Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

Overdraft Poetry

Ah, the end of my overdraft. We meet again.

It’s been a while, no? But I remember you from when Helsreach was late. I remember you all too well, knave.

Although things are soon to be looking up finance-wise, we get to enjoy a thrilling dip back into that nebulous realm of being between paydays. Katie just left a job, and won’t get paid for her new one for a bit. And The First Heretic is late, meaning the only money I have is Republic Credits from my Star Wars: Episode I Monopoly. I plan to take several thousand of these to the big city tomorrow, and use them to pay for goods and services. Also, bounty hunters.

In honour of this wondrous moment of poverty-stricken and humiliating shame, I composed a haiku.

“End of overdraft.

Finish the novel fast, or

Die in a gutter.”

— Aaron Dembski-Bowden, 4:51am

It occurs to me that this isn’t an entirely accurate poem re: real life, because a) Instead of just rushing, I actually emailed my editor to say “It’s almost done, need a few more days”, and b) I’m physically incapable of speeding up. “I’ll totally do this one quick” soon became “Here’s Helsreach. Sorry it took 7 months, dude. How about that local sports team?”

Some people would call me unprofessional. Others, a perfectionist. Still others, a rugged, noble renegade on the frontiers of life, who stands tall and bears his teeth into the harsh northern winds.

These people are all correct.

March 10, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |


  1. Sucks to be poor, living pay check to pay check – know that feeling all too well.

    Not sure about your employer, but I don’t care if you’re late with a book as long as you keep to the standards of Soul Hunter and One Hate.

    Comment by Rogue Pom | March 10, 2010 | Reply

    • That’s the plan, dude. Damn, you read One Hate? I’m always surprised people caught that one.

      (Though I should stress that finances aren’t reeeeeally murderous (Katie’s got a good job, and I’m not opening a charity on PayPal, I just write slow sometimes. But the haiku was worth sharing, as the raw art it so clearly is.)

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | March 10, 2010 | Reply

      • But One Hate was a pretty good story….and for once I did actually like a Black Templar by the end.

        Comment by Xhalax | March 11, 2010

  2. “Republic credits? Republic credits are no good out here. I need something more real.”
    ―Watto to Qui-Gon Jinn on Tatooine

    Comment by James Swallow | March 10, 2010 | Reply

    • I love you.

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | March 10, 2010 | Reply

      • Bugger, Mr. Swallow beat me to that quote.

        You win this time Mr. Swallow!

        Comment by Xhalax | March 10, 2010

  3. You won’t die in the gutter. You’ll just fall into another awesome gig. 🙂

    Comment by John the Great | March 10, 2010 | Reply

  4. I think I enjoyed the first version of your Haiku more, but I wrote my own for you to enjoy.

    End of Overdraft,
    Crack the whip or feel the axe,
    Because Nick wills it.

    Best of luck finishing up first Heretic, I think besides Prospero Burns, it is the book I am most looking forward too on the release schedule right now.

    Also, have you given any thought to doing some Podcasting with us at Adepticon?

    Comment by HuronBH | March 10, 2010 | Reply

    • I’d be well up for doing that podcast. Hit me up with an email, I’m (slightly…) more reliable when it comes to answering those.

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | March 13, 2010 | Reply

      • Awesome, that is great. One problem, I am having problems tracking down your e-mail address. It does not seem to be hiding around your blog and is not on the new Black Library site. If you don’t want to share it here send me an e-mail at jpowell37@gmail.com and we can get things arranged.

        Thank you very much and I look forward to talking with you at Adepticon.

        Comment by HuronBH | March 17, 2010

  5. Don’t you dare to die in a gutter. I require more reading material. And someone to humiliate with 40k tabletop. 😐

    Comment by Sander | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  6. I admit I’m reluctant to read anything by new authors for GW works, blame the Goto Incident, but I have high hopes that the rest of the HH series carries on well after I thought A Thousand Sons a bit of a failure!

    Comment by Captain Juan Juarez | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  7. Be strong, the books shall set you free.

    Or drive you insane and into the arms of the Chaos Gods. Who knows.

    Comment by DrgnScorpion | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  8. Capt. Juan – in what way would you consider Thousand Sons a failure?

    Comment by Tim Kenyon | March 12, 2010 | Reply

    • I felt it was just lacking…

      Although I’m not a fan of Bolter-happy novels, I like combat scenes to be well constructed; which is one of the big failures I lay at the door of the book.

      The other major failure is the way the book rushed like a tidal wave to the end following Nikaea.

      Comment by Captain Juan Juarez | March 12, 2010 | Reply

      • I got the impression that it was after the Council of Nikaea that everything fell apart for the Thousand Sons – and the pace in the novel matched it well. Though I do respect your opinion (and you’re welcome to it) I disagree.

        But isn’t that the point? We have different opinions of the novel?

        What’s your favourite so far?

        Comment by Tim Kenyon | March 13, 2010

      • Actually, it’s not the pace I’m referring too… More the fact that it was a bit “slapdash” as though he had somewhere to be when finishing the book.

        My favourite of the series.. Either the Tales of Heresy anthology or Flight of the Eisenstein.

        Comment by Captain Juan Juarez | March 13, 2010

      • Coolio. I get that, I suppose, but Thousand Sons is one of my faves at the moment. Like I said – different strokes for different folks. If we all did backstroke there’d be some pretty lonely people.

        Comment by timkenyon | March 13, 2010

  9. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2010/mar/12/room-of-ones-own-novel?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

    This was on the Guardian today. Free cottage in Stratford plus £750 a month for woman writer aged 40+.

    You can either do a Mrs Doubtfire for a few months or get Brett Duckley to sue. You might even get more than the £9000 bursary and can fuck over a bigoted “charity.”

    I reckon we get a petiton together, equal rights works both ways and men are a 49% minority in the UK.

    Comment by G | March 12, 2010 | Reply

  10. If it makes you feel better I bought a copy of Soul Hunter this morning. Haven’t started to read it yet but already have a very positive impression of it owing to the very attractive salesperson at the store.

    Comment by pinchy | March 12, 2010 | Reply

  11. Your haiku made me smirk.
    I still don’t know if it’s because my sense of humour is quirky or sadistic, both or neither. I’ll get back to you on that.

    Comment by g2-1dbb0c5324cb3dbcaea08ebb0c4cb807 | March 13, 2010 | Reply

  12. I tried to make a comment, but got told by WordPress that I was apparently logged in as [random combination of heaps of letters which doesn’t make sense]. Then the comment disappeared.

    So, I decided that your blog is haunted. Ohoho ^^

    Comment by Z | March 13, 2010 | Reply

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