It’s the first Wednesday of the month again, time for a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
OPTIONAL QUESTION: Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?
MY ANSWER: I don’t often reply to the optional questions, but this month I want to, because my answer is Yes and because the painting in question is rather amusing. It’s Alfred Stevens’ painting below.
A girl is sitting in front of a table or a chest, covered by an oriental rug. She is a European-looking girl, dressed in 19th century clothing, and she is studying an elephant figurine. Admiring it? Maybe. Or maybe she is marveling at the elephant’s trunk. Or doubting the creator’s veracity, if she never saw an elephant or a picture of one before. The figurine obviously came from an exotic locale.
As I looked at the painting, a story appeared in my head – a fantasy, of course, about the elephant being magical, an enchanted toy, able to miniaturize its young mistress to fit into its howdah and then smuggle her anywhere in the world from wherever she is now, possibly some place mundane and unwelcome. Somewhere she doesn’t want to be. I called that short story Resize and Go.
I wrote it years ago, although it was never published. I have to confess: I didn’t try hard to find a magazine to publish it. It was too quirky, so I submitted it a couple of times and stopped after it got rejected. Maybe I should’ve tried harder. I really liked that story.
News from Wattpad
Wattpad Urban group included my fan fiction novella Magic Senegalese, based on Wen Spencer’s Elfhome universe, in two of its reading lists – Urban Fantasy and Hot Picks. They even sent me their badge to put on the cover.
I got a message from them a few days ago, and the funny thing is: I never applied to be included. Didn’t even know about that group. But that unexpected message made me happy. Someone liked my story. Hooray!
The story is currently rated #166 in the Novella category, out of 2.5K of other novellas.
The sequel to Magic Senegalese, the novelette, Dancing Truth & Lies, is also available on wattpad, if anyone is interested. You can read it here.