Reginald the Rabbit

Behold Reginald.

I mentioned last week we had at least one rabbit. This be he and he be Reginald.

Take a moment to appreciate his sleek, graceful, chewing style. No grass goes unnoticed. A connoisseur of salads, this one.

And an avid gardener.

He’s ever watchful for succulent buds, nascent flora, all are under his watchful eye.

 

Character is… (Part 2.5) – Gestures and Mannerisms are…

This is the sixth in an ongoing series of StoryCrafting/StoryTelling posts I’m publishing for my own benefit; explaining something helps me determine if I’ve truly learned it or am simply parroting what others have offered. I learn my weak spots, what I need to study, et cetera.

Previous offerings include:

I Pitched Nine Agents in Two Days – Six said Yes! Here’s What I Learned (Conversations)

I recently had a fascinating week; Nine agents (including the ones who weren’t interested in my work) shared industry insights and offered suggestions for improving my pitch.

The is the second installment in the I Pitched Nine Agents in Two Days – Six said Yes! Here’s What I Learned series and deals with the conversations I had with them. The first installment dealt with Do’s and Don’t’s the agents shared with me during the day. The last installment (available starting 28 Oct 2020) details the evolution of my pitch based on their suggestions.

Note the following comments deal with fiction markets exclusively. Some elements may apply to non-fiction publishers, agents, authors, and titles, and my conversations were about fiction books.

Enjoy!


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Cymodoce (Part 2)

Cymodoce seems to be one of my best loved stories. EU actress Sabine Rossbach performed a reading of it and talks about it often (see Sabine Rossbach’s Happy Hour – 14 May 2020 Interview (wherein she waxes wonderfully about “Empty Sky”) for an example), parAbnormal published it in June 2019, there’s an ebook version and it appears in Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires.

By the way, a prominent Brit-based publisher and I have entered contract negotiations for Tales. It may not be self-published much longer. I’d suggest getting a copy now. Big changes are in the works, it seems.

 
I’ve broken the story into three parts starting with Cymodoce (Part 1).

Creator and above level members can download the entire Tales PDF version here


Cymodoce (Part 2)

Jenny returned to the cottage to finish her last book. She had two hundred pages to go. That would finish the day. Tomorrow, she would close up the cottage and head back to New York, back to the silent security of teaching Drama to the Deaf.

The sun was strong and Jenny realized she hadn’t even bothered to get a tan so she put on a baggy pair of shorts, a bathing top, sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat, shoved an apple and penknife in her pocket, grabbed her book and wheeled a beach lounger outside. With one hundred pages left, she heard something. It sounded like the clacking of lobster buoys adrift in the shallows. Sounds didn’t make her nervous, but she knew every sound the cottage, the island and the ocean could make. This wasn’t one of them. Either someone was playing a joke or someone was hurt. She wasn’t sure if the locals could be that immature, but she wouldn’t put it past them. Twenty-five pages later she heard it again.

The sound came off and on with the wind. Unsure what it was, she investigated.

It stopped as she neared the dock.

“Hello?”

There was nothing there. No signs of any craft except Jenny’s own securely moored boat. She started back up the path and it started again.

There was a man lying among the rocks on the shore.

She walked towards him. “Are you all right?”

His naked body was cut and bruised in several places. Parts of a nylon fishing net cut into his flesh. The wounds had festered. His legs were bound in various lines. He rolled onto his stomach as she neared. His back was blistered from the sun.

“My God, what happened to you?”


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Hey! You Know What? I’m one of 30 Amazing Authors! It Says So Right On the Cover!

“The Magic Tassels” is in The Write Festival’s Fantastic Stories Anthology

This is one of those fantastic times when an editor contacts you and asks you to submit a story to a festival.

“Are you saying I’ll win?”

No, the editor wasn’t. The editor was asking me to submit a story to a festival.

Because she likes my work and believed it’d be a nice fit.

“Are you one of the judges?”

No.

So what the heck, go for it!

I submitted The Magic Tassels thinking I didn’t have a chance.

Turns out I did.

I received an email that my work was shortlisted.

Then I received an email that it was going to be published.

And you know what?

I’m so glad!

 

 
Want to know the story behind the story?
Long ago I studied cultural anthropology/behavioral psychology specifically with indigenous communities and as a participant/observer.

Part of that participant/observerness meant learning what they wanted to teach me. One thing I learned is that there are twelve disciplines (that I know of) within most Shamanic Communities regardless of their location, environment, …

One such discipline is that of StoryKeeper and another is StoryTeller. People confuse the two and StoryKeeping is a different discipline from StoryTelling. Both are extremely important to the people.

StoryTelling is the use of traditional mythologies and related cultural metaphors to guide the people, heal the tribe, remind, teach, et cetera. If you’ve ever been with someone who could hold your attention, cause your imagination to fire, make your heart pound and breath come in gasps while they told a story, you’ve been with someone who, in traditional cultures, would be the people’s StoryTeller. StoryTeller disciplines appear in modern societies as everything from stand-up comics to psychotherapists to engaging lecturers to (ahem) authors.

StoryKeepers and StoryTellers may share a few stories in common and that’s where the similarity ends. StoryKeepers are the living histories of their people. StoryTellers will create new stories based on need, StoryKeepers can’t with a few specific exceptions.

StoryKeepers’ role is to preserve the history, unchanged, from generation to generation while adding each generation’s story to the history of the people. It is no small task and various cultures have methods for developing a memory that blends synaesthetic recall (think “full sensory eiditic memory”) with hyperthymesia, et cetera. Modern studies have shown that these methods make use of neuroplasticity to a high degree and people trained in such disciplines have described “feeling” their brains making new connections.

One thing required of all StoryKeepers is that they create a story that tells of their coming into the tradition. So the two occasions when StoryKeepers add to the people’s history are when they add their own story to the tribe’s tradition and as new historical elements are added (usually with agreement of the people).

“The Magic Tassels” was my addition to one culture’s history when they asked me to become a StoryKeeper of their people.