My Friend, J.R.R. (No, not Tolkien…)

So I have this friend who’s a writer. And sometimes, may I just say, the way she thinks is crazy.

For example, she once went white water rafting (not like the kind of rapids that puts your stomach in your throat and your lungs in your toes, but rapids nonetheless). She isn’t the best swimmer, and she’s normally shy about trying new things of that sort. But she did this, paddle in hand, with 5 or 6 other people (plus a guide), arms pumping as the guide called out instructions, icy water spraying her from every direction. No seatbelts to keep you in the raft as you bounce and fly along. And do you know why she did it?

Not because she wanted to. But because she thought to herself “I might one day need to write about going down a river. I should know what that’s like.”

It turns out my friend has done several things solely for that reason.

At times I think she’s a goofball. Other times I think she’s crazy. And at others I envy her, because she musters up the courage to go out and do amazing things from time to time because of that, no matter how shy she is, no matter how nervous it makes her. It doesn’t mean she’s done anything too crazy, like bungee jumping or leaping from an airplane. But she has hiked briskly for miles in the wilderness, over roots of huge trees, down incredibly steep slopes, along river banks and streams, through valleys, up and down hills so large they really should be classified as mountains, so that when one of her characters (I’m not giving a spoiler here, I promise!) is on the run, through the wilderness, she knows how to describe it all. She studies herbs and spices so she knows how to use them for medicine in a pinch. She has endured high heat and blistering cold just to see what it’s like. She was excited when she had to have her leg sewn up once because she would at last know ‘what it was like to have stitches.’

She also is a food lover. We have that in common. 🙂 She loves good wine and rare steak and fresh salads. She adores bread and butter, and she will never, ever say no to Indian food. And she’s a bit of a coffee contradiction; she appreciates and loves a really, really good cup of coffee, but I have also known her to come into her office on Monday and turn on the coffee machine to warm up old coffee left over from Friday. That stuff is thick and STRONG… just the smell of it made my hair stand on end. I like to call her Daniel Jackson whenever she pulls a stunt like that! (Those of you who are Stargate SG1 fans will get that.) 😉

Every single song she or I has ever listened too is filed away somewhere in her head as part of some soundtrack for some story she’s writing. I kid you not. Sometimes it’s really strange listening to, for example, a couple songs I have from the soundtrack for the movie “300” and in the middle of the song “Message for the Queen” have her suddenly exclaim: “Isn’t that just AWFUL? Halmden sitting there, holding her and there’s nothing he can do!”

Huhwhat?

(Apparently she was talking about a scene in the book she’s currently finishing.)

She’s weird, but so much fun to hang out with.

Just don’t ask her what she thinks of “Thor” and the relationship between Thor and Loki. She’ll never stop talking.

 

“Majestic”

And then I saw him
Sitting there against the wall
Head hanging, shoulders bowed
Skin once radiant with the light of the sun and the polish of gold
now dull and grey
Forever gouged and furrowed like a farmer’s field
Smooth strength broken
His hands, sinewed and callused and hard
Fingers long; long and clever
Now shackled and chained

Claws blunted and shorn

A ruin of a once Majestic thing.

And then
Then…
Then he opened his eyes.
And I knew they had been watching me the entire time.

And there, hidden away, deep inside those eyes
That he kept so carefully closed
I saw the Fire
And I knew this was no ruination
However they had banked and smothered
The fire still smoldered
Patient
And when at last they finished him
And left him there
Confidant in their victory over a broken thing

He would rise again
Majestic

~j.r.r.castle