Eighteen short stories in 2018!

I helped kick off 2018 by prepping lots and lots of food for my sister’s annual New Year’s Eve party. I couldn’t eat most of it, of course – I have a few food allergies which make dining experiences a bit of a challenge. But I was able to drink the prosecco! 🙂

My favorite recipe was the cucumber soup. Okay, it’s also the only dish I tried, and that’s just because I spilled some on my fingers while I was filling up these cute little glasses. But it was scrumptious nonetheless. I believe the recipe called for two cucumbers, one avocado, lime, and salt. You puree all that, then add a few drops of avocado oil on top.

I also helped prep a lot of other dishes. I don’t actually know what everything was, but I did put the salmon ceviche in this photo on toothpicks, along with cherry tomatoes and chunks of red bell pepper. I also stuffed wontons, chopped chives, and stuck toothpicks in a variety of things. And see all those sparkly decorations on the table? I scattered those around the room for decoration until my fingers got sore from turning the little circles right-side up.

After enjoying the festivities for a few hours, I came home and celebrated the new year by drinking wine, eating nachos (yes, I know you’re not supposed to drink wine with nachos, but I do), and playing ball with Rosie and Jasper. It was a great evening!

My latest writing project is a quest story based off of “The Glass Coffin,” a fairy tale recorded by The Brothers Grimm. It appears as “The Crystal Coffin” in The Green Fairy Book by Andrew Lang.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The man walked across the room toward her bed. Maude watched him, with growing dread. As he got closer she recognized him – it was Roderick, from dinner. What was he doing in her bedchamber? And why couldn’t she move, nor utter the slightest sound?

Roderick sat on the edge of her bed and took her hand in his. The cold, hard metal of the ring he wore on his pinky finger rubbed against her skin.

“My dearest Maude,” he said. The moonlight cast shadows across his face. “I apologize for waking you, but I simply couldn’t wait until tomorrow. I caused that lovely music to play in order to awaken you. I have fallen in love with you, and want you to be my bride.”

His bride? Who broke into a woman’s rooms, cast a magic spell so she couldn’t escape, and then proposed?

– from the first draft of a story based on “The Glass Coffin

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I’m changing the story a bit – for example, in the traditional tale the protagonist is a tailor who frees the girl from the glass coffin, but I’m writing this from the girl’s viewpoint. (I came up with the names Maude and Roderick – no one appears to have a name in the original story.) It’s interesting to work with an existing story like this. I’ve cut out a few things and am making a few slight changes here and there, but the core of the story is the same. I even wrote an outline. I knew I needed to stick with the basic story, so having an outline is very helpful because the structure is already set, and this way I won’t veer off course.

I’ve committed to writing at least eighteen short stories this year, so after this fairy tale story, I’ll only have seventeen to go! 🙂 Eighteen does seem a bit alarming, especially considering all the other stuff I’ve got on my list as well (novels, anthologies, and I even have a short vacation coming up! Hooray!). But I know it’s doable – I just have to be really, really diligent about staying on track. Over the past week I spent a lot of time getting things organized – for example, I have the artwork picked out and the basic cover design done for the next three books in the faery series. I figure the further ahead I get, the less stressed I’ll be – and I’ll also be better able to adjust to whatever unexpected things come up, since of course something will happen sooner or later…

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