Bowman’s voice, close to Jacob’s ear thanks to the sprite’s cautious perch on his shoulder, rang clear with skepticism. In response, Jacob smirked and shrugged his shoulder just enough to bob the tiny sprite up and down once. “I thought you were tired of the car after the drive all the way here,” he pointed out.
Bowman’s tiny boots shifted as he flinched to keep his balance. Once certain he wouldn’t fall, one leafy wing slapped Jacob’s neck. “I was,” he insisted. “But if we’re going somewhere outside, I’d rather not be seen, and you can’t run fast enough to keep me out of sight.”
“It’s true,” Jacob lamented. “But I’m not planning on running there. Lemme just show you.”
He considered that fair warning for the front door of the house to open up. Jacob stepped onto the small front porch and paused to assess the world outside. A slight breeze cooled off the warm day, and only a few clouds drifted around overhead. The tidy lawns of the neighborhood, some littered with kids’ toys, grew verdant and green and so much more restrained than the plant life of Bowman’s home forest.
Jacob had been personally scolded for that, of course. As though he personally had made lawns so common.
Ooof. I kind of let this blog go silent for a bit. Here’s another batch from the ask game, and if you have questions of your own, feel free to send them in!
Anonymous asked: Hey! Hey! From one ace aro to another, Jacob, big teddy bear, I love you and wish you the best. May I request a hug?
“Hell yeah, dude. C’mere!”
enby-phoenix asked: Eral, what would you do if you turned human for a day?
“Probably kick Elias’ ass first of all, because the gods know he’s earned it. Then I’d probably go to a pub and order something for myself without the barkeep giving me weird looks about it. That’d be nice.”
enby-phoenix asked: Bowman, please tell us about a time Jacob did something deserving of bops!
“It’s easier to list the times he didn’t earn a bop some days! There was that time the nestlings played hide and seek and he let one fall asleep in his pocket, and I somehow took the blame! Then once he brought this stuff called ‘peanut butter’ and the sprites that tried it couldn’t even speak for a few minutes! Oh, and there was the time …”
(He really can go on forever like this)
enby-phoenix asked: Jacob, would you give me a piggyback ride?
“Sure, why not? Try not to fall off though, I dunno if I could catch ya in time!”
enby-phoenix asked: Bowman! What’s the WEIRDEST human thing Jacob’s shown you / told you about?
“Humans do so many weird things. I really don’t know if I could actually figure out the weirdest one. I don’t get why they have paper money when the little metal ones are so much easier … for that matter, why do they even do money?”
nightmarejasmine asked: Hey Jacob, how does it feel to be a super giant
“Ha. Pretty good, I guess? The sprites are warming up to me a bit more by the day, so I feel pretty accomplished.”
The ask game continues! Here’s the next batch from over on tumblr.
Anonymous asked: jacob, have you ever had a negative interaction with any of the sprites that still haven’t warmed up to you? how did it go if you have?
“Nothing like a huge panic … but I have definitely startled some of ‘em once or twice. One sprite came whipping around a tree at one point and screamed when he saw me. I think the poor dude was pretty embarrassed about it, but it’s not like I’m gonna tell all the other sprites what happened. I’m a giant to them, I get why they’d be scared.”
Anonymous asked: For our big teddy bear Jacob: why is your necklace so special to you? Where’d you get it?
“Ah, this is … when I was a little kid, like five or something, my dad went home to Greece for a bit. I guess since I was upset I couldn’t go, he promised to bring something back for me. He probably bought it from some local artist that makes stuff like this for tourists and stuff, but I got super attached to it. Especially after he got sick. It keeps him close.”
Indigomasquerade97 asked: Okay, Jacob. We all know you have been exposing your exasperated winged friend to the chaos that is humanity. Have you ever exposed him to any video games? And if so, what are his (and your) favorite games to play?
“Ha, well, one of the first times I ever hung out with Bowman, he actually saw me fiddling around with my buddy’s DS. Bowman thought it was some kind of animal at first until I showed him how it worked.
