How to Get in Trouble

Posted: May 30th, 2013 under Contents, Limits of Power, snippet.
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As  King Mikeli’s younger brother has demonstrated in previous books, he’s an impetuous, energetic youngster with a gift for ending up in difficulties.   He’s also warmhearted, well-intentioned (in his own way) and brave.  He was supposed to be one of those minor characters who decorates the margin of the story,  illuminates the context of major characters.  However, Camwyn  did not stay marginal.   Quite the contrary.  Rather like Arvid, in that respect, he showed up at the oddest times, doing things that put him center stage.

It’s not that Camwyn wants to cause trouble for himself or others.  But a lightning rod person will always snag any electricity around, and he does.  Hence…a snippet.   By keeping it annoyingly short, I can just barely avoid spoilers, but may it bridge the gap over A-Kon, when I won’t be around to post anything.Where:  on a journey

Who:  King Mikeli and his younger brother Camwyn

When:  Middle of the night

“Come,”  Mikeli said.  “Now.”  He stood there, outlined from behind by that distant candle, while Camwyn struggled out of the tangle his bedclothes usually made, trying to keep quiet so Aris wouldn’t wake.

Excuses tumbled through his mind but he knew it was too late for excuses.  He stubbed his toe on the leg of the camp bed and managed not to make a noise.  Mikeli stood aside to let him out and dropped the curtain behind him.   Then he felt Mikeli’s hand–a man’s hand, larger than his own, harder-callused, stronger–on his arm, moving him to Mikeli’s side of the tent.

As his eyes adjusted to the candlelight,  he could see Mikeli’s camp bed, the camp chair with its leather seat and back, the table with folding legs, the footstool.

“Sit there,” Mikeli said, pushing him toward the stool.

Camwyn folded himself onto it.  The candle flame fluttered as Mikeli dropped the curtain to the passage and then sat in the chair.   It should have been ludicrous, Camwyn thought, a king in his nightshirt, barelegged and barefoot…but there was nothing amusing about Mikeli’s expression.

Mikeli leaned forward, putting his face a mere handspan from Camwyn’s.  “And just when, Brother, were you planning to tell me about that?”

No use to pretend he didn’t know what “that” was.

“And do not try to tell me this was the first time.”


“That” has many possibilities, giving Camwyn’s age, personality, gender, and background.    By the time you find this in the story, you-the-reader will know which “that” is the right one…but right now it’s a spoiler.



  • Comment by Jenn — May 30, 2013 @ 6:55 am



    2 weeks

    I can survive 2 weeks.

    I will not even guess.

    Cam is officially booted from the extras’ breakroom I am afraid.

  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — May 30, 2013 @ 11:35 am


    But, but, but… I cannot unsee the blurb I read on *slaps hand over mouth*

  • Comment by David Watson — May 30, 2013 @ 11:57 am


    Oh dear, I see King Mikeli has heard about the All-banjo boy’s band! Things will never be the same… but he means well.

  • Comment by Annabel — May 30, 2013 @ 2:46 pm


    I have the most LOWERING feeling that the book will arrive while I’m on holiday and I won’t get to see it until July…. *keeps every finger crossed that it arrives on Thursday 13 NOT Friday 14*

  • Comment by GinnyW — May 30, 2013 @ 4:24 pm


    I think Camwyn just graduated to the star’s breakroom. But it is all for the best. Didn’t you see him trying to pretend he didn’t notice the young thieves? And trying to stay away from the young Verrakais, after the last bad experience? He never joined in any of the reindeer games!

    Annabel, I confess that I shared your sinking feeling – that is why I succumbed to the e-book. I can read it even if I am away, although it is not like a real book.

  • Comment by Sharidann — May 31, 2013 @ 1:34 am


    Having read the blurb myself,

    I would have a guess….

    I found the blurb giving bit too much away actually. 🙁

  • Comment by Richard — May 31, 2013 @ 2:33 am


    I’m guessing that in between the stars’ private lounge (with full waiter service and everything on the house) and the extras’ breakroom (pot of sib and kitchen facilities) there is a minor characters’ bar (food and drinks must be signed for and accounts settled once a book). Still, with POV sections like this, Camwyn surely qualifies for the lounge.

    I’ve been thinking some more about how to get honorary memberships of the lounge for all Lord of the Rings leading and main secondary characters, should they wish to drop by. From all I hear, nobody is willing to admit any affinity for Gollum, but I’ve found sponsors – found pretexts for the pairings, however flimsy – for everyone else I want in(not Saruman, let alone Sauron). Bombadil signed in by Oakhallow, for example.

