Sunday, June 9, 2013

"Like An Axe Through Bone" and "The Harlot"

It's an interesting thing to see what other people will do creatively with something you've come up with. It's also interesting to see how you, yourself, react to those things. All you have to do is watch a couple of kids playing with one of those kid's toys to know what I'm talking about. Because my daughter has a giant dollhouse and because we recently had an issue around this that relates, let's imagine two five-year-old girls playing at one of the girl's houses with her dolls and dollhouse. In most circumstances, you will not have to wait long before you hear the owner of the dolls and house proclaim, "You're not doing it right!" A well-meaning parent will run in and try to explain that there is no wrong way of doing it, but the owner will continue to protest, "She's doing it all wrong," and, eventually, the girls will get banished from the dolls.

What's not being understood by the other people involved is that the girl (who owns the dolls and house) has an entire world created in her head around her dolls and the house they live in. When the playmate comes in and starts asserting her version, it pushes the girl that owns the toys out of the world she's created. Unless it's something you're prepared for (and what five-year-old is prepared for something like that?), it can be difficult to allow someone else to play in your sandbox. I mean dollhouse.

[Note 1: This is nothing like what happened with my daughter. That involved actual breakage of her stuff when she wasn't in the room, but the dollhouse makes a good example.
Note 2: Girls are actually able to learn cooperative play much earlier than boys, so the whole "you're not doing it right" is something that is much more common from boys.]

All of that to say, when you invite someone to play in your world, you have to be okay when they change the rules. Especially since it's the way that the rules get changed that makes the stories interesting.

Bryan Pedas, in his story "Like An Axe Through Bone," has "changed the rules" of the House Universe. It's no longer 1983; it's the now. The Howard family has been moved forward in time to accommodate a contemporary setting. With the Internet and e-dating. The Howards are in the story, but they're just there to support the actual story, the story of a man who has lost his wife too soon and has allowed his imagination to become his only escape from the pain.

Or is it just his imagination?

It's a great story with goblins and dragons, but those things are not the story; they're just in the story. There are barbarians and lots of fighting and dying, but those things are not the story, either. The story is one man struggling against himself and the pain he's wrapped up in.

I think you all should read it.


By the end of this month. I mean, that's when it will be available: by the end of this month.
Shaodow Spinner -- coming soon!

Today, though, is part 23 of the serial release: "The Harlot" FREE! today, Monday, June 10 (and tomorrow, June 11)!
Here's today's complete list of FREE! parts:
"Part Twenty-three: The Harlot"
"Part Twenty-two: The Undying"
"Part Twenty-one: The Chase"
"Part Twenty: The Sword of Fire"
"Part Sixteen: The Dark Tree"
"Part Fifteen: Food of the Garden"
"Part Fourteen: Anger and Laughter"
"Part Thirteen: The Clearing"
"Part Twelve: The Gash in the Floor"
"Part Ten: The Broken Window"
"Part Nine: The Shadow of the Tree"
"Part Eight: The Cold and The Dark"
"Part Seven: The Moth and the Shadow"
"Part Four: The Cop"
"Part Three: The Bedroom"
"Part Two: The Kitchen Table"
"Part One: The Tunnel"
There you go! 17 out of 23 available parts! Grab them while you can >ominous music!<

[Note 3: If you're interested in watching the excitement with my A Game of Thrones 1st edition, you can see the auction here.]


  1. I do want to read it and see what Bryan did with your house.

  2. Alex's sentence sounds so dirty to me. I love it.

    "Yeah, boy, you just SEE what I did to that house."

    Also, I know it's probably very dark and grim for your "world," but it just felt right and I'm really happy with how it turned out. And regarding your e-mail, even something as small as the kind of flooring is important, so I'm glad you caught that. You may have very well said that at one point in the book, but it's hard to remember the tiny details of everything. I'd like to think I did pretty well otherwise... right? :P

  3. Some people don't progress very far beyond the child stage in letting others play in their world. Collaboration's hard work.

  4. Just downloaded my copy of The Harlot.

  5. I like the title. The Harlot is very catchy. I want to say "Who's the Harlot!?"

  6. Nice segue from doll house to story idea and execution.

    The book sounds interesting, especially since it has the dragons, but is about so much more.

  7. Alex: You know, I told him no parties. I thought that was a pretty easy bit of instruction, but no...

    And he didn't even clean up!

    ABftS: Oh, man, wait till you see Brother's Keeper. You want to talk dark and grim. I mean, Christmas is only getting started on the dark and grim.

    You did do pretty well. That's why I didn't email you with a long list of necessary changes.
    heh heh

    TAS: Some people don't; that's true.

    M.J.: Yea!

    Michael: Um, well, I'm not answering that question. :P

    C. Lee: Thank you!
    Bryan's story is quite good and more than worth reading.

  8. Someone else wrote a story based on the world you created in your House stories? Yeah, that would be like having someone play their own game in your dollhouse. Interesting.

  9. L.G.: Well, actually, more than one someone, because that was the point of the whole Great Chocolate Contest, too.

  10. I have read lots of stories over the years created in other people's worlds, some stick closely others diverge considerably. If I were an author I am not sure I would like someone playing in my world. But I'm not so I don't really know.

  11. Yeah, it's easy to fight over "rules". I can't imagine letting someone work in a world I created. You're braver than I am.

    PS. I was clicking some of the links to your stories and the link to Part One goes to Part Two. Just wanted you to know.

  12. Ah, fan fiction already! How cool.


  13. Jo: Well, hey, I figure if George Lucas can do it, I can do it.

    Jeanne: I don't know that it's bravery. More like curiosity.

    I'll check the link, although it's probably not important anymore since the free day is over for everything except 23.

    Donna: No, we don't like "fan fiction." Let's call it a licensed product.

  14. I guess I would feel honored if people were inspired by a world that I had created.

  15. Gina: It is kind of a neat thing.