Beanstalk and Beyond preview 4 of several

I recently turned in my final edit for the Beanstalk and Beyond, being volume 1 of the Autobiography of Jack the Giant Killer.

I am posting short excerpts from that work at random intervals. This is one of them

The Ogress (the giant’s wife) is explaining some history to Jack.

“Long ago,” she continued, “While your like was just poking their tiny heads out of caves, this world belonged to the giants. Not the demented cretins you might encounter these days, but true Giants, like my husband. Thousands of them who could all trace their mighty lineage to the Titans themselves.”

Beanstalk and Beyond Preview 3 of several

I recently turned in my final edit for the Beanstalk and Beyond, being volume 1 of the Autobiography of Jack the Giant Killer.

I am posting short excerpts from that work at random intervals. This is one of them.

Jack has already been discovered by the Ogress – the giant’s wife.

“Oh, nonsense, dearie, The pleasure will be all mine.” She stooped down so that her face was level with, well, the rest of me. Her smile revealed that all of her teeth were sharp. “So you must be one of those little humans from the mud below. How simply precious! Tell me, are they all as small as you?”

 

Beanstalk & Beyond Preview 2 of several

I just submitted my edits for Beanstalk and Beyond, and now there will be some quotes for that for amusement of what I hope to be future readers.

 

I’m not sure why I kept climbing other than it was fun, and I didn’t really want to go back down. This beanstalk was easier to climb than most trees, and I made swift progress, despite the rain.

I wanted to know how high that thing really went; if it really went above the clouds like it appeared from the ground. My house was a little box, my livid mother an ant, the countryside a soggy, lumpy, green quilt of fields. I kept climbing.

I picked my way upwards by feel, until suddenly my head broke through the top. I stared across the clouds at a whole new world. For a long moment I must have gaped at the sunlit Cloudscape as if I had never been outside in my life. The sun seemed no closer, even as high as I was, but I hadn’t seen it in days, and it took a while for my eyes to adjust. Gradually, I made out rolling hills of clouds covered with thick, fluffy, deeply green moss, and enormous mushrooms of every color and shape.  I threw my hat onto the clouds. When it did not sink, I followed it.

Glittering insects buzzed around my head like tiny jewels with wings, and quick, silver worm-like creatures darted away from my feet. A warm, moist wind whirled about, occasionally prodding a hill to move aside, which in turn would reveal yet another wonder.

After an hour or so, my eyes stopped widening and my mouth stopped dropping open. My eyes squinted and my mouth frowned as all of this wonder insensibly became simply in the way.

 

Beanstalk & Beyond quotes 1 of several

I just submitted my edits for Beanstalk and Beyond, and now there will be some quotes for that for amusement of what I hope to be future readers.

I’m not sure why I kept climbing other than it was fun, and I didn’t really want to go back down. This beanstalk was easier to climb than most trees, and I made swift progress, despite the rain.

I wanted to know how high that thing really went; if it really went above the clouds like it appeared from the ground. My house was a little box, my livid mother an ant, the countryside a soggy, lumpy, green quilt of fields. I kept climbing.

Some Inconvenient Truths about St Patrick

I’m going to break with widespread internet tradition and write about St Paddy on a day other than St Patrick’s Day. I have other reasons for my interest in him.

I never need to invent reasons to drink beer.

saint-patrick-day
You’ll not be getting any green beer from this island!

History Ireland has a good summary of how beloved old St Patrick was quite likely a crank who is preserved in history because he wrote stuff down.

Patrick—to his fellow bishops, probably in Ireland, who would have seen his activity at close quarters—had gone completely ‘off message’ with his unique vision of himself as the apocalyptic preacher. Yet by answering these anonymous level-headed pastors, the real founders of Irish Christianity, Patrick became the only one who left a name and any account of evangelising in Ireland!

 

http://www.historyireland.com/st-patrick/st-patrick-the-legend-and-the-bishop/

 

What he did not leave was any account of his driving away all of the snakes. This is because Ireland almost certainly had no snakes within human history there. It was a glacier covered island until the tail-end of the ice age.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140315-saint-patricks-day-2014-snakes-ireland-nation/

The brief version of the tale is that Patrick, while on an extended fast, was beset by snakes, so he preached the gospel to them and thereby drove them into the sea. Which, so we’re clear, was meant as an accolade of the power of his preaching, not an indictment.

The most popular interpretation of this legend is that it is a far  more recent invention, and snakes = pagans as an allegory.

http://www.ancient-origins.net/comment/17829

Not so fast, say pagan scholars such as P. Sufenas Virius Lupus are oft quoted, every March, saying things like:

There is the idea, recently given voice inGalina Krasskova’s article on this subject at Patheos.com, that St. Patrick drove out the snakes of Ireland, but that the snakes were really “the druids,” and that therefore some modern pagans and druids celebrate “Bring Back the Snakes Day.” Unfortunately, this isn’t true, and the hagiographies of St. Patrick did not include this particular “miracle” until quite late, relatively speaking (his earliest hagiographies are from the 7th century, whereas this incident doesn’t turn up in any of them until the 11th century). St. Patrick’s reputation as the one who Christianized Ireland is seriously over-rated and overstated, as there were others that came before him (and after him), and the process seemed to be well on its way at least a century before the “traditional” date given as his arrival, 432 CE, because Irish colonists (yes, you read that right!) in southern Wales, Cornwall, and elsewhere in Roman and sub-Roman Britain had already come into contact with Christians and carried the religion back with them when visiting home.

Also referenced here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wildhunt/2012/03/saint-patrick-druids-snakes-and-popular-myths.html

The snake thing, then, was almost certainly an invention by later (church) “historians” ofr obscure propaganda reasons – or maybe they just thought it was really cool.

That doesn’t work for me at all.

So I’m going to give away some plot of my next book to you, al three of my loyal followers:

It was a brood of dragons. They were being compelled to remain in Ireland by the Druids somehow, but Patrick schemed to subvert that. The dragons ask how they can repay him, and the old crank replies, “Repent and turn to God.” The dragons ask him any other boon, so he says “Then leave, and never come back.” Which they did.

That is all 50 years history at the start of the novel, but repercussions of that (dragons have a long memory) contribute to The Problem.

 

OTHER SOURCES

http://www.craveonline.com/culture/966109-st-patricks-day-whole-snakes-thing-got-started

https://realtruth.org/articles/328-spmtal.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/assessment/2000/03/st_patrick.html