Story Time: Crows

Today’s Story Time is “Crows,” originally published in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination in Summer, 2000, and later collected in Our Lady of 47 Ursae Majoris and Other Stories in 2011. It’s not exactly an optimistic story, depending on your point of view, but…well, there aren’t really any “buts.”

Sometimes you just have to let the Dark Side out to play.

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Story Time: Take a Long Step

Have you ever noticed, lying along the road, one sad, discarded shoe? Or maybe a boot? Now and then a cap, or work glove, but most often shoes. Rather, one shoe. I think I have seen an actual pair of shoes, once in my life. Mostly, just the one. There are a lot of theories about why this tends to happen, though we probably don’t need any other than simple human carelessness. We lose things. It’s our nature. For instance, First Reader asked me about this story just a few days ago (Didn’t you write a story about the missing shoe?) and I thought it would make a good Wednesday story. Then I couldn’t find it, and thought I had lost the file, until I remembered that I wasn’t working in MS Weird at the time, and expanded my search to include the extension of the word processor I used back then. Still miss that one, but I digress.

Story Time for this week is “Take a Long Step,” and it first appeared in Realms of Fantasy for April, 1999. This was my attempt to give at least one alternative explanation for the case of the missing shoe. Or the found shoe. It’s all a matter of perspective.

“Take a Long Step” will be available until next Wednesday, November 22nd. Then it’s something else. You know the drill.

Story Time: Kallisti

Maybe I’m a Discordian* at heart. Also an Animist with a little Buddhism and Southern Baptist thrown in. None of which is a contradiction when we’re talking about chaos/disorder in general, which is probably why, of all the Greek Gods, Eris, Goddess of Discord, has always been a favorite of mine, if one could be so presumptuous as to pick favorites among mythical deities without inviting at least a metaphorical thunderbolt. One shouldn’t take such things lightly, after all. There are all sorts of thunderbolts.

I’ve written two stories featuring Eris. A revisit of Eris’ role in the Judgement of Paris,  “Kallisti” was first published in Realms of Fantasy back in 2002 and later reprinted in the collection Worshipping Small Gods in 2007. With the passing of Realms the second remains in my files until the right market appears. Or until I lose patience and do it myself. Probably even money on which occurs first.

 

Standard Reminder: “Kallisti” will remain online only until next Wednesday, November 1st, 2017.

*Discordianism. If you’re not an old-school fan, Google is your friend.

 

Story Time: The Plum Blossom Lantern

I’m a bit late with this, so I have to apologize. A remodeling project took most of my day so I’m just getting to this now. Story Time this week is based on an Edo period ghost story called “The Peony Lantern.” The Edo period Japanese did love their spooky ghost stories, and who could blame them? However, I’d always felt there was aspect to the idea being neglected, and that was the ghost’s point of view. Once you look at it that way it becomes a different story entirely, and so my version, “The Plum Blossom Lantern.” Its first appearance was in Small Beer Press’ Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet back in 2003.

Standard Reminder: “The Plum Blossom Lantern” will be online until next Wednesday, October 18th. After that, there will be something else in its place.

Story Time: The Trickster’s Wife

This week’s Story Time is “The Trickster’s Wife,” originally published in Realms of Fantasy Magazine back in 2001 and later included in The Ogre’s Wife: Fairy Tales for Grownups, my first ever story collection and finalist for the World Fantasy Award. In a way this piece is a meditation on the nature and limits of fate. Mostly, however, it is a simple revenge story, using inevitable fate as the weapon.

Almost everyone knows the Norse myth of Sigyn, Loki’s wife. For his many crimes  Loki is bound to a rock in a cave where a venomous serpent drips poison on him, causing him to writhe in agony. His faithful and devoted wife catches the venom in a bowl to spare him the pain, but every now and then the bowl has to be emptied, and in that time the venom hits him and his thrashing causes earthquakes. But Sigyn is always there to catch the poison again, even though, one day, she will spill the bowl and Loki will thrash until he is free of his chains, signalling Ragnarok, the end of the world.

I always thought fate handed Sigyn a very raw deal. It occurred to me that perhaps Sigyn thought so too. Which puts her activities in an entirely different light, and so the story.

 

Standard Reminder: Next Wednesday, October 11th, the Story Time will change.  Until then, I hope you enjoy “The Trickster’s Wife.”