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Stories abound.  They are everywhere.  Some stories are massive and glorious like a monument, a structure of marble and stained glass.  Some are humble and simple like a puff of cloud or a puddle of water.  And some stories–most perhaps–are somewhere in between, small, but complex, more than first meets the eye…like a feather.

Everyone has stories.  Here, I will tell you some of mine.

Welcome to Storyfeather.

Didymedicus

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Digital Drawing. Two human figures wearing heavy coats. Bottom right, an older woman facing forward and smiling. She holds a rod of Asclepius in front of her with both hands. Behind her and to the viewer’s left, a young man holding a caduceus in his right hand, and flourishing his left hand up. His head is turned toward his left hand. They are surrounded by glowing colored lights.

The royal physician, Galena by name, examined the festering bruise just below the king’s ribcage.  The king lay in a sleeping stupor.  A state he had been in for three days, and yet it was only now, and only by order of the queen that the royal physician was allowed to examine her king. 

Galena peered down at the bruise, around the margins of which there appeared an oozing of bright purple fluid.

“I had thought him a fool, but a harmless one,” the queen said.

Galena did not look up as she answered.  “Is there such a thing?”

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The Eye in My Ceiling

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Digital drawing. Central figure, a woman, her top half, seen from below at an angle. She’s facing away standing in a room where the ceiling and parts of two walls intersect at her left, around waist level. The woman wears pants and a t-shirt and her hair in a ponytail. She holds a carving knife in her right hand, held down and behind herself. Her left hand reaches up towards a huge eye in the ceiling. Most of the iris and a small portion of the whites are visible.

I thought it was a reflection at first.  Not the moon.  Some streetlight or something, from outside, getting past my curtains.  I was too lazy, too sleepy to get up and deal with it.  But I do remember thinking it was strange. 

Isn’t the light too bright to be a reflection?  I thought, peeking up at the ceiling.

I do remember resisting the urge to rub my eyes.  I wanted to take a closer look.

Did I just see something floating in the light? 

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Matchstick and Mischief

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Digital drawing. At center, a mouse riding a motorcycle down a glowing pathway, facing forward, left paw on the pedal and right paw holding a lit matchstick. Objects float in the space around the mouse. At top left, a screw. Bottom left a sock. Top right corner, part of some device with buttons. Below that, a toothbrush. Middle right, a yo-yo.

“I’m Matchstick the Mouse.  And, hey, I’m actually a mouse.  Surprised?  I bet you’re wondering how I got my name.  You’re not?  Wait!  Where are you going?”

“Match, who are you talking to?”

“My fans.”

“Why are your fans walking away from you?”

Matchstick raised a furry brow. “Good question.”

“Is that the style you want for your chapters of our memoirs?”  Mischief reached for her satchel to pull out a pencil.

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The Misfortune of Repetition

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Digital drawing. At center, two little girls. The girl at left stands a head taller, with her right hand on her hip and her left arm around the other girl’s shoulder. She wears a skirt, a quarter-sleeve pullover, a band around her left wrist, and a barrette in her hair. The girl at right holds a book open in her right hand, and touches a page with her left. Sparkles surround the book. She wears a dress with a pleated skirt. The girls smile and gaze at each other. Behind them are lines of script with random letters bordered by a lightning pattern.

It was the turning into her fifth year, when Anushka would enter the next epoch of her childhood, the first learning years.  Being a child whose family was of modest wealth, there were a few minor enchantments that were gifted to her.  One was a book that could summon any one of a hundred different fairy tales within its pages with a simple chant.  Another was a pair of boots that could lace themselves.  And still another was a mysterious card placed within a vivid green envelope embossed with the golden letters of the giver’s initials.

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The Garden of Perpetuation

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Digital drawing. Three people seen from the back walking down a path that leads toward barren-branched trees in the distance. The figure on the left glances to the right, has long wavy hair, wears a coat with a purple carrot patch along the right arm, a satchel hanging from right shoulder across the body, and a belt on which hangs a pouch and an axe. The middle figure walks slightly behind the others and wears a cloak with the hood raised. Three black radishes are depicted on the back of the cloak with the leaves laying over the shoulder and one extending into the hood. The figure on the right wears a basket full of green garlic.

As it so happened, the Houses of the Black Radish, the Purple Carrot, and the Green Garlic all found themselves traveling the rough road that led to the garden of perpetuation. 