    Paksworld having more stars, Camwyn is unpaired.

    Note that in associating, for example, Aragorn with Kieri, I’m not saying Kieri is a re-incarnation of Aragorn any more than Aragorn was of Thorin, just that Tolkien bequeathed to the genre motifs and themes worth developing further.

    Eomer (with his simple-minded view of life) is a slight problem in that his obvious Paksworld partner (Iolin) strictly speaking belongs in the bar, but with Theoden and Eowyn both granted lounge membership I’m hoping the staff will agree to overlook this.

    Faramir, I’ve realised, can be Arcolin’s guest because both are military junior commanders suddenly called on to fill a superior’s shoes. Also, I like to think that Arcolin too would have spared Gollum and released Frodo. I wanted to get this out before Limits tells us more about Arcolin.

  • Comment by Sharidann — May 31, 2013 @ 6:06 am


    Eomer… Elis’s brother… Iolin

  • Comment by pjm — May 31, 2013 @ 7:04 am


    Gollum actually spent some time in the extras break room a long time ago – he used to swap fishing stories with some of the Aarenis fishermen. Nowadays he only visits the baddies’ room (Villains’ Villa?) He sometimes misses the extras room, and while he hates the baddies’ room he thinks the Ring might turn up there.


  • Comment by Linda — May 31, 2013 @ 3:17 pm


    I would hate to be Mikeli … running a kingdom and keeping tabs on an exuberant younger brother …

    Fun idea with the stars lounge etc.!

    This is an idea which will help me not notice that our weather has gone from frosty mornings to ninety and humid in about four days.

    I’ve set myself the task of thinking how the two sorts of elves might get along … and a sponsor for Sam (funny that Dorrin comes to mind as hard working, very aware of the practical, not interested in heroics … I think it is the well episode I’m thinking of, where she reflects on bringing fruitfulness back to the village).

  • Comment by Jenn — May 31, 2013 @ 4:01 pm


    It sounds silly but I would match Sam with Pak’s horse. Who was always there even in her darkest hour and who came for her and helped her continue her quest.

  • Comment by Wickersham's Conscience — May 31, 2013 @ 4:28 pm


    When you combine this scene with the teaser for “Limits” that “that” that (nod to Jasper Fforde) Mikeli mentions would be ominous indeed.

  • Comment by lisadawn82 — May 31, 2013 @ 10:05 pm


    So is Camwyn practicing magic.

  • Comment by ellen — May 31, 2013 @ 11:26 pm


    Eleven more dark periods until you-know-what! I love e books, especially at the moment, as I have a broken wrist and a tablet’s much easier to handle than a book.

  • Comment by ellen — May 31, 2013 @ 11:37 pm


    i could really sympethise with Burek actually, reading about his broken arm while sitting there with a cast and doped up with heavy duty painkillers myself!

  • Comment by GinnyW — June 1, 2013 @ 11:10 am


    I would have Camwyn sign Faramir in, myself. The steady, but admired younger brother of the heir in training (Boromir) who turned out to be less than perfect for his job holds a great attraction for the (very adolescent) younger brother of the heir just assuming his adult duties in the face of the greatest crisis in the Northern kingdoms since the Girdish wars. What Camwyn needs, more than anything, seems to be a role model. His attempts to pattern himself after his namesake are hampered by the mythological character of the original Camwyn – and what he thought he knew went out the window with a live dragon.

    That said, perhaps Arcolin’s invitation to Faramir was in part a generous gesture to the heir apparent. It’s a good pairing either way, so Faramir looks to be a regular in the star’s lounge.

    Oakhallow can invite Bombadil, but will he come?

    Countdown to release time, when all my ideas will change unpredictably.

  • Comment by Adam Baker — June 1, 2013 @ 3:26 pm


    Oh boy! Looks like someones in trouble! haha

    And 2 more weeks, yippee!!

  • Comment by Ed Bunyan — June 1, 2013 @ 4:54 pm


    Will this be on Audible. As of now there is no pre-release available to purchase.

  • Comment by Karen — June 1, 2013 @ 11:21 pm


    How can you do this to me?

    I’ve gone from counting the days until I can caress the next book and breathe deeply of its scent of paper and ink to needing a hit of more Paksworld right now….

    Oh, right…. You’ve written other stuff, and now’s the time to embrace my addiction. 😀

  • Comment by Mollie Marshall — June 2, 2013 @ 1:08 pm


    Amazon’s “Surprise me!” gave lots of pages from all over Limits, until they shut them off and just showed the first seven or so pages. It’s going to be a WOW of a book, and will clearly involve an all-night reading session when it arrives.
    Still itchy waiting for June 11, though!

