May and the first half of June have been very productive. Things are coming along, and the great creative process churns and churns. Chapters 4 and 5 are now complete, taking the point-of-view character and his dangerous comedic foil through the wondrous Halls of Painted Heaven. It was, if anything, a struggle to write my characters a way out of that part of the setting without leaving too abruptly, but now it is done, with what I hope is the proper amount of foreshadowing for future events and grand twists.
As a special treat, I present the description for "Doji", included in Chapter 4. Doji is the character submitted by high-level back and creative godfather Clinton J. Boomer, and for a character I'm contractually obligated to include, I could not possibly be happier with the addition Doji has made to this effort.
***excerpted from Chapter 4 of Lost in Dream***
The thorny little man remained so still, at first I thought him a statue.
Brother Hobb and I had come across him in the hallway, kneeling before a massive painting. The work was pleasant and beautiful, but typical of so many I'd seen before – an expansive pastoral landscape with rolling green hills and flowered meadows stretched out beneath clouds full of beneficent angels and old people in long comfy tunics. The foreground of this one seemed to focus on several crook-wielding shepherds and their flocks of fluffy white sheep.
He was small of stature, with the slim build of a teenager. His garb was similar to the monks I'd seen on the beach, though in different hue – a simple red robe draped over one shoulder, belted with a faded yellow sash knotted on one side. He wore loose red pants cinched at his calves with wrappings of cloth and leather strap. His feet were bare, folded perfectly beneath him so that the tops lay flush with the white marble floor. His arms hung relaxed at his sides, his hands cupped neatly in his lap. With his head bowed and eyes shut, he appeared to be meditating.
I was glad his eyes were closed, because I was staring. He looked like a demon.
Black thorns covered his tightly-muscled body, sprouting prominently from his joints, spine, and knuckles, giving every angle of his wiry frame a wicked point. He was completely hairless, with nothing atop his bald head except more short, horn-like thorns spaced out in such a way that they formed an almost-crown. A tangled rose-vine tattoo wrought in black ink spiraled and coiled around every limb, covering every inch of his olive-toned skin with stems, leaves, and brambles. On his right shoulder, an inky rose blossomed. I saw the petals moving, even though his body wasn't, blooming and folding as if gently breathing on its own.
On his left side lay an immaculate coil of steel chain augmented with nasty-looking hooks and barbs, ending in a long triangular spike.
On his right side lay a broom.
'Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!
~Matt Banach, author