Sure, it's a "made-up" holiday, this May the 4th Be With You Day. It easily follows the laborious Labor Day cum May Day celebrations and is followed in short order by the equally sanctimonious Revenge of the 5th Day (that is, "Revenge of the Sith"). And that coincides with the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, the celebration of an old battle victory over the French invaders--if I still have my history correct; it's been a while.
(Wow, I just wikipedied* it and I'm correct! Most people forget, if they ever knew, the French tried to take over Mexico.)
Nevertheless, I shall celebrate my own day on May 5th (since I eat plenty of tacos throughout the year, anyway), and I shall call this day The 5th of the 5th of the 5th! On this day I shall reveal for public scrutiny the fifth paragraph of the fifth page of the fifth chapter of each of my completed novels...no matter what it may be, whether self-revelatory or not. I am willing to take that risk.
And so without further delay...here are the fifth paragraphs of the fifth pages of the fifth chapters:
1. The Last Song (as this book is divided into four "movements" it does not have a true fifth chapter; thus, I shall offer the fifth paragraph from the fifth chapter-like "section"):
“I learned the theory of the music of the gods, from the Discovery[," the old music teacher grumbled]. The real music! And now...now they’ve gone so far astray. It’s pitiful, downright pitiful. I pity all of them, those greedy, lazy free composers. Music destroyers is what I call them!”
2. Year of the Tiger (under revision; publication soon)
Between the dull throbbing in his chest and the steady ache in his head, his vivid consciousness began to waver. He slipped back and forth from the soothing pastel walls of his room to a steamy, vegetated world of jungle bird calls and the incessant thumping of native drums. Sweating profoundly, he listened to the drums, then the birds, then the rustling of the leaves around him. A breeze wafted over him, humid and heavy, pressing him deeper into his mattress. The drums faded away, then the birds.
3. Aiko (mercilessly drummed out of Amazon's 2014 Breakthrough Novel Awards competition; publishing soon)
It was the 80s, he considered, wondering where his youth had gone, already in his thirties and fearing he had missed something. Japan was opening up to internationalization, long past recovering from the ravages of war and hardships of reconstruction. Now Japan had stepped out as an equal among nations, pressing for leadership in the international community. Stereotypes were falling away. Slowly. No longer were images of geisha and samurai what people thought of; endless varieties of electronics and quirky pop singers with pink hair and thigh-high boots were the most noticeable imports. Ben had to smile: he had never had any interest in Asia—not the culture, not the food, not the people, their languages, their fashions, nor their ways of doing business. He had only limited experience, anyway. In college his girlfriend had roomed with an exchange student from Korea. And in high school there was a chubby girl by the name of Yoko, but he never considered she was half-Japanese; she was just another American to him. Then he’d arrived in Hawaii.
4. The Dream Land (subsequently labeled Book I "Long Distance Voyager")
“It’s...glorious,” she whispered, and he was surprised she could be so taken in by her own experiment. He had to agree, touching her hand and giving it a reassuring squeeze: it was beyond their expectations.
5. After Ilium
Alex knew they were talking about him, even though the words were Turkish. They sounded strangely like the drunken mutterings of his fraternity buddies, and the shadows shifted to become his roommate, Nick, with a swarthy face and black, curled beard, like statues of the old Greek king, Agamemnon, that he’d seen in museums. Nick had been killed driving home from spring break six weeks before graduation, a trip Alex had reluctantly declined, citing an important paper that was due. The shadows shifted and Nick was replaced by the image of the doctor—the image of how he thought the doctor appeared.
“We are lovers,” she says, taking his arm so there will be no confusion.
7. The Dream Land (Book II "Dreams of Future's Past")
McElroy lowered his head, seething. He had never hit a woman before, though he had come close several times. He had always managed to hit a wall or a door. Once he hit himself—his head—against a door to release his anger. He did not carry his pistol tonight since they were going out to dinner in a nice restaurant. But he could never hit a woman. He had too much respect for—
8. The Dream Land (Book III "Diaspora")
“No, course not.” Tammy giggled. “They are on another planet. How’m I supposed to have contact with them?”
And I'll also give you a bonus: the fifth paragraph of the fifth page of the fifth chapter of my current work-in-progress, A Dry Patch of Skin, a kind of vampire tale.
I resisted the easy double-entendre and responded thus: “My pleasure.” After all, I’ve learned over the years that the best way to assure anyone comes is to not make jokes until after it happens. (Oh, is that a dirty joke? I’m not sorry, nor am I offended that anyone might be offended. I did not come right out and say anything obscene. That is the beauty of the double-entendre: only those privy to the context find it clever. All others sit dumb-faced like wilted flowers. All right then, I apologize. Next time, bring your own jokes.)
Thus is revealed the fifth of the fifth of the fifth!
I encourage you to enjoy your tacos, your lightsabers, and should the mood strike you, go ahead and get yourself five books. Share with five friends and your life shall be made five-fold better by your generous acts!
*Yes, it's a word, invented in much the same way as Google became the verb "to google" something, hence to search for information using the Google search engine. I can do that. As a trained linguist, I have a license which allows me the right of word invention.
(C) Copyright 2010-2014 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.