Tag Archive | patreon post

Small Town, USA – a blog post on Stranded

Originally posted on Patreon.

Autumn spends a lot of time in really small towns.  I mean, some of that is just that’s what she seems to like, but you’d think she’d spend more time in big cities that have big craft festivals, wouldn’t you?  I mean, she’s trying to make enough of a living to pay for the occasional inn or motel or Bed N’ Breakfast room, and those aren’t cheap.I like small towns.

I grew up between three small towns, out in the middle of farmland (literally: My parents built their house on land my grandfather and his father before him had farmed, on a road my grandfather literally built as a high school summer job).  I grew up with a small-town library where the librarian knew me and I knew her, in the sort of place where a party really is a bonfire in someone’s backyard because, really, where else are you going to  go?  My parents grew up in small towns.  Pretty sure at least two of my grandparents did, too.  We’re small town people, rural people.

I have to admit, some stereotypes of small-town living (Everyone knows everyone, for instance) I never really understood.  I mean, I knew my neighbors, but in farmland, that isn’t all that many people.  And small towns these days often have housing tracts tacked onto the sides of them, apartment complexes, trailer parks.  So they’re not that image of small-town living that seems to permeate the media (And, to look at another setting for a moment, Regine’s vision of a small town with The Village outside of Addergoole)  The houses go back layer after layer from Main Street.  You go over the canal (in many cases) or the railroad tracks and you’re almost in another neighborhood.  But you’ll still run into people you know at the grocery store, at the Fireman’s Carnival (I haven’t written a story about anyone at a carnival yet, have I?), at the Canal Days Craft Festival (Where Autumn really ought to have a booth…)
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Weaver of Threads – an unfinished story orig. posted on Patreon


A long, long time ago
I can still remember how

Maggie’s Ell Jay made me think
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make words sing and dance
And maybe make them think, too, for a while
.♪♫♪

Ahem. 

A long time ago, M.C.A. Hogarth posted something in her LJ about tropes she’d like to see.  One of them – which I have tried more than once to write – was about the young male (it might have been a mage?) recruiting the older female (fighter?  Maggie, do you remember?)

Anyway, I was looking through my archives and I found this first chapter, or so, of Fiametta, a Strand-Worker living up on the top of a mountain. 

7/5/2011 is the last save listed on it. 

⛰️ Continue reading

Blue Highways – Other People’s Prose (A blog post for Patreon)

Everyone gets their inspiration from somewhere; every setting has its seeds in something.Stranded – well, Autumn – came out of the book Blue Highways.

According to Wikipedia, this book came out in 1982.  I don’t think I read it that early at all – I would’ve been six – but someone recommended it to my father, and I read it.  I was probably in my early teens.

The story, as I remember it, involves someone making their van into something like an ad-hoc RV and driving around the county – specifically on the back roads, the non-highways, the ones marked blue on old maps.

The idea really spoke to me, lodged in my mind.  Sometimes I would fantasize  – who am I kidding, would? – Sometimes I fantasize about loading up a van and doing travel writing, meeting people in small-town diners and taking pictures of little waterfalls you can only see if you take the back roads.

Autumn started out that, that and my wish to be able to draw and the small fantasy of living in a Ren Faire that I sometimes still indulge in.  I mean, Autumn as a character in a story started with a three-word-Wednesday prompt (abrupt, kernel, wield; I have no idea how I got from there to

“I heard you did divinations.”

“You want the blue tents over in Psychic Alley.”

“Not that sort of divination, not those fake-Rom shams. You do the skin-painting.”

But Autumn, travelling around to small towns and solving problems –

– she came from William Least Heat-Moon’s stories, traveling around the blue highways of America, meeting people, being harassed by the police, building stone walls.

I can’t promise it’s a good book.  I read it probably 2/3 of my life ago. But it definitely stuck with me, and in sticking with me, it gave us the core of Autumn and her travelling, mystery-solving ways.

But here’s a fun map of where he travels – I didn’t realize it was so large an area – http://littourati.squarespace.com/storage/moon-files/moon_map.htm

And here’s the Wikipedia page on it – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Highways

This paragraph:

Stories that arose from Least Heat-Moon’s research as well as historical facts are included about each area visited, as well as conversations with characters such as a Seventh-day Adventist evangelist hitchhiker, a teenage runaway, a boat builder, a monk, an Appalachian log cabin restorer, a rural Nevada prostitute, fishermen, a HopiNative American medical student, owners of western saloons and remote country stores, a maple syrup farmer, and Chesapeake Bay island dwellers.

That almost sounds like a set of prompts for Autumn, doesn’t it?

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Shadows in the Old Park -a story for Patreon

This went a little left turn from where I’d planned. 

I was picturing Sprucewood Nature Center, by the by, even though it’s not quite… wood-y enough. 

🌲🌲🌲

The twenty-acre forest had become thick and overgrown in the decade since the world had fallen apart.

Vic remembered it from elementary school field trips, middle school solo explorations, high school one-on-one adventures with just the right second person – or at least the person that had seemed right at the time.  Several persons, several times.

Now, you couldn’t step between the trees except at the path, and the path had been blocked with a parked truck.  It looked safe.  It looked like a good place to hide out.Vic used the back wheel as a step-stool to look over the beast of a vehicle, only to end up looking at the tip of a rifle. Continue reading

Chasing Myths – a Fae Apoc story for Patreon

The Council had Geraldine chasing fairy tales and urban legends.

There were two things Geraldine knew without a doubt about the High Council of the Shenera Endraee.

The first was that they were immensely slow to change, change happening more often because a Council member had been overthrown (which occurred perhaps twice a millennium) than because they’d agreed to it as a group.

The second was that they were very, very attached to their regulations. Continue reading