From the mind of Megan Arkenberg

January 27, 2011

Works in Progress

Posted by Megan Arkenberg with No comments
First things first: "The Copperroof War" appears as a reprint in the current (and, sadly, last) issue of Labyrinth Inhabitant. Go check it out!

Second things second: It's that time of [insert time cycle here], where I look at my list of stories that I ought to finish one of these days, and instead of thinking about ways to finish them, I do a first line meme. I meant to refresh my list at the beginning of the year, but life (read: classes) got in the way. So here's what I ought to be writing, in no particular order.

"The Improbable Library of Asmodeus Foster"
Rosamund Solomon found the body in a footnote on page 217.

Weirdly, I see that the exact page with the body-containing footnote has changed from 216 to 217 and back to 216 (and now back to 217) in various drafts of this story. That's not important. What is important is that the murderer's identity has also changed in each draft, and I'm not really satisfied with any of them. So, back to the sketch pad or whatever.

"The Basilisk and Sophia Kadare"
If, as Sophia Kadare claims, all poems are serpants, the sonnet sequence of Pasiphae Isaac is a basilisk.

Sophia Kadare is a literary critic attempting an interpretation of the famously lethal sonnet sequence of Pasiphae Isaac.

"The Ninety-Nine Houses of Irene Dobrokost"
No first line yet. Hebene Yacob attempts to steal a house from Irene Dobrokost, who owns every abandoned building in the city. Also, ghouls.

"All in a Hot and Copper Sky"
I have written her a thousand letters.

Dolores remembers her lover, Socorro Mariner, the Queen of Mars. The first line keeps changing, as does the format. Is this a diary, or a reminiscence, or an interview, or a letter? And how did everyone get to Mars in the first place?

"The Small Rain Down Can Rain"
"We think there might be some interest," Stephen said, "in a posthumous collection."

Laura travels through time, gathering poems for her sister Daphne's final collection. Someone is following her. Who are they, and what do they want with Daphne? I'm not quite sure.

"There was no King in Israel"
The girl called Requiem follows Levi to the edge of camp.

Post-apocalyptic retelling of the last chapters of Judges. The current draft is missing quite a bit of backstory, but I like what I've got. Now who'd be interested in publishing this...?

"Babel," "Danae," "Actaeon"
Some nights, when I grow weary of lying awake and listening to the incomprehensible murmuring of the world, I leave the city sleeping in its whithered gardens and go to the ruins of the Tower.
He likes the Owl best.
Over the burbling of the expresso machine behind the bakery counter, he hears the dogs.

Three retellings, one Biblical, two from Ovid. One magic realism, one fantasy, one--Lovecraftian? I have first drafts of all of them, and like what I see. Now, who'd be interested in publishing these...?

"The Dead Women of Bajos Court," "The Women of Arcadio Leon," "The Riverland"
Four dead women live in four gray houses at the end of Bajos Court.
My body is a map of places Arcadio Leon has loved.
Sixty-four miles past the Junction, the land becomes a red and vibrant place.

A Bluebeard story, a haunted(?) film strip, and man-eating lions. I've made no significant progress on these three stories since November.

"The Unbinding of Artemis Kale," "The Gardens of Revenant Road," "The Memory of Philippa Lune"
Lady Saraband burst into the tent. "Artemis is pregnant."
After the war, a woman calling herself Gethsemane Armand came into Moses Johnson's cafe and asked about the place at the end of Revenant Road.
They bought the house on Pall Street because it was where Anabeth Bellcross had died.

A murdered escape artist, a war criminal on the run, and a historian who can remember everything except her own life--and happens to be the prime witness in a murder trail. All of these are in the final brush-up and submit stage. Yay!

"Frankincense and Myrrh" [working title]
Balthazar was dead.

Vashti, Melchior's wife, tells us about the final years of the Three Kings. I love the magi, but the current draft of this story is rediculously cheesy. I also need a title.

"Cafe Macondo"
The scanner bipped, an ascending four-note scale of disapproval. "Sorry, ma'am," I said. "This coffee isn't in our system. It's from an alternate dimension."

Interdimensional coffee and the line between wishes and reality. Based on true events. Ready(?) to be typed up and submitted.

"The Reconstitution of [Museum Name]"
At precisely 4:00, Winter closed her pocketwatch and drew her pistol in one fluid motion.

Winter and her followers kidnap an entire museum to reclaim the artifacts that were stolen from her people. Action! Adventure! Archaeology! Missing corpses! Also, clockwork docents.

"Hunger Lake"
The morning they buried our father, Bel found wolf tracks in the ice over Hunger Lake.

A dying woman returns to her childhood home. When a stranger becomes trapped there in a snowstorm, Madeline must confront the truth about her sister's death. I've got to get this one finished and submitted before February. Wish me luck!

"The Butterfly Garden of Eliott Stone" alt, "Eliott Stone, Queen of the Butterflies"
No first line yet. Or rather, too many first lines (and scenes) to narrow down. The Queen's new summer home forces Eliott to leave the house where she has lived since she was fifteen. Little do the villagers know, the fate of the kingdom of butterflies is at stake. Okay, this one's seriously weird.


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