Where the Falconer was Born

Posted: February 8, 2014 in Fantasy, The Writing Process
Tags: , , , ,

I live not far from a parcel of land that hosts a Renaissance Faire, and on several occasions have visited with family members. Years ago, while attending, I encountered a young man in period dress toting about an owl on his wrist. He talked about his raptor, named Ulysses, and informed us about an exhibition that afternoon. I was already fascinated and since I brought my mother, who has loved the owl decades before they became trendy, we decided to attend.

Crowds gathered as the young falconer displayed the rudiments of the falconry discipline and the hunting prowess of his birds. Everyone watched in rapt (pun intended) wonder as these feathered predators spread what seemed to be massive wings and swooped from seemingly impossible heights to dive down accurately on a minuscule target. At one point, a lucky volunteer (unfortunately, not me) was presented with the opportunity to snap a photograph from beneath the bird’s takeoff just as it’s wings stretched the furthest.

I hadn’t gone back to the Ren Faire since then, but that exhibition and the idea of falconry sparked a few ideas that didn’t quite get the flames rolling. In my mind’s eye I could see a young falconer, living in the woods alone with his bird. Questions arose – why was he living out there all alone? Falconry is the sport of nobles, and it’s unlikely some woodsman in the middle of nowhere would just have the bird and know-how. And a falconer in the woods… interesting concept, but concepts do not a story make. Some other ideas floating around in my head eventually coalesced (a wolf who was more than an ordinary wolf but not the tired idea of a werewolf), and I found the right conflicts and plugged them in. I’d liked to say it was a “voila” but that’s rarely how it works. The story didn’t simply write itself, and as I struggle with “Perfect Never Finishes,” kicking the story out of the nest at all is a small accomplishment.

The Falconer and The Wolf is available on Amazon.

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