New Webcomic: Negative One

I love the old Ivy stories I wrote in college—from my modern fantasy series, The House That Ivy Built—but her story just isn’t cohesive enough to survive as a marketable novel, so I think one cool thing I can do with it is make a webcomic about it.  So . . . that’s exactly what I’m doing.

This alternating-story webcomic will update every Friday for the foreseeable future.  And since it’s pretty much my own thing, you can expect a lot of sort of indulgent narration.  But if you like that sort of thing, perhaps this webcomic will be up your alley.

Completed New Short Story: “Just Like Stephen”

Finished a new short story called “Just Like Stephen.” Genre: Modern fantasy.  Word count: About 7,000 words.

In the society in which the protagonist lives, magic is a rare but real part of life, cropping up somewhat randomly among the population. Unfortunately, admitting to having magic is a one-way ticket to a government-run institution where officials channel the magical people’s powers into controlled projects. The government basically considers having magic the same as having a sickness, and it’s true that it can cause insanity, so they claim to be helping the magical people by institutionalizing them and training them.

The protagonist’s older brother Stephen developed magic one day, and suddenly everything was different—he had to be taken away, and no one seemed to care but him. Before leaving, Stephen urges his brother to try to hide his magic if he develops it later, which they both suspect he will. And in the present, the protagonist, now nineteen, has taken his brother’s advice and has hidden his magic for four years. Unfortunately, magic has a way of deciding when it’s going to be used, and this is a story of how he answers that call without letting anyone else hear him.

I’ll be pursuing publication for this.  Eventually.

Completed New Novel: Bad Fairy

Finished writing Bad Fairy!  Took about 5 weeks, except I had to take a break when I had a houseguest.  (Hey Fred.)

Genre: Fantasy (fairy tale retelling).

Length: 41 chapters/815 pages/~255,000 words.

Tag line: “What happened before Sleeping Beauty slept?”

Keywords: FANTASY: Fairy tale retelling, medieval period fantasy, Sleeping Beauty, fairies, magic, magick, dark fantasy, reincarnation, elemental magic, identity issues, quirky narrators, epistolary, autobiography (character).

Protagonist: Delia Morningstar.

POV: First person, past tense.

About:

Delia Morningstar is a precocious and inquisitive half-fairy girl whose great talent and drive mark her for a promising future. But she has some peculiar interests: What is she learning when she dabbles in forbidden “dark” magick, and why does she have such an interest in the afterlife?

Shunned by popular society, she struggles to make her own living, but when one of her attempts to help her kingdom is misunderstood, she is held responsible for a curse on baby Aurora, her kingdom’s beloved princess. Now forced into hiding, Delia must live in disguise as a typical fairy and continue to work toward a surprising goal: Saving the princess from death. While tweaking destiny from behind her mask, Delia discovers many unexpected aspects of both herself and her enemies. Though she ultimately succeeds in her original goal, she finds that dealing with who she’s become is a battle she’s only beginning.

Next up: Lots of editing!

New Novel: Bad Fairy

Started a new book!  The working title is Bad Fairy.

About:

Bad Fairy is the story of Delia Morningstar, a fairy whose involvement with her kingdom’s princess inspired the story of Sleeping Beauty.  Written as an autobiography of the bad fairy, it tells the tale of how Delia grew up, made her enemies, got blamed for a curse, and spent part of her life in hiding.

It’s based on a short story I wrote in 2000.  When Francesca Lia Block’s book The Rose and the Beast came out, some other fans and I wrote our own retold fairy tales to celebrate the release, and when one of my friends reviewed the short story and said it could make a great novel, I decided to find out if he was right.

 

New Novel: Joint Custody

Started a new book!  The working title is Joint Custody.

Genre: Kids’ fiction (middle reader/realistic fiction).

Length: 5 chapters/62 pages/~18,500 words.

Status: In progress/on hold/back burner.

Tag line: “Mom’s house” or “Dad’s house.” Where’s “my house”?

Keywords: KIDS’ FICTION: Juvenile, school, divorce, family issues, animal rights.

Protagonist: Bainbridge Kavin Cassidy (“Bay”).

POV: First person, present tense.

