talkstowolves: (all the poets know)
Tales from the Wishing Well is on hiatus, effective immediately.

Installments will resume on January 1st, 2009, and will continue monthly until June 2009 when it will resume a weekly schedule.

I apologize to all my friends, supporters, and sponsors for the delay in installments, but this will guarantee both the quality of the pieces as well as my soundness of mind.

For those who would like a complete explanation of why this is necessary, step beneath the cut:

Explanation of the necessity for a hiatus. )

Tales from the Wishing Well.
talkstowolves: "Jack of all trades, master of none."  (jack of all trades)
Oh dear. It's Friday. It should tell you something about my week that I didn't even realize it was Friday until this morning.

So, yes, there was no Tales from the Wishing Well this past Monday. I apologize for that, and apologize even more that I didn't make an announcement to this effect before Monday passed.

Here's what happened:

Last Friday, I moved from Alabama to Georgia. This was incredibly hard on me and my family, involving sweat, blood, and tears. (No, seriously.)

Last Monday, I began classes for graduate school. This was rather overwhelming in itself.

It is my hope that I can give you two installments next week to make up for this missed week. However, I can't promise anything.

Thank you, dear patrons!
talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (talks to wolves)
Sometimes, this project is difficult. This is most often the case when I have eleventy-billion things to do and yet refuse to drop any commitments, especially this one. Sometimes, this project is difficult because the ideas that occur don't want to be limited to such a short form. They entice me, whisper how much more they could be. That was the case with the main character in "In Extremis" and with the fellas from "The Brotherhood of Applied Sciences."

For today's prompt-- "desire," given by [ profile] caudelac-- I came up with three long-form projects and one I couldn't write because of other people. Last night, in bed, another two occurred to me that I don't have a hope of gracefully pulling off in a short time frame.

One idea kept pushing at me: I want to show how much desire is responsible for repulsion as it is for attraction. Several of the above mentioned projects attempted to do that in different ways. What I settled on at last, however, is imagery I would say is charged for most people.

The work featured here today is not freshly written, so I don't feel right in putting up the donate button. If you appreciate the work and want to donate anyway, you can find the permanent banner at the Tales from the Wishing Well home page.

As always, if you have no idea what's going on here, click this link to read an explanation of the project.

Comments are welcome!

* * *

Mortal Desires
A Poem from the Wishing Well

by Deborah J. Brannon

Rabbit tossed a coin into the well, and upon this coin was inscribed: Desire.

"I seek mercy! I seek absolution!"
I offer neither.
"I seek love... I seek peace..."
I can be both.
"I fear you! will run!"
I will follow.
"I am weary. I await you!"
I will embrace you.
"I seek passion; I seek... feeling."
I am cold.
"In darkness, there is peace? In coldness, there is love?"
I am here for you.
"What do you want from me?"
Only you.



Tales from the Wishing Well.
talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (Default)
Today's installment that, at first, seemed to want to be a poem then wanted to be prose again. I obliged it, fickle beast. I should note that I've finally managed to keep to my word count with this story, so hurrah!

Today's prompt was provided by [ profile] quadrivium, a fellow Alabamian! I hope she enjoys it.

Read, enjoy, tip if you're moved, and comments are welcome!

(Psst, if you're completely confused as to what this Tales from the Wishing Well project is, click here to read an explanation.)

* * *

Our Lady of Crows
A Tale from the Wishing Well

by Deborah J. Brannon

Mary tossed a coin into the well, and upon this coin was inscribed: Crow.

Inverted feathers, black to white slip sideways through a sky, ash-grey and breathless, all stopped-- the feathers explode in a shower of pale dust. A shadow clutches a burning brand and bears it earthward.

They say Crow stole light for us all, burned black when he set it in the sky. They do not say he was not alone or that his feathers were the color of starlight. His mate was the color of burnished gold in a westering sun, and it was her keen mind that prompted the act: stealing fire from the gods.

Some women remember the true tale: the women of dawn, with dew on their lips; the women of noon, with skin scorched umber; the women of midnight with eyes full of stars. These women of moment, perfect clarity, remember still how two crows took off in the nothing-dark, winged in tandem, together tamed the spark of life, and how it was she who first grasped the glittering brand.

Read more... )

Please note: There will be a necklace inspired by this piece and it should appear by Friday.
talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (Default)
If you missed my latest free fiction offering, "The Brotherhood of Applied Sciences", because I posted it egregiously late last night (sorry about that), CLICK HERE!

