Because my life isn’t made only of ash-spitting volcanoes…
A long, long time ago, I wrote a novel, Phoenix Rising, about which the least said the better (oh, all right, if you really want to know: it was set in a pseudo-Andalucian world and involved a hierarchy of storytellers/bards taken from Ancient Ireland. It was also, very much, 200,000 words of me not being a very good writer. Better than the previous novel I’d written, which was 200,000 words of derivative Robert Jordan, but not by much).
When I started being a Real WriterTM (defined as the time I started submitting the stuff I wrote in a timely manner), I tinkered with it for a while and then trunked it. However, while the novel itself might have had a lot of irretrievable flaws, I still liked the universe. I liked the Andalucian vibe, and I liked my poets, my minstrels, my housevoices and my loremasters and the world they were part of, and all the myths I made up while I was writing the novel. And I was really sad to let them go.
So I decided I was going to recycle bits and pieces. I abstracted a very small part of the novel’s mythos, an isolated incident that was only mentioned once–and wrote a short story around it.
It was a somewhat frustrating experience, because I ended up stripping far more of the context than I’d intended (the Andalucian vibe, in particular, sort of vanished somewhere into a black hole). But still, it was good to come back to this world, to walk the paths again with my characters and their idiosyncracies–and to see them deal with the weight of history and myth.
The result was “Silenced Songs”, a story about poetry and song, and about how people live in the wake of loss and grief and guilt.
I’m delighted the finished piece sold to the anthology “Music for Another World”, forthcoming from Mutation Press. Yay for old universes 🙂 (and many, many thanks to everyone from LH who critted either the novel or the short story).
PS: incidentally, I’m only part of the first batch of authors. The anthology still has slots open, with an April 30th deadline. If you feel musical…