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clarion west write-a-thon week 3 report

Short story: “The Hounds of Stony Mayhill” (formerly “The Emperor’s New Dogs”)

Word count: 2,890 (5,604 total)

Status: Complete!

The good: Cybernetic space wolves…getting revenge.

The bad: Arrogant barons.

The resigned: There are definitely parts that will need to be fleshed out and edited to make a cohesive story.

Coming up next: ANOTHER NEW STORY! Yesss. I’m torn between the Fountain of Youth and good old-fashioned arguments over Who Gets the Gold.

Excerpt:

Oh run, my lord, as fast you can

And carry nothing in your hand

For crimes come paid and murders solved

When strikes the hour of the wolves

_____

Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. It’s run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.

My goal is to finish a rough draft of one short story per week for In the Drift, a sci-fi collection that follows the adventures of Joseph Talleyrand Arch, a traveler among worlds in the wake of humanity’s First Expansion into the stars.

As always, I hope you’ll consider supporting me this summer. It’s not just about giving money to sustain an amazing workshop, but also about helping sustain my writing spirit.

I hope you’ll sponsor me and help support my goals and the Clarion West workshop. A sponsorship in any amount helps, as does helping spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers.

clarion west write-a-thon week 2 report

Short story: “The Emperor’s New Dogs”

Word count: 2,714

Status: Incomplete

The good: Cybernetic space wolves and mothers out for vengeance.

The bad: Someone decided they wanted the cybernetic space wolves for themselves.

The resigned: ARGH, did not finish this week.

Coming up next: I’m going to carry this over into Week 3 rather than start on another short story. At the end of this all, I would rather have a couple of completed short stories rather than six half-finished ones.

Excerpt:

The prints were enormous, half again as big as my hand with all fingers splayed. Judging from the way they smeared through the dirt, the owner of those paws had been running. I could read in the tracks how the beast would’ve shot out of the underbrush into the exposed air, braked its body against momentum, and plunged right back into the bushes, leaving a half-crescent bite in the road. As for why it’d been running, who knew. Maybe chasing prey. What the prey was, I didn’t care to speculate on.

I considered turning back. The prints were dry, baked into the substance of the road, which meant nothing except that it hadn’t rained here in a while. But back meant three days’ walk with nary a soul in sight and a pack of supplies that wouldn’t last me more than another two. And it would mean retracing my steps, not something I liked much to do.

_____

Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. It’s run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.

My goal is to finish a rough draft of one short story per week for In the Drift, a sci-fi collection that follows the adventures of Joseph Talleyrand Arch, a traveler among worlds in the wake of humanity’s First Expansion into the stars.

As always, I hope you’ll consider supporting me this summer. It’s not just about giving money to sustain an amazing workshop, but also about helping sustain my writing spirit.

I hope you’ll sponsor me and help support my goals and the Clarion West workshop. A sponsorship in any amount helps, as does helping spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers.

clarion west write-a-thon week 1 report

Short story: “Father of the Earth”

Word count: 7,502

Status: Complete!

The good: Rainforests in the middle of deserts, walking luggage, and heartlessly mercenary small-town girls.

The bad: Too much gravity and pompous big-city engineers.

The resigned: Close your eyes, point to a random spot in the story. Yep, that’s a rewritin’.

Coming up next: How about space wolves? Let’s go with space wolves.

Excerpt:

Two squat cars rattled behind a repurposed fusion-powered engine down tracks clean of rust only where the wheels ground against the rails. Heat vented from the engine and warped the horizon. It was a cool spring day, but even with the windows wide open for breeze, the passengers barely felt it. Dragged into the wake of the engine’s heat exhaust, they filled the two cars with sweat.

The cars were double-deckers, kitted out with an extra set of seats on each roof for whoever wanted them. Aside from me, only one other person did, a fellow a couple years younger than me who looked like he belonged in prep school, with a slick, shiny combover that moved all in one piece whenever the train hit a bump. He slouched in his seat, a wide-brimmed bushwhacker over his face. Snores issues from beneath the hat.

Next stop: Moira’s Valley. Moira’s Valley, arrival in five minutes.

The tracks dipped and curved. The train entered the bowl of Moira’s Valley, and the desert vanished. Green bloomed on every side, snaked through with watery glints. Even the overbearing heat of the laboring engine eased, overlaid by a pall of cool freshness, though the world outside the train continued to ripple and writhe with heat.
_____

Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. It’s run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.

My goal is to finish a rough draft of one short story per week for In the Drift, a sci-fi collection that follows the adventures of Joseph Talleyrand Arch, a traveler among worlds in the wake of humanity’s First Expansion into the stars.

As always, I hope you’ll consider supporting me this summer. It’s not just about giving money to sustain an amazing workshop, but also about helping sustain my writing spirit.

I hope you’ll sponsor me and help support my goals and the Clarion West workshop. A sponsorship in any amount helps, as does helping spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers.

wild child

Elves lived in the old forest, my brother claimed. He’d seen them leaf-mottled with sunlight, peeking out from beneath fern shawls. One day he went hunting for them. The thing that came home that night had his body and his face, but the eyes were of something else altogether.
_____

June’s Scottish Book Trust 50-Word Story Competition: Write a story set in an enchanted forest.

clarion west write-a-thon 2017

facebook_cover_cw2017watwriter

Yup, I did it again.

I joined the Clarion West 2017 Write-a-thon.

Clarion West is a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing some of the best speculative fiction workshops in the galaxy. It’s run by volunteers and a small, hardworking paid staff, and it depends on the support of the community.

My goal is to finish a rough draft of one short story per week for In the Drift, a sci-fi collection that follows the adventures of Joseph Talleyrand Arch, a traveler among worlds in the wake of humanity’s First Expansion into the stars.

On short story a week is ambitious for me, but hey, what’s the point in having goals if you don’t stretch?

As always, I hope you’ll consider supporting me this summer. It’s not just about giving money to sustain an amazing workshop, but also about helping sustain my writing spirit.

I hope you’ll sponsor me and help support my goals and the Clarion West workshop. A sponsorship in any amount helps, as does helping spread the word to friends, family, and coworkers.

I’ll be posting weekly updates on this blog! Let the writing begin!

cold will out

summer_atlast

The trees put flesh on their bones and I sate the hunger of a wolf winter melted away.

speak no evil

With the light cutting rectangles across the ceiling she stirs, sits up. She’s naked. Gorgeous. I thought so the first time we met. Married, too, though neither of us paid much attention to the fact.

She says, “I want you to do something for me.”

“Anything.” I trace a finger down the topography of her torso.

“Tell me you love me.”

I made it very clear from the first that this wasn’t love. I wanted a body, nothing more. She agreed. This, now, is unfair. She’s trying to rewrite our unspoken compact. She wants to cheat.

“Do you tell your husband you love him?” I say at last.

I hear her breathe, a sharp, short intake in the bluish light. And then she is silent.