With only nine work days left before my official Spring lay-off, I am already gearing up to get serious about writing the next Episode of the Quest: Gust of Wind. I’ve been sifting through weather websites and YouTube videos and Google Images, looking for weird, bizarre, unusual, and otherwise unfamiliar weather anomalies to ensure that Lord Ansa has plenty to play with as he sweeps across the realms wreaking weather havoc. After all, if you’ve read Drop of Water, you already know that’s the task he’s been assigned by King Faeran.

I’ve also been reviewing my notes and index cards, and reading the first three books of the Quest series to refresh my memory and get back into the story zone. I admit it’s rather fun when I read my own books; books I’ve already read a half-dozen times in the process of writing, revising, revising again, and editing, and I catch myself getting caught up in the story enough to forget to take notes. It renews my commitment to tell this story. After all, if *I* can get sucked in after so many read-throughs, it must be a story worth telling, right?

And of course, part of this process is making decisions. Will Jakin wake up? When will he wake up? How will he wake up? How far will Malakai go before Jakin wakes up? And what happens to Malakai if Jakin doesn’t wake up? And what about Gabriella; left behind to care for Jakin—Will Malakai return for her…or forge ahead to rescue Margo? What happens to Margo in the meantime? Will she recover from her trauma or is she permanently damaged? What trouble will Luka get himself into this time? How will the burly Mita fare in Dai’awin? Will Tao come along, or will he stay at the side of his king? And what about the folks back at Hornberry Draw? What part do they have to play in this epic tale? Will Faeran find the Blood Oath of Nortatem and read the words of the ancestors? What’s in the crystal box from the dungeons of Castle Daxx? What are the Maaoteo up to? And Simeena, locked in the Blue Room of Kinsa Castle..

These are all questions that must be answered. As well as the cool task of building the Cloud City and Wind Drifter Island. We already know that the Cloud City has a giant whirlwind at its center, with the great library built around its perimeter. But what does that look like? What is daily life like in the City of Clouds? And what is this place called Wind Drifter Island? What goes on there? Let’s not forget the new Sky Hawk Cobas. And where are Queen Tyr’s giants, anyway?

It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it all….conjuring the images in my mind…mentally building the little details…imagining the culture and the citizens, their attire and mannerisms…

And, as if that isn’t more fun than any writer deserves to have…each episode requires that I scatter the breadcrumbs that will lead to the next episode. In this case; the final episode: Spark of Fire. So I will also be thinking about things like glass-blowing furnaces and giant wasp hives, tar pits and lava floes, the Z’lea Fortress and the final confrontation between the Guardian and the usurper….and what will happen when the Moons align? Don’t worry, I already know. And it’s going to be soooooo much fun sharing the adventure with all of you!

As I sit here at my desk looking out the window at giant snowflakes drifting toward the ground, I am also reminded that each episode of the Quest covers roughly three months of time, which means Fall is approaching as Malakai makes his way to Dai’awin in episode three…and the final episode will take place in the winter. Sweet. I like the idea of lava floes in the snow…

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