They traveled thus, the human envoys carrying vegetable plant seed on their persons and vegetable spirit within their persons.  As the envoys conversed among themselves, so too did the spirits of the vegetables.

“Root and bulb are we,” said the Radish, with sharp attention.  “No tubers do I see.”

“The tubers are well-loved,” the Carrot remarked sweetly.  “They have no need of the great garden.”

“So are we well-loved,” said the Garlic with mild bitterness.  “Or once were.  And will be again, I would wager.”

“But by then it may be too late,” Carrot warned.  “We would be gone.”

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Lucinda of the Ashes

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Digital drawing. Two hands seen from above, as if they were the viewer’s hands. The left hand at bottom left is holding a glass container, like a beaker with a funnel top. The right hand at top right holds a glass rod. The index finger is held away from the rod. A drop of liquid hangs from the end of the glass rod, right above the opening of the beaker. A small figure with dragonfly wings hovers over the left hand. The beaker contains a vaporous liquid. A bright cloudy swirl begins at center behind the hands and darkens as it moves outward to the edges of the image.

Lucinda held her breath, as she raised the glass rod above the vial and tapped the rod to release the single drop of liquid that clung to its end.

The drop fell in the vial, joining the muddy liquid within.  The liquid turned ruddy, then clear.  And it stayed clear. 

Lucinda dared to exhale just as the liquid began to swirl and turn ruddy, then muddy.  She ducked under the table just before the vial shattered, spraying red flames and charred bits of glass in every direction.

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Castle, Cave, or Cloud

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Digital drawing. A castle at center with three main spires flying pennants, battlements, and flanking symmetrical towers. The castle stands in front of a cave opening through which light pours. Moss grows along the cave walls. In front of the castle is a bank of clouds.

She remembered darkness.  And she remembered her name.  That was all.

Spark zoomed into a heap of advancing clouds, grinning and gasping at the sensations of cold and wet, reaching out to touch what could not quite be grasped.  She emerged on the other side, and spotted a colossal formation of rock and stone with three spires so high they topped the clouds.  A mountain!

Maybe there, she thought. 

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Course Pre-Sale Ending Soon

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Storyfeather School for Fictioneers

The pre-sale is over.
But the course is still available.
Enter the portal below!

Launched July 20, 2021!

Portal Button. Elongated rectangle. Rings of colored light emanate from the center. Inset on the left, a square with the digital drawing of the Storyfeather logo. To the right of the image, the online course title, "Write A Short Story in Five Weeks." Below the title, the subtitle, "A Doable Method for Procrastinators, Self-Doubters, and Bucket-Listers." Bottom right corner bears a stylized inkwell with a feather emerging from it enclosed by a square. All shapes have curved corners.

[Video description: Course Instructor, Nila Patel, seen from elbows up, sitting in front of a wood paneling background, and facing the camera. Some kind of paper craft artwork with geometric shapes—obviously added to provide variety in the background—hangs on the wall above her left shoulder.]

Here’s a transcript of the video above:

Hello, it’s Nila. I’m here to remind you about the pre-sale for my online course.  It’s called “Write A Short Story in Five Weeks: A Doable Method for Procrastinators, Self-Doubters, and Bucket-Listers.” 

Let’s say you know the basics of writing fiction. You have a character study here, a line of dialogue there, and bits and pieces that you’re not sure how to put together, or maybe you’ve never tried because the thought of it is frustrating or overwhelming. This course can help.

Or if you’re starting from scratch with a completely blank page, this course can help.

There are tons of free resources out there, which is great. But the challenge is figuring out which ones can help you, and where to begin. Where to go next. And next after that.  Maybe you even know all the steps.  You know WHAT to do.  Just not HOW to do it. That’s where it helps to have some guidance from someone who’s done it a lot. 

I’ve written 400 stories, so many stories that I’ve developed a workflow that you can use as a template, a shortcut, if you will, to customize your own method. And a way for you to judge which tools and resources will be helpful to you in the rest of your writing journey.

There are only a few days left. The pre-sale ends on July 20.  That’s this coming Tuesday.  So if you’re interested in checking it out—or better yet enrolling in the course—go to the link below and click the button that says “Write A Short Story in Five Weeks: A Doable Method for Procrastinators, Self-Doubters, and Bucket-Listers.”

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