Our next installment will be posted on Monday, August 4th. The prompt is crows (as provided by [ profile] quadrivium) and it's asking to be a poem... and a necklace.
talkstowolves: From the 2007 film, Beowulf, featuring Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother and a perverted Oscar Wilde quote. (monsters: never simple)
First a note: I apologize that this installment has appeared so late in the day. Also, I went over my self-imposed word limit again. This story came in at approximately 1150 words, when I keep meaning to cap these at 750. I swear, this is an experiment in getting me to write under word limitations as well as deadlines. 0_o

Today's prompt was given to me by my oldest little brother and I'm quite sure this isn't anything like he was expecting.

Read, enjoy, tip if you're moved, and comments are welcome!

(Psst, if you're completely confused as to what this Tales from the Wishing Well project is, click here to read an explanation.)

* * *

The Brotherhood of Applied Sciences
A Tale from the Wishing Well
by Deborah J. Brannon

Douglas tossed a coin into the well, and upon this coin was inscribed: Brothers.

The men were brilliant, marvels and masters of modern science. All the papers would say so, would hail them as the conquerors of death and enhancers of life. Or would have done, if they'd ever heard of Dr. Henry Sexton and Dr. Adam Valincourt. The papers never would hear a whisper, though, and death would continue unchecked, blithely harvesting each life in its time.

Each life, that is, except for two.

Thanks to selling off some less advanced technology, Sexton and Valincourt had extensive financial holdings, a fully automated scientific facility, and a highly paid, tightly controlled security force. They returned to this facility every 60 years (a most sensibly-devised half life, given the times), downloading themselves into carefully engineered 25-year-old bodies which aged but slowly and bore faces of fictional descendants.

Each 60 years, their ritual was the same:

Once they finished with the less flattering conventions of their regular resurrections-- coughing up fluid, staggering about, eventually attending to hygiene and dress-- they met in a small, blue-painted room featuring a single mahogany table and two wing-backed chairs. On the table waited a tray bearing a decanter of aged brandy and two crystal glasses, carefully prepared by a discreet servant with financially-controlled muteness.

They greeted each other, sat, and talked about life.

Read the rest of the story... )

talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (Default)
Today's installment of Tales from the Wishing Well will be posted either this afternoon or this evening. Watch out for it!
talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (Default)
I truly regret having to make this post, especially since my Tales from the Wishing Well project hasn't technically seen a full week yet. However, it's become painfully obvious that it is necessary.

Tales from the Wishing Well will be on a new schedule, effective immediately. From this point on, installments will be published each Monday.

I really wanted to provide you with free fiction and poetry multiple times a week, but life has become 100% more difficult since yesterday. I do not want my personal life to affect potential future donations for my Tales from the Wishing Well installments: I want to receive willing compensation for my work based on its own merit. Therefore, the detailed reasons for the schedule change will be given behind a cut.

And the reasons are... )

Thank you for understanding! And thank you for the patronage I have received so far.
talkstowolves: I am a wicked fairy apologist, featuring Oona from Labyrinth. (wicked fairy apologist)
Here concludes the first installment of Tales from the Wishing Well. If you've missed what's happening here, see this post for an explanation. If you've missed Part I of "In Extremis", you can read it here.

Read, enjoy, tip if you're moved, and comments are welcome!

* * *

In Extremis
Part II
by Deborah J. Brannon

I have played the penitent before, mounted the ladder, wended the long way to Heaven on the heels of the Malakhim. Angels make climbing look effortless, but we earthbound demonkin grow fond of bodies with muscles that bunch and strain and skins that run with effort.

Thus limp and winded, I have thrown myself upon the mercies of my celestial counterparts, begging to be made new. Must I serve, only, and receive no surcease? Could not the tool of absolution be herself briefly absolved? The black eyes of my brothers and sisters have gazed at me, bowed and trembling with blood-stained hands and feet. Their gaze has swept over my taught skin, sallow by their own sacred glow. Their hands have twitched toward my ravaged wings, feathers tattered and torn through the passion of my calling and finally, with pitiless compassion, they have made me new.

