friendship

C. S. Lewis on Friendship at First Sight

I consistently enjoy Spiritual Friendship, but this one struck a special chord with me. One of the deep themes of The Unaccountable Death of Derelict Frobisher is the sense of isolation that comes from thinking there’s nobody else in the world who really gets you or likes what you like.

These glimpses of another person who understands—these moments of friendship at first sight—cut through that isolation. I suspect introverts may experience this particularly strongly. When it’s hard to connect in general, a deep and instant connection is a precious gift, especially when it proves to have staying power over the years. I love this reminder to honor the depth and reality of those friendships.

Plus I’m a sucker for C. S. Lewis and Narnia. But who isn’t?

Spiritual Friendship

I have visiting nieces and nephews at the moment, which means I’ve been reading more children’s literature recently. As I was reading, I was struck by this passage in C. S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

All morning on the following day they sailed in fairly shallow water and the bottom was weedy. Just before midday Lucy saw a large shoal of fishes grazing on the weed. They were all eating steadily and all moving in the same direction. “Just like a flock of sheep,” thought Lucy. Suddenly she saw a little Sea Girl of about her own age in the middle of them—a quiet, lonely-looking girl with a sort of crook in her hand. Lucy felt sure that this girl must be a shepherdess—or perhaps a fish-herdess—and that the shoal was really a flock at pasture. Both the fishes and the girl were quite close to the…

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Character Improv + Bonus Bundle Sneak Peek

Do your characters ever perform improv with each other?

My wonderful patrons just received their January Bonus Bundle. I had so much fun putting it together that I wanted to share a taste of it with you guys. These are spin-offs, little side projects my characters do for fun when they’re not busy on The Dream World Collective. The cool part is that they become almost like improv sessions, with the characters egging each other on and filling in each other’s gaps and putting each other in tricky situations. The results often take me totally by surprise and make me laugh out loud.

Writers talk about characters taking on a life of their own, but this takes that to a whole different level. It’s a great experience when you can depend on your characters—and they can depend on each other—as collaborators in the creative process. Enjoy!

A Modest Contribution, Episode Two: History of the Moustache

All patrons received Episode Two of A Modest Contribution, in which Sushi joins Otto for an enlightening exploration of the history of the moustache. It’s over 1,000 words of little-known history and insight: all highly edifying, all highly inaccurate. Here’s a snippet:

OTTO: The word ‘moustache’ derives, of course, from the German ‘Maus-Tasche,’ or ‘mouse-bag.’
SUSHI <incredulous>: What?
OTTO: But what is a ‘mouse-bag,’ exactly? Sushi, talk us through it.
SUSHI: Well, for starters the word’s origins are actually Prussian, not German. There was no unified Germany in those days. The Prussians, as you know, are a proud folk, renowned for their extremely bushy facial shrubbery and their stylish spiked helmets. In those days a man was only considered half a man if his moustaches couldn’t hold a gulag of raw milk when dipped in the churn and squeezed out.
OTTO: A gulag being roughly half a pint in modern measure.
SUSHI: Precisely. Now, in those days…

Character Sketch: Maria “Sushi” Vasquez (Excerpt)

Tickled Pig patrons also got to see three full sections of my character outline for Sushi from The Dream World Collective. Here’s a taste:

…tends to bounce on her toes.
9. Drinks: Green tea lightly brewed, especially when sketching ideas for a new project. Soda when watching movies (preference for…

…when feeling silly and feminine.
10. Indulges in: terrible romance novels. Indie comic books, especially with…

Kitchen Adventures, Episode One: The Canny Gruelsmith

Sun Room patrons also received Episode One of Kitchen Adventures, over 1,500 words of history and hilarity, culminating in a delicious real-life recipe. Here’s a quick peek:

OTTO: I believe a shot of root beer could give it the old-world root-and-herb flavor palate that a good sweet gruel so desperately craves.
SUMMER: Ew. We’re not doing that. How about cinnamon?
OTTO <snickers>: What is this, a porridge? I thought we were making gruel.
SUMMER: Fine. How do you sweeten a classic sweet gruel, Mr. Expert?
OTTO: Well, I’m hardly a gruelsmith. Honey, perhaps? And sweetmeats?
SUMMER: Nobody knows what sweetmeats are. That hasn’t been a thing for like five hundred years.
OTTO: Very well. Then I submit…

Join the Fun!

If this matches your sense of humor, I’d love to get you in on what I’m working on. I’ve got over 100 pages of The Dream World Collective and counting up for free download starting here and continuing at bit.ly/latestdwc. Visit my Projects page to see some upcoming projects and more ways to get involved.

Cheers!

—Ben

The Dream World Collective

I’m writing a novel about Summer, Zen, Otto, Sushi, and Alex, and I want to share it with you.

Summer likes gardening (and Alex) and Sushi paints and punches people and Zen likes hammocks and Otto’s a geek. And Alex is a boss. Or he’s about to be. But is that really the goal?

Anyway, just read this first part. It’s a quick read. If you’re not hooked by the end of it, no worries. If you are, there’s 100+ more pages waiting for you and more coming soon (for free!)

And it’s cozy and funny and it gets surprisingly deep. I really think you’ll like it. Here’s the PDF. Or you can get it for Kindle, Nook, etc. (Mobi and ePub) here—Wordpress won’t let me upload those formats. Happy Friday!

DWC 1 Text Art Flat