“The Little Knitty Dragon” is in Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 7

It’s so good to know one is loved. So warming, comforting. Appreciated.

So it is with the Harvey Duckman Presents anthologies. I’m flattered and honored to be among their regular authors (according to Harvey Duckman Publisher Gillie Hatton).

What’s personally wonderful to me is receiving comments like “…your Knitty Dragon story makes me cry every time I read it!”

And not only from Gillie, but others on the HDP staff. When one’s work has a strong personal, visceral reaction from readers… Means I achieved my goal. Means I moved the reader. Made them feel. Think.

Gotta love it.

Get your copy now while supplies last and read wondrous tales by fellow Harvey authors Tamara Clelford, Peter James Martin, Mark Hayes, Kate Baucherel, Marios Eracleous, and others.

 

“The Boy in the Giant” is in Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 6!

Once again the Great and Wise C.G. Hatton, gracious editor of the Harvey Duckman Presents series, has deemed me worthy to be included in the latest publication, Harvey Duckman Volume 6

 
The included story is The Boy in the Giant, previously published with LadySparrohawk’s amazing artwork.

You could read the story on this blog, and you’d lose out on all the other amazing stories by fellow Harvey authorssuch as Mark Hayes, Peter James Martin, C.G. Hatton, Andy Hill, Alexandrina Brant, and Ben McQueeney, and you wouldn’t want to do that…

And thanks to #weareallharvey for accepting me into the fold.

Don Quitamo Sails

This story appears in the Harvey Duckman Presents Pirates issue.

 
I explain the story’s genesis here. Subscribers get to read the full story below and should also pick up a copy of the Harvey Duckman Presents Pirates issue. All others, here’s a taste…and do pick up the Harvey Duckman Presents Pirates issue, as well.


Don Quitamo Sails

Don Quitamo rested his head on fine silk pillows and pulled the most excellent satin sheets over his body. Waves rocked his ship lulling him to sleep.

“Sleep well, Lord Quitamo.”

His cabin door closed quietly and latched, secured. He relaxed and allowed his mind to wander. Seldom did The Lady Eglesia’s captain get a full night’s rest.

Behind closed lids the cabin grew dim. He thought ‘She snuffed out the candles’ and soon slept.

How long he slept he wasn’t sure. The ship chronometer’s eyes glowed in the dark, moving back and forth as they ticked off the seconds of the watch, its tail swishing rhythmically as if time, too, obeyed the sea’s waves.

First Mate León, his shoulders like a lion’s and his hair a golden halo about his head, called through the horn. “Your forgiveness, Lord Quitamo. The Merchant Vessel Tyree hails us from the shoulders of Orion.”

He shrugged off sleep with his satin sheets, rising and reaching for his cutlass in one continuous motion. “I know no Merchant Vessel Tyree. What colors do they hail?

“They hail safe and well, Lord Quitamo. They say they’ve been followed through four starfields but the other ship won’t identify.”

“Call for full sail.”

His command spread like fire. The Lady Eglesia spread her wings until so much white filled the sky nebulae grew jealous.

The Lady Eglesia, the smartest ship of the fleet, emboldened her icon and stood it before him. “Where are we questing today, Lord Quitamo?”

“Show me suns I’ve never seen. Show me skies that have never known man.”

The Lady Eglesia’s ports opened. Energies spread along her sides like water spilling from a deck’s good washing. In a moment her hull hardened such that no life, no forces, weapons neither energy nor mass driven, could penetrate her.

“Now, my lord?”

“Now.”

Once again her wings lifted, filling with so much sunlight she rose from the oceans and gravity no longer claimed her.

“Prepare me for the bowsprit.”

He strode confidently, knowing The Lady Eglesia would protect her Good Captain, and in a moment felt her energies caress and cover him with a second flesh. Seals opened and closed as he walked until he stood with nothing but space under his feet.

The Lady Eglesia sent her energies forward, questing like dolphins in the night, leaping above the surface of the space-time continuum until they found entry, and diving they pulled her through the folds of space to the Tyree, her aft guns blazing at a ship flying no colors, dark in the night, the Tyree’s shells falling far from their mark.

