I changed the layout last weekend, I think, and forgot to say something. Ah well. I felt a more oceanic backdrop fit the steampoctopus, and just as well. Lord Viceroy Aston Havelock is having a grand time.
Now, I might have mentioned in passing that I did just sell another short story, this time a children’s fantasy titled “Krista’s Tikbalang.” It’s inspired by folkloric monsters from, well, my good ole’ homeland, The Philippines. Filipino monsters are scary, by the way, and as I delved into family stories and various terminology (I totally thank my cousin for helping me out here), I even got some accounts that there’s one of these creatures lurking near the banana trees back home. Yeah, I’m not going there any time soon…
Anyway, Eggplant Literary Productions is truly awesome enough to run the story in their upcoming Spellbound Fall 2013 Issue: Creatures of the Deep, Dark Woods. The issue is an eMagazine, and looks like it’s going to have four poems, four short stories, and a smattering of fabulous illustrations by a number of artists (I wonder what the tikbalang’s going to look like…so excited!). The issue is probably $5.00 USD (judging from the previous issues out), and looks to have a great set of stories for children (little ladies need role models after all, yeah?).
I sent out the edited proof just yesterday, actually (hee, that still sounds weird to say). But as I looked through the edits, it got me thinking: children’s stories are so much less stress to write.
I mean, obviously, there’s still work being put into them, and without a decent idea or a logic to the stories, they’d fall flat like any other genre or non-genre fiction. But you’re also keeping in mind that a children’s story is a different demographic altogether. There is no YA formula because children frankly don’t care beyond occasional crushes (and they seem to find other things more important anyway). There is some adult issues, but not so all-encompassing that the world revolves around the world, and the greater good needs to be thought about, and all these economical, societal, political issues are mostly backdrop, because the most concerning problem the child faces is much closer to home than he/she realizes (trust me, those shadows in the closet are no less creepy than the impending darkness hanging over a populated city). There is slight worldbuilding, but not enough detail that the characters get lost in the pastry that’s over-seasoned with the rarest saffron from the deserts of Whatchamacallit.
But maybe that’s just this short story. Maybe it was just the prompt, and for my purposes, maybe it was because I had a prompt, and I already had an idea for it. Still, I have to say “Krista’s Tikbalang” was definitely much easier to write than the light, steampunk romance adventure I’ve been slaving over the past few weeks!