Today’s blog post brings us Bokerah Brumley, short story author extraordinaire, on how she developed her short story for Tales of the Once and Future King, now out from Superversive Press (No, for the record, I will never refer to it as TOTOAFK — it looks too much like Dorothy’s little dog is not at the computer right now.)
Last year, I caught wind of a call for submissions that tickled my fancy. The idea called for all sorts of creative takes on Arthurian legends. When I sat down to brainstorm, I wasn’t quite sure what I would write, but I’m a contrarian that read a thread that struck me as a dare. I also like to do work oddness into the story somewhere.
Heck, I just finished a silly piece that included speed dating in space. Serious isn’t my thing. Weighty matters should be handled by much more knowledgeable folks. It’s easy to leave the historical pieces to others (like Anthony, Dawn, Declan, Jagi, Jason, and the other Superversive brilliants).
Beyond that, I’m a historian in the same way I’m a scientist–only if one includes all night Google-binge-cramming. I do it all the time since I mostly decide to live life balanced on the sword’s edge between epic procrastination and hard deadlines. Knowing that, I decided to leave the serious, historical fiction to others.
And if I was tossing serious to the wind, where did that leave me? What was the oddest thing that I could pull together into a story? In three days.
I told you. Apparently, I like the post-procrastination deadline madness.
Sword and the Stone was something I’d watched a handful of times as a kid. It made me sad to see Arthur at odds with his caretaker and then Merlyn, too, and I disliked that lavender witch. She scared the crap out of me as a little girl. I preferred Puff the Magic Dragon type stories, not that ugly, whiny, purple one the witch turned into.
I folded laundry while I brainstormed. Afterward, I browsed cover graphics on one of my favorite pre-made sites. And I found my young Arthur Pendragon.
In Airship Arthur, young Arthur Pendragon manufactures racing airships and leads a merry band of shipmates. I turned Bedivere into a breech-wearing girl that falls in love with the sneaky, pale Percival. The two of them make fools of themselves in mischievous and Arthur-irritating ways. Bors plays the part of a mechanic. Gawain is engaged to Nyneve, sister to the good woman Merlyn. Shenanigans ensue as the Ether Joy floats over the White Cliffs of Dover, lands at a castle, and then takes a jaunt down to Stonehenge to end happily ever after.
I’m sure I’m not the first to do such things to the tales and legends, but it made Airship Arthur a happy-go-lucky steampunk re-telling.
What are you waiting for? You need some steampunk-happy in your life. DO IT.