About:

I started writing Joint Custody after a long string of reading Newbery Award-winning books that disappointed me. I heard myself saying “I could do better than THAT!” several times before it struck me that if that was the case, I should do so. Joint Custody is the result. I figured it needed to address a relevant issue for children these days, so I picked divorce. But it also needed to be unique, and if anything, Bay is unique. When I finally finish this book, I hope many kids will relate to him. This is aimed at upper elementary school kids.

This book catalogs the mental wanderings of a confused kid called Bay. It reads a bit like stream-of-consciousness, but in his roundabout way, he really is saying something and making observations. Bay’s parents split up when he was very young, and now he feels as though he has no home. He is either at “Mom’s house” or “Dad’s house.” Bay is kinda thinky for an eleven-year-old, and he shares his philosophical ponderings about roadkill, conformity, having two houses, and the mysterious girl named Marz who’s always taking his picture. First-person present-tense story about a kid who thinks a little differently and just wants to know where home is.

Completed New Short Story: “Uncle Avery’s Garden”

Finished a new short story called “Uncle Avery’s Garden.”  It’s actually on the short side, at about 1,400 words.  Sentimental fiction.

A college girl debates over whether to spend her hundred-dollar bill that was given to her as a child by her departed Uncle Avery. She wonders whether it will be disrespectful to do so, even though she really needs the money, because she promised not to and has managed to hold out so long. A dream she has helps her clarify the importance of the gift.

Probably will not try to publish this.  I think it’s kinda sappy. But maybe someone will think it’s also kinda sweet?

 

Completed New Short Story: “The Escape”

Finished a new short story called “The Escape.”  It’s about 85% autobiographical—realistic fiction about childhood, about 3,000 words.

Kelly is disturbed by the idea of growing up. Her friends’ eagerness to act more adult bothers her, and she reminisces in a bowling alley about their past together and how she’d rather move across the country (which she will be doing) and totally lose touch with them than have to see them grow up.

Probably won’t be looking for a place to publish this, but I had to get it out.

Completed New Short Story: “Bloom”

Finished a new short story called “Bloom.”  It’s really long, though, more of a novella.  About 20,000 words, YA coming-of-age fantasy, first person/present tense.

Kamber is concerned about her inability to make her doll dance, which is a sign of becoming mature in the Kinfolk culture. She does not know what to do to make this doll dance, and the only two girls who are Kin from her school make fun of her because she hasn’t done it yet. Because of this abuse and the fact that another girl, Joanne, shows interest in learning about her, she stops eating lunch with them.

Through the story she learns to harness her natural energy, a Goddess-given gift, to demonstrate magical abilities such as calling butterflies and controlling fire and wind. Unfortunately she seems to be demonstrating competence in the so-called “male” elements rather than the “female” elements of earth and water. This and the fact that her doll hasn’t danced are distressing to her, and she attempts to find enlightenment through talking to her grandmother, talking to Joanne, and soul-searching while talking to her Goddess.

She feels like a failure until her grandmother picks up on signs that she has not noticed that show Kamber is growing up. She is given a very important role in a festival for Bloom Day and finds she has much more potential than she thought—and that it has nothing to do with whether she can make a doll dance.

Maybe one day this will be a novel, since there’s no way in heck I’m going to have an easy time finding a magazine that’d want something this long?

Completed New Short Story: “Protector Cat”

Finished a new short story called “Protector Cat.”  Sort of surreal fiction, at about 2,500 words.  Science fiction, experimental fiction, something.

Cat lives in a sort of communal building with his gang. He has no idea how he got to be living there, why he lives there, or even who he lives with. He has problems with his memory; he doesn’t seem to be able to remember even things that happened just a few minutes ago, much less hours or days. It makes his life sort of a moment-to-moment experience, and his one comfort is his girlfriend Bonne, whom he remembers more vividly than anyone else. Cat also seems to have some kind of ability or special power but he is unaware of what it is. He uses it to protect his gang but doesn’t know what it is he is doing to be “special.” This story is just a typical day in his life.

The story has a lot of foul language and a sort of meandering style of storytelling, but maybe it’s publishable.  I based it on a weird dream I had.