Story no. 45. I have been working with wool a LOT in the last week.
As always, illustration to follow.
A reminder: if you’d like to support this project, I have a Patreon! $1/month gets you art process posts; $3/month gets you extra stories and illustrations.
The woman was tall, rawboned, with striking red-brown hair pulled into a thick plait. She wore a dress of the spectacular cloth Dominguez had come to the mountains looking for. It glowed in the sunlight glancing down the tiles of the roof, with the same deep sheen and subtle patterns as the delicate shawl which had made its way to the court. Unlike the shawl, it was tattered around the seams and hems, clearly a garment that had been worn long and often.
She stood with her back to Dominguez. Every other minute she threw her right arm up into the air, letting a spindle of dark wood drop from her fingertips, whirling. The thread that kept it from hitting the ground was so fine it was barely visible in the late sun. Before his eyes could do more than trace the glimmer of fiber, she snatched the spindle out of the air and winding thread around it furiously.
Here, then, was the master artisan he sought.
What it says on the tin! Episode 13 of the podcast went up today, wherein I read “The Illustrator Dies First.” You can read the original text of that story here.
Also, I’m starting to catch up on the stories I posted with no illustrations attached, starting with story no. 41, The Thing That Doesn’t Fit. You can click through to see my watercolor of Delia the time-traveler.
What it says on the tin! You can now see the new black and white illustrations I did in full detail, as well as read the new little bit I put in the end! Go buy read –> here.
You can listen to it on my libsyn site or on iTunes. You can read the original post, “Losing My Shoes in Venice,” here.
A reminder that today is the last day to pre-order my Monsters novella! If you follow the blog, you’ve read it here, but this version has new illustrations and a new bit at the end!
Story no. 44. RIGHT OKAY. I went to the Victoria & Albert Museum today, and I took ALL THE PICTURES of decorative motifs, so hopefully I am inspired to catch up on illustrations SOON.
There were only three of them left now. Isaac had, presumably, encountered a police patrol during his last foraging mission. He’d gone out, but he had not come back. The military police had been shooting anyone they found in the quarantine zone on sight for weeks now. They’d seen Obie get shot; he’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time when they military had done one of their first clean-up operations. Cilian had a wound go septic, and Megs—well, they were less sure about what had happened to Meg, but it hadn’t been good.
Harry’s death had been the worst. He’d gone out on the river in the night. Someone had seen some fish, and none of them had eaten anything fresh for months. He’d been desperate, greedy, and no one could blame him. Whatever contagion spread the fever must had gotten to him out there. Maybe it was a mosquito, or some sort of amoeba in the water. They couldn’t take the body out of the apartment building, either, once he’d thrashed himself into a cortical hemorrhage. Some of the other bands had taken to burning apartment buildings if they had suspicions that someone infected was hiding inside.
Story no. 43. Uh. . . just trust me, okay? I will catch up with the illustrations. Okay, don’t trust me. YOU SHOULDN’T TRUST ME AT THIS POINT, because I am a lying liar who lies about getting watercolors done. DRAMATIC SIGH.
The new arrivals were thin-faced and more than a little haggard. Their English was mediocre and their Irish nonexistent. They had come, they said, all the way from the western foothills of the Alps. To avoid the nuclear drift they had gone south until they reached the coast, where they had built a raft that they could navigate along the coastline. Once they had passed the strait, though, the open ocean became too much for their improvised vessel, and they had had to go south again, until they could find and bargain with one of the remaining fisher villages there for passage on a craft to Ireland.
Auntie didn’t ask what they had bargained, or how long they had been on the journey, or how many people their group had comprised when they started. Gwen privately thought that the shadows echoing in the face of the small blonde woman suggested more rather than less, longer rather than shorter, and rather more than the three bedraggled refugees now standing under the Big Tree.
I haven’t been keeping up, but! Yesterday episode 11 of the podcast went up, in which I read “The Piano Room”! While there’s an amusing glitch in the sound editing (oops), I really love this story.
If you’d like to read the story yourself, here’s the link.
Also: consider pre-ordering the consolidated and edited Monsters fairy tale novella on Amazon! I am super happy with the set of new illustrations I did for the book. Thanks also to the people who have been following along with the story since I started it in September.