Part One: Acknowledgement

Today begins my revision of book two in the quartet of The Peaceful Brave and Just. This one is called The Silent and Brave, and it is about the second ward of the pallbearers, Birrigat, the ward of time.

My revision process includes line by line editing of my prose as well as overall theme editing and double checking to make sure I haven’t made any errors in plot that will come back to haunt me later. It is meticulous. I could hire someone to do it, but then it wouldn’t really be my story any more. I need to get my hands dirty. I need to go back in there and fix things that I did quickly, to get them done. I also need to cut out about thirty pages or so, my usual ten percent rule. This book turned out a lot longer than I had expected, and cutting out the chaff will make it better. It always does.

Once I have done the line by line edit I will read the whole thing and see if it flows. Then I will start book three, The Prosperous and Malevolent, about the third ward of the pallbearers, Los Lewr, the ward of matter.

I digress.

The reason for this blog is acknowledgement. Acknowledgement is the first part of John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” I believe that composition is about his own love, about the love of God, about the love of music, about the love of art. I don’t want to list every person who has been important to me in my life. There are lots of them, and I love them all. I want to list four, and there are distinct reasons for each that relate to my ability to be a writer.

The first is my mother, Maddie O’Callin, who has encouraged my imagination for my entire life, from showing an interest in books and words to reading them aloud to my sister and I when we were little. She still encourages me, whether she knows it or not, and a lot of my interest in children’s and young adult literature and fantasy comes from her.

Second is my father, Roger Wallenius, who sent me off to the college of my choice, the University of Miami, where I took a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing. I did learn a lot about writing, but more importantly, I had a lot of the experiences that formed me as a person. I learned to be independent. I learned to trust my instincts.

Third is Tom Dalgan. Tom was my employer for the entire four years I was in school. He taught me the ins and outs of the restaurant industry. He taught me to tend bar. He taught me how to earn a good living with my personality, and by taking care of people. I don’t know how my father feels about the fact that I’m still tending bar now, at almost 44 years of age, but I know how I feel about it. I am tremendously grateful, because it gives me the opportunity to continue chasing my true dream of being an author and still live a comfortable life that I love. That is worth everything.

Finally, my wife, Kimberly Wallenius. I thank you for loving me. I thank you for believing in me. I thank you for having dreams of your own, for me to believe in. I thank you for the life we have together. It is wonderful, and every day I learn something new. Every day our dreams grow, and every day they come closer to becoming reality. I don’t think there’s anything else I have a right to ask for in life, and without you I wouldn’t be where I am right now, in this place that I wouldn’t trade for anything else in the world.

Thank you. I love you. My books are a part of me, and so you are part of my books, the most important part.

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