WAO: Casual Pedestrians

The rain kept falling, I walked west along the river. I love light rain. A friend and I were talking about how our books tend to end up in, or narrowly avoid, a post-apocalyptic world, and I think it’s because we both enjoy not seeing another human being for miles around when we want to think. Rain keeps the casual pedestrian indoors. I was wearing my courier bag with 30lbs of weight in it, so I let myself get absorbed by the sounds, smell, and muted sights of the overcast day while trying to find the position that spread the load most evenly.

The ducks were out in force, flying after each other, swimming, or napping on the rocks by the river. A small clan of fierce duck warriors bickered and quacked at each other on the opposite shore, which of course was ridiculous because, well, they’re ducks. How can you possibly take that seriously? They’re the clowns of the animal kingdom, with all the comic/tragic sadism that entails.

I sat down on a bench in a small raised area where the Rhone and Arve river’s meet, the bag clinking on the stone behind me and weight lifting from my shoulders in more ways than one. An older English couple followed me up, but they left after a minute or two of trying to see where the nearest crossing was.

The Arve was green and a little milky like unpolished jade, with twinkling points of light where the sun caught raindrops hitting the fast flowing surface. I put my head on my hands, closed my eyes, and just listened for a while. There were three people – locals – who were also on the point for solace; they mostly sat still, away from each other, and watched the water. A group of kayakers was donning wetsuits and getting into the river, and they were much louder. The rain made a steady patter of white noise, masking the more distant sound of people on the high stone viaduct a few hundred yards downstream.

I opened my eyes and moved on when the rain stopped.

A foundry and warehouse turned indoor garden and music hall.

A foundry and warehouse turned indoor garden and music hall.

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Calliope Music

The temperature got up to the low 30s C (90F) Saturday, which was nice, although, I saw an older guy in blue camo UDT shorts diving into the river and my skin crawled. This is not about body image. It’s about Duck Fleas.

Duck fleas are wormlike creatures that infest the waters of the Lake, more prominently near patches of vegetation and… well… ducks. When the water is over 20C (68F), they mistake humans for ducks and burrow into their skin, then die because we are, in fact, not ducks. They die. In your skin.

After that, you’re in for 10 to 20 days of itchy dermatitis. One man’s refreshing dip is another man’s flesh boring monster.

Anyway, on to the news. The writing is going well, I’ve got about 30% of Red Spring done and 10% of Dead Summer written (I wrote the ending – don’t worry, I’ll revise it when I work my way to it).

I also made some structural changes. After getting feedback from a couple people, I added months to the books to split them up and give people a better view of the passage of time, and a glossary/list of characters to the beginning of White Winter, so that should help people who felt there was a lot going on.

I also released the print version of White Winter – a big thank you to my buddy Josh who took over the covers when the original artist flaked on me. You can get it here if you do the physical copy thing: https://www.createspace.com/6424077 and XAPUSP49 for $1.00 off. I think it’s turned out really well; the two books look like they belong together when you set them side by side.

And I did an interview! These guys asked me to talk about how I got into writing, the story behind Black Fall, and why a dude is writing about vampires. You can listen to the whole thing here if you’re interested: https://youtu.be/EXZqqtR6FqA?t=32s

Back to my walk. For those who have been following the blog for a little bit, they fixed the split window, but that door is still cracked.

As I reached Plainpalais, where the crepes live, faint strains of calliope music floated through the air. Then I saw the tent, massive, plasticized, and white. The circus was in town.

If you’re afraid of clowns, this might already be too much for you, but (as I read from posters and 10-foot tall letters on the tent itself) this is the KNIE Swiss Circus, and they’re a pretty big deal. I looked them up on YouTube, and they seem to be caught halfway between a Vegas show and the circuses I remember from when I was a kid. If you see the show, let me know how it was. I’m curious, just not curious enough to go.

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