Pigeon-holed as a skank at my new school (heh heh)

So a long time ago, I was a kid in school, right? And I ended up moving to a different school and so of course didn’t know anyone for the first couple of weeks, because, you see, I was the new kid in school, right? Right? Yeah, so!

Funny thing happened to me in the new school.

Oh, I should preface this by saying that my established reputation at my previous school was as a kind of squeaky-clean smart-ass teacher’s pet who never got into trouble or did anything wrong.

This reputation was *ahem* based in reality, for the whole teacher’s pet, staying out of trouble bit.

Okay, so I’m in the new school right?

Within three days, based on zero provocation on my end (aside from, I suppose, the fact that I was New Meat and kind of younger-looking than everyone else–cause I do look younger than I am, and have since I was about, oh, six) . . .Okay, starting that sentence over.

Within three days, without any provocation or incitement towards trouble-making or deserved reputation besmearing on my part, one older boy had declared me his secretly conquered object and one older girl had started very, very determined rumors about how I was the skankiest skank to ever come into an innocent schoolyard and skank my skankiness around!

It was kind of funny, because, um, nothing like this had ever, ever happened to me before in my life. I mean, you get to know me for about five seconds total, in person, and you’re kind of like, “Victor Poole is sort of a vestal pigeon of innocence and pure-minded helpless whatever.”

I mean, I don’t give off any kind of . . . ah, sophisticated something-or-other? You know, a eu-de profligate? Or whatever.

Anyway, so there I was on, like, my third day at this new school, and the older girl in question, seeking further juiciness for her rabid rumor-mongering, cornered me after gym class and interrogated me about my sex life.

I kind of just stared at her with my head tilted a little to one side, as if to say, ‘Fair maid, are you feeling quite well?’, and after about two minutes of fruitless questioning she got really frustrated and I walked away, victorious and unmolested, to my next class.

And if you’re wondering about what happened next, as far as my being shoved into a box labeled ‘Skanky new kid!’, um, I won. You know, because you can’t ask all your teachers for all the backup homework and then proceed to furiously catch up to everyone else without looking, you know, like a diligent student. And a completely dead end for gossip.

Plus I never gave anyone the slightest hint of fodder towards skankiness and spent all my free time drawing pictures that all the other kids liked, so . . . that helped, too.

Anyway, I told you that saga from my youth ’cause I wanted to. No other reason. And now! Winstance!

Sample

(If you remember, we last left our rebellious fairy in the midst of telling us all about the unexpected meeting she had with the Queen Mother. Also, remember that so far in this tale, our fairy has been handed a credit card and a pamphlet on birth control. Enjoy!)

The Terms of a ‘Human Vacation’

So what the Queen said is that I get to have fifty years of a normal human life, and that as soon as I fly out to the boundary of the forest and cross over, I’ll transform into a human (she said there was an enchantment on the credit card), and then I’ll have fifty years from that moment to live as a regular human woman and get all my wild oats sowed.

So.

So, just—gosh, I cannot believe this lady. I mean, I’m ninety-eight freakin’ years old, and I’ve been trying to live differently since I was a wee little fairy tween, and now, NOW the Queen Mother wakes up and smells the peonies, and is like ‘Let us not crush Winstance’s fiery and most sincere spirit! Here, have this perfect, strings-free gift out of the wonderful generosity of my heart!’

Yeah, I am so suspicious right now. I mean—I mean, what if it’s just a prank? I don’t know what she’d get out of that, but I just cannot believe this is real. Here, I’ll lay out the terms she gave me in a little list, to be sure I’ve covered all the details:

My ‘Vacation’ Terms:

  • I must not get pregnant or pick up one of those scuzzy human diseases, and that’s all on me. I have to watch out for that myself. The Queen’s not going to help if I mess that up.
  • I have fifty years to go wear clothes and be a—in the Queen Mother’s words—free-spirited yuppy kid in the human world.
  • At the end of the fifty years, I’d better show up on time and ready to be a staid, responsible, and normal fairy for the rest of ever.
  • The credit card is full of enchanted money, but don’t make spurious purchases or the spell will start to decay—meaning, I had better get a job if I want fifteen million pairs of designer shoes. I don’t know what counts as ‘spurious,’ but knowing the Queen, it means anything aside from rent and groceries. Sheesh.
  • I must only use my magic to protect my identity and keep from entangling myself in human affairs. (?)
  • “Please never have sex with anyone, but I won’t ask you anything about it, so . . . whatever!” (her words exactly). And this means I can do anything I like–as long as I don’t pick up a disease or get knocked up.

