Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ballad of Papi Huesos - author notes

It's almost over! Here is the next to the last week in the Bindlegrim blog comment contest (see below)*** of author-note series for the print & e-book Tall Tales Shorter Days.

Ballad of Papi Huesos: Early Tales of Pumpkinheart

This fifth tale in On Stranger Winds was actually the last story penned for the book, and is very much a playful piece, a break in style that I needed following the darkness of penning Let Rains Bring Toads. For its part, Ballad is all fantasy, and a prequel of sorts (taking place in that whimsical world of Pumpkinheart). This time, humans make the small cameo appearances in a story that follows mummies, witches, ghosts, and a rabble of other strange things... like these...

A character skull design perhaps like the one in The Ballad of Papi Huesos, a Halloween story

Two characters by Bindlegrim, perhaps like those in the Halloween story The Ballad of Papi Huesos
SNEEK PEAK: Working character designs (Bindlegrim for Halloween 2013)

The story basically follows a boney mummified gent who is in process one Halloween night of composing a very personal biographical ballad. However, he is frequently interrupted by one thing or another, as when he becomes entangled in some Halloween thievery. Since Sr. Huesos never fully sings his ballad, from start to finish, in the book..., I thought I'd give a chance for the ballad to be seen here without disruption:
When as a mortal man I roamed
With more to me than crust and bones
I met, that day my life did end,
A lovely girl with cocoa skin -

Her eyes like coal from once great fires
Foretold the fate of my desire
For knowing not next morn I die
Vowed ne’er again to leave her side…

Yet as we dozed beneath the stars
A man appeared whose pride was scarred
In honor until death to fight
With naught but fists against his knife

And while the tears of my betrothed
In moonlight like the comets rolled
So too did I upon his blade
That carved my soul upon the grave

But ‘ere my journey to the deep
My love with charms did kiss this cheek
That guarded me in death by spells
To bar me from the gates of Hell

But in those years her soul did fade
My soul retook these old remains
And stood alone clawed from the dirt
As Papi Huesos here on earth

And should my love I fail to find
Upon this earth such years to pine
At least these old bones played a part
To keep the fires of Pumpkinheart

We lit the glow from bindles grim,
And charged the will o’wisp to mend
The embers bright we most esteem
That save good souls on Halloween
The ballad closes, with lyrics inspired by surrounding events. In this Pumpkinheart tale, a witch (perhaps the younger version from Watrous & Valmora?) is up to no good - trying to steal a powerful Halloween jewel. She is accompanied by a ghost. Could this too be the very same from Watrous & Valmora? The main character, most certainly new to the world of Pumpkinheart, is Papi Huesos (a name, in a more famous story, by which band members call a certain Jack Skellington if you watch with Spanish subtitles - the translation for Bone Daddy). Our emaciated skeletal gentleman, Sr. Huesos, gets stuck in the middle of the witch's plans.

To be revealed: Can you name the postcard described in the story's first scene?
Update 3-10-2013... And the answer is...

The opening scene,  (introducing the ghost and witch in the midst of heist capers), is actually based on visuals from one of two vintage postcards. This one featuring something we don't see much in modern Halloween - Veggie People. In this scene the Veggie People are at chase, doing their best to reclaim the Pumpkinheart. Can any vintage Halloween fans out there name that postcard? I will automatically give away a book to anyone who can point out that card in a book or on the internet.

To be revealed: Can you name the 2nd vintage postcard in a subsequent scene?

Update 3-10-2013... And the answer is...

This is something you probably need to read the book to know for sure... but I've offered some very definite clues. And I'll do the same for anyone who can name the second postcard that is described in this story - where, in a later scene, our main character views a very picturesque Halloween scene upon the water. As to that, I should likely give no more clues, since few vintage cards appear off dry land...

Well, that's it until next week, the final entry! I very much appreciate all who who may be enjoying their copies: (in print on Amazon or Etsy) or by e-book via Kindle/iPad.

Bindlegrim books in need of a new home. PS - Cover art is by David Irvine


1) From March 3rd to Mar 9th - leave a blog comment here about whatever you like... about mummies, witches, ghosts, maybe even Halloween pranks...?

2) For each author-notes blog entries, I will draw randomly at the end of that week to give the commenting visitor a signed printed copy of Tall Tales Shorter Days.

3) At the end of all six blog entries I will draw from ALL comments (more commenting visits, more chances to win) for one Bindlegrim lantern - The Horrid Decor (Orange on Ghost Skin) seen below.

Note - Bindlegrim encourages and hopes, but does not require, that readers might leave a Like or a Review on the Amazon pages for the book: print or e-book.



  1. I love the pumpkin design. As kids the most we ever did as a prank was to go to ur friends houses who were home and scratch at their window/door to creep them out. It mostly just annoyed their parents but it was fun.

    1. I think it sounds awesome fun! And thanks for the good words on the pumpkin design - its a re-construction of an image from the 1930s. Man I bet Halloween was fun back then!


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