The Genesis of a Project

It’s no secret that I sit on stories for a long time. Like, a ridiculously long time. Longer than anyone I know. And when I say “sit on them,” I mean I will maybe write down a few details and impressions so I don’t lose them while all the moulding of the story takes place in the confines of my brain. I rarely sit in front of a blank screen without having thought about the story I intend to impart.

I’ve got one such story churning right now, inspired by events that occurred in December 2013. Yet another is spinning into shape sparked by a dream I woke up to in March 2015. A third has been haunting my mind for months and months, the dream I had made such an impression I didn’t mark down any notes, so I can’t give an exact date. The fourth has been swirling far longer than the others but I hadn’t felt prepared to write it before.

For the record, dreams are very rare for me. Especially those that I remember. And even rarer are the ones that inspire any kind of artistry. But that’s not my point.

Initially, I thought that each of these stories would be their own full length novel. Yet the more I mull them over, the more holes I see in a long arc. For all of them. Filler would weaken the power I felt in each of these stories, but I didn’t know what complexities I could add to make them work. Then the other night I had an idea.

Short stories. Common themes. One collection.

So I’m now making plans to write stories for my collection, currently called Mind and Body. I have four stories in mind; I’m not sure if there will be more since this idea is in its infancy.

I love having a solution to a problem though. Now that I’m not anxiously trying to make each story longer and stronger, I can worry about making their themes have greater impact via brevity. I can’t wait to get writing.

The genesis of every one of my projects amuses me to no end. I never know where they’re going to come from.

 

*Featured image source: Cocoon by Internets_dairy via Flickr

Mobbing Midnight: The Significance of Supporting Lesser Known Authors

On February 10th, writer and editor April Steenburgh launched a Kickstarter for a book called Mobbing Midnight: An Anthology of Crows. This matters not only because I am a writer whose story will feature in it when it funds, but because a lot of other lesser known authors are devoting their time and energy to the book’s creation as well. Not to mention the artists who are always involved in a book’s formation.

There’s no other way to say it: budding writers need community support. Plain and simple. The life of a new writer is one chock full of rejection. Yes, we’re told that those notches of rejection on our belts mean success will taste all the sweeter when we get there, but it’s a long road. A long, discouraging road. Just ask J.K. Rowling. Or Stephen King.

No one in their right mind would continue on such endeavors –endeavours full of blood, sweat, and tears –after having doors slammed shut in their faces right, left, and centre. No one except artists.

We live in an awesome age where people everywhere can support local and/or new artists when they need help getting their voices heard. Crowdfunding. Kickstarter. Two relatively new additions to our vocabulary have already opened up so many doors for patrons and artists.

Kickstarter alone is responsible for the creation of two wildly popular entities: Smut Peddler 2014 by Iron Circus Comics and Exploding Kittens (soon to be coming) by The Oatmeal.

People who consume and appreciate the arts have finally been given a chance to help produce that which they want to see instead of being told what they should want by a bunch of industries. It’s great! And exciting for producers and consumers.

I want you to support this anthology because it means a lot to me personally, too. I don’t see Mobbing Midnight as just another item on my publishing credits list. I love birds. I have always loved birds. To be able to combine these creatures with my love of writing is something I keep doing a happy dance about. On top of the creative freedom April gave us, it’s almost all too good to be true.

My first bird book.

My first bird book.

No, crows are not my favourite bird species. I don’t think I could pick one. But they’ve always intrigued me. There are few birds as intelligent and versatile as the crow –which can be found thriving on every continent except Antarctica. Probably because they haven’t found a means of getting there. Think about that.

Moreover, they feature in a variety of folklore in a ton of different roles. They can be good, evil, contemptuous, brave, heroic, or conniving. These traits make them the perfect point of intersection for an anthology. Imagine the endless possibilities a group of writers can come up with when they’ve been told to write any kind of story they want as long as crows are featured prominently.

I am as thrilled to write my story as I am to read what everyone else comes up with!

Our group, like all artists, just wants to be given the chance to make this anthology happen. We might not be famous yet but we’re as devoted to writing as any of the big-time authors out there. Our main difference is that we’re relying on our campaign to fund.

Every single dollar counts and there are amazing rewards to be had that will speak to anyone’s tastes. At every donation level.

Cover image by artist Jennifer Campbell-Smith

Cover image by artist Jennifer Campbell-Smith

I’m happy to be offering up a reward myself: a character name in my story. It’s not going to have a happy ending but for $100 you can make your name or that of a loved one/enemy go through some serious horror! Isn’t that the coolest gift idea ever?

Your support for our Kickstarter is greatly appreciated! March 12th is our deadline.