Because it’s always three o’clock? Sartre wrote in La Nausée that “Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.” OK, he wrote it in French, but the point still stands. Middle age is like that for me. Too late for writing with the crazed energy that possesses you like a comfortably cloying demon when you first fall in love with words and what they can do. Too early to withdraw from society and live once again like an annoying young word drunk.
The problem with middle age is that you never feel present for anything that matters. The other problem is how easy it is to hide your Romantic, epic fantasy sensibilities because they’ve become disfigured by a society that doesn’t brook such nonsense. Blogging about serious issues like the corporate-sponsored war on the humanities is tolerated, but please leave the wizard stuff alone. (As if there’s a difference beyond presentation.)
Also, the culture has developed an unhealthy fetish for all things evidence-based along with a bizarre discomfort around examining what any given piece of evidence does or doesn’t show. Which means it takes more energy to maintain the necessary headspace to continue writing about a fantasy world whose rules I get to make up as I go along.
Also, I failed to take my own advice concerning the best jobs for writers being the kind you can compartmentalize, because that allows you to compartmentalize your writing time, which allows you to have writing time. Running a law practice is not one of those jobs. Much as I enjoyed the practice of law, and much as I learned from my clients, I feel like my legal adventure has run its natural course and I now have the time to return to fiction writing.
Getting back to writing a cool, philosophical, bad-ass but vulnerable anti-hero also takes more energy in mid-life, because consensus reality is a constant nag, and its boosters are zealous in its enforcement. So magic, mysticism, and fictional world-building is something you don’t discuss in polite society, unless you have a strong stomach. It makes you guarded, which doesn’t help. You compartmentalize your imagination. Then, over time, you forget where you left the key.
But finish Book Three I did.
It’s full of magic and wizard battles and plot twists and new characters and old. Llewelyn is back. He’s older, more cynical, and maybe even more world-weary than in the previous books. But that just gives him more interesting issues on which to comment.
It is a shorter work than the first two books, but that is intentional. Thematically, it is meant to function as an epilogue, and no epilogue is longer than its mother text. At the end of Hecate’s Glory Llewelyn finishes his story to Walworth. The King’s Glory focuses on how the stories we tell about ourselves and about each other impact everything that does matter: the world, magic, our understanding of good and evil, impossibly fraught choices, who we are, and who we want to be. In that sense, it is a final word on Llewelyn’s trial testimony. Without being too meta – I hope.
Anyway, as Isulde says to Llewelyn in the first chapter, as he’s trying to make sense of the end of his trial, “Welcome back to the world you know.”
Welcome back to my world. Dark blessings.