Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mapmaking for a Fantasy World

I doodled up a map for the fantasy world I’m creating in my head right now. I’m pleased with the result! Ever since I was little, I’ve made maps of imaginary places. Distinct in my memory are the times when I would get home from elementary school and hop on the PC at my Grandmother’s house, open up Paint, make a random squiggly blob, and promptly begin drawing in forests, mountains, and lakes on the virgin landmass. I would color it all in, and add black dots (of varying sizes to indicate population) around the map for cities and towns. I would then label everything with made up names. Yes, this is one of the things I did for fun as a child. 🙂 Turns out, I’m still doing it at 25!

Here’s my preliminary doodle of the fantasy land swirling into creation in my mind… what do you think?

(As you can see, it’s called Ihatenye. The numbers on the map within the dotted lines indicate the various territories of the tribes of the world.) Oh, and the map doesn’t indicate scale, but it’s a continent about the size of the United States.

Edited to add: Shoot, I think I should change the name of the world. I just realized that the name Ihatenye looks like “I hate nye”. What! Crapola. In my head it’s pronounced “ee-ha-ten-ya” but now all I can see is “I hate nye”. So, henceforth, it shall be spelled “Ihahtenye”. Or, “Ihetenye”. Or something. I’ll get it figured out. 🙂

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Novelettes

I’ve become interested in novelettes lately, and I wanted to share two that I’ve read with you. A novelette, as defined the the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, is between 7,500 and 17,500 words long. Next step down, it’s a short story, next step up, it’s a novella. I’m currently writing a horror story that will be novelette length when finished. I really love the story! All I’ll say is that it’s set in the Everglades, and the characters are a girl, a Cuban man, and his rooster, El Diablo. But enough about my story. Check this out:

A Google search for the phrase “short stories”: 714,000,000 results

A search for “novelettes” yields: 413,000 results

And one for “novellas” yields: 17,700,000 results

From those numbers it’s easy to see how novelettes rank against the popularity of the shorter and longer lengths of fiction! That’s a shame. I’m quite taken with them now, and I hope more people will recognize the length between 7,500 and 17,500 as one that can be rewarding to work with.

So, here are two novelettes I’ve read, and wanted to share:

 

The Migratory Patterns of Dancers  by Katherine Sparrow

This piece gave me a strange sense of uneasy fascination throughout to the very end.

 

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

I find myself thinking about this story a lot. I love Mr. Gaiman’s stylistic approach. It feels very impressionistic, almost dreamlike.

 

Do you have a novelette to recommend to me? Or one of your own? Let me know!

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The Devil and Thomas Wright – my first published story on Amazon!

Today, I took the plunge and published a short story on the Kindle store! Here’s the link! (As of right now, the cover image is not up yet on the Amazon page, though the story is now live.)

A short story by Jenny Gaines

Check it out!: The Devil and Thomas Wright

Image used for the cover of The Devil and Thomas Wright by Kriss Szkurlatowski

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My first Very Short Stories on Twitter

As she opened gifts of onesies, her family and friends looked on. Her husband didn’t watch; he was in the back room, with someone else.

This #vss on Twitter

Edited to add VSS #2!:

It was the shabbiest sweater in the thrift store. She asked if he would take a quarter; it was all she had. She left empty handed.

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Twitter!

I’m on Twitter now! @JennyFGaines

And, back home! Yay!

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iPad Difficulties

I’m still at my sister’s house for another few days until my husband gets done with training. Until then, I can only access the internet from my iPhone which has a badly cracked screen (translation: getting on the internet sucks right now).

Soon, I’ll be home and able to witness the power of my fully armed and operational wifi connection! Fire at will, commander!

Oops, brain went into Star Wars mode. Anyway, for some dang reason, my iPad will barely charge, which means my writing has suffered in productivity the last week (I use Storyist on the iPad for all of my writing- I have a backup notebook to write in, but I prefer typing). I finished a new short story called The Devil and Thomas Wright in the mini-bouts of precious battery charge I get for an hour each day. It’s a dark humor story that tells the final days of the jealous brother of the aviation pioneers, Wilbur and Orville Wright, and his deal with the Devil that proves to seal his fate.

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Brave

I watched the new(ish) animated film Brave tonight with my family as we happily dined on venison steaks, rice and gravy, greens, and macaroni and cheese. I think I enjoyed the food more than the movie. It left me feeling underwhelmed. The story seemed a bit weak to me, and besides, the whole human-magically-turned-into-a-bear thing has already been covered sufficiently by Disney with the charming movie Brother Bear.

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