Yet they would never let me speak: my words crowded behind my teeth, stymied by their holy hands that bid my words not profane such a sacred place. Though their hands were gentle and cleansed my skin, clearing away the sweat and blood; though their breath was refreshing, summoning new feathers from my beleaguered wings; though they clothed me in glorious raiment, they denied me further speech. So I learned that Abaddon's eyes could grow wet as rain-washed rust and still she-- I-- could not cry.

Continue reading... )

talkstowolves: We love stories that subvert the expected. Icon inspired by In the Night Garden, Valente. (not that kind of story)
Welcome to the first installment of Tales from the Wishing Well, inspired by you! I am surprised (yet pleased) to tell you that the first story has actually gone over my word limit and will be split into two posts. You get the first half of "In Extremis" today and the second half on Monday.

Read, enjoy, tip if you're moved, and comments are welcome!

* * *

In Extremis
Part I
by Deborah J. Brannon

     Marshall tossed a coin into the well, and upon this coin was inscribed: Abaddon.

They only come in winter or summer. In extremis, by extremes. In summer, my door opens upon Baghdad alleys, in dunes southwest of Mut, upon the infernal wastes of Ifrin and the trackless breadth of Death Valley. In winter, penitents must come through Moscow sewers, walk leagues north of Helsinki, dig through snows in the Ice Queen's realm, or steer fifth star to the right and straight on till morning toward the Antarctic.

They always know the ordeals, the way. They find the broken-latched door in shadows and water and snows and collapsing waves of heat. Though iron or wood, banded in silver or leather, it always bears my sigil: the staring hollow eye and the insatiable locust splayed across the pupil. The sigil is a chain, burned into my flesh as well, an invisible connection that means the door will always lead to me.

No matter where I run to, in this world or any other, they will always find me with their blazing eyes and their scrabbling hands. So full of burning guilt and freezing desire, they will never let me forget why it must be me.

Abaddon. Title, name, and purpose.

Continue reading... )

talkstowolves: I speak with wolves and other wicked creatures. (Default)
Tales from the Wishing Well

A couple of weeks ago, I invited all of you to give me writing prompts: one prompt per letter in the alphabet, in keeping with the Alphabet Meme going around Livejournal at the time. Originally, I planned to mix my responses to the meme, either writing a journal entry or a short essay or doing something more creative, however the mood struck me. My more creative responses could encompass flash fiction (up to 750 words), poetry, photography, or jewelry-crafting.

After pondering my current situation, however, I have decided that every reply to the Alphabet Meme-- or every installment in Tales from the Wishing Well, as the project is now called-- will be creative. Some installments may have a visual component (either photography or jewelry), but all installments will have a written component (mainly flash fiction and poetry, with forays into song-writing and essays possible).

My reasons for doing this are several. First, I'd like to encourage myself to start producing creatively to a schedule (no matter how busy I am otherwise). In addition to this, I'd also like to generate more interest in my writing. On the business side of things, I'd like to experiment with cyber-funded creativity. Finally, on a personal note, I am sadly in dire financial straits.

As of 01/01/2009, the schedule is now once monthly to appear on the 15th of every month.

Topics, As Provided By You
behind the cut )

Donations, or The Cyber-Funded Part
Each installment in Tales from the Wishing Well will have a Paypal Donate button located at the bottom of the post. This is a tip jar, an up-turned top hat, an open guitar case. It is not a bill, an invoice, or a demand.

I ask only that, if you enjoy the fruits of my labor, that you consider throwing a bill or two into the jar.

Those who do donate, however, will have first crack at purchasing any jewelry made for this project. Or window-box prints of my photographs, with the photo surmounting the text of the accompanying installment. There may be other incentives to come over the next couple of months!

Coming Up Soon
On Friday, you'll get a short flash fiction piece inspired by [ profile] afterimage's prompt: Abaddon. Come back and read the story entitled "In Extremis" (or "Lady of Locusts" as it's been rattling around in my head). Brought to you by the phrases "place of destruction," "land of the dead" and "where the damned lay half in fire and half in ice." I hope to subvert your expectations.

My Plea
If you know some people who enjoy free short fiction and poetry, would you mind directing them here? They can check out the first installment of Tales from the Wishing Well this Friday (and read some other free fiction and poetry on my site) and decide if they'd like to hang around for the whole carnival.

Thank you!

(I would be remiss if I did not mention the local trailblazers in cyberfunded creativity: [ profile] ysabetwordsmith, [ profile] haikujaguar, and [ profile] shadesong.)

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