The Feature of Oliver Toddle

Oliver Toddle is story of the week over at The Science of Fiction. Go say hello to Andrew. Here’s his flattering capsule review.

Story of the Week: A Gnome Affair

There are many variations of the Grimm’s fairy tale The Elves and the Shoemaker. Most notably to my mind is Charles de Lint’s Pixel Pixies published in a collection by Tor years ago. I love these updates. “Video game store has a real dragon in the basement,” is not only fun to read but is a perfect vehicle for asking questions about what we do with our myths in a world of bytes and bits.

For the story of the week I offer another such story. The Love Song of Oliver Toddle is sweet and erudite where the poetry described in the narrative grows in complexity and relevance as the relationship between protagonists grows in complexity. It is also a discussion between the modern and the ancient and how the two, made one, are better. It was published in The Absent Willow Review, a zine that I have been reading non-stop for a couple of days now. It is really accessible and fiction-forward so go there and enjoy!

I was feeling kinda down yesterday, so this is a nice way to thaw out and feel warmer.


Stump Triumphant

The Man made it home.

The blacktop was every bit as I intimated, but the Elantra managed to get behind a might drift busting machine and break through. Thank you, farmers everywhere, for your utility vehicles.

That said, he’s pretty done in and demoralized. As in, “I’m tempted to tell them to screw it tomorrow.” Well, I want to get into work at some point, but it doesn’t have to be morning.

January in Iowa. Tomorrow we scoop again. Right now the wind taunts us, but we will not be drawn into battle until it makes a difference.



Thanks to The Ferrett, I’ve received a most insightful critique. Thanks!

The critique leads me in a circle, back to something I have realized about my work before. There’s an idea that writers should put their work away, and then return to it to make it better, substantially changing the piece. Time gives writers like this new insight. Some writers discover that they have to write a zero draft, and most of that draft is unusable, as the book becomes something else entirely in the rewriting. That’s me when I’m writing my best work.

Continue reading “Artifice”

Some Links

I might end up being all by myself this evening. Bryon’s school went two hours late, so we scooped ourselves out, and off he went. I made him pack clothes and a blanket. He called and said the ride was pretty bad.

Now the wind’s kicked in. The black top leading into our little town drifts and closes off, and I think by the time school lets Bryon go, the road may be impassable. It’s all good–he has some good friends he can stay with in town, and I’m here to do another round of scooping and take care of the cats. I wonder if he will use common sense and follow the recommendations to not travel. Sometimes the Stump men can get stubborn, and it’s not always the best trait.


Four interesting links from the Interrealms.

Jim Hines on character death.

Seanan McGuire on character death.

Health care reform and his cancer from Jay Lake

Dealing Well with Disappointment from Ilona Andrews

Another post to follow shortly.


Snow Sigh

Nature, determined yet again to keep us home, is about to blast us with snow and wind.

It is true I was going to take tomorrow off anyway. It is unfortunate that now it looks like scooping will eat a good chunk of that precious writing day.

We really are going to Florida when we retire. Severe winter three has pretty much decided us. So, even though it’s ten years away, any information about life in Orlando as a citizen is welcome.

Or, when the inevitable money tsunami comes in from Substance of Shadows (you know, my as yet unagented, unpublished book?), we’re gone.

Wishfully and Whimsically,

Last Link of the Day

That’s chapter five, more or less. I don’t get to write tomorrow, because I have both day and evening commitments. That said, I have planned to take Thursday off. Here’s what I plan:

Revise and complete three rough scenes.
Sketch out chapter six.
Continue work on either Manuel or David’s story lines.


Tiffany Trent is thinking about an online conference for MG/YA authors. For more information, this is the place to go!

Off to teach the first night class of the semester. As much as I like teaching, sometimes I dread it when we crank back up.