The sequel to The Stone Dragon is Dragons of Blood and Stone, awaiting the revising process. It was a great gift and surprise to me, though, that in the last two weeks I have finished the rough drafts of three short stories and have also had a chance to engage in multiple revisions of two of the stories. These three stories are set in the DBS universe.
What a wonderful way to end the year!
- The first short story, set in il-Barat and the desert north of that village, is 8,500 words. (This is literally off the map of the DSB universe--to the southeast of the Sand Barrens.) Entitled "Who Listened to Dragons," I started with the idea of listening as a magical talent, to listen or attend so well that possibilities emerged from a situation that were so striking and extraordinary that they seemed . . . well, magical. I added to the drama of the story by making one of the two main characters a six-year-old autistic child--the "listener."
- The second short story, 2,500 words long, is entitled "River's Daughter." It takes place on the Makepeace River and involves a water elemental. The challenge I set for myself was to create a dramatic story about a water elemental (or naiad), and how this embodiment of the laws of nature interacts with humanity yet is totally unattached to humanity--totally inhuman, one might say. I wanted the spirit to be totally good and giving, as nature can be, and equally totally deadly and dangerous, as nature can be. Two sisters who live by the river are the main characters. The forces of nature can be scary, and I tried to include that in this story.
- I wrote the third story, "Cobb's Dragon," with a kinder, gentler ending. At 2,500 words, it is the story of--you guessed it--Cobb, a cobbler's son. The story takes place past Outland in the passes of the Eagle Cap mountains, above the timberline, between two lands--the Empire and the Freelands. The main conflict is that Cobb doesn't want to be a cobbler. His discovery is that one can be many things--some prosaic and some fantastic. I've been thinking about Cobb for several years, really. He will have a place when the Dragons of Blood and Stone series moves east from the Freelands to the Empire.
I've had a wonderful end to 2011 and will let you know when the short stories are available. I will make them available as e-stories--and at least two of them will be for free. The best of all success and happiness to all in 2012! It looks like I'll be busy, and that makes me happy.
Copyright 2011 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved
Image copyright 2006 by Holly Smith, Flicker