Yeah, that’s about it. I’m just—I’m completely stunned.

I have no clue where this is coming from, on her end. Like, as far as I know, this kind of situation has never cropped up in the whole history of fairies, of a monarch just—just packing off a slightly off-the-wall troublemaker with some cash and a wink. What the crap is she up to? Because she’s got to be up to something.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current book, somebody is about to run off to find the young prince (whom everyone in the kingdom, previous to this, thought was illegitimate). You can get my latest book here.

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The conundrum of owned actors (*creative loyalty*)

Something I

ran into a lot with actors in the small-time theatre community where I used to work was what I’ll call creative loyalty.

So you know how some people are into kinda flavorful adult relationships? Well, this phenomenon among actors was very similar, but it centered around creativity instead of sex.

Essentially, actors would

try to find a powerful director or sponsoring actor to attach themselves to, rather as an ambition sub might hunt after an influential dom. The actual relationship was one of creative nurturing; the actors so seeking protection and sponsorship were looking for a manner of emotional gardener.

The actors wanted to be deliberately cultivated into stars.

Now, when

you (I) are (was) directing a show, and found your (my) auditions populated by strained wanna-be pet projects of more powerful (by dint of public image) actors, and these auditioning, younger actors had already dedicated their loyalties to people who did not want them and were not willing to cultivate their talent, you (I) find (found) yourself (myself) facing the problem of extricating actors imprisoned in a philosophical trap of their own creation.

The

attempted creative applicant must be emancipated from the hopeful loyalty to an disinterested sponsor before said actor can perform with adequate freedom and passionate expression on stage.

This was not at all a problem I anticipated running into when I first took up directing, but boy, it’s a fascinating tangle to approach.

Here is what happens next to our rebellious fairy:

Sample

(If you recall, our fairy had just received a message from the Queen. Let’s find out what happens next, shall we? Yes.)

My Meeting with the Queen

So off I go to see the fairy queen, right? And I’m just fuming about her being all hypocritical and stuff, and I fly up to her grand flower chamber and do the whole obsequious curtseying number to show my respect, and then the Queen is all, “Come here, Winstance,” and I go over there, and guess what she says to me? Guess! You’ll never guess. I’ll tell you.

The Queen tells me that she’s been so impressed with my improved attitude, and with how I’ve grown up, that she has decided, after a lot of thought, to allow me to go and have a human life for fifty years.

*me, standing there in TOTAL shock*

And I was like, “What?“, because I was pretty sure I didn’t hear her correctly, and she did that adorable, tinkly laugh that the Queen has and gave me–get this!–a platinum credit card and a pamphlet about birth control.

Yeah.

Yeah, you heard me right. A credit card and a pamphlet—a freaking PAMPHLET—about birth control.

Well, I have to tell you, I was wildly suspicious. Also, the credit card and the pamphlet together were a lot bigger than me, so I magicked them down to be reasonable sizes and then I just started glaring at the Queen, and I admit, this was not appropriate behavior, but I couldn’t help myself. I just started grilling her about what on earth she was up to, and she just kept laughing and saying that she didn’t want to ‘crush my spirit.’

WHAT?!

So she stuck to that story, and I eventually calmed down and said thank you very much, and she explained the terms of my ‘human vacation,’ which is what she was calling this whole idea, and then she dismissed me.

Guys. Guys, I am sitting in the top of a flipping tree with a credit card and a pamphlet on birth control and my head is just spinning out of control. I mean, what the crap has happened to my life? To my plan?

I have to go and see Moffer Bones, like I was planning before. I have to meet him and ask him if he thinks the Queen Mother is laying some weird trap for me, or if she might be playing a really mean trick on me. I mean, if I fly out to the boundary of the forest, thinking that I’m going to turn human when I cross the border—because the Queen told me that—well, here, I’d better explain the whole transaction, the way she laid it out for me.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, an alien warrior is negotiating with a powerful old human. You can get my most recent story here.

The Next Part

(If you recall, our rebel fairy had to play tour guide to some grumpy trolls and the Queen Mother gave her permission to wear one (1!) item of human clothing with her regular fairy outfit. Also, our fairy found some scuzzy pink children’s boots and is trying to decide if she wants to put them on . . . because they’re ugly, but still boots, ya know.)

