[Hi there. If you’ve stopped by to read my infamous blog post regarding the bizarro publishing history of my trilogy, it’s here.]
I’ve been meaning to do this for quite a while, but lately I’ve been more scatterbrained than usual. But! Thanks to yesterday’s blog comment from Steve Halter (hi, Steve), I finally got my act together and posted a couple of short stories on the website. One Milkweed story, and one standalone.
Right now they’re both in PDF format. More formats will come later. A lot later. (I know, I should be all Web 3.0 and stuff. I will. Later.)
Links to the new stories are available on the Words page. And there are also links below the cut, where I’ve written a little bit about the history of both pieces.
Come Dancefight, My Beloved Enemy
This piece was published online about 4 years ago, at a great little market called Trabuco Road. TR is, sadly, defunct now, meaning the link to this story has been broken for a long time. Oops.
But now the story is available for free on the Words page, alongside links to some of my more recent stories.
I wrote this piece purely as a writing exercise for myself. It was the culmination of some experimentation I did at Clarion, where I wrote stories in first- and third-person points of view, with both subjective and objective narratives. Near the end of the workshop, I decided to attempt a story written in a second-person PoV— the most offputting of the points of view.
I also find action-packed in medias res openings a little gimmicky. And, because I’m a contrarian little troll with a black heart, they tend to turn me off. So I set a challenge for myself: write a story in the second-person point of view which begins with an insane in medias res opening.
So this story was pretty much fine-tuned to hit all of my turnoffs. But oddly enough I kinda like how it turned out. (I’m a big believer in writing against obstacles. And this is a good example why.)
Chronicle of Sorrows
This is an epistolary story set within the Milkweed universe of Bitter Seeds and What Doctor Gottlieb Saw.
The various journal entries in this story can also be found hidden around this website, as part of the Chronicle of Sorrows game. (The contest prizes have been awarded*. But the game is still up for anybody who’d like to play along. This post is a good starting place. And, if you get stuck, this post contains a complete walkthrough for the game.)
This story had to try to service two masters. On the one hand, it had to provide the sequence of clues that would guide a player through the game. But I also wanted it to provide some interesting (I hope) backstory to Bitter Seeds.
(*Poor Patrick will be waiting a while for that signed ARC of The Coldest War. But let’s not go there.)