I’m just going to get this out of the way early: I’m a late adopter. I joined Facebook two years after most of my friends, and it took another 2ish to get me on twitter. I don’t even know half the apps the cool kids are using. Pinterest has never interested me. I have a lot of friends who use it for craft ideas and recipes, but I never saw the appeal. I tend to be someone who has 15 tabs open at once, and I might grudgingly bookmark something but I know, once I close that tab, it’s pretty much lost to me.
I know a few* writers who use visual inspiration boards for their stories. Pinterest seems to feature as a tool for doing that, but again, didn’t see the use for me.
I’ve had a story idea kicking around my brain, since September or so, that I’d originally conceptualised as a short story. I knew I wanted it to be really really good, different, and through-provoking, and I started writing the beginning of it but other deadlines forced me to put it away.
When I took my writing holiday I knew that I wanted to give this story my full attention, rather than half-hearted glimpses in the tiny amount of time I have to myself. But while I’ve been off doing other things this story has been bubbling away, informing me that it is now at least a novella, oh and by the way, it needs concept art.
This story has a particular aesthetic, and I want that to come through very strongly. I went looking for images today and after I had about 20 tabs open I thought, “I need a virtual pinboard.”
Oh, hey. That’s right.
I remembered reading something about some Pinteresting controversy bla blah so I read through the Terms and Conditions (who does that?) and decided to join up. So now I have myself a nice imageboard of landscapes and buildings and monsters and people to inspire this story, and the art, and the characters that have started conversing with each other in my head.
I haven’t felt this excited by a story in a while. Hooray! PIN ALL THE THINGS!
*There may be more than a few.
I think a writer’s cold, black heart warms up considerably when they get positive reviews. This brooding writer is no different.
From Tsana Dolichva, on Tsana’s Reads & Reviews:
Kneaded by S.G. Larner — I found this story absolutely delightful. A brilliant take on the idea of people made not of flesh. (With, I think, a twisted allusion to Hansel and Gretel thrown in briefly). Definitely one of my favourite stories in this collection.
Also, there are several reviews on Goodreads, and I received a rather lovely tweet from Matthew J Morrison, who says in his review:
Stand outs for me, in a field of giants, were: Gitte Christensen’s ‘The Nameless Seamstress’, Jenny Blackford’s ‘The Lady of Wild Things’, Tansy Rayner Roberts’s ‘Love Letters of Swans’, and S G Larner’s ‘Kneaded’.
Canadian YA spec fic magazine Inaccurate Realities has published their fifth issue, Monsters, and my story “Labyrinth Hope” can be found there. Click on the image above to see where you can get copies.
Table of Contents:
“Labyrinth Hope” by S G Larner
“Roxanne” by Amanda Lara
“The Goblin” by Llanwyre Laish
“Skin” by Kathleen Kelly
“The Night Parade of Hiro Doji” by Aimee Picchi
“Labyrinth Hope” is a near-future, dystopian Theseus and the Minotaur tale. Hope you enjoy! Here’s a little excerpt:
The girl flicked her long blond hair back, smiling into the camera. “I’m not worried,” she said. “Beauty tames the savage beast, doesn’t it? Do you think he could resist me?” Her sculpted eyebrows arched and she leaned forward slightly. The camera panned down to her golden cleavage. The screen showed her odds—six to one—then cut back to the host.
“Phaedra has had a surge in the last minutes, to take the lead. Our dark horse, Theseus, is at the bottom of the table, at one hundred and twenty-nine to one. In just over twenty-four hours, we open the doors to the Labyrinth!”
The screen cut to commercials.
“Why did you audition?”
The boy shrugged. “I had nothing better to do.”
The two sat in the holding cell, waiting for the thick steel door to open and admit them to the enormous Labyrinth constructed beneath the Acropolis for the show. A camera mounted on the wall tracked their every move. So far twelve teenage boys and girls had entered; they were the last.
“Really?” The golden girl sounded dubious. “That’s not really a reason.”
Theseus looked away. He had a long dark braid down his back, hair longer than the girl’s golden mane. “Mama died from cancer. Papa left. There are no jobs. As I said, I had nothing better to do.” He glanced at her. “You?”
“Fame. I want to be an actress.” She opened her mouth, hesitated, then shut it again. He noted the subtle make-up applied to her already-pretty features. The enhancement made her beautiful.
“If you survive,” he said.
She pursed her lips.
“You do understand that you’ll probably die?” he asked.
“I’m not stupid. I will stay out of its way. Anyway—” she flicked her hair back “—the producers like me.”
“It’s not rigged, you know,” Theseus said.
“Isn’t it?” She smiled at him.
He didn’t like the sound of that.
I am on a writing holiday. I’ve intentionally decided to slack off for the rest of the school term, as I have taken on a fair bit of extra responsibility in my life and the idea of writing on top of everything else (you know, the this needs to be done because life stuff) was overwhelming me and making it feel like a chore. So I decided to pause. Just for a bit. And then I took the opportunity afforded to me through the situation I am in and decided to make art. Visual art.
In my childhood and throughout my teenage years, right up until my early twenties, I was a prolific artist. I continued with visual art well after I gave up on writing childish novels, and beyond my angst-ridden teenage poetry. I’ve never seriously considered myself an artist though, it was just something I knew I could do, but didn’t make the time to do it. It’s harder to set up and clean up after. But one of my children is very inspired by art, and this was something we could do together.
So that’s what I’m doing. These are some of the pieces I’ve worked on over the last week. My skills are a little rusty but I’m giving myself permission to just play around and practice. Some of the works are better than others, but that’s okay!
Charcoal is possibly my favourite medium. I love how this turned out.
Op shop painting with added kaiju! I found the landscape at an op shop, and sketched out a kaiju using a bunch of different animals as inspiration. Then I painted it onto the landscape.
These are small pieces, both inspired by stories of mine. I’m unused to drawing or painting completely from my mind (usually I use something as a reference) so these are little experiments for me.
I’ve been enjoying myself immensely, so expect to see more from me.
Inaccurate Realities is a Canadian YA speculative fiction ezine, and my story “Labyrinth Hope” is in their Monsters issue, available on Halloween (31st October if you are from a place that doesn’t celebrate Halloween).
The good folks over at The Bevy Bibliothèque are hosting a giveaway. Enter at their site to win.
From the Editorial:
“The onset of Autumn often brings with it a sense of melancholy, a darkness that hovers like mist over an abandoned graveyard. Beneath the fiery colours of fall, there is an underlying sense of sadness and gloom, an endless bounty of emotion that sometimes comes with change.”
It’s Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, but that sense of melancholy seems to have settled over a lot of my friends and colleagues. It’s apparent in my vignette, which is pretty intense. Trigger warning and all that.
Click on the cover image to read the issue.