It struck me, yesterday, when daughter No.1 came out of the garden with half the skin scrapped off her forehead from a swing/ground interface incident. Now that's after a week of falling into a lake (surfing) and, if I remember correctly, falling out of a tree.
Memo to self: get that girl's inner ear checked.
But, as the kind man on security (don't ask) said: it proves you've had a childhood. Scar-tissue, that it.
But it's more fundamental than that. It's when you scrap your knee or get a cricket ball in the face (my particular speciality) or a fist in the mouth (long story, maybe another time) and your lower lip quivers and the tears form when you decide:
Am I BAD-ASS or not?
With my new series on the horizon (oooh, look at the gorgeous cover, soon my pretties, soon!) I've been contemplating what exactly is my book about? What are any of my books about?
They're about BAD ASSES.
Now, I've not wondered into the genre of BAD-ASSNESS by accident. I've studied it long and hard for many, many years. I like to think of myself as someone, like a alchemist, who's trying to filter through the pages of his books tales of pure, untainted and undiluted BAD ASS. Not fantasy. Not urban fantasy or gothic horror or supernatural suspense and certainly NOT paranormal romance but BAD ASS storytellling. Books about heroes who swear and bleed and suffer and never, ever, EVER give up. They would die before surrender.
Are we all clear?
Good. Especially you at the back, thought I saw you nodding off a bit earlier.
Think of this as re-establishing my writing credo. Books of bad-asses. Nothing more, nothing less.
But how do you recognise a bad-ass? Are you a bad-ass? Is your sister? So, to help you work out if you are, indeed, a member of the SOBA (the Society of Bad Assess) I've put together a questionnaire for you. Let's begin:
1. Every bad-ass has some scar. How did you get yours?
a) scrapped your knee when you fell off your bike when you were six.
b) picked at those acne spots when you were told to leave them alone.
c) got those scars on your cheeks when a spear was thrown straight through YOUR FACE.
2. Your surrounded and outnumbered a hundred to one AT LEAST. The enemy commander tells you to lay down your weapons. Do you:
a) think 'fair enough. Wasn't my fight anyway' and go home for a dish of cowardly custard.
b) Ignore him and wait for someone to have a go.
c) yell back 'Come and get them!'.
3. Bad-asses like to PARTAY. Now, you've been invitred to teh house of a handsome Russian prince with plenty of wine, food and fun. How does REAL bad-ass party end?
a) A game of charades and an early bed. After all it is a school night.
b) blinding hangover and waking up somewhere on the end of the Northern line.
c) with being shot, poisoned, stabbed and thrown in a icy river?
4. What are the best things in life?
a) A new highest score on your X-box, a slice of pizza and a marathon Harry Potter session, dressed up?
b) A swift horse, a falcon at your wrist and the wind in your hair?
c) To crush your enemies, to see they driven before you and to hear the lamentation of their women?
5. Bad-asses don't stay at home, watching the goggle-box. They're out there, fighting the good fight. They see things. Tell me, what have you seen?
a) Well, she was across the road and it was crowded BUT you think you spotted Paris Hilton down at the supermarket.
b) Your true love standing on the beach, lit by the setting sun. Aah.
c) Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
6. The Romans have taken over your kingdom, raped your children and whipped the skin off your back Do you ..?
a) curl up in a ball in the corner and cry and cry your little heart out?
b) find someone to complain to and take your complaint to their commanding officer?
c) stick a pair of scythes to your chariot, burn Londonium to the ground and massacre its entire inhabitants?
You answered c) right? Your are wise to the ways of the bad-ass, my young apprentice. Anything else and you'd best stay in bed on days where the weather's a bit clement, we wouldn't want you getting a cold now, would we? Each of the c) answers are based on a epic bad-ass from history or fiction. Anyone of them a worthy mentor to any prespective bad-asses-in-training. If you don't know them, you'll have to wait 'till next week.