“It took me a while to get him to actually try the thing himself, but I did borrow the game to bring it back just to see. I think he likes puzzle games better, since they don’t require timing and Bowman gets frustrated when he can’t reach the right buttons fast enough. He seems to have fun with the touch screen though. His wings get all twitchy.”
Anonymous asked: Hey hey, Bowman, we all know Jacob’s a really calm and gentle guy, but what do you and the other wood sprites think of him eating meat, and maybe hunting animals while in the woods with you and about humans being omnivores in general?
“Well. Just because I don’t eat meat, doesn’t mean something else can’t. There’s a lot of things in the forest that are way less … I dunno, respectful about it than Jacob is, I guess. He goes away from the village when he’s going to eat anything. I’m just glad humans don’t eat sprites.”
Anonymous asked: My best friend wanted to ask you, Bowman: have you ever had ice cream?
“Ice scream? I’ve yelled when my friends throw snow on my wings. That’s the worst feeling! But I always get them back for it.”
Anonymous asked: hey bowman, has jacob told you about human myths/fairy tales/etc?
“Yes. I can’t believe how close and yet far away you humans are from the truth. At least maybe it helps keep you out of sprite business!”
Anonymous asked: Buddy boy Bowman, how much do you know about Jacob’s family? Would you ever want to meet them?
“I know his mother is really nice, and his father died. It would have been interesting to meet his dad, since apparently Jacob tries all the time to be just like him. I’d have to give him some feedback. Or maybe I’d have to bop them both, depending.
“I might meet his mother and her new mate someday? But I’m not rushing into even more giants knowing about me or anything.”
Anonymous asked: Lord Cerul, hi! In the BoW book, when Bowman first reports of giants who he believed were carnivores, and the elder who was present told legends of humans eating and caging sprites, you were the first who was willing to give us a chance and thought we might be reasonable despite this. Why is that, sir?
“Ah. I suppose I have a few reasons. Wellwood has stood for a long time, and I’ve no doubt that the sprites have changed since it was first established. Why should the giants have stayed exactly the same? Also, as someone who’s read quite a bit of the Archives myself, I know that they are often written in the emotion of the moment, which could color the claims made against any giants. Sadly, it really only takes one bad human to cause us insurmountable trouble.
“Lastly, it was clear to me that Bowman had his own doubts about the legends, and he would be curious himself. I merely gave him some small protection from the backlash should he act on his curiosity.”
Over on my tumblr, I did a small ask game in which people could send in questions directly to my characters and I would answer in the character’s voice. I decided to compile what I have so far into one post over here.
@therealbrigeedarocks Asked: Hey Oscar, we know you’re pretty good at sewing but are there any other hobbies you’d like to try?
“W-well, I really like it when people watch the, um, there’s cooking shows on TV sometimes, and someday, if I could, I would wanna try to cook something all by myself. Not, um, not the ones that … some of ‘em are kinda stressful ‘cause they’re trying to win a prize, and they’re not as fun to watch…”
Anonymous asked: For Bowman: do sprites know what airplanes are? Have they seen them fly over the forest?
“We never knew what the big white birds were until Jacob told me one time. We just knew sometimes they were loud and could pull the clouds around, and that is just ridiculous and it makes way more sense that it’s humans’ fault.
Jacob also told me the fairy lights that fly so high up in the middle of the night are ‘air planes’, too, but I don’t think that’s right.”
Anonymous asked: For my BOY Jacob: do you ever just lie to bowman about random stuff about human society just because you know he can’t prove you wrong. Like “hey, you know humans have cloud factories that make and produce clouds all the time, right?” And just watch as Bowman tries to rationalize what you said.
“Oh man, all I can think of is him finding out. I’m not great at lying but like, Bowman asks a lot of questions about everything and sometimes I don’t actually know the answer. So I’ve made some stuff up sometimes. Honestly I have no idea what he will be skeptical about and what he’ll just accept, y’know? Like he knows what airplanes are now but doesn’t believe me that the lights moving in the sky at night are also airplanes.”
