First of all, thank you so much for spearheading the work on this feature, Raven. I'm really looking forward to these invitations to revisit the M:EM Archive, and to take a second (or, as the case may be, a third, or a fourth, or a fifth...) look at the work which this group has collectively produced.
You're welcome! I'm glad people like the concept.
As for "West Wind," I remember liking this piece very much the first time I read it. Having had a chance to refresh my memory, the thing which jumps out at me just as strongly today as it did back then is how much I like the Altrium. Now, to be clear, I don't say this to take anything away from the specific characters or plot points in this story. But, for me, it's the setting that sings. I love the image of this world filled with gliders, and zeppelins, and floating cities. It just seems to me like the sort of place where adventure stories want to happen -- stories where ace pilots defy gravity, where savvy traders ply the skies, where people push the limits of what magic and physics will allow. It feels like a place where something exciting is always just beyond the next bank of clouds.
And I love adventure stories. So I love places that invite those sorts of stories to happen.
Yeah, I agree that the setting was stellar here. Very fun stuff.
Confession time: I once had a notion to write an adventure serial, about a zeppelin crew in the Altrium. I even took a very crude stab at a first part of that story, in response to one of Raven's "Flavor of the Week" prompts. In the end, that particular idea didn't really gel for me -- partly because I wasn't able to people the zeppelin with a critical mass of crew members who seemed real to me, partly because I tried a first-person POV in the sample that I found that I didn't really have the wherewithal to maintain, and partly because a story about an airship crew comes with some pretty heavy pre-existing baggage in the Magic universe. But there was one character who was slated for a job on that zeppelin who sort of stuck in my head, even after the story she was going to be part of drifted away: the helmswoman, who could speak to the winds.
Like I said, that helmswoman sort of took up residence in my imagination. And, eventually, she found her way into a different story, and she became Gale.
So, I think it's fair to say that "West Wind" is responsible for inspiring one of my personal favorite characters. And, for that, Tevish has my deep and sincere gratitude.
Well, between this revelation and the tie-in to Tevish's current work, it is certainly serendipitous that "West Wind" was the first featured story of Highlighted M:EMories. What a fortunate bit of randomness. Almost as though I had planned it. Of course, to have done that, I would have needed to know what Tevish was working on and Gale's origin story, which neither Tevish nor Orcish had told me. So there's no way I could have. It just cane't be the case...