On July 9th, my new novel, The Guardian Hound, is being published by Book View Cafe.
It’s coming soon!
In the five weeks leading up to the novel release, I am publishing a short story a week, and having each available for free for that week. All the stories are about the world or somehow involved with The Guardian Hound and the various clans.
Chronologically, I wrote this story, A Tiger’s Shadow, before I wrote the story for last week, A Prophesy in Shadows. But once I finished this story, I knew I had to write what came before it.
I know I said that A Prophesy in Shadows was the second story I wrote, when I was only writing short stories and not tackling the novel yet. But I was wrong. It was the third story. This story, A Tiger’s Shadow, was actually the second story I wrote for the novel. It’s included as part of The Guardian Hound.
This story takes place during what is now called The Week of Long Knives, in Calcutta, in 1947.
Free Fiction! A new story, never before published! (in)substantial shadows
I am a shadow, living in the shadows, always among you, always watching.
Come hear how those of you living in the world, you brights, seduced the best of us to cross the barrier and try to live beside you.
We’re a people trained to observe, not act. Yet that sweetness of doing became our undoing.
I am a shadow. This is my story.
This story is available for free on my web site for at least a week. (I might end up leaving this one up for two weeks, depending on how the writing goes this week.)
It will also be available in the usual sources.
Like “The Secrets of 9s” which I wrote last year, I think this can best be classified as literary, with a side of fantasy thrown in. I sent it to a couple of places that buy that sort of thing, but no one took it. This is the first short story I wrote as part of the 2012 short story challenge. I’m pubbing it with “The Secrets of 9s” as a bonus story.
In other news, I finished typing up “The Tiger’s Shadow” today. It’s about 6200 words, and I’m still wondering if I need to make it a little longer, add one more scene. It felt good to write something to length. I haven’t started the new story yet, but I’m on vacation, so I have more time than usual as well.
I really like this story. I have no idea if anyone else will or not. It’s not an easy story. There are two other stories I need to write along this theme: one set in Brazil around this same time (1946) as well as a second set in Germany, around 1900. I am SO HAPPY that I’ve found a way to combine the historic fantasy I love with this modern day story, how they’ll all tie in together. I still don’t know if the short stories will become the first part of the novel or if they’ll stand alone. I’ll figure that out once I start the novel.Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.
This morning I wrote about 3 pages on the current story. Tonight, I did another 16, so probably around 3000 words today. I’m a bit fried around the edges — I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing so much in one sitting.
But I did finish the story, for some definition of finished. I’ve finished the hand written draft. I’ll type it up tomorrow — all 5000+ words of it (I think that’s what it’ll be.)
I’m taking off all next week. Found myself thinking about the day job this evening and wrenched my thoughts away. I don’t have to do anything for the day job tomorrow, and that’s a good thing.
Now, I must go collapse because I can’t even think to post tonight.Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.
Giving myself permission to move back to the world of “The Raven and the Dancing Tiger” has certainly proven to be the right thing to do. I easily wrote 1000+ words last night — I’m not sure how many. Generally, six page = ~1000 words, which I did, plus filled the margins with notes. So it will probably end up being more than that.
Tonight, I sat down and cranked out eight hand written pages, again, with lots of notes in the margins. There’s so much more of this world and these characters and clans that I want to explore. They all have recitations, but they have different ones. Not every clan is close to their other soul.
All week, I’ve been struggling with the short story I’ve been trying to write. “Project block” is what Kris Rusch calls it — and I think that’s right. I don’t ever get writer’s block — I can always write. I get project block, though, when there’s something wrong with a project and I can’t figure it out.
So this morning, while I was walking, I asked my muse, as I am wont to do, “If I could write anything at all, what would you like for me to work on?”
My muse was strangely silent. No project sprang to mind, no new story or idea I wanted to explore.
This was odd. Very odd for me.
At some point close to the end of my walk, I started thinking about the world of “The Raven and the Dancing Tiger” and the shadows and various things, and my muse perked up.
Also very odd.
So I asked myself, “Would you like to work on this?” “This” being, in general, the next novel, playing in that world, etc.
My mind lit up.
That’s about the best I can do to explain how it felt. Suddenly, all these story ideas were there, all these connections were being made, and this weight was lifted off my muse. I felt like I was glowing and could run forever with these ideas.
See, I’d told myself earlier that I wasn’t going to work on the next novel until January. I believe this was why my muse was initially silent — I’d already told it, in effect, “No, you can’t work on that.”
I’m not giving up on the idea of a short story a week. It’s just that the next short story (the one that I’m writing this week, that has to be finished by Sunday, that I’m only starting on tonight) is going to be, “The Tiger’s Shadow,” which is back story for the novel. It’s historic fantasy, set in India, around 1947.
Maybe that will satisfy my muse and I can write another short story set somewhere else. Or maybe I’ll have to just start writing the novel. The following “short story” may end up being the first chapter of the novel, more backstory, as it were. I’m not convinced that “The Guardian Hound” is going to have the same structure as “The Raven and the Dancing Tiger” — with current day and backstory chapters intermixed.
I will be on vacation ALL OF NEXT WEEK (not that I’m excited about that or anything!) So I hope I can get a lot of writing done.Crossposted from my website. If you'd like to comment, you can do so here or there.