From the Vault: Langue

Another fragment. Another incomplete story. Distinctive this time because A) I have absolutely no recollection of writing it (though it’s clearly something I wrote) and B) I have absolutely no idea where I was going with it. But it seems interesting to me.

In a way, it’s more stock than a lot of what I’ve written, particularly for fantasy. At the same time, there’s more of a horror dimension than a lot of my fantasy work.

It’s also distinctive because it’s one of the few stories to involve Fort Baxter, a fictional Maine town along the Canadian border, meant to be my home town of Fort Kent with serial numbers filed sort of off and a fresh coat of paint over it.

I think I probably wrote this while I was finishing up college. I was really into the idea of language critical theory/linguistic critical theory/the sign-significator-significated trichotomy for a while then. I’m a little surprised this isn’t more pretentious than it is as a result.

Apropos of nothing, the lead is named Karin MacDougal.  In 1997, a Karen McDougal became a somewhat more-famous-than-usual Playboy Playmate and then Playmate of the Year. From the tone of this piece, I believe it was written at least four and possibly more years before 1997, so despite the name, this is not an homage to a hot chick.

Also apropos of nothing, I used to make homemade hot cocoa like is described in here.

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The Old Ways, Chapter Five

And here, we have ourselves at Chapter Five — the last written chapter. There is about half of Chapter Six written, and then no more of The Old Ways, at least so far.

Will there be more? I guess that depends on what people think. Let me know what you think of this particular chapter, but also let me know what you think of the series in general. I appreciate it.

On the whole, even if I never pick this back up — and it’s worth noting my father likes The Old Ways, so there’s every chance I will — I’m glad to have written at least this much. This has been a different kind of story for me.

It is worth noting that the ultimate idea would have been less fantasy adventure and more ‘breakdown of civility into the bush a la Heart of Darkness, which is hinted at in this chapter, just slightly.

Have fun.

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The Old Ways, Chapter Four

And so we hit Chapter Four of The Old Ways. It seems to be gathering some fans, which is nice. Among those fans is my father, who’s also a big fan of Theftworld. I think some depth comes into play in this one.

For the record, as of yesterday we’d broken 200,000 words on this site, not counting comments. Which is a good amount of content for 70 days of blog existence, any way you look at it.

It kind of scares me that we’ve been doing this for seventy days already.

Anyhow. Here’s Jack and the merry band.

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The Old Ways, Chapter Three

Here we have Chapter Three. Some of the feedback’s been quite amazing, and I’m really glad to get it. I get the feeling a number of people like The Old Ways, at least in theory, but the execution is a bit off.

On the other hand, I think this chapter begins to move more towards narrative and less towards storytelling devices (though not all of the way, of course), and people might think it’s finding its place now. Or not. We’ll see. Regardless, enjoy!

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The Old Ways, Chapter Two

And here we are with Chapter Two of The Old Ways. Chapter One had a mixed response. I’m a little curious to see if some of the concerns are addressed with Chapter Two, or if this is, in the end, more of the same. It’s a significantly different style than most of my other writing, which might or might not be a good thing.

Anyway, remember this series goes to chapter five, and then goes to the back of my brain to ferment. In the meantime, enjoy!

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The Old Ways, Chapter One

I don’t know whether or not this will become a regular updated serial like “Interviewing Leather” or Theftworld or not. Once upon a time I’d thought to make a novel of this, but I’m not sure today whether I will or not. It’s a very different kind of work for me, really.

I guess it depends on how it’s received.

There are five completed chapters of The Old Ways right now. Maybe in five weeks — assuming I post all five — I’ll decide if I want to finish writing chapter six or not. In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how to explain this one. It’s got some Tolkien in it, and some C.S. Lewis, but it also has some Jane Austin and the Brontë sisters in it too. A tragedy of manners, perhaps.

I dunno. Regardless, here it is. Let me know what you think.

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Dreamers (a fragment)

This is a story fragment — one I wrote in the mid 1990’s.

I assume.

It’s in my style. It’s in my files. It’s definitely one of mine from the Kinko’s years. And I have absolutely no memory of it.

It’s not impossible it was something I discussed with my friend Mason Kramer, or perhaps my friend Chris Angelini, or also perhaps my friend Gary Olson, as they were all writing for Superguy at the time — as was I, as has been detailed elsewhere — and both dealt quite a lot with dreamers and dreamweavers.

Though this doesn’t seem to be about the same thing at all.

I don’t think that’s where I intended to stop the story. I assume I meant to write more. But I have no idea. I don’t remember this at all.

So. I pass it to you, for your thoughts and impressions. Should I pursue this one? Should I not? Should I have… pie?

Let me know. And please enjoy.

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Automotive Care

It’s Storytelling day, and I have a short story for you all. This one is about a year old. I finished it and sent it off on the rounds to the usual suspects. No one nibbled, and I’m not sure I can blame them. But still, it’s grist for the mill, right?

This is fantasy — urban fantasy, which starts from a relatively shopworn fantasy trope (the Mayan Long Count Calendar expires in 2011-2012ish time, and then the whole world changes and magic comes back yadda yadda yadda) in use most prominently in Shadowrun, but takes a real world approach on it. It’s not magical warriors throwing spells in the darkness that would most show a change from a scientific world to a fantasy world, it’s the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Or in this case, the automobile industry.

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