Events and an Award's Arrival
There's been so much fun with Mr Impoppable lately, some podcast chats, a workshop I taught on the weekend, and even a story that I forgot to mention here. Fierce Happening was a long time coming, I have the first words in a notebook somewhere from around twenty years ago (even for me that is a loooong gestation). But please do check it out.
Kathleen Jennings that most astute of readers had this to say about it on her wonderful and much more furnished blog than this one.
This shape — moving from obligation into experience, the determined carrying-out of an obligation conferred too young — means a story can rattle along at a fast pace without feeling like its plot has been laboriously constructed.
In terms of that pacing — incident packed into a relatively short wordcount in a way that makes it seem longer, not squashed — it reminded me of Tina S Zhu’s considerably shorter “Recipe” (here in the September 2022 notes).
“Fierce Happening” is longer, and doesn’t compress and build from a traditional structure in the same way as “Recipe”. But it does compress its worldbuilding — in this case, not by relying on an already-known story-shape to fill it in, but by simply NOT filling it in, and letting the reader keep up as best they can.
Also, if you’ve read Trent Jamieson’s novels Day Boy and/or The Stone Road (do!), this is revisits a concern of that storyworld: responsibilities necessarily taken on young, and a character growing into/through them.
There's something about walking houses that has fascinated me for just about forever, and I really had to consider their guts - you don't get that sort of locomotion without a serious digestive system.
Here's a little something, completely unconnected that I wrote a few years back (it did not take me multiple decades.
The House came over the hill, knuckle-kneed and crackling. Step, step, down the steep slope, and the lady cackled and drove her lads ahead with a stick and a rattle made of stolen teeth. “Hurry, boys. Hurry, or I’ll swallow you up.” I’d never seen such horror on little boy’s faces, nor such consternation on the neighbours’. Property values plummeted with every step. But what are homes for if not to keep out witches, and to let them in? “Stories for a meal,” she said, knocking on my door, after her house had settled in the vacant lot at number eighteen. I flung the door wide, and she ate my noisy children, gulp, gulp, but the stories were worth it, and my house works much better now with legs.
Here's Brent and I at Quick Brown Fox Bookshop, just before an extremely fun event.
We're off to Mad Hatters Bookshop next.
Oh, and here's my shiny new Aurealis Award, sitting next to its siblings. One of which is for Cracks the short story that was the basis of The Stone Road, who'd have thought!
Oh, and the Audio Book of The Stone Road, read by the incredible Katherine Littrell is due for release on the 11th of July. Get your ears ready!