Tonight I went to my very first fencing lesson. I am very excited about this! We'll call it research for now . . . I mean, how can a self-respecting fantasy author not make every effort to learn at least something of swordplay?
Tonight I learned to stand en garde, to advance, and to lunge with a yellow foam noodle. I was supposed to learn to retreat as well, but I cannot honestly say that lesson has sunken in. I wasn't born to retreat! But I jolly well better learn, and fast, if I want to make any progress in this sport . . . .
My friend April, from Barnes and Noble, is taking the class with me, and it is actually being taught by one of our managers. See, didn't you always know there was something extra-wonderful about Barnes and Noble? The meek little booksellers you see scurrying around at your service by day are fencing masters by night! Or wanna-be fencing masters, like April and yours truly, which has to count for something.
Anyhow, April was matched up as my opponent for the evening, so we learned to "cut" each other on the head in proper fencing style. We are excited and planning to go purchase our own yellow foam noodles so we can practice outside of class!
And we've decided on our swashbuckler names for the time being. She is Louis Jourdan, the dashing Frenchman. I am Basil Rathbone, the long-nosed, somber villain. Tonight, I manage to tap her with the noodle more often than she tapped me . . . but I explained to her that it's the whole dichotomy of the Villain and Hero at work. The Villain always must appear to be winning at first so that the Hero has greater odds to overcome when at last he triumphs. Which means I, as Basil Rathbone, am bound for a dismal fate. Unless, for once, the tables are turned and destiny smiles upon my evil plan! Mwaaaa haaaa haaaa haaaa!
So what do you think, dear reader? Stay tuned for further swashbuckling adventures!