Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake
jaylake

[writing] Progris riport, day 17, The Heart of the Beast

9,400 words net over four and half hours, to 89,500 words on The Heart of the Beast. Some very strong words today, at least speaking from my subjective impressions of my own work. That's always hard to tell — famously so, a writer is the worst judge of their own work. Still, I'm feeling very good about it.

As usual, a WIP:

With great land came great creatures, Erebus and Abaia and their kin, chthonic, titanic, each with legs larger than the highest cliffs and skulls that could cover mountain ranges and terrible, slow intelligences whose thoughts were writ with the writhing fires that marked those days. Just as men now are wrought of dust, so these ancients were wrought of magma and ash and the energies of worlds.

In time, all things breed; even time itself, spawning minutes and seconds like the milt of salmon in some high stream. So it is that mountains breed valleys and hills; valleys and hills give way to rocks and soil; and those descend to alluvial plains and fields filled with grasses and trees and the unquiet humming of insects; but still in each shining pebble by the bank of a stream there dwells a sliver of memory of what it once meant to be a great rocky claw riving the sky and drawing the horizon down to earth, to block out even the sun with your shadow. The least stone knows this of itself, just as the smallest acorn remembers the spreading oak, and a man's seed spilled upon a woman's thighs knows the pleasures of sword and sex that it might grow into, given the chance and a time alone in the warm darkness behind her sweetpocket.

So the creatures of old, with their thoughts of fire and their breath like earthquakes, begat smaller similars, fetches and avatars who could roam the earth with more active will, for they were not so tied to sea beds and mountain ranges. Still, these children of enormity were yet great by the measure of today, when we are reduced to field mice and arsinotheres and the cold, wriggling intelligence of the merely ship-sized squid which haunt the pelagic deeps. Their eyes were not the size of moons, but merely the width of duchies. Their appetites did not swallow continents, but only made meals of island paradises where lost revelation did once bloom among the orchids.

Of this generation only one survived the churning of the world into the face we know of it today - the Beast. For the Beast had wandered, leaving deep, quiet lakes in its footsteps, tearing new vales in the raw ridges of mountains thrown up like wounds from the bowels of the earth, dragging its tail in the sea, until it laid down to sleep on a new-baked plain of lava and hot mud. The warmth eased its aching bones, the rumbling of the world's belly beneath its subcontinental ears was as a lullaby to an uneasy child, and so it rested with the long sleep of ons.


Originally published at jlake.com.

Tags: beast, books, process, writing
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