Sample

An Unexpected Message

*more time passes*

Well, I burned the boots. They were just too ugly, and it was making me feel trapped and depressed to even look at them, so I burned them, and now I’ve been on the lookout for abandoned clothing in the woods. I found some ratty panties (no thank you!) and a really hideous green sweater that’s mostly encrusted with vomit (also NO, ew!), and I just feel . . . lost.

I just have to wait, you know? The trolls are gone, thank goodness, and I need everything to go back to normal so I can start all over on my plan! Just a few more weeks, and the other fairies will forget all about me being scared of trolls (which I’m not, my gosh!!), and then I’ll start up again with the overbearing cheerfulness. As soon as I get the others freaked out with my out-of-character sunny behavior, I’ll go and see Moffer Bones. I’ve never actually met him in person before, but I’ve heard he’s really scary. He lives aaaaall the way on the edge of the woods, over near the swampy pond.

So right now it’s just slogging through the days, sewing my gol-durned outfits out of leaves and keeping an eye out for fallen footwear. Man, if I could just stumble on another pair of boxers, or a really nice set of tennis shoes, even!

I know, right?! My standards are really falling here, because I’m desperate. Just a few more weeks, though.

*two days later*

OMG, you will never believe what happened today. So I’m going about my business, being my usual glum but very capable fairy self, and I’ve just enchanted a couple of squirrels to be goo-goo over each other and make a family, right?! And I’m feeling pretty good about myself and thinking about how someday it will be me making the smooshy-goo faces at some wonderful human. Sigh.

And then, out of nowhere, I get a magical missive. (That’s like a fairy way of sending messages, okay?) And it pops up next to me and informs me that the Queen Mother would like to see me right away.

Inside I’m like, oh, GREAT, she’s going to tell me that I can’t actually wear human clothes after all. Yerg. I still haven’t found anything to wear, but the fact that I can is helping a lot, right? Yeah, so I was pretty sure she was going to nix that whole idea when I got in to see her, so I was steaming mad as I set off! You’ll never believe what she said to me, either.

You’re looking at Victor Poole, and in my current book, somebody is about to go and see their father, who has been held prisoner by an evil lady for many years.

Our Fairy Rebel

Sample

(If you’ll remember, our rebellious woodland fairy is planning to be irrepressibly cheerful and then to visit an ancient half-fairy in her quest to be banished from the forest.)

Two Weeks Later

*time passes*

Well, it’s been two weeks since I started my plan, and guys. Guys. Ugh! Things are not going the way I had hoped. First, I told you I was going to be over-the-top cheerful, right? That was key to throwing everyone off, okay? But! But, two days after I started this plan of being bright and chirpy to all the other living things in the forest, a delegation of trolls arrived from Europe and the Queen Mother conscripted me into being a tour guide, essentially, for all the extra trolls, and so everyone just thinks I’m afraid of trolls now. I mean, when I’ve been cheerful to the trolls, all the other fairies are like, ‘Oh, Winstance has a phobia of trolls! How quaint!’

They just think I’m being nice because of them being trolls! I mean, my gosh! Ugh!

Oh, yes, my name is Winstance, and I don’t want to talk about it because it’s a long and embarrassing story and yuck, that name is so last century. *shudder*

Okay, so then inside my head I was like, fine, I’ll show you (to all the other fairies), and I tried being my old grumpy self again, right? Right?!

But NOOO, it was too late, because then! Then the trolls thought that they had influenced me to be more grim, like they are! And I’m like—aaaaaaaguh! So I got really, really grumpy, right? Like, severely angry, and now the trolls love me and the fairies are talking about how I’m so good at getting along with these frumpy troll guys that maybe I should become a diplomat and go back home with them.

Like, WHAT?!

This is not going according to plan, at all. I am so frustrated about all this. Oh, but wait, it gets worse! Yeah!

Ready? Do you want to hear about this, because it’s ridiculous! So this is all going on, right? And I’m going from super cheerful to angry to murderously grim, right? And everyone keeps thinking it’s other people doing it to me, or me reacting to circumstances and stuff, which is infuriating! This is ME, working my brilliant plan! Yarg!

So the next thing that happened in these last two weeks is that the Queen Mother called me into her fairy flower chamber, and she announced that my attitude had been changing so much for the better that she was going to loosen the restrictions about my clothing. Like, she told me straight out that I would be allowed to have one (just one!) item of human clothing underneath my regular things.

