Well I’m back and though perhaps not better than ever, I’m certainly doing better than last week. My current complaint about life in general is that there’s never a backlog of things to take care of until you’re too exhausted and otherwise busy to do anything justice.

This week’s opener is a bit harder, but shouldn’t be outside the realm of guesses especially for those of you who know what I’ve been reading lately. Other than that, it’s fantasy, and the author will be at BaltiCon next weekend. In a fit of generosity, I’m giving you the whole first two paragraphs. Good luck!

On my seventh birthday, my father swore, for the first of many times, that I would die facedown in a cesspool. On that same occasion, my mother, with all the accompanying mystery and elevated language appropriate for a prominent diviner, turned her cards, screamed delicately, and proclaimed that my doom was written in water and blood and ice. As for me, from about that time and for the twenty years since, I had spat on my middle finger and slapped the rump of every aingerou I noticed, murmuring the sincerest, devoutest prayer that I might prove my parents’ predictions wrong. Not so much that I feared the doom itself–doom is just the hind end of living, after all–but to see the two who birthed me confounded.

Sadly, as with so many of my devotions, some to greater gods than those friendly imps carved into the arches and drainpipes of palaces, hovels, latrines, and sop-houses, my fervent petition had come to naught. I’d been bloody for two days now, the rain was quickly turning to sleet, and I seemed to have reached the hind end of everything…

There you go. Have at it! I want guesses, people! I don’t care how far off you are, and neither does anyone else!