Summer is drawing to a close, with a wistful sigh from me. I grew up in Southern California where it’s can be 80 in January. Seasons — and snow — were a new thing when I joined the army, and I find that I much prefer the sun and warmth of summer.
This year, my favorite summer moment was watching a sword fighting demonstration. Actually, several. As a reader, I love action novels, and my book Miasma has at least eight action scenes (maybe more as I revise my subplots. Nothing like adding more action to the story!).
I’d gone on travel for work to Norfolk, Virginia, and then followed it up with a drive to North Carolina for a fledgling convention called ConTemporal, which was primarily steampunk. But NC has a local group of people who like to fight with swords, so we got awesome demos!
The first demo showed us how the movies do sword fighting, which is different than how they happen in real life. That fight where the hero is matched against five bad guys and still wins? In real life, the fight would last about one second, with the hero on the losing end. What the movies do is have each villain launch at the hero at about a second and half apart. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s significant amount of time in a fast moving battle.
The second demo was outside. June + NC = hot, hot, hot. The humidity was up, and we were melting — but the demonstration got a good crowd to watch people whack at each other with real weapons.
The unexpected bonus was that I also got to see how a whip worked. A whip is a frightening weapon. When the tip snaps out, it breaks the sound barrier — CRRRRAAACCCKKK! I was so surprised at the sound that I jumped enough that the guy doing the demo commented on it. I think I’ll keep my distance.
What’s your favorite summer moment?
My story “A Soldier’s Magic” has been accepted by Mosaic Indigo Publishing for their anthology The Darkness Within. It’s a contemporary fantasy set after Desert Storm. Two female soldiers have to make the difficult decision to kill a friend to keep a parasite from infecting the military world-wide. The anthology is due out in September, so I will post more information when it is available.