What?! This was not the plan! This is not supposed to be happening, things getting a smidgen better just when I had made up my mind to explode my life! Aaaarugh.

So.

So I found some boots, some really gross, scuzzy boots that a little kid lost in the woods. They’re like, for a three-year-old, and they’re pink, and they look about ready to fall apart. I want to burn them. But I’m thinking about cleaning them up and wearing them.

I feel so . . . low. So common. They are not stilettos. They aren’t hipster jeans. They aren’t a good, dark hoodie with those amazing thumb-holes built into the sleeves.

Urrrrgh.

Maybe I’ll burn the boots. The trolls leave next week. After the trolls are gone, I’m going to give it, like, a month and then start all over on my ‘being cheerful’ plot. Grrr. And then I’ll sneak off and beg Moffer Bones for help.

Because this . . . this is ridiculous. I’m better than this. My plan is way better than this, too. Hmph.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my latest novel, one of the new recruits is feeling pulled between two potential specialties. You can get another story by me here.

This drawing looks a little like the second commander in my sci-fi series

Here is a new hair study, with some facial study thrown in for good measure. (As in, I copied this drawing from a photo because I currently SUCK at drawing hair of any kind. Man hair, boy hair, woman hair, bird hair. Oh, wait.)

The Picture:

hair study 2 copy

 

In’t that pretty? I think so.

Now I took another note down of a thing I was going to talk about here on the ol’ blog.

Um, here it is.

Note!

How to be positive in a way that changes your mood (and improves your writing).

So I was thinking about Things I’ve Learned and Stuff I Struggled With in the past, because. . .

Just because. No good reason beyond ‘Because.’ Um, and I was pondering on the way people shout, as if they were flinging useful hammers by the act, that you just have to focus on the positive and be grateful, dammit!

But nobody has any particularly salient advice other than that ‘You should!’ and ‘It will make you happier!’ or something.

And no one

has any clue, it seems, on how to actually be positive in a way that doesn’t make you feel worse for being the kind of apparent [redacted] who can’t, it seems, be POSITIVE by force of will and lots of straining, red-faced concentration.

To me, as I have aged through the years (like an expensive cheese!), the issue has come down, not to willpower, but to what I shall now refer to as Situational Physics™.

Here is a definition that I just made up this second:

Situational Physics

The people, relationship dynamics, and circumstances in which you currently are.

For example:

Once upon a time I was a poor person living in another person’s basement (I was renting the downstairs). I call myself poor because I had very little money at that point in my life. We’ll look at my 1. people, 2. relationship dynamics, and 3. circumstances, and then do some tweaking. I was surrounded with people who treated me like a poor person, and my circumstances were that all the money I got from my work at the time was swiftly taken from me by said people. (It’s a long story, but they were liars and thieves.)

So I had tried concentrating on being positive, right? Except I wasn’t the source of the negativity in my life. Changing my internal gratitude levels really wasn’t doing anything but making me a better target for badly behaved peeps who were taking advantage of my vulnerable economic position. Right? So what I did, after realizing that things really were getting worse and not better, was that I looked at 1. the people, 2. the relationship dynamics, and 3. my external circumstances.

First, I

moved. Secretly. Like, while leaving the final installment of rent on the table and then vanishing without a word. And I was homeless! With bags full of my stuff! And no job!

But I did that, and I went pretty far away (I had a used car I had gotten on purpose to escape. I will put that part in.)

I went into debt for a car! There. Then I moved out secretly with my stuff in bags, and now had no job. Fun! And I went far away.

So, the first thing, while being homeless, was to find a job. I did my networking shtick and I got hired at a casual fine-dining place within three or four days. Yay! I had a job! And no landlord! Oh, wait. (Homelessness, hooray.)

So as

soon as I had a job, I went to a bank and I went into debt by getting an Evil Credit Card, with which I talked my way into a slightly sketchy basement apartment with one bedroom. (Score!)

Now I was not homeless! Ha ha!

After that point, it was a lot of working on my approach to relationships, because I had ‘Poor Person’ scrawled all over my mannerisms.

Because life.