  • Comment by Linda — June 2, 2013 @ 6:12 pm


    I’m suddenly realizing that I’d better block the day out for reading … one of the joys of being retired. I am extravagant and get the e-book and also the hardcover from my favorite independent bookseller. Given the number of hour long thunderstorms we’ve been having of late, I can then read no matter what.

    Also like to have a selection with me when I travel … it is a very good thing when the flight is canceled, there is a derailment on the track ahead, or I can’t stand a particular relative or situation for another moment.

  • Comment by Richard — June 3, 2013 @ 12:43 am


    Peter (#9)
    round a corner from the extras’ breakroom is the euphemistically named Visiting Team Locker Room, aka “The Den”, where orcs, iynisin, bandits etc. hang out. Villains’ villa must be for the character baddies. Is it opposite the bar and lounge, or the part of the retirement center for the deceased?

  • Comment by Richard — June 3, 2013 @ 1:26 am


    On further thought, shouldn’t proper villains, not yet written out, have been spending all their off-story moments in the lobby, in hope of chances to pester Author with new can’t-fail schemes and pleas for more book time?

  • Comment by Jenn — June 3, 2013 @ 6:55 am



    You are right getting to the break room through the lobby was so hard that the extras finally convinced the gnomes to build an underground tunnel that starts in the wood half a km away.

    I really don’t know how Elizabeth puts up with it. I am told that if she shows up it is worse than a gathering of reporters at the latest hot political scandal.

    Thank the High Lord for gnomes and the tunnel. 🙂

  • Comment by Gareth — June 3, 2013 @ 7:11 am


    Wow – lots of ‘surprises’ if you press the ‘Surprise me’ button on Amazon UK – lots of spoilers everywhere – but my goodness …. is going to cause some problems for —-

    Just builds the anticipation – have it pre-ordered from them so don’t feel guilty about sneaking as many pages as they will allow…

  • Comment by Richard — June 3, 2013 @ 11:12 am


    you were planning to buy off the shelf in your local branch of the bookshop chain, have you visited it today? If not, hie thee there tomorrow!

    I’ve been on tenterhooks all day, watching the BBC’s Springwatch webcams – those chicks in the nest box are so close to fledging, will I see the first one today? I just tore myself away in time to reach Waterstones before closing.

    Yes! (and when I got home, all five chicks are still in the box. They’ll probably start leaving in the morning before I’m awake, but the evening show will replay the moment.)

  • Comment by Caryn — June 3, 2013 @ 3:48 pm


    Wait. Wait. Waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait.

    I shall be patient. No, really! I mean it this time.

    Love this!!!!!!

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 3, 2013 @ 9:10 pm


    OK, I’m back from A-Kon. You people are amazing. In a good way.

    When I got home I found two copies of the US edition of Limits, and several of the audio book, from Brilliance.

  • Comment by Jenn — June 4, 2013 @ 6:36 am


    One week!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment by Richard — June 4, 2013 @ 3:03 pm


    Those great tit chicks all left their nestbox in a scrambling rush this evening just as the live TV show was ending – I expect the BBC will show a properly edited repeat on tomorrow’s programme. (They had two cameras rigged inside, for overhead and side views, and another outside zoomed in on the entrance/exit hole.) Distraction over.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 4, 2013 @ 7:05 pm


    Richard: Are you going to make a map or plan of the whole backstage area? I’m becoming fascinated: there’s the extra’s breakroom, the principal actors’ lounge or green room, now the Visiting Team Locker Room, and a Villain’s Villa…Is this all in one building? What about the game room for the Verrakai and Thieves’ children? If you…or anyone…comes up with an interesting map/plan/picture of the thing, or even part of it, I could be persuaded to add it to the Paksworld website.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 4, 2013 @ 7:10 pm


    Sharidann: I’m sorry. I didn’t think it did, maybe because I had a teenage boy, my best friends all had teenage boys, and I know the many varieties of trouble teenage boys can get into. Girls, bullies, friends with bad connections, bright ideas that aren’t, school difficulties (teachers good and bad, discipline issues), cars (horses in this world), that peculiar combination of the need to DO something and the inability to think critically that hits at the point where they’re almost but not quite moving up to the next level of cognition. Camwyn’s body is ahead of his judgment–his imagination is all over the place. So I saw many possibilities besides the one in that passage.

