Writing action/adventure stories set in nature and featuring a wide variety of wild animals, critters, and unpredictable humans is not without risk. Things happen. Bumps, bruises, scrapes. An occasional nip or bite, especially in scenes involving the weasels. But nothing usually too serious. Harrison Ford himself had an accident on the “Star Wars” movie set a little while ago if you recall, breaking his leg. Jackie Chan fractured his skull in a fall while filming “Armour of God.” The list of on-set actor injuries is long, and I’m sure the list of literary injuries is most likely longer. I can’t begin to imagine the list of character injury reports from Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick” as he was writing it.
Well, it seems I’m kind of beating around the bush here, not wanting to really break the news. But to get to it, we had a writing accident over the weekend. Little Red Bear and his friends were busily engaged in one of his action/adventure stories and Red injured his leg in an action scene in the first of the next collection of short stories — “The Adventures of Little Red Bear: The Second Holler Over!”
The injury is not terribly serious, but it will lay him up for a spell while his leg heals. From the beginning I have wanted to provide Red with a stunt double to take his place in writing heavy action scenes, but being Red, he has always been adamant about doing all of his own stunt work because, as he says, — “My reader fans deserve a hundred and ten and three-quarters percent and the very best from me.”
Have to admire that I suppose, even if we are now confronted with proceeding on along without him, the major lead character in his own stories, for a while. If there is any lesson to be learned from the event (other than not having hired a stunt double!) I suppose it might be — if a well-wisher ever says to you “Break a leg!” — don’t take them literally.
We are going to continue working on the stories while Little Red Bear is laid up and on the mend, trying to write around his scenes as best as possible while hoping we don’t experience any extended production delays. And we will provide updates from time to time to let you know how he’s getting on. But so are the risks I suppose of a wildlife literary action hero. He is too embarrassed to let me take a picture and is hiding from the paparazzi in his cabin, so here is an artistic rendering to give an idea. Not meaning to cause alarm or getting anyone worked up. Aunt Ivy (you may recall her as the local healer from the first set of stories) assures that the injury will not be permanently incapacitating, just something that will have to heal over time. It’s just unfortunate that it came at an inconvenient point when story work is ramping up. But I suppose that is why they call them “accidents” instead of “on purposes” after all.
So, sorry to have been the bearer of bad bear news to all of Red’s fans. Thanks for dropping by and have a nice day, and — careful where you step. I’m off to interview some stunt doubles now. — Jim (and Red!)
Old-fashioned Storytelling About An Uncommonly Special Bear and His Friends!