Did someone say “blogging more often?”

Oh, right, I did! Haha, that sounds just like me, right before I disappear. Still… here I am? How are you?

I do feel like the new Patreon (Fake Folktales!) is off to a better start than a dilettantish ne’er-do-well like myself had any right to expect, so that’s something. Thank you to everyone who’s joined me on this silly adventure so far. Another story is coming in early December. I’m trying even as we speak to whittle it down to a more manageable length, or figure out how to split it in two, or something. Maybe it’s fine and I’m fretting for no reason. I guess I have a little time to figure that out.

In other news: I am actually, in fact, drawing again. I hadn’t wanted to admit it, in case drawing turned out to be utterly unlike riding a bicycle. I’m learning to draw digitally, since my drafting table didn’t survive the last move and I was more prone to elbowing inkbottles than was good for me in any case. So that’s been a learning curve, haha. I spent a recent fever dream trying to work out which layers (in the digital art sense) of Northern Irish history contained the IRA and editing out the colour of fear, which turned out to be a particular shade of brown (learning to make digital art + Derry Girls finale + second shingles vax = weirdness all night, apparently).

That said: my grandma had shingles in her eye! I would get vaxed again! But whoo, yeah, that was a tough night, and not just from an editing standpoint.

Anyway… do I sound a bit jolly? I DO sound a bit jolly, even to my own jaded ear. Well, that’s something. If I create any particularly ridiculous pictures, you shall be the first to know.

Fake Folktales, and other tidbits

Friends! Hello! Yes, it has been a long time since I posted. I’ll tell you what: the pandemic, plus getting my son through the end of high school, plus finishing In the Serpent’s Wake, plus… well, that’s probably plenty, even if it wasn’t everything. ALL OF THAT has been a lot, and I really only finally just now (long line of adverbs means I’m SERIOUS) feel like I’m crawling out from under the rubble and can breathe again.

Breathe and like, take in the spectacularly disorienting view of the rubble all around us. Ye gods, where are we?

It strikes me that “Ye gods, where are we?” is a question people have been asking for a very long time, and attempting to answer with folktales. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I wrote another novel, while I was buried under that pile, a middle grade novel set on the border of Samsam and Goredd a hundred years before the events of Seraphina, about plague and ghosts and regret. It was a joy to write, and easily the best first draft I’d ever written, but alas, it looks like it will not be finding a forever publishing home just now, in its current form (meaning either the novel in its current form, or the publishing industry in ITS current form, take your pick). I had to sulk about this for a while — my superhero name is, after all, The Incredible Sulk — but that, too, is beginning to ebb. I have set that draft aside, for the moment, and I am finding other ways forwarrd.

One way is: I have begun drawing again, and working on a new story. Maybe… mmmmaybe there are more comics in my future?

*ducks flying objects; I assume these are missles of joy and anticipation*

The other way, however, is that I’ve started a Patreon for the many folktales I’ve written over the years, and the ones still to come. These are the sorts of stories that come to me most readily, in fact, due largely to the fact that I had Andrew Lang’s Chromatic Fairy Books checked out of the library almost constantly from about 1978-1983 (my apologies if you were wanting to read them then and they were unavailable). The frame story for the Patreon, of course, is that these are tales from Goredd, Ninys, Samsam, etc. that I, a scholar, have collected. There will be erudite commentaries by guest scholars (monks, dragons, and the like), and the occasional illustration and/or song.

Maybe all this delightful nonsense could be collected into a book someday, but mostly… I just need to rest and frolic and play for a while? In the Serpent’s Wake, and all my novels, really (except my dearest, currently unpublishable one) have been WORK. I loved them, and I suffered mightily in the writing, and I am tired, still, years later. I have a magnificent idea for an Adult Novel, but it looms before me like a terrible craggy mountain. I have been too emotionally exhausted to make it past the tree line. But I’ve been running on fumes, I guess. I need to refill the well (and to mix metaphors, with impunity!). Messing about with folklore and draconic scholarly commentaries sounds SO NICE right now.

You — yes, you! — are cordially invited to come watch me be a sillyperson, help support my work, and have a super-partyriffic-goodtime over at my FAKE FOLKTALES Patreon.

I know funds are tight all over, so I will understand if you can’t make it, or are only there sometimes. But what the heck, I will strive to be right here a bit more often, for free. Before Facebook and Twitter became the One-Stop Super-Shop for seeing all your computer friends at once, we used to blog. We’d go around from site to site and it was like leaning over the neighbours’ fence, shooting the breeze, exchanging cookie recipes.

I’ve missed that. I’ve missed people. I am far too good at this self-isolating thing (like, SERIOUS talent, do they give out Nobel Prizes for battening down the hatches and seeing no one forever). But here: the doors are open. Let’s see if I can keep them that way.