Things I love and want to share but that don't belong elsewhere.
Drawing of Wisdom School, where The Fifth Tunnel takes place. This was drawn for me over a decade ago by an artist who gave me full rights to it. I wish I could read the signature . . . I can't remember who drew it!
The middle peninsula is the kingdom of Carina, where Bargaining Power takes place. This was drawn as a gift for me by Katie Futterwacken, who also did the interior illustrations for The Land of the Purple Ring. You can visit her website here.
You can find various short stories on my blog. Beyond that . . .
Both Wizard: Deceased and Bargaining Power were begun because of short stories I wrote for my then-writing group (no longer extant), Pulped Fictions. The end products of both books diverged significantly from their origins, so no significant spoilers. The stories are:
And for those of you who have finished Bargaining Power, here are the FIRST TWO CHAPTERS of book 2!
Original short ghost story: "Sync"
This story has the distinction of being a runner-up for the Writers of the Future competition. I was sent an official email offering me a certificate, but that felt too much like hanging up a sign that said "Congratulations, you lost." Still, it beat out thousands of competitors, and I'm proud of that.
The Land of the Purple Ring
1. The Land of the Purple Ring is named after stacking ring toys. When I was a child, the top ring, which used to be purple, always got lost, so my mom started calling the land of lost things "The Land of the Purple Ring." I have since found several stacking ring toys at garage sales, almost all of them missing the purple ring.
2. According to Mary B, in the Indonesian language Nduga, "nindi" can mean, approximately, "soul."
3. All clockmaking terminology in the book is, to the best of my abilities, accurate. In general, I did a huge amount of research for this book. It's just that in many (or most) cases, the facts are disguised or twisted to my own ends or so immeshed with magic or combined with other things that they are no longer clear. But the clockmaking (other than the absurdity of making a gyrotourbillion out of diamond) is as in our world.
4. I began The Land of the Purple Ring 13 years before I actually sat down and wrote it. I never got past a few pages of the novel back then, but I still have my notes. I had a Willy Wonka/ Doctor Who-esque character called the Clockmaker who led a group of children on adventures, a snarky Russian hamster named Raskolnikov, and someone called Puzzle Girl. Two out of three isn't bad . . .
5. From the beginning, the book contained poetry. Not necessarily good poetry, mind. Here's a bit of nonsense I dug out of my old notes:
In the Land of the Purple Ring,
Where lost things go
And old boots are manufactured,
There once lived the only child
Of Where Did the Time Go.
If ever he had a name—
And Names are different there—
It is lost to Time, and cannot be found
Even in the Land of the Purple Ring
(For Time holds names dear).
All must be called something, though,
So we call him what he is:
The Clockmaker, and nothing more.