Friday, December 18, 2015

Robert Ward? Writing a novel?

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a writer named Robert Ward penned the occasional blog. Then his blog voice fell silent. Cyber-dust gathered on his words.

The last time he was heard from was 2011 A.D. Eons passed. Readers wondered, was he still alive? still writing? had he ever existed at all?

And then a voice called from the void, from the bottom of a deep deep well, "Hello? Hello? Is anybody there?"

It was him, though he was not easy to recognize at first, time had so worked upon his features, his frame. He was gaunt and grizzled as a lion of the desert, his voice as dry as an August stream in the Spanish meseta. But it was him, all right. We'd know that beard anywhere.

"Account for yourself."

"I don't know what to say. I just..."


"I didn't feel like blogging."

"Well. That's rather anti-climax."


"And that's it?"

"Umm, I've been working on a novel."

"Ah, now that is more interesting. And?"

"It's a slow process. Much harder than a travel journal where you just write what happened. With a novel, you have to make everything up."

"That's the nature of the beast."

"It is. And it's not easy. But I think I'm getting the hang of it."

"Can I ask what your novel's about?"

"Well, it's set on the Camino de Santiago..."

"My goodness, we would never have expected that."

"And it's meant to be 'the real Camino.' But at the same time, it's got kind of a supernatural, fantastic side to it. You know, time travel, angelic beings who watch over pilgrims, inexplicable events..."

"Oh yeah? So a little bit of Paulo Coelho..."

"No no no no no. Not at all."

"Not at all?"

"Well, maybe a tiny bit. But as I say, I've tried to keep it true to the reality of the Camino..."

"Things change on the Camino. When was the last time you were actually on it?"

"Last month. A couple of weeks in November, just enough to walk from Saint-Jean to Burgos."

"You didn't mention that."

"I was getting around to it."

"So when can we expect to see this novel of yours?"

"That's a tricky one. Do you think you can give me a year?"

"Seems a long time to wait. Could you at least give us a taste of it? A little more detail about the plot? An excerpt maybe?"

"If you really want. I guess so. Let me see what I've got."

"I'll be waiting!"