Elizabeth Fountain, author of science fiction, urban fantasy, and magical romances, is the Thursday Redux guest today. Writing is usually a solitary endeavor with few opportunities for interaction with other writers. Often we’re limited to occasional contacts at meetings and conferences. Another opportunity for interaction with other authors is membership in our publisher groups.
Liz is a fellow author at Champagne Book Group, one of my favorites. She writes funny, whimsical stories that have you laughing and thinking at the same time. She is always pleasant and supportive of the other authors. When I did an interview with her recently, I read her bio. Like her stories, Liz isn’t bound by one path to her destination, but she has a fascinating journey arriving there. Check out her website bio and her stories for great reads. Today, Liz shares a whimsical story that reflects her writing style. (Note: We also share an addiction to NANOWRIMO. See below)
It took me a long, long, time to choose a post for Rita’s Thursday Redux. The more I read my old pieces, the more lost in the past I became. Each one reminded me of everything that swirled around it in my life at the moment it came into being. Good thing I had a deadline, as it forced me to pick one, finally. I hope you like it.
This post was the result of a writing workshop I took at Richard Hugo House in Seattle, way back in early 2011. The workshop focused on using the conventions of fairy tales to tell all kinds of stories. Perhaps some seeds related to the fables in You, Jane were planted there and then. One exercise instructed us to take a favorite Disney-style tale and “rough it up,” making it into a more classic, adult-style fable. Well, my favorite Disney movie ever is The Jungle Book; here’s the moment where Mowgli meets Baloo, but, well, we’re not in Disneyworld anymore.
ROUGHING IT UP
One day a bear was out bathing in a stream. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a creature come toward him that he did not recognize as a usual resident of the jungle. This creature was a human child.
The bear sighed. He knew what would happen, having seen other small human cubs wander loose in the jungle.
“Child, where are you going?” he asked the little naked thing.
“I’m running away,” said the human cub.
“You know you’ll be eaten in the jungle,” said the bear.
“Not me,” said the child. “I know how to take care of myself.”
“Do you,” said the bear. He heard wolves howl in the distance and closer by he heard the purr of the tiger.
“Yes I do,” said the child, and growled a pitiful whining sound meant to frighten the other jungle creatures.
“That won’t help you,” said the bear. “Shall I teach you how to protect yourself?”
“Would you?” asked the child.
“Certainly,” said the bear. And without a second thought he ate the human cub. “You’ll be safe in my stomach,” he said, spitting out the bones into a neat little pile by the side of the stream, and went back to his bath, humming contentedly.
The wolf pack leader came by. “Have you seen a human cub?” he asked. “Yes,” said the bear, and gestured with a claw at the pile of bones. “There he is. “The wolf pack leader shook his great ruff and turned to go back to his pack.
The tiger slinked out of the tall jungle grass. “Did a human cub walk by here?” he asked the bear, who was just getting out of the stream to dry himself off and get ready for his afternoon nap.
“Yes,” said the bear, “I ate him and there are his bones, if you want to pick them over while I sleep.”
“Ah,” said the tiger, and with the swipe of one giant paw he sliced the bear open and ate his entrails, full of delicate human cub flesh as they were. “Now I need a nap,” thought the tiger to himself, and rolled over to sleep in the tall jungle grass.
An Urban Fantasy – Magical Romance Champagne Book Group (June 2014)
Note: You, Jane was born in my first joyous experience with National Novel Writing Month in November, 2010. The reliance on fables – some a bit dark – certainly found encouragement in the writing workshop that generated my Thursday Redux post.
Jane Margaret Blake’s problem isn’t her drinking. Sure, she’s missing work, and forgetting she’s already fed her cat, who’s getting a little fat. But Jane’s real problem is the reason she drinks: she writes stories that come true and wreak havoc in her life.
In her “fables” animals, people, angels, and the Universe itself conspire to destroy Jane’s last chance to be with her old love, or, just maybe, to bring her into the arms of a new love. Years ago, a fable pushed Jane’s best friend Charlie into marrying another woman. Now another fable shoves Charlie’s little boy in front of an angry dog – or worse, a wicked spirit bent on getting Jane and Charlie to face the truths they’ve spent a lifetime avoiding.
As her drinking and writing spiral out of control, Jane must finally discover how to write her own happy ending.
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Thank you for visiting, Liz. Tomorrow, More Pompeii