The Flight of Flea

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When he was young and heard the stories of the mythical birds and flying beasts of legend, he imagined himself as one of them.  Powerful, ferocious, graceful, wise, and heroic.  He imagined that one day, he would grow up to be like Phoenix, with its flaming wings and healing tears.  He dreamed of being like Quetzlcóatl, worshipped by the two-leggers who otherwise ruled over all other beasts.  When he heard the stories of Garuda, he was Garuda, flying the ancient gods to and fro on their quests.  The thunderbird.  The trickster raven.  The creator heron known as Benu.

He was in awe of them all.  And he wanted to learn to acquire their qualities.  Cleverness, strength, knowledge.  And wings so magnificent that all creatures great and small were gripped with awe at their sight.

But whenever he would voice such longings, he was always ridiculed, for he was so small that all who knew him called him the flea bird, and soon that became his name, “Flea.” Continue reading

Storyfeather Year Four

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This week’s story will be posted soon. This is the anniversary post for Storyfeather’s fourth year.

The Year of Creatures is done! That was the theme for Storyfeather Year Four (except for some straggler stories where I might have forgotten).

A huge and hearty thank you to Sanjay Patel for providing the artwork for every single story in Year Four. It was a true collaboration of storytelling. He sent me the art, then I wrote the story around it. It was challenging to write stories on topics I might not otherwise have written. It was humbling to try and write a story that did the art justice. And it was exciting to see the site looking so vibrant and badass.

Displayed above are some of my favorite images.

Thank you to everyone who read even a single story. And if you liked or commented, thank you again. Thank you for your time and interest, and for being a part of Storyfeather, especially Year Four.

I’ve written over 200 stories now. And I launched the Storyfeather podcast in October.

No one asked for these stories. No one assigned me to write them. And though I hoped to earn rewards someday if I kept at it, no one promised me any great reward (or even any small reward). I started because I have believed since I was very young that writing is my destiny. And every time I put pen to paper, or fingertips to keyboard, I feel, from within, the truth of that sentiment. Regardless of however a story comes out, each one proves to me that writing is part of who I am. And I’ve come to realize something else.

I’ve been doing this for four years, and I will keep doing it. That’s not just destiny. That’s love. And it’s not just any love.

That’s true love.

A lot happened in the fourth year stories. Researchers discovered something huge, ancient, and possibly mythical stirring under the Arctic permafrost. An astronaut opened a mysterious pod from an alien race that had been sending messages to humanity for centuries. An ordinary man gathered extraordinary allies to face a dragon and save his beloved. And a troubadour sang the fantastical story of how his kind came to be…

Here’s to seeing what Year Five brings.  I hope you’ll come along.

I have stories to tell you.
Nila

Dragons of Verandering

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sf_wk6There are flames in the distance. There is a dragon in the distance. We must ride out to meet him.

It is said that the first dragon was born of hatred. And all of the things that follow hatred. Envy and greed. Bloodlust.

It is said that the first dragon was born from a person, right here in this very village. It is said that the first dragon was born of a curse. A curse that was meant to save, for some curses can save. Continue reading

Storyfeather Year Three

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Storyfeather Queen Ant Alien 200 dpi Final
Quill 187 Blood of Tantalus Image 1 FinalQuill 151 Lantern Light Image 2 FinalQuill 170 City Beyond the Horizon Image 1 FinalQuill 25 Mortesthesia Image 1 Final AltQuill 168 First Days of Moonlight Image 1 Final Alt LoneQuill 163 Dotty Potsy Image 1 FinalQuill 153 Titan Matter Image 1 Final AltQuill 174 Glorianova Image 1 Final

Quill 147 Singing King Image 1 Final
Quill 155 Curse of Gray Hunger Image 1 Final
Quill 142 Song That Haunted Sally Image 1 FinalQuill 136 Potion of Uncertain Fortune Image 1 FinalQuill 167 Amoeba Modern Fable Image 2 Final
This week’s story will be posted by midnight on Sunday, November 6.  This is the anniversary post for Storyfeather’s third year.

