WiP updates

A torch against a dark background

I spent the last week or so updat­ing the out­line to “Praise the Torch When ´Tis Burned” (work­ing title, but I’m pret­ty attached to it). I got to the end—a final con­fronta­tion between The Drag­on and the ship’s-queen—and real­ized I did­n’t know exact­ly how I want­ed it to end.

Today, wash­ing dish­es, I had an inter­est­ing insight that might solve my prob­lem. In the first draft, the sto­ry was told as a con­fes­sion to an unnamed 3rd par­ty. As I start­ed the 2nd draft, I dis­card­ed that idea; it did­n’t work, mechan­i­cal­ly. But I still liked the idea of the sto­ry-as-con­fes­sion, and now, I think I might have a way to bring it back in.

Also, as the idea unfold­ed in my head (while my hands were warm and soapy), it expand­ed my under­stand­ing of the ship’s-queen and The Dragon.

This could work. (I mean, it could back­fire, too; but it could work.)


The title, for those that a) don’t know and b) would like to, is tak­en from a stan­za in Hávamál, or The Say­ings of Odin:

At evening praise the day, the torch when ´tis burned,
the blade when ´tis tested, the maid when she is married,
the ice when ´tis crossed, the ale when ´tis drunk. 

…rough­ly. (Depend­ing on the translation.)

This is also the source of one of my favourite say­ings: “Praise ice when over it.” It’s a very win­try ver­sion, in my mind, of “don’t count your chick­ens till they hatch”.


Pho­to by Igor Lep­ilin on Unsplash.