My story "Kraken's Honor" was published today by Beneath Ceaseless Skies, a wonderful and really high quality ezine (of course, they bought my story, didn't they?) :). I am especially happy to see this one out in the world, because it helped me through a bad patch several years ago. It was written just a few days after my father's funeral, when all I could do was stare blindly at my monitor at work and try not to cry. Writing it at least got my mind focused on something else during the process, and I consider the story a real gift from my muse.
It touches on complicated themes of death and life and gods and you name it. It was kinda free-ranging, but all wrapped into very high fantasy. So I wonder, given the true escapist nature of fantasy fiction, how much we who write it turn to it to save our own sanity? I love creating new worlds and populating them with people I have not met and never will. But they are very real, doing things that are all-important to them, as our lives are to us. Life and death and love and hate weave through the pages in more dramatic fashion than in much of mainstream fiction, which is usually focused on the ordinary rather than on saving the planet. It is really cathartic, on days when the world seems just a bit too much, to be able to stick a sword in a hero's hand and let him start swinging in defense of all he holds dear.
It kinda makes up for having to let go of things we personally hold dear.
I wish my dad could have read this story. I wish he could know I am finally making that concerted effort (which is, I might add, starting to succeed, like he told me it would) to get published, do the thing I love, and get paid for it. Imagine that. Fathers really do know best.
Love you, Dad. Wish you were still here.