From the mind of Megan Arkenberg

April 13, 2010

I cannot work under these conditions!

Posted by Megan Arkenberg with No comments
I cannot get my brain to work.


There's a billion and a half story ideas floating around in there, but for the last three weeks or so I just have not been able to get them out. Normally, when I feel like this I read through old stories in an attempt to recalibrate, but somehow the sight of my own words has become incredibly wearying. I'm sure this will pass in another week or two, but until then...

Looks like it's time for a meme.

Works out of Progress

The Riverland
Sixty-four miles past the Junction, the land becomes a red and vibrant place...The Riverland means "halfway."
It's a story about trains. And magical lions. And a woman calling herself Gamaliel who is trying to run the former while not being killed by the latter. Unfortunately, the theme of cultural appropriation is proving more difficult to handle than I expected, because I come across as a anglocentric oaf even when I really, really don't want to. This is a personal failing. I'm working on it. In the meantime, this poor story languishes and searches for a first line.

The Widow's Island
You will wake to the sound of singing.
As it stands, this is a prose poem more than a short story, but I'm thinking it would work better if it was more story and less poem. The setting is inspired by the beautiful Mont St. Michel. Unfortunately, my original wordbuilding isn't working, and I'm hesitant to take it up again, knowing the long labor that lies ahead.

No first line yet, not even the hint of one. This story was inspired by one-too-many "I fell in love with the Queen of Elfland" stories. I think it shares a setting with my novella-in-progress Jaquemart, and like Jaquemart, Saraband plays with as many fairy tale tropes as she can get her hands on. The challenge here is developing the main character.

Four Burning Things
I misread the title of someone's blog, and that's where the title came from. It has more than a little in common with "Four Lies from the Mouth of God," including forbidden love and a lot of soldiers. The big challenge with this is finding a narrative style that let me tell all the facets of the story. It hasn't been easy.

The Keeper of the Farthest Tower
I have characters. I have a setting. Now they need to start interacting.

The Oracle of the Shore
She hates the sea. For a long time, she thought it was the only thing she hated.
More forbidden love! And Oracles, which are always tasty. I have no idea why this one isn't moving along, since I know the characters and I know the plot and I know where both of the above are headed. It's like I can't tap into my own narrative voice to actually get the words on the page.

The Burning of Gethsemane Jones
Cosmic horror, alien invasion, plague, themes of alienation and empathy...I have a pretty clear idea why this one isn't taking off, as a matter of fact.

Where is my Kingdom
The quest for Aztlan, as related by Malinalxochitl. This one's getting bogged down in research purgatory.

The Second Name of Summer
Otherwise known as the Dead Languages Society. And that sums it up surprisingly well.

The Last Letter of Lazare Roland
Forgery! Murder! Revolution! And a neat forray into architecture. Also bogged down in research purgatory, though a bigger problem is that I simply have no bloody idea where to begin the story. Hence, no first line.

And of course there's the general list of novels and novellas spreading from here to Yuggoth, but I'm not even going to worry about those until one of these starts to jello. Wish me luck!


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