Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Guest Blog: Out of My Chimerical Mind: The Making of Seelie Goose by Eric Garrison

Once upon a time, Seventh Star Press made a callout for an anthology of  fairy tales, some from the Seelie Court, some from the Unseelie Court. I knew I had to write something for that anthology.

I have a couple of books written for an upcoming series I like to call "Tipsy Fairy Tales". They're the story of Skye, who lost a bit of her soul while drunk, playing a vampire in a live action roleplaying game. She survived the experience, but was forever changed. She gained "second sight" – a view into a magical dimension she thought of as fairyland. Wolf-boys on the bus, a wicked horned huntress stealing her boyfriend, and blue fire sprites that set her house on fire. The trouble with this second sight was that it only worked when she'd had a drink or two. Or three.

Fortunately, along with this double-edged "gift", Skye gained a friend. That missing bit of her soul became its own being, a foot-tall mirror of Skye herself in mock vampire form, complete with teeny tiny fangs. Skye called her Minnie, of course. Minnie takes care of Skye, warning her of supernatural dangers, acting as an unseen spy, and often as Skye's only voice of reason.

When RJ Sullivan asked to use Skye (but not Minnie) for his novel Virtual Blue, I knew I needed to have a solo adventure for little Minnie. The tiny pseudo-fae could focus on something other than her other half – and maybe find herself a bit in the process.

The Chimerical World anthology seemed the perfect opportunity to tell Minnie's story. She found herself alone in Bloomington, Indiana, and rather than helping Skye get out of trouble, she met a Goose Girl and got tangled up in fairy political infighting as she stood up to do the honorable thing.

But that way lay spoilers, dear reader, so I'll clue you in on the origin of the other ingredients of the story.

First off, Bloomington, the home of Indiana University seemed to me to be the perfect place for the fae, full of chaos and lore, artists and musicians, mischief and traditions.  I used to live there, and if any place is the focus of fairy celebrations, I figured it had to be Showalter Fountain, which features Venus and fishlike "dolphin" sculptures. But Minnie being the odd little thing she was, I needed her to start somewhere quieter, and I could think of no place more Minnie than the small cemetery next to the Indiana Memorial Union, Dunn Cemetery.

Why goose-people as fairies? Believe it or not, the idea of a "mother goose" character didn't occur to me until later in the process. A friend of mine refers to a mated pair of geese in her apartment complex as "George and Gracie", and the idea of a fairy wedding came from some roleplay with another friend in Second Life. So, the ideas gelled for me, the geese pair became the fairy people getting married. I named them Georgette and Grace at first, but the two G names confused beta readers, so Georgette became Bernadette (a play on Burns).

Once I had these ingredients stirred together, the story seemed to write itself. It was fun telling a tale from so low to the ground, and Minnie surprised me with her resourcefulness and hidden powers. She managed to get along without Skye in a foreign place, and learned a bit about herself in the process.

I submitted the story, and was proud and delighted when Scott Sandridge let me know that it had been accepted as part of the Seventh Star Press Seelie anthology! If you'd like to read about Minnie's adventures, check out A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court!

Eric Garrison has a bad habit of making silly whiteboard drawings (especially on Wednesdays!) depicting scenes from his stories. In this picture, we see fairy goose girl, Bernadette Nutt, sketching statues in Dunn Cemetery.

A close-up of Minnie dancing in front of Skye, from a picture done by artist by Nell Williams

Eric Garrison is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

Eric’s novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on during a promotion in July 2013.

His supernatural fantasy novels include the Road Ghosts trilogy, published by Seventh Star Press. The first two books in the series, Four ’til Late and Sinking Down, were released in 2013. His novels are dark supernatural fantasies, dealing with ghosts, demonic possession and even sinister fairy folk.

Author photo credit: Kriss Morton

About the Editor: Scott M. Sandridge is a writer, editor, freedom fighter, and all-around trouble-maker. His latest works as an editor include the Seventh Star Press anthologies Hero’s Best Friend: An Anthology of Animal Companions, and the two volumes of A Chimerical World, Tales of the Seelie Court and Tales of the Unseelie Court.

Book Synopsis Tales of the Seelie Court: The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the first volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Seelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the "good" faeries. But "good" and "evil" are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.
Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Seelie Court, from authors both established and new, including George S. Walker, Eric Garrison, and Alexandra Christian.

But be warned: these faeries are nothing like Tinker Bell.

