Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
I got seriously derailed this week by a persistent (but not serious) cold making the rounds followed by an (equally not serious) out-patient procedure Monday that I’m now healing from. Ugh… Stitches. My illness spread throughout the household, and beyond, with my poor wife having it much worse than I.
With alpha-readers fighting off the Z-virus I have infected them with, I’m contentedly waiting for feedback on the revised version of A Contract in Azure and Indigo once they recover. However, I have managed to get some writing done.
I completed a few drafts related to upcoming events for the r/fantasywriters subreddit that I assist in moderating. Those have needed doing for months. In addition I and two of the other moderators there have entered into a special Moderator’s Writing Challenge. It’s a writing prompt challenge between the three of us for a no-prize… in other words for the joy of writing a story! ;-)
We’ll be sharing our creations with the fellow writers of the forum, and I’ll share my piece on Aethereal Engines as well. The prompt is to write a “Flipped Fairy Tale”: Take a classic fairy tale story and reverse aspects of it… character genders and/or roles, themes… It’s a very broad and open premise, really. It’s turned into a fun side project to plot and write while I’ve been ill.
My wife loves fairy tale folklore, so I’m picking a tale that’s one of her favorites as a gift to her. :-) I’m not sure my inspirational source will even be evident when I’m done; it’s quite divergent from the tale already. I’m also not writing it in a fairy tale style or setting per se, instead I’m taking the archetypes present in the story and reversing some of their qualities and re-assigning roles. I’m writing it as fantasy short story in my Burus setting, with characters I’ve created playing out the roles of the modified archetypes instead of simply writing the characters AS their archetypes.
And my story is not only going to be flipped, but also mixed and blended with at least one other fairy tale as well! Hopefully, The Old Man of the Elder Trees should at least be interesting. It’s roughly half-way to its limit of five-thousand words as it stands today, entering its climax.
Entering into the climax is what will be happening on Saturday when The Brynesmark reaches chapter four, The Death of Hakbutt Bryne! Things are looking bad for poor Eevin, gagged and with a knife to his throat. And the sassy, one-eyed tattooist the Lord-Captain has cornered certainty doesn’t seem to care…
Lord-Captain Anise’s smile gave way to a look of suspicion watching the disheveled and bare-chested man before him flip an overturned table upright. “I am still seeking Hakbutt Bryne.”
The tattooist squatted down with his back to the four men and started collecting the scattered barbs, needles and pigments that were his trade lying on the floor. “Well, ye ain’t found him.”
With a haughty upturn of his nose, the Lord-Captain beckoned the others closer with a curl of his fingers. “Oh really? Then I suspect he is very close…”
Hollomon clattered his way forward, mace in hand, and took a place beside the Lord-Captain with Borkgutto’s corpse between them and the tattooist. Held aloft and pinned by the Boatswain’s arm, Eevin was brought along as he and Seaman Twitch walked around the other side of the body.
“Look, I know wot yer thinkin’,” the tattooist said as the pair of cutthroats approached his back. “I get that a lot ‘cause I was with the pirate when we broke the prison walls and swam the Shark Shoals last year. But I ain’t him.”
The Lord-Captain grabbed the map-case on his belt. “Fair enough. Then who are you?”
Although his face was still turned away, Eevin could see the man more clearly now from where he was held fast to the Boatswain’s chest. The top of his head was bald save for a few hairs, but greying, long dirty hair fell from its back and sides to well past his neck. His shoulders and back bore numerous tattoos, but many were defaced by the heavy, long whipping scars lacing his back all the way down to the start of his brown breeches.
He rose and Eevin heard the roll of wooden needle and stylus handles dropped on the tabletop. “Me name is Squid… An’ the last I saw o’ Hakbutt, he was bein’ eaten alive by the biggest shark I ever seen.”
Squid turned and winked at the gagged boy with an eye as blue as the sea. But it was his left pupil, the one that lolled white and wall-eyed, that drew Eevin’s gaze as the bearded man grinned gap toothed. “He was a tough bastard too! ‘Cause whilst the monster was chewin’ on him… I had enough time to escape!”
The Lord-Captain removed the rolled vellum map from its tube “Well, Marn Squid, either you are a liar… or I have fallen victim to a misplaced rumor about this boy’s parentage. Regardless, I believe this urchin is yours.”
The man gave a laugh that shook his scraggly full beard of grey, then plucked a tattoo pick from the table at his side before twirling it nimbly through his fingers. “Nay-nay! The boy don’t look anythin’ like me atoll!”
“Well, at least he can count that in his favor…” the aristocrat said unrolling the map.
Is Eevin sharkbait like his father before him? You can find out on Saturday! ;-)
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!