So, I have a few long overdue announcements to make.
I am going to be published. First of all, I’m going to have a poem published in a book called Klarissa Dreams: a collection filled with short stories and poems inspired by and including paintings created by the artist Klarissa Koscis. All proceeds from this book will go to Cancer and Lupus charities. It is for a good cause and I am proud to be part of such a marvellous collaboration and in very good company.
Second of all, on August the 28th I am going to have a three-part Sequart article published every two weeks. I am not going to go into the specifics as to what it is, but I will say that it has to do with the subject of horror … and you may have heard me talking about at least one of the elements in it, and one creator in particular. I will say no more, but it took a lot of work: about four days and a few more to look over it. So I am definitely looking forward to releasing this.
I may also have a story out in Gil Williamson’s online magazine Mythaxis at some point in the near-future as well for its lucky number 13 issue.
So these are the three publications that I will be coming out relatively soon. But I also have another bit of news for all of you. Do you remember The Secret Project that I have been alluding to? The one that I sometimes hint on, but I never quite come out with a straight answer. Well, let me just say that I have, in fact, given you some clues as to what it is that I have been working on.
For while characters, plot and setting are all seemingly separate entities, a wise fictional being once said, “Everything is connected.”
That’s right: I am going to be participating in The Dark Crystal Author’s Quest! Basically, I am going to write a 7,500 to 10,000 typed word story (about 25-40 pages) and outline for a Prequel story to The Dark Crystal. It will take place during an era known as The Gelfling Gathering: essentially that place in time on Thra when all the events that lead up to the Prophecy and the Wall of Destiny occur. It is a time when the Skeksis and the urRu Mystics are still young and Gelfing civilization still exists as part of the Skeksis Empire … before the Empire turns on them.
And, somehow, I am going to be writing a story based on the era, in this world, based on this archetypal, mythopoeic Jim Henson movie. Of everyone entering, five of us will be chosen and given editorial feedback so that a 50,000 or more-word novel can be created (about 200 pages) and then … even though Thra has three suns, there can be only one at the Great Conjunction.
I have my work cut out for me. A past version of myself would think that I am insane. You see, I’ve mostly been writing short stories, vignettes and even poems for years now: with the occasional strange thing that may or may not be interpreted as “novel-length.” But, in addition to all of that I am also working on a short story that I will go into more detail about later and dealing with employment issues.
And this isn’t even covering the fact that Thra is a massive entirely alien world with plants that act like animals and animals that act like plants, and there are massively different environments and different kinds of Gelfling as well. In addition, there are many details that aren’t even covered by the books that are out there! So not only am I going to have to struggle with my inherent spatial difficulty with regards to geography, Thra sacred geometry and keeping track of the various creatures and characters I need to flesh out, I also have to make stuff up and make it plausible.
Let’s also not forget that Gelfling are not human: even if they are the most identifiable and relatable beings in that world.
So to say this is intimidating is an understatement. It can actually be downright terrifying. But I have been doing my homework at least to this regard. Even though I have not been novel writing like many of my peers have done and are doing, I am taking notes. I have consulted and read through The World of the Dark Crystal, Legends and the Creation Myths that exist so far. I read the novelization of the film. I’ve watched and I am going to re-watch the film. I am reading through the new definitive Encyclopedia in progress that the Jim Henson Company and Grosset & Dunlap are making for the site I linked to above.
And I am participating in the Community Forums. You should check them out at some point. The users there are very friendly and helpful too. We have conjectured a lot of things and are trying to figure out some details together. I am the urSkek “MaKir” if you are interested in looking. I also did one more thing. I started a topic called Story Sketches: a place where I hope that others will show off like me and post excerpts of their writing or samples of their writing in the world of Thra. The two vignettes I made are a diagnostic to see if I can write in the world of Thra: to make that conceptual gateway for myself using two characters that are not really in The Gelfling Gathering era.
So feel free to watch my progress, or the lack thereof, as I tackle and attempt to add my rhythm to a song of an entire world with a Crystal at its core. I have one or two more things to do first: a review and a short story, but this will continue. I plan to make a rough outline and see where I can go from there.
I am excited and terrified and I would like to take you with me as much as I can. So stay tuned: for just as there are cracks in the Dark Crystal, so too are there as many paths that I have yet to travel.
*Breathes slowly out*
All right. Let’s do this.