The Lady Eglesia surfaced from deep space, Lord Quitamo’s Golden Sunfish on her prow.

The Tyree’s mainlight signaled: May the Tides of Space befriend thee, Lord Quitamo.

Don Quitamo gave the order and The Lady Eglesia’s lights signaled back: And you as well, Good Captain.

Quitamo called into the horn, “Bring me along side her.”

First Lieutenant Oso, The Lady Eglesia’s gunnery officer, called back. “The far ship won’t answer a hail, Good Captain, and her battledoors are open. She could be preparing to fire.”

“Lady Eglesia, rig for battle. Prepare the batteries. Strengthen your sides and hull.”


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“Don Quitamo Sails” is in Harvey Duckman Presents Special Pirates Issue!

C.G. Hatton, the gracious and EverWise editor of the Harvey Duckman Presents series, mentioned a few months back that Harvey was planning a special Pirates issue. Would I be interested in submitting a story?

 
My immediate response was “Sorry, I don’t have anything in inventory even remotely to do with pirates.”

But then I remembered a story idea I had almost two years previous. I was driving around back country roads (a favorite pastime of mine. Gives me a chance to relax, think, flush out some cobwebs, work out story ideas, plots, develop characters, refine dialogue, all those good authory things. And smoke a cigar), turned around a bend in the road and BOOM! I saw a ship plying the ocean, a man straight out of Procol Harem‘s Conquistador, one foot up on the gunwhale and staring ahead from the bow, humanish creatures racing about the deck, the ship, The Lady Eglesia, under full sail and suddenly her sails became wings as she lifted from ocean to air and then changed again to a hull as she slipped through the atmosphere into space.

 
I literally pulled over to the side of the road and made notes. A full page and a half. The opening straight through to the introduction of the Merchant Vessel Tyree calling for help as a dark ship pursued her through space. Even the title, Don Quitamo Sails.

Wow.

I mean, just wow.

“Yeah, sure, I may have something for you. Give me a bit.”

I had no idea where the story was going. Truth be told, I had no idea what the story was about.

And aside from a few books I’d read researching anthropology and linguistics issues, I didn’t know much about pirates, ancient through modern (although they are a fascinating study, I’ve come to realize).

So where did the story go?

Stop being the author, start being a character.

 
My studies of storycrafting and storytelling caused me to create helpful (to me) adages. Example: when you’re stuck, stop being the author of the story and start being one of the characters in the story.

Another great one comes from Cozy author Donna Huston Murray; when you’ve run out of things to do with your protagonist, write about what the antagonist is doing.

Thankee, Donna, works every time.

So I became Don Quitamo for fifteen-twenty minutes.

And the story revealed itself to me.

And here’s what author and fellow Harveyist Mark Hayes wrote about Don Quitamo Sails:

Joseph Carrabis first came to my attention in the third Harvey Duckman volume with one of the oddest and in many ways most beautiful short stories I’d read in an age. In this regard he represents all that is great about been involved in the Harvey Duckman Anthologies for me, because they give the reader (and the writers for that matter,) a chance to discover new authors they would never otherwise have come across. He is not alone in capturing my interest, he is one of several authors that I have been lucky enough to discover through Harvey and while not every Harvey author may have become my favorite, every one of them has becomes someones I suspect. Joseph in this regard, is one of mine, (but don’t tell him that…) mainly because I never know what to expect from one of his stories.

Yeah, I’m liking it.

And thanks to #weareallharvey for signing me aboard.

Other fine authors are in the Pirates issue include Liz Tuckwell, R. Bruce Connelly, Nils Nisse Visser, Mark Hayes, Peter James Martin, C.G. Hatton, Andy Hill, and Kate Baucherel (and you should read them all).

The Lonely Oak’s in Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 5!

Once again, I am honored.

The glorious, wise, and beautiful folks at Sixth Elem6ent, home of Harvey Duckman Presents and many awesome, independent books, published The Lonely Oak in Harvey Duckman Presents Volume 5.

 
(and they want more of my work!)

Whoa!

Other fine authors are in HDP5 as well. (you should read them all)

(have to see if i can get a few more links in that opening paragraph…)