Anonymous asked: For the ask game! Question for Bowman and Rischa: have you ever heard Jacob casually say something fatalistic, like “kill me now” or “this makes me wanna jump off a cliff”? Because this is so casual with humans, and if one of my friends says something like this, my typical answer is “same”.
Rischa: “Wh-what? That sounds awful! Why would someone say something like that?”
Bowman: “Don’t worry, Birdie, it’s like sarcasm. I think. Some kinda human thing. Pretty sure I’ve heard him say something like ‘I guess I’ll die’. But usually he saves his jokes to try to tease me and he thinks he’s so funny when he does.”
Anonymous asked: Yo, Lord Scar Sir, have you ever had to scold Jacob for just teenage shenanigans? What’s that like?
“Ha. That giant is better behaved than some of the sprites around here, if I’m honest. I don’t have to say much if he’s wandering too close to somewhere he shouldn’t.
Some in the village are wondering if he’ll lend some of that mildness to the Leafwing boy, but I’m not holding my breath.”
Anonymous asked: Hey, Bowman, since there are Wellwood sprites who are still a bit distrustful of your giant, have you ever got into an argument/fight with someone because they called Jacob a monster or something?
“Most of us aren’t fighters in Wellwood, but some of the parents with nestlings that always want to see Jacob … they’ve scolded me a lot. As if I’m somehow the reason their nestlings are so curious about the giant that visits the village sometimes. Usually I have to fly out of the village to get away from them when they’re on that nonsense. I can’t control a whole giant any more than I can control some people being afraid of him.”
Prompt: What if Bowman got confused about the phrase “around the world”, and Jacob realised Bowman didn’t know that the Earth is round, not flat, and Jacob had to try and both to explain and convince his incredulous lil buddy.
This email got buried in my inbox a little bit, but thank you so much for sending it in! I had fun pondering how much the wood sprites of Wellwood would actually know about the round earth and solar system and such. My guess is there are a few that do actually know about how that works, to a degree, and could even recreate the calculations that Eratosthenes computed to find the circumference of the earth.
Bowman, however, is not a scholarly sprite. If there are sprites studying astronomy, he’s not among them.
Jacob paused in his walking to glance to the side. Bowman perched on the end of a long, spindly branch, and even his tiny weight barely disturbed it. A focused curiosity fixed on Jacob. “Which part?”
Bowman held up a hand and waved it in a circular gesture. “You said ‘around the world’. What does that mean? Is it just another human thing?”
“Oh,” Jacob turned to address the sprite fully, knowing he had let slip another phrase that he took for granted. For someone four inches tall who had never left his single forest before, Bowman didn’t necessarily have a reason to know. “Well, the earth is round, Bowman, like a … berry, or–”
“Or the moon?” Bowman cut him off with an amused smirk. “I know what round means, giant.”
Jacob grinned. “Yeah. Like how the moon is round. But the earth is way bigger than the moon and it takes a long time for anyone to get all the way around it.”
Bowman contemplated that for a long pause. He’d perched right at Jacob’s eye level, so Jacob could see the journey of realization on Bowman’s face as he tried to reconcile with what he knew. Sunrise and sunset were important parts of a wood sprite’s day, and Jacob wondered how Bowman had viewed them before.
Verdant green wings twitched in annoyance. “Well I almost never pay attention to the sky charts or anything like that,” Bowman dismissed. “Not like I want to fly that far.”
Jacob nudged at the branch so that it swayed slightly. “I know that’s a lie, you’d fly all the way around it if you could.”
“Oh, I know I could,” Bowman boasted. His wings fluttered to life and he dove off the branch to glide ahead of Jacob. “But if it’s so hard for humans to do it, I wouldn’t want to leave you behind.”
“Thanks, dude,” Jacob called after him, resuming his walk.
