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The Rainbow Knight and the Butterfly of Blue
And one of the great mysteries of writing fiction.
I’ve written my 2nd children’s book, and the campaign to fund it begins on Nov. 6th. It’s a fairy tale adventure, told in rhyme, about a knight who must seek out the colors of the rainbow. You’ll be able to read the full text once the campaign launches, but here are the first few stanzas.
On the tallest of mountains, near the top, nestled tight,
Stood a tower with a prism, made for carving sunlight.
When the sun rose each dawn, popping up in the East,
Its beams would rush in to be sliced, then released.
They went out as a rainbow and painted the world,
An old promise that swirled, twirled, and unfurled.
Red, orange, and yellow. Green followed by blue.
Indigo, then violet, side by side, all on cue.
The colors flew quick and soaked all of creation.
Every jot, crack, and nook received rich restoration.
When Authors are Surprised
Every author, in every story he writes, should aim to surprise himself. As someone once said, if the story never surprised the author, then the story will probably not surprise the reader.
The Rainbow Knight started as a basic story about gathering some common items, but then, on a lark, one of the items became a living butterfly. And not just any butterfly. This butterfly was the Emperor of Kaleidoscopes*. A king of kings, if you will.
And so to restore creation to its rightful order, to bring the light of color back to the world, a humble king must lay down his own life. And the king does it willingly. Add to this symbolism the fact that the lifecycle of butterflies is itself a vibrant picture of resurrection…
The whole sequence was an emotional punch I hadn’t expected.
It became the hinge of the whole story, its beating heart. I fell in love with this blue butterfly, which is not something I deliberately set out to do.
Don’t get me wrong. Overall, this is still a goofy, light-hearted story. It also features an arrogant parrot and a hipster witch involved in artisanal jam-making, so please don’t take it too seriously. But the depth is there for those who want to see it.
You always hear of writers being surprised by what their characters do, and about how the story unfolds in ways they never expected. I gave superficial assent to the fact, but never really believed it in my bones. Now, after several books, I understand it. And I’m grateful for it.
Please help bring The Rainbow Knight to life. Please help tell this small part of the butterfly king’s story. And in so doing, you’ll help hint at the life of another sacrificial king, whose actions form the hinge of the Greatest Story.
Visit the Kickstarter pre-launch page and click on “Notify me on launch.” I will be forever grateful.
*A kaleidoscope is defined as a group of butterflies, one of those true English gems. It is a perfect word.
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