Fairy tales and Jasper’s 5th Gotcha Day!

I finished a story, again! 🙂 I actually finished this one a week ago, but my writing group (and my mom – hi, Mom!) pointed out a few things I needed to work on. This is a fairy tale story based on “The Glass Coffin” from The Brothers Grimm (also called “The Crystal Coffin” in Andrew Lang’s The Green Fairy Book). The feedback was that I’d been a little too true to the original fairy tale in ways that are a bit hard to accept in fairy tale retelling, and as soon as I heard that I was like OH RIGHT. I made a few modifications, procrastinated because I wasn’t sure what to do, and then figured it out and finished patching up the story. It’s called “Magic and Machinery,” and will be out in an anthology in about a month.

Jasper’s first hike in 2013!
Tomorrow is Jasper’s Gotcha Day! Five years ago I drove to Omaha, Nebraska with my friend Kristin. I’d seen photos and one short video of Jasper, and had spoken with his foster person, but made the eight hour drive knowing that if it didn’t feel like a good fit I’d have spent two vacation days for naught. It was, of course, an awesome fit. At one point I turned to Kristin and asked if I was making a mistake, and she said something like: “You wanted a friendly, super high energy border collie. He’s exactly what you were looking for.” And he was – and still is!!!

Ready to go hiking!
Eleven months later we adopted Rosie, not realizing what a perfect match these two would be. We are very, very lucky!!!

I’ve written two stories with cat protagonists, several more with feline side characters, but so far only one with a dog character. Coincidentally, that dog looks an awful lot like Jasper. 🙂 I have one more story idea with a dog side character, but have never written anything where the dog is the main character. Not that I have to, of course, but I’m trying to figure out why cats are so easy to write. Or perhaps they’re not, and I just have found the right personalities for my cat characters, so they’ve felt easy?

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He set the crystal down on the table and touched one side of the glass box that sat in the middle of the table. “This contains the inn itself.” He waved a hand at the other vials. “And each of those holds one of the people you met at the inn—every guest, every member of the staff. Even the resident cat. And all of them will remain imprisoned until you agree to marry me.”

“Where is my brother?” Maude asked. Much to her annoyance, her voice wavered on the last word. Not only had Roderick transformed Gerhardt, he’d captured all of those other people—and the cat. They’d all been turned into vapor because of this madman’s obsession with her. The young man she’d spoken with at the concierge desk that morning, the charming tailor, the pair of little old ladies… She swallowed.

“Your brother, as I believe you surmised, has been turned into a stag,” he said. “He is now wandering the forest, eating daisies, or whatever it is that deer do.” He smiled. “I do hope he avoids the hunting party he and I saw earlier this morning. I don’t think they’ll recognize him in his current form.”

– from “Magic and Machinery”

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I’ve got a good start on the next story (that’s the fairy tale story with the dragon), and have a somewhat vague but coalescing idea for the story after that (it will involve dinosaurs – yes, dinosaurs). I’ve also done a LOT of cover research and experimentation over the past few days, and finally found the perfect font for the fairy tale anthology series I’m putting together. Now I just have to finalize the look and feel of the cover. My original cover scheme looks great on my computer, but turned out to be a bit harder to read on my iPad, so I’m trying out different colors and different formats.

But for now I’m going to go give Jasper a kiss. ❤️

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