Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 8 May 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.


I miss mortal life, like every spirit in the Between, for there one enters the round of cause and effect. In the Between, on the road of the stars, one can see all and do nothing; in mortal life, one sees little but everything one does has an effect.

Which is some sort of conservation law on the grand scale, isn’t it?

But removed from that push-pull of desire and revulsion, one steps back to admire the beauty of the Great Mystery. The web of life in the Here and Now (it’s never There and Then to us) vibrates with light, sends shivering pulses through possibility and history. I can see myself at one of those junctures in the great web, can forgive and still feel exasperation at my ignorance.

Reach through dream, though, to my still-living cousin, who’s yet another jewel of light, imperfect, of course, as all of us are; to hammer the good ordinary human being out of the unpromising material of fear and desire, that’s a life’s work I did not live to complete, though the hope of that completion, it seems, is efficacious, for that last moment of blazing vision vouchsafed me by the god and by my cousin (truly they cooperated in it) sent me here on fleet wings of divine blessing.

And now I see, and now she acts.


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. This interview draws on collaboration with poet-scholar Lev Mirov, who provided questions from sociology of religion to help me understand the cult of Martis-Mortis, the war deity to whose cult Phila belongs.

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