So Frontier Communications sent me an email to tell me that Slooh, this really cool web site devoted to astronomy lovers, was going to broadcast the Aug 21st eclipse on live streaming. Since I wasn’t going to travel to a place with totality, I got super excited about seeing it live. So excited, that I started thinking of a story involving an eclipse. Of course, it would have to happen on an equinox because I wanted to keep it in the fall and magical things tend to happen in stories during one of the four special earth-sun positions. So then, what about a warlock who uses the shift in power during the eclipse to summon a demon army. Sounds cool, right?
Around the same time, I read an article on the web about a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s who wrote out her living will and declaration of how she wanted to die with dignity. Only, she didn’t specify ‘hand feeding’ so when it came time to stop feeding her, the care givers couldn’t at that point because she opened her mouth when they hand fed her and they were morally obligated to keep doing so. It was a heartbreaking and moving article that made me feel for all sides involved. It stuck with me so when I wrote the protagonist in the eclipse story, he wound up having memory loss and physical injury caused by the very warlock he would have to face again during the eclipse and win the fight or lose the world.
Excited by the story idea, I starting writing sometime after the Game of Thrones episode and well into the morning. I turned on the Slooh broadcast and wrote while glancing out my window as the lighting started to get odd. At the time, I hadn’t realized we’d be experiencing 92% totality but knew something was wrong because the light was turning freaky weird. In fact, by the time I saw the total come and go on Slooh, I dove outside and basked in the rays of the craziest lighting I’ve ever seen. It’s not dusk lighting. No, this had sharp shadows and cool wispy crescent shadows from the pine trees. I’d never seen pine tree eclipse shadows before, only leafy tree ones, so that was really amazing to see. The lighting when looking up in the sky (not at the sun though!) was anemic – probably the best term to describe it. We still had light but it was like something had sucked part of it away and altered the color in a subtle manner that words and even pictures will never describe. You just have to experience it.
I finished the story around 2pm and was punch drunk with lack of sleep and the need to share the story with someone. So I gave it to a few friends and eagerly waited for their responses. I made two of them cry! I think that’s the best compliment I could ever receive about my writing. The thought of touching someone with words that I put to page is a heady feeling. The story is called The Archmage’s Eclipse and it will be available soon on Instafreebie and maybe some other places to gather newsletter signups and hopefully stir up interest in my book.
Which leads me to the next piece of good news – I’ve finished the first draft of The Summoner and the Seer! Yes, that’s right. I went from 92%, if you looked at my progress bar, to 100% in the two days following my absorption of freaky eclipse sun rays! I still have to edit the thing and do a full read to make sure all the foreshadowing and story stuff flows. But I’m very excited to have finished my first novel ever. It came out at just over 100k words.
So an entire short story and 9k words written since bathing in eclipse sun rays – I’d say eclipse lighting is good for writing!