Sunday, June 27, 2021

A moment of serendipity.

Sometimes a scene just comes together. 
Lynne Cantwell | 2021

Earlier this week, Big Al's Books and Pals re-ran a review of Spider's Lifeline, the third book in my Pipe Woman's Legacy series, which came out in 2016. It was a moment of serendipity for me, as I'd been thinking about the book just a few days before. And that reminded me of a moment of serendipity that occurred while I was writing the fourth and final book, Turtle's Weir

You may have heard the term "Easter egg" in relation to movies. An Easter egg is a scene in which the filmmakers have included an inside joke, or a moment that makes a reference that only diehard fans would understand. Here's an example of one that occurred in Raiders of the Lost Ark: Hieroglyphs cover the walls of the room where Indiana Jones finds the Ark of the Covenant -- and among those hieroglyphs are drawings of R2D2 and C3PO, two of the most beloved droids in the Star Wars movies. It makes sense when you realize George Lucas both invented the Star Wars saga and co-wrote the story on which the Indiana Jones movies were based, and Harrison Ford starred in both movie franchises.

Writers include Easter eggs, too. Often, it's intentional, but sometimes the moments write themselves. The latter was the case in Webb's half of the Pipe Woman's Legacy

There's a scene in Spider's Lifeline in which Webb and his mother, Naomi Witherspoon Curtis, attend a reception hosted by former President Brock Holt and his wife, Antonia Greco, in honor of an Icelandic princess named Ingrid. Brock and Antonia's sons, Rex and Roman, are also there. Roman is a free spirit -- a musician who is as much of a Trickster as is Webb himself. There's a moment where Webb goes to the bar to get himself and his mother something to drink. Roman joins him there, and while they're chatting, Naomi shakes hands with the princess and then drops to the floor.

Antonia and I reached her at the same time. I helped her to a sitting position as Antonia clucked over her and called for her husband to get their physician. Cameras clicked again; I expected we’d be the top story on tonight’s news.

“No doctors,” Mom said crossly. “I’m fine. I just took a tumble, that’s all – it happens when you’re old. Thank you, Roman.” She took her drink from his hand and sipped.

“Yeah, thanks, buddy,” I said, accepting my own from him.

“I’m here to help,” he said, in a more serious tone than I’d ever heard him use before. “Remember that.”

What caused Roman to turn serious right then? I had no idea at the time.

But then in Turtle's Weir, Webb made a return trip to the moment via time travel get a better view of what had happened, and Roman's reaction became a little clearer.

As Webb-in-the-timeline broke from the bar to scramble toward Mom, I glanced around the room. Ingrid watched what she had wrought with satisfaction in her eye. But then she glanced up from the tableau on the rug at me – not Webb-in-the-timeline, but me, Webb-the-observer. Her eyebrows shot up and her mouth dropped open. Then her forehead creased in anger.

I covered my own shock with a jaunty little wave. Then, as I got ready to spring up out of the timeline, I noticed someone else in the room was watching me: Roman Holt. He was crouched next to me on the floor, holding my drink and Mom’s. And of the three of us – Roman, Ingrid, and me – he was the only one who didn’t look surprised that I was there.

In real life, right after he’d handed us our drinks, he’d told me, I’m here to help. Remember that. The comment had seemed to come from out of the blue at the time. Now, at least, I had a little context.

I gave him a shrug and a grin, and got out of there.

Thanks, Webb, for clearing that up for all of us. And thanks to Big Al and the pals for the reprise review.

I'd like to say I've made progress on the second Atherton Vampire story this week, but I'd be lying. Real-life events have sucked up much of my focus for the past few days. But serendipity strikes again! The next session of Camp NaNo starts Thursday. So all I have to do is draft an outline for the story by then. Piece of cake.

These moments of bloggy serendipity have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Get vaxxed!

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