Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 10 April 2016 (character interview)

Each Sunday, Weekend Writing Warriors offers a selection of eight-sentence excerpts from writers in multiple genres and forms. Check out the full roster here.


In the land of the dead, of course, we don’t eat. But call on lore older than the journey-ships: prepare the favorite meal of the departed, pour the wine, light the candles, and keep silent. They will come.

So here is what you shall make for my summoning-feast. Put out the red wine from the young vineyards on the volcanic slopes of South Continent, the vintage we drink iced at the Horse Festival; simmer the pea-and-bean stew that we make at the turnings of the year; prepare seared-fish soup in a salty broth, as we have at midsummer. For further drink, pour out rice-wine as at midwinter, and dark beer as at Storm-Gate. Remember all the turnings of the year, for I lived through all of them until the very last.
I died a few days after Midsummer, in a blaze of sunlight in the dueling circle at the Water-Temple.
Character interview for the Shipwright cycle, which is set about 600 years before the time of Ship’s Heart. The speaker is Phila, cousin to Naime the Shipwright. The summoning feast he enumerates is a descendant of the ritual known in the American South as the dumb supper. (Thanks to poet-scholars India Valentin and Lev Mirov for introducing me to this ritual and its syncretic folk-magic tradition.)
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7 Responses to Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 10 April 2016 (character interview)

  1. Ed Hoornaert says:

    You fit a tremendous amount of world-building into a few short sentences!

  2. Peter Vialls says:

    Very evocative – the details of ancient summoning ritual to bring forth the dead, as described by one of the dead himself.

  3. Wow, all that details in incredible, and the last line definitely surprised me. Great writing!

  4. VERY cool snippet, kind of timeless, linking the past and the far future. Beautiful!

  5. Botanist says:

    Love the details, the phrasing and rhythm verges on the poetic.

  6. astonwest says:

    Has a very Old Testament poetry feel to it, in my opinion. Good stuff.

  7. Whitney says:

    It’s been previously said but I enjoyed the easy and effortless world-building. Look forward to next week’s snippet!

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