  • Comment by Jenn — June 4, 2013 @ 8:11 pm



    Did you have to mention a game room for the Verrakai children. they are not letting this go now. I am being constantly followed with begging, pleading, wheedling, cajoling and the dreaded whining. There will be no peace now. I can only hope to hold out for a week and then the children will muted out as the pages turn.

    Can anyone babysit the Verrakai children for me on the 11th?

  • Comment by Nadine Barter Bowlus — June 4, 2013 @ 10:15 pm


    Are the Hobbits not invited to the cross-world convention? I see Camwyn and Peregrine Took hitting it off quite well.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 4, 2013 @ 10:34 pm


    If nobody else does, I personally invite hobbits (except the spoon-stealing one.) Ents can be accommodated in the surrounding forest–they should be quite fond of Lyonya and I would love to hear them converse with Master Oakhallow. Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, of course. Tom and Gird might get on well together.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 4, 2013 @ 10:34 pm


    Jenn, maybe it was a playground and not a playroom, but I thought it was a sort of gym in which they had that game with balls and teeter-totters.

  • Comment by Richard — June 5, 2013 @ 2:51 am


    (#32) Elizabeth, I think Sharidann, like Kerry, was referring in #6 to Orbit’s back-cover blurb reproduced by Amazon UK.

  • Comment by Jenn — June 5, 2013 @ 8:54 am


    After some all night intense negotiations and Elizabeth’s interjection of a playground (they were holding out for a 5 star playroom with all the latest gadgets and gizmos [nevermind that their world is styled on the middle ages]) the Verrakai children have accepted the children’s playground which will be an extension of breakroom. They invite everyone to the inaugural teeter-totter dodge ball game followed by the Wee theives “Stop Thief!”

  • Comment by pjm — June 6, 2013 @ 8:33 am


    Richard (#22, #23)

    Yes, I think the lobby would match a lot of what I had in mind. It is a place where appearances are important and comfort is not. Where the furniture looks excellent, but is unpleasant to sit on. Where the villains want to explain their greatest schemes, and to complain about the unfairness of a world where they do not work.
    The Den, I think, has separate sections. One for the Iynisin, who do not care for other races or even for Authors. One for Orcs, which they can trash to their hearts’ content. (I think they have found an old mine-shaft and holed up there.) Some of the bandits go to the Den, but many of them are not bandits by choice and prefer the extras break-room.
    Villains’ Villa I think is be near the lobby so they get back quickly. The staff are protected against magic but the Verraksi lords refuse to believe this and keep trying to take them over. As a result they get poor service – the food looks good but is always cold. Alured invited Captain Hook once, but one of the Verrakais was experimenting with using a ticking sound to hypnotise people.
    Alured was one of the few to button-hole the Author in the lobby. He spent some time bragging about his noble ancestry. We don’t know yet whether our Author took any notice!


  • Comment by Richard — June 9, 2013 @ 8:34 am


    More ideas (the last ones I had pre-LIMITS) for the trans-world convention (now it is a CONVENTION):-

    Denethor will give a talk, “Save the City, Save the Past, Save the Future”. Andressat, who’ll introduce him, will answer questions on his own account up to the end of Siniava’s War (and maybe about more recent events, if..).

    Sword fighting practice sessions will be lead by Barranyi and Boromir. Let’s hope they don’t become too competitive.

    (#35) So the two grande dames Lobelia Sackville-Baggins and Celbrin Mahieran will be given no chance to team up, then?

  • Comment by Iphinome — June 23, 2013 @ 9:47 pm


    Sorry I’m late to the party, a couple weeks out of town and then a new book to read twice…

    Does the extra’s complex have a stable? If so perhaps one of the paladin mounts would like to sponsor Bill the pony from LOTR?

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 23, 2013 @ 10:19 pm


    Richard, I love the idea of a convention. Barranyi and Boromir giving sword fighting demos? Incredible. I rescind my lack of invitation for Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, but would argue that the grande dame from LOTR is Galadriel.

    Iphinome, of course there’s room for Bill the pony, but also for the pony who pulled Gandalf’s wonderful cart (I WANT THAT CART! And the right pony to pull it) in the movie. All the equines will share a lush pasture with plenty of trees for shade (lightning proofed to be safe in storms, thanks to one of the Kuakkgani) and the paladin horses will be particularly kind to the LOTR horses and ponies and keep order in the herd(s). For the duration of the convention, at the least, no breeding occurs and no fights break out. All mounts are available for their riders, unharmed, just refreshed. At a signal known only to the rider and horse/pony, the animals come into the stable for a nice manger of sweet feed and a good brush-down before being needed on stage/set/chapter. Arvid’s former mount, the black-bay, is eager to show the others what he got up to with his new owner.

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