“No, no, no, no,” whined world-famous but highly reclusive author Halycon Sage, burying his face in his hands and rocking back and forth, his long black hair swaying over his frayed deerskin jacket. “You want me to blog? I wrote the damned book, didn’t I? Wasn’t that enough?

“Suck it up, Sage,” Normally petulant critic Basel Vasselschnauzer walked by with a couple of foaming mugs–root beer, no doubt, since there was no alcohol anymore. “I wrote my column every week for fifteen years.” He was looking very pleased with himself. His smug satisfaction seemed in direct inverse proportion to Sage’s trapped desperation.

Of course the Dirty Dog Boys, hanging out in various nooks of the Dirty Dog Bar . . . that is, the Canis Fidelis Bar and Grill . . . were getting a big yuck out of the whole situation. Though they were doing more useful work than formerly, they hadn’t changed that much.

“I thought all that was over!” cried Sage. “When Ruby sent my manuscript east by horsepost, I didn’t expect these abysmal deadlines to start again. I thought I was free!” His horse, No-Name Stupid, whose watchword was personal freedom, would have sympathized, but he was out cavorting in some green meadow, damn it. Sage wished he was out there cavorting too.

“You must blog, Halycon Sage,” intoned Katherine McCready, his editor. “Your public demands it.”

We can’t tell you how she, on the east coast, was able to communicate with him even now, in the small town in the indeterminate South West. Some of the spies and government agents who had been trapped there by The Change could probably tell you, but it’s better for you not to know. Much, much better.

Halycon Sage – founder of the post-modernist, minimalist, neo-symbolist pseudo-realist school of literature and pronounced “HAL-i-con”– is very publicity-averse. So much so that, according to Kirkus Reviews, he is “simultaneously famous, influential, anonymous, and poor.” So he and I are blogging together! Yes, he’s mythical and imaginary, but we all have our issues, don’t we? Other characters may pop in as well. Please read the book(s)–it will do you good– and respond here, before or after reading, with your questions and comments. Namaste, salaam aleykum, and yaaaaaa-hoooo! Head ’em up, move ’em out! (A bit of cowboy talk for ya.)