In Bowman of Wellwood, Jacob Andris was originally going to be a side character. Instead of the chill giant becoming Bowman Leafwing’s best friend among all humans, that honor was going to fall to Bobby Loran.
That’s right, Bobby, who readers may know is not a gentle or calm person at all, was going to be the human that helped Bowman learn how to accept people so vastly different from himself. Then, as the story progressed and I played with different approaches, the truth became clear. Bobby and Bowman will never get along, while Jacob is the perfect personality to ground out the sprite’s wild, sassy nature.
On July 9, 2018, I published my debut novel and officially got myself out there in the self-publishing world.
Bowman Leafwing is always flying himself right into trouble. In an idyllic forest haven, a young wood sprite must make his own adventures, and Bowman does so by sneaking out at night to fly in the dark. After a race with his friends is interrupted by an owl, Bowman makes a discovery that the village of Wellwood hasn’t seen in generations.
Shenanigans from an upcoming story that I should be finished with soon. Here’s a teaser:
“Dude, maybe that wasn’t the best idea we’ve ever had.” Jacob’s other hand appeared as he spoke, and Bowman found himself in a tiny cave made by two giant hands cupped together. Through its one opening, Jacob’s face took up the full view. He looked worried with no hint of teasing.
Anonymous asked: Bowman’s reaction to finding out Jacob is younger than him?
This is a cute prompt! In Bowman of Wellwood, Bowman has his suspicions about Jacob being a bit younger, but he never did find out for sure in all the excitement! They’re bound to stumble upon the fact eventually, and Bowman is bound to have Opinions about this.
“When’s your birthday, Bowman?”
The question came out of nowhere, but upon realizing he didn’t know, Jacob had to find out. So far, he’d always gotten interesting answers out of Bowman for his curious questions. Even if they weren’t all that informative about how the wood sprites of Wellwood lived, they were fun to hear.
“My what? Birth-day?” Bowman echoed. He stopped swooping about to land on a low branch ahead of where Jacob walked. Even a few feet away, Jacob spotted that dubious, curious frown. “It was nineteen years ago, Jacob. Is that how humans ask how old someone is?”
Jacob grinned. The thrill of getting an actual answer to his questions was second only to the many opportunities to see what “human things” still vexed the tiny sprite. “Not exactly,” he replied, coming to a stop just under Bowman’s chosen branch. “We keep track of all the days in a year, so every year we know exactly which day is the same as the day we were born.”
Bowman’s wings fanned open partway. He took a seat on the branch and leaned over to peer down at Jacob. His curiosity couldn’t hide. “So you know the exact day you were born every time the seasons cycle around?”
Jacob shrugged. “It’s not the reason we number the days, I don’t think. But it’s fun to know, I guess. Mine is August 27. That’s in the summer. So later this summer, it’ll be exactly 18 years since I was born, isn’t that cool?”
Bowman fidgeted, and Jacob guessed he was resisting every urge to correct him. Summers weren’t cool in Wellwood, after all.
Instead, Bowman crossed his arms. “I passed nineteen years in winter,” he mused, then narrowed his little eyes. “So I am older than you! I knew it!”
“By a year and a half, sounds like,” Jacob confirmed. Bemusement lined his expression. “So? It’s not that far off!”
Bowman stood again so he could flutter irritably off his branch. “No, but it means you might still get taller, and it also means you never once respected your elder when we met!”
“Whaaat?” Jacob drawled. “Bowman, I am so respectful. At least now. I learned quick!”
“Not quick enough!” Bowman snipped back. A rush of wind accompanied a flutter next to Jacob’s face, and he had to fight not to flinch as the sprite landed on his shoulder. Bowman’s voice was crystal clear when he continued his fake retort. “I had to work to teach you to act right!”
“Got me good and trained,” Jacob confirmed. “Where to next, boss?”
A wing slapped at his neck. “Nowhere, giant. What other silly human things have you got for me today?”