Teaser Tuesday: What is the secret?


You know what sucks? When it’s 20ºF on a Sunday evening—and your heat goes kaput.

We heat our home with a pellet stove. It’s awesome and pumps out a lot of heat. That is, until it makes clunky noises and stops working. Also sucky? When your service guys are so swamped they can’t even get back to you till Tuesday morning—and that’s after playing the “my wife is about to go into labor” card.

But they rang first thing this morning, and it turned out the problem at hand was one I could actually fix. After a couple hours, a lost wingnut, some sawdust vacuuming, attempts not to swear with the toddler in the room, and realigning a chain that had come off its gears, we have fire again!

All that to say, even with cold hands, a busted stove, and a wife soon not to be pregnant, I’m still cranking along on Lotus, the fourth Rucksack Universe travel fantasy book. As I write this post, I am one scene away from the end of Act I! So far I’ve written 20,851 words, or about 80 pages. Here’s a wee teasery snippet from the past week’s rough drafts:

“Now, Feckniss,” said Blanders, “what is your assessment of this morning’s chatter?”

Feckniss began outlining his analysis. Together they conferred on the likely fallout from the announcement, and various ways the company could respond.

At ten minutes to ten, Blanders nodded. “We’re ready,” he said. “But Feckniss, you must remember something crucial. This is the end. But it’s only the beginning.”

“Of what?”

“Of everything. Of nothing.” Blanders smiled. “Guru knows.”

“Is that the secret, sir?”

Blanders shook his head.

“What is the secret?”

With a smile, Blanders leaned forward until his mouth was next to Feckniss’s ear. “It’s simple, my dear boy.” Feckniss felt the smile grow wider. “The secret is that there is no secret.”

Feckniss tried to understand or think of a reply. Blanders rose and stepped out of the cubicle. “I’ll come back after the announcement, and then we’ll debrief.” Alone, Feckniss tried to think of what his manager meant. He thought and thought, and almost had it, but then the clock struck ten. On the radio, in the office, all over the world, the voice of Guru Deep began to speak.

Lotus is the codename for the fourth Rucksack Universe travel fantasy book, coming 2015. Join the adventure with the first 3 books, available now »

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