Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m some sort of perpetually running engine. Get up in the morning and exercise, go to work and work, come home and eat dinner, do some home improvement projects on days off, rinse, repeat. Here and there I’ll find time to squeeze out a short story and I’ve actually managed to write like four stories since I last blogged. One got picked up by Baen for an upcoming anthology, the other three I’m peddling. I’ve been trying to get back to finish the novel, wrap up the trilogy, you know? It’s been a crawl and will continue to be so until I get some of my home improvement projects done.
I was starting to get tunnel vision, a very “veteran in the trenches” type feel, where you’re doing the writing almost on autopilot. The why’s don’t matter. The where do they go once I finish don’t matter. Plot, character and satisfying reading experience are the only things that matter. Will the story even sell? You know what, doesn’t matter.
Today I opened my inbox to find someone had commented on one of my older posts, dated November 25, 2013. The post was about my story “Light Crusader’s Dark Dessert” debuting on Intergalactic Medicine Show. I’m going to reprint the comment here in it’s entirety and add a link to the sampler described below:
This short story was featured in the Not-A-Hugo-Sampler Sampler Issue this year, and I read through all of the short stories (minus the audio one). I thoroughly enjoyed your short story, as did my husband after I insisted he read it. I would have to say it was my favorite of the collection. The way you mixed very different genres together was masterfully done. Most attempts to do this would come off as very jarring, but you blended them together into a very cohesive story. The “Moses” analogies were hilarious, and the interlude with Terra was beautiful. Jake and Alex were both well-developed, with your supporting cast as 3D as any reader could desire. My husband especially would like to know if you’ve written anything more in this setting, or with Jake Tamerlane (is that a reference to Poe? To the Persian king?). It appears that most of your work is short fiction – I know we, at least, would be interested in purchasing any novels you were to write in this world.
I don’t get praise often, much less praise like this. It reminded me why I’m in the trenches… why I write. A story I wrote two years ago found its way to a reader through the sampler issue and impressed her enough to highly recommend it to someone else, who in turn also enjoyed it. Oftentimes I forget I’m not just doing it because I like my own stories… even though I swear sometimes it feels that way. Every now and again you guys like my stories too, and you find a way to tell me so.
Original artwork for Light Crusdader
For those of you who have yet to check out “Light Crusader’s Dark Dessert”, go to Intergalactic Medicine Show and pick up the sampler issue. It’s FREE! For those of you who have read the story and wonder some of the same things these readers wonder, I actually do plan to revisit this setting and Jake Tamerlane (a reference to the Persian-Mongol conqueror). There are so many more flavors of the Apocalypse that he’s aching to have a go at. It’ll be a novel I’m sure. While I can’t say for sure if it’ll be my next novel, it definitely inspires me that someone’s looking for it on the horizon.