So I had to change that, which meant forcibly dragging myself though A Transformation. (Which was exhausting, but kind of fun. Sort of. When it started working and I discovered by trial and error how to take action in ways that actually led to results. There was a learning curve. It was very fun after I learned how to make progress. Finding the things that worked was painful and hard, because I did not know what to do at first. Also, at this segment I was still figuring out how to keep 1. people and 2. relationship dynamics from dragging me down, so there were lots of backwards steps mixed in for me during my Long and Arduous Transformation into a no-longer-marked-by-poverty person.)

As an aside, it drives me nuts when people tell stories like this and skip the hard bits. I mean, hello. That’s the point of sharing experience, right? Is helping other people find their way through the hard bits, and how are they going to if you edit out and clean up all the parts where you almost gave up five million times because it just seemed like nothing was working and you couldn’t do anything right? Gosh.

Aside over.

The point of this

story is, in connection to positivity that actually makes you feel better, is that you will feel good inside when you are making progress and experiencing success. If you feel like shit, or stuck, or like a [redacted], then look at the Situational Physics. (I would have made faster progress if I had done this consistently back then, instead of every few months. I should have been doing this every damn day and learning from how negative I felt. I didn’t. Learn from me and do not as I did back then!)

So look at where you are.

Actually take a piece of paper, you know, and write down the people connected to you. Then write down the relationship dynamics you’re experiencing (as in, where does your effort go? And whose effort goes towards you?). Then make a brief, bullet-point summation of your current circumstances.

If you want to feel positive, and you don’t feel positive right now, one of those areas needs to change.

How this affects your writing

All of your characters are, bar none, subject to Situational Physics. If you want to write wonderful adventures that transport the reader into strange and exhilarating new worlds, you must gain a working, intimate knowledge of your own and your characters’ Situational Physics.

And I’m calling this the physics of the situation you’re in because physics is about the relationship of matter and energy, and until you look at the actual energy exchange of your life situation, you won’t be able to change the inputs and outputs to get what you, personally want. And getting what you want results in positivity. And better writing.

As a sum-up:

Situational Physics:

The people, relationship dynamics, and circumstances in which you currently are.

To feel actually positive right now, analyze your real spot, where you actually are right at this moment,  and take action to get to where you want to be. Taking real action (that addresses the actual issues) towards altering the inputs (the people you are constantly exposed to, the relational dynamics in your current life, and your right-now circumstances) will result in instant and genuine positivity inside of you (because you’ll be moving towards The Goal, and movement towards The Goal is success, and success is addictively yummy for your heart), and your writing will improve and strengthen when you do the same things with your characters.

Personally, I

would advise doing this kind of thing to your characters first, because then you gain experience and wisdom as a Manipulator of Situations, which makes you better at machinating your own circumstances in Real Life.

Aaaand I now have to go do other things in my Real Life to increase my positivity, too. (It never ends! But being actually positive and succeeding is SO FUN!)

My latest book is here: Diana Is Alone.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my current novel, the youngest recruit is telling a yarn about the legendary hunter (to the delight of his fellow newbies).

Skull practice

skull

This is

a drawing I made today on top of an old sketch. I am not happy with the angle or shape of the jaw.

In my opinion, this jaw stinks. It’s awful. Boo, jaw!

I’m also deeply dissatisfied with the angle of the torso bulk. Ah, one day at a time, right?

On the other hand, the eye sockets please me. Yes, they do.

I was thinking

the other day about my long history of people who act like my friend and then stab me in the back. You might think I’m exaggerating. Oh, ho, I am not. But I also don’t really care about all this kerfluffle because I see it, in the big picture, as fodder for subject material.

I mean, what is more useful than devious and long-running betrayals for coming up with convincing and entertaining fiction? Nothin’, I tell you.

Um, I was really going to talk about something on this blog post today. I even made a note of it on another document several hours ago when I tried and failed to access the internet (I was thinking of doing a blog post during a free moment, but alas, the internet-connectivity spirits were not in attendance.) Umm, what was it? I really don’t want to open up that document to find out.

Hm.

Well, poop. Off I go to find the note. Oh, here it is.

The Note:

(doesn’t that sound official and exciting? Yay!)

The problem of writing is the same as the problem of acting, that the good people are good at it and everyone else sucks, and there doesn’t seem to be a bridge between the two.

Ha ha!

I feel very accomplished right now.

So, back in the day when I was a very young fruit first making a foray into The World of Acting, some very odd things became almost immediately clear, one of which was the startling fact that:

  1. There were GOOD actors, whom everyone wanted to use in shows and who imparted a sort of insta-party feel to rehearsals and performances
  2. Everyone else