on to the site and updated my details, I even went so far as to throw together a rough cover image to inspire myself!
(I really need to get back to writing. Really, really. Not that this is any good, but it was so much fun to write!)
“Ballista!” The shout echoes above and below deck, a dozen voices barking back and forth with ever-increasing urgency to get it done. Bleary-eyed pirates are tipped from their cots and hammocks, running before their feet touch the floor, belts cinched as they go. “Wozzit?” A few voices ask, weather-beaten faces scrunched with concern.“Sail’s on us,” was the short reply passed through the ranks, and all the reply the ranks needed for motivation. There’d been threat of sail for days; a persistent smudge on the horizon that didn’t bode well for the weather-weary crew keen to make safe port. Heavy with cargo stolen from every nook and cranny of the coast between the far north and the distant south, they were bloated and running deep.
Easy pickings for some.
The smudge of sail on the horizon to stern the night before revealed itself with the first rays of morning, and the Squall’s crew was in a frenzy. It was a familiar profile, and one no life-loving pirate wanted to see in their wake with the wind against them.
I wrote this in the days after I received news of Anne McCaffrey’s death. I’m not a fan of poetry, to read or write, but I was so struck by grief to lose my childhood idol I could find no other way to get through it. She often introduced her chapters in the Pern books with verses, so it seemed appropriate, in a way.
The Holds are quiet;
the Halls have dimmed.
The Weyrs are grieving;
their banners trimmed.
Drums are covered,
pipes laid down;
a dark day passes
Holders raise a glass
and take a moment or two,
give thanks, rejoice, remember
the words that made you true.
You shall live on, and over again,
your stories oft retold,
your sickness and defeats,
and conquests bright and bold.
Harpers sing a soulful tune,
Weavers thread her story,
Miners and Smiths take up your crafts
in homage to her glory.
By thread or hide or smelted steel,
your grit, your blood, your sweat;
give praise to she who wrote you,
for Pern must not forget.
your dragons too.
A moment of reverence
is asked of you.
Gold and bronze,
brown, blue, and green,
take flight, give voice:
Anne McCaffrey has gone between.
– Amelia Beare (24th of November, 2011)
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