Thank you to everyone who read even one of the fifty-two stories I posted during the third year.  Thank you for your precious time and your interest.  Thank you for supporting my dream.  Thank you for being a part of Storyfeather, Year Three!

Year Three was a challenge.  The overarching theme I was aiming for was the elements and the senses, in stories inspired by and often in the form of myth and legend.

In an effort to improve my drawing skills (and further serve the stories), I joined the Inktober challenge, drawing and inking one image every day for the month of October.  The Sunday images were Storyfeather-related.  Now that there are over 150 stories on the site, I hope to do a bit of re-organizing to help with navigation.  I also hope to do release the Storyfeather podcast in the coming year, to provide an audio version of each story.  As the site develops, the core challenge will remain the same, a story a week.

A lot happened in the year three stories.  Stars were incubated in the hearts of humans, a tortoise raced a cheetah, someone escaped from the underworld, a potion was brewed, a divine drop of blood was guarded, and an inventor made a map that could lead to realms unknown…

Here’s to seeing what Year Four brings.  Thanks again, Mighty Readers.

Long Live Stories!

Nila

Tortoise, Cheetah, and Lightning

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inktober-day-23-tortoise-cheetah-lightning

Tortoise trundled to the front of the assembly, bowed before the king and queen, and spoke.

“Lightning.”

Gasps and whispers passed through the assembly of animals. Suddenly, Cheetah appeared before them all. She bowed before the king and queen.

“That cannot be,” Cheetah said. “For Lightning is my mother.” Continue reading

Storyfeather Year Two

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Storyfeather Year Two Cropped Flash GammaStoryfeather Year Two, Copyright © 2015 Sanjay Patel.

 

This week’s story will be posted by midnight on Sunday, November 8.  This is the anniversary post for Storyfeather’s second year.

Thank you to everyone who read even one of the fifty-two stories I posted during the second year.  Thank you for your precious time and your interest.  Thank you for supporting my dream.  Thank you for being a part of Storyfeather, Year Two!

Year Two had a theme that I decided upon after realizing the first few stories had something in common…Objects of Power.  Many a week, it helped to think of that theme when I didn’t know what I should write about.  I’d wander through a room looking at the objects, and I’d ask myself if I already had a story about spoons, bricks, or guitars.  The theme provided focus and a challenge (especially when I forgot about it until I’d started writing).  Boy did I have fun writing these stories.  And boy am I proud to have completed a second year.

Another significant milestone over the past year was the opening of the online Storyfeather store on October 1.  Over the next year, I will add a couple of pages that contain image-based links to all the Year One and Year Two stories, to make it easier and more fun to browse through.  Eventually, I hope to do a Storyfeather podcast to provide an audio version of each story.  As the site develops, the core challenge will remain the same, a story a week.

The above image is a picture I took of artwork created by Sanjay Patel to commemorate Storyfeather’s two-year anniversary.  Each image block represents one of the stories from the second year in the order it was posted.  A lot happened in the year two stories.  A genie was unleashed, mortals wielded the power of gods, eggs randomly came out of an enchanted pocket, wonders like blood substitutes and sentient substances were invented, objects of power were encountered…

Here’s to seeing what Year Three brings.  Thanks again, Mighty Readers.

Long Live Stories!

Nila

The Challenge of the Hand

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The Challenge of the Hand ImageIt had a name, but everyone simply called it the Company.  The Company was prosperous, prestigious, and pervasive.  Dominating all industries from sea to sea.  Exploring and founding even beyond the sea.  It was a coveted position to be a worker in the Company.  Those who attained the highest ranks were envied and revered all the more.  For in those ranks, one was not a mere “worker.”  One was a Hand.  The Company had many Hands.  And these Hands reached into every corner of the known world.  The Company did not tolerate weak Hands.  Only strong ones.

There was no great mystery about how one could become a Hand.  One had to meet and complete the Challenge of the Hand. Continue reading