There is a Scottish saying: From ghoulies and ghosties, and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, may the good lord deliver us! and it’s from this that the title of this post comes, and also the reason why my current status on Yahoo!Messenger reads: I’m going to kill Affrar.
As if balancing a day job as a primary school supply teacher, and a career as a writer were not hard enough already, I can do without being kept awake at night with snippets of scenes, dialogue and other assorted Muse-driven realisations from or about characters or stories. So, when Darius Affrar’s scene from chapter 2 of Use’ara kept me up, I did what any self-respecting writer would do – grabbed a notebook and pencil (I always prefer to use pencil), and scribbled down those things of which I could make sense, and then having – as far as I was concerned – exorcised the issues that were keeping me awake – lay down and went to sleep, right? Wrong!
Well, not exactly wrong, just… mildly apocryphal. I manage to get a few hours of sleep after that, but come 5:30am, I don’t think anything short of a sledge-hammer to the back of the head would have allowed me to sleep longer. Normally I’m awake around 6:45am and up by 7am (though I rarely make it downstairs before 7:20), and anything that deviates from this – unless by choice (which includes the times I am away from the UK) – upsets the “delicate balance of my housekeeper” as it were. (I love Narnia).
So Affrar is a dead man. I’m sure at some point in the series that might well prove to be true, although for the time being, and since he plays a somewhat key role in Thirteen Stars I must make that a suspended sentence – a noose awaiting the fit of his neck, and a plaque beneath bearing the epitaph; a snippet of the thoughts with which he’d kept me awake:
Affrar knew his agitation had become unacceptable when he noticed his accent had slipped past the carefully cultivated Andromi III standard. It was somewhere between a lilting Old Earth Irish and a rich Scottish brogue, though he had never been to either place; like most of his generation he had never even trodden the dust of Old Earth at all…