Stories Included in Tales of the Seelie Court:

"Extra-Ordinary" by BC Brown
"Dead Fairy Doormat" by George S. Walker
"Taggers" by Christine Morgan
"Wormwood" by Alexandra Christian
"The Harpist's Hand" by Steven S. Long
"Sanae's Garden" by Chantal Boudreau
"Mark of Ruins" by SD Grimm.
"Birdie's Life at the School for Distressed Young Ladies" by JH Fleming
"Cultivated Hope" by Jordan Phelps
"Seelie Goose" by Eric Garrison
"I Knocked Up My Fairy Girlfriend" by Brandon Black
"The Body Electric" by Sarah Madsen.
"The Last Mission" by Cindy Koepp.
"The Beggar-Knight & the Lady Perilous"
by Matthew A. Timmins.
"The Filigreed Lamp" by Edward Ahern.
"Keys" by Michael M. Jones
"Like a Sister in the Proper Court" by Lisa Hawkridge
"Gnome Games" by Saera Corvin
"The Goat Man's Garden" by Marten Hoyle

Be sure to also see A Chimerical World: Tales of the Unseelie Court, for more tales of the Fey!

Book Synopsis Tales of the Unseelie Court: The Fey have been with us since the beginning, sometimes to our great joy but often to our detriment. Usually divided (at least by us silly humans) into two courts, the second volume of A Chimerical World focuses on the Unseelie Court: the court we humans seem to view as the "evil" faeries. But "good" and "evil" are human concepts and as alien to the Fey as their mindsets are to us.
Inside you will find 19 stories that delve into the world of the faeries of the Unseelie Court, from authors both established and new, including Michael Shimek, Deedee Davies, and Nick Bryan.

But don't be surprised if these faeries decide to play with their food.

Stories included in Tales of the Unseelie Court:

"In Plain Sight" by Rebecca Leo
"The Wunderhorn" by David Turnbull
"Treehouse" by Kim Smith
"I'll Watch Over You" by Angeline Trevena
"The Enemy of my Enemy" by Deedee Davies.
"Maestro" by Nicholas Paschall
"Prey of the Boggart" by Rony Blechman.
"Fear of Little Men" by Mike Pieloor..
"Faerie Stories and the Bean Nighe" by Carmen Tudor..
"Gifts" by Michael Shimek..
"Djinn and Tonic" by S. Clayton Rhodes
"The Bet" by Jodi Ralston...
"The Fool and his Money" by Nick Bryan
"The Yielding" by J. A. Ironside.
"The Tamer of Beasts" by Doug Blakeslee..
"The Last Sword of Barrow Thorns" by Matthew A. Timmins
"The Rose and the Dragon" by Steven S. Long
"The Brothers Doran" by John A. McColley
"Wonderland" by Stephanie Jessop

Be sure to also see A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court, for more tales of the Fey!

Editor Links:





Tour Schedule and Activities
5/18    Jorie Loves a Story                                         Review
5/20    Deal Sharing Aunt                                          Guest Post
5/21    Armand Rosamilia, Horror Author               Guest Post
5/21    Vampires, Witches, and Me, Oh My!           Guest Post
5/21    Beauty in Ruins                                              Guest Post
5/21    The Bird's Word                                             Interview
5/21    Book in the Bag                                             Interview
5/22    Bee's Knees Reviews                                     Guest Post
5/22    Spellbindings                                                  Promo/Spotlight
5/22    I Smell Sheep                                                  Guest Post
5/23    The Official Writing Blog of Deedee Davies Guest Post
5/24    Heroic Fantasy Writers                                  Review
5/24    Sheila Deeth Blog                                          Guest Post
5/25    Come Selahway With Me                              Interview

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Amazon Links for Tales of the Seelie Court
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Amazon Links for Tales of the Unseelie Court
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Kindle Version


jennydecki said...

It sounds like an amazing story and a wonderful analogy. I think geese are lovely (even if one did try to bite me once) and I'm thrilled they're getting a chance to be fairy people!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Jen! Geese *are* lovely, but yes, they can have a vicious bite to them, which is one reason I chose them for this story, other than the obvious matriarchal avian included in this story about a fairy wedding gone wrong.

Sheila Deeth said...

My son used to be scared of the geese on the lakes near us. They're certainly full of character and verve!

Anonymous said...

Sheila, I feel they are best watched from a distance, since I've been chased and bitten by a goose...