Lost Is Found

Posted: May 31st, 2023 under Good News, Life beyond writing, Songs and Verses, the writing life.
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On the last workday of the work on my office, I found a large 3 ring binder, blue in color, that proved to contain much (not all) that I’d thought permanently lost of the background material for Paks.  Including the story of the shepherd who tried to rob Dort the Master Shepherd of some strands of wool from Dort’s sheep, who all have golden fleeces.  That story will come out later.   There are two versions of Torre’s tale, and two of Falk,  and more verses to the songs mentioned and sometimes partly quoted in the books, and so on. A story about the great bardic festival and the division for “martial music” performed by mercenaries.  About the way the Mother of Unicorns regained her sight after her eyes were stolen, about a young yeoman marshal’s mistakes and the justice of Gird

Why had I not found it years ago, before the Great Mess reached its height?  Well…memory was that those things had been put in a BLACK 3-ring binder.  And this one was BLUE.  So apparently, I didn’t look at the blue binder when searching for those lost things.  Only at the black binders.  One black binder did contain good stuff…printouts of my earliest-published stories, as submitted, from “Bargains” through to “Gut Feelings”.  Might be time to consider a collection of the early SF stories.

The study as it looks now, about 99% of the reorganization is finished.

But in the meantime and right now, a present for you:

Fair Were the Towers (C) 1985

Fair were the towers whose stones lie scattered,

White in the sun those ramparts rose.

Sweet were the flowers that twined in the gardens,

Then came the storms to them.


Fair were the princes whose bones lie scattered,

White in the sun their helmets gleamed.

Sweet were the ladies who bloomed for their pleasure,

Then came the wars to them.


Mikeli Vanyn the fair-spoken singer,

Bright harper of dances, will dance no more

Kevye the swordsman and Argalt his brother

Gannis and Torhal have died in the war.


Princes of Aare, their bones are all scattered,

The towers have fallen that called to the sky.

The Sandlord has taken them, Liart’s bane gnawed them,

All the fair gardens are withered and dry.


From notes:  This is the original version, said to be sung after the destruction of Old Aare by a singer called “The Black Harper”.  It became a favorite funeral song, with changes in the words as necessary: commonly the insertion of the names of the dead instead of the Aarean princes’ names, and a different final quartet.


  • Comment by Chuck Gatlin — May 31, 2023 @ 11:49 am


    This is such good news! This is confirmation that Paksworld has truly achieved the status of complexity to merit calling it a “legendarium,” with competing traditions with variants of common folktales and myths in the subcreated work, just as in our own primary world.
    I’ve been wanting to see more words to “Fair Were the Towers” since I read that first paperback of “Sheepfarmer’s Daughter,” which makes this a happy day for an old fan!

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 31, 2023 @ 1:31 pm


    Thanks so much, Chuck. I will be posting some of the bits and pieces here, and then some of them will appear (I hope!) in more collections. You probably remember it from the Halverics singing it at Dwarfwatch (if I remember rightly.)

    Kate and I didn’t have time to look into all the notebooks and binders…I think it’s possible some was stuffed in a storage unit in a hurry when we had the new carpet put in 25-30 years ago.

  • Comment by Richard Simpkin — June 1, 2023 @ 1:39 am


    Hip! hip! hooray!

  • Comment by Annabel Smyth — June 1, 2023 @ 6:17 am


    Oh, I’m so pleased for you! Really delighted (and thank you for the celebration poem, too). I am sure the material will spark off lots more short stories and even novels…. hope so, anyway!

  • Comment by Jazzlet — June 1, 2023 @ 11:27 am


    How wonderful! I hope the notebooks will render up more treasure. And thank you for the whole of that song of course.

  • Comment by Lindsey — June 1, 2023 @ 11:20 pm


    Yay!!! Congrats on finding this treasure! Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — June 2, 2023 @ 5:43 pm


    Wow. I sometimes think that you have created far more than you think you have and far better also.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 3, 2023 @ 1:03 am


    Seeing so much of it piled up together rather than in scattered stacks, piles, boxes…maybe I have come up with more than I realized. And it has been a lot of years working at it, now I consider it seriously.

  • Comment by Linda — June 3, 2023 @ 12:19 pm


    So happy for you … recovering the lost (sounds like a book title).

    Your organizing is inspiring. Wish I had a worthwhile life’s work to organize!

  • Comment by Jim DeWItt — June 3, 2023 @ 2:16 pm


    The very best kind of surprise! I join Jazzlet in hoping the recovered materials inspire wonderful tales. And thanks for the excellent lament.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — June 5, 2023 @ 6:32 am


    I seem to recall that the map went missing at some point. If it did, did you find it?

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 5, 2023 @ 10:13 pm


    Not yet the original map. The new map is safe on the drafting table under protective covers.

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