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In Week 3 of The Blue Beacon...
There are five more chapters are up, here's a recap and some behind-the-scenes analysis.
Week 3 of The Blue Beacon is complete! Mostly, it was time of hummingbirds, fancy modern mansions, and dangerous antagonists. In this case, a pair of fishers carrying scimitars and riding on the backs of two coywolves.
I have some details, some mourning, and a chapter-by-chapter recap to get to today, and, tbh, I don’t wanna spend all Saturday writin’ it! So let’s go! And if you aren’t subscribed to the Cascadia Chronicles already, here’s where to do so!
After aiming for longer chapters in my last recap, I mostly succeeded, though not to a hugely noticeable degree. There may still be some 5 minute reads from time to time, but I’m not planning on posting anything less than that.
On the art front, I’m getting in a better rhythm now that readers are involved, though Ophir’s flight picture still took a lot of iterations, most all of which looked like fever dreams.
Facing unrest at home as certain teenage daughters are suddenly very opinionated about the rights of artists, even though said daughter listens to all her music on Spotify and doesn’t pay for any of the art she experiences! Still, I’m grateful she’s ideologically looking out for us creators. That’s something I greatly admire both in her and her generation.
Lately I’m up to posting Reels on Instagram about this book and its process and what I’m generally about as a writer and coach. You can follow along at @jordangreenwords.
Next week we’ll find out the rest of the battle scene and head more in the general direction of the river. I don’t wanna give too much away, but the story’s just hitting stride and there’s a whole lot more to explore!
Readers, there is deep and resonant sadness in our world right now. We’re all feeling that in our own way, and today I write with a particularly heavy heart at the loss of someone deeply influential both to my writing career and this project directly.
Lost: A brother-in-arms
This morning I’m shocked to learn about the death of Terrell Garrett.
Those are terrible words to write.
Terrel was a writer compatriot since way back when he contributed to the first book I ever helped publish, a collection of short stories called The Ankeny Briefcase. His penname was tt garrett and his story began with a girl who crashed into a tree and ascended to heaven. Ariele Gentiles and I were the two editors and we loved him immediately.
Terrell stuck with his craft, carving out a career as a screenwriter and as the co-creator of a comic series called Wolverton. He wrote prolifically, recently finding a niche on Royal Road with two widely-read and revered LitRPG series.
Terrell ranks in my S-Tier of Internet Friends, which is a line he’d get as a gamer. He worked diligently at his craft and curated the finest and funniest Tik Toks to share on Instagram. His Stories are always first in my feed. Were, I remind myself, because denial is a mercy. He posted the sweetest movie trailers and shared the most frightening horror movies so then I could read their plots on Wikipedia where I wouldn’t be too scared.
I deeply respected Terrell as an imaginative and honest brother in God and words. In the wind-up to launching The Blue Beacon, he was one of my biggest inspirations and steadiest supports. His advice was exceptional, always. I hoped we’d have long careers, cheering each other on.
Instead, he is gone. He leaves his wife, Bree, and their two children behind.
His death is one of too many my friends and I grieve of late. In shock, I read tender commemorations. Everyone who knew him is heartbroken. We are reminded again: death is an enemy.
Rest In Peace, Terrell.
(Warning: Don’t read if you’re sensitive to spoilers!)
I really enjoy the mechanics of how this world works, even though I don’t know all of them yet. I knew one thing: hummingbirds had to play a major part, since they were perched outside the window of my desk most every time I wrote.
One goal is to lace Oregon lore and words throughout these books, and Dad picked up on the connection between Glendoveer golf course and rabbits, which you’d see plenty of if you ever walked around the perimeter path.
While the safehouse/mansion part of this story is set in a different location, the house is heavily inspired by Royal Residence, a house in the West Hills. Using real spaces and geography is one of my greatest joys in telling this story.
Terwilliger Boulevard is a beautiful drive through the forest stretching south of OHSU and I had to include a big scene there. Also, I felt relieved to get back to some higher stakes finally!
Ah yes, the sweet relief of action. These scenes flow so much easier than dialogue! I was also glad to finally introduce these dangerous twins in more detail. When Lana and I watch animation, we talk a lot about what we call kinetics, how the physicality of a scene sounds. What I’m aiming to capture is the almost super-heroic speed and power of wild animals.
If you drive I-5 south out of Downtown, you can see the trees Ophir jumps from on the right-hand side, and if you go down to South Waterfront you can find the rhododenron where she lands. Is it feasible for a Humboldt’s flying squirrel to actually jump that far? I’m not 100% sure! But I loved imagining that scene and I hope you enjoy(ed) reading it.