"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes." ~Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn

"The characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst." ~Publishers Weekly review of High Maga

Friday, August 10, 2012

Saying Farewell

"Eolyn's heart wavered, overtaken by a sudden nostalgia, the intense joy of companionship intermingled with the haunting sense that everything she most loved in life was constantly slipping away."  -- HIGH MAGA, Chapter 9

It's been almost two weeks since the Native American and Pacific Islander (NAPIRE) Program ended.  I've been involved with NAPIRE in one way or another for many years now, and have always enjoyed it.  Yet something about NAPIRE 2012 was especially extraordinary; this particular mix of people -- both mentors and students -- had a kind of magic that is difficult to find, and was hard to leave behind.

I'm not always very good at saying good-bye, though I've somehow built a life that requires letting go on a regular basis.  My friends and family are scattered across the globe -- in the United States, Germany, Costa Rica, and Hong Kong; in Washington D.C., Colorado, Connecticut, and California, to name just a few.  On the one hand, it's a wonderful situation because I feel part of a diverse community of very special people whose friendship transcends distance, culture, and time.  There's no better period in history than now to live an experience like this one, as technology has made it easier than ever to stay in touch across the miles.  But the next best thing to being there is still just that -- the next best thing. 

Even though it is painful to part with good friends, saying good-bye is often necessary in order to start anew.  With the end of NAPIRE 2012, each individual who helped make this summer such a successful season of research and cultural exchange can embark on a new future.  We have lost each other's company -- in the immediate, physical sense of the word -- but our lives have been made richer, our community larger, and our spirits stronger, because of all the adventures we have shared.

From a larger perspective, the joy of starting anew is almost invariably coupled with the pain of letting go.  A friend of mine once said that every gain we make in life is coupled with loss, or sacrifice.  I am reluctant to accept this wisdom, though I find myself living her words over and again.  More fundamentally, I find myself writing her words into my stories, first with the novel Eolyn, and now  with High Maga, in which my characters live a tale of unrelenting loss, though each moment of pain eventually forms the foundation for a future of renewed hope. 

This is my final installment for Field Season 2012, and I want to thank all of you who accompanied me on my trek through the forests of North and Central America.  It's been a wonderful summer; I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.

This week on Heroines of Fantasy, Kim Vandervort writes about Modern Heroes and how the Olympic atheletes inspire her work.   Next week, also on Heroines of Fantasy, we will welcome guest author Jim C. Hines. 

Also, please come back here on August 14th to read a post by special guest author DelSheree Gladden, who will tell us about her soon-to-be-released fantasy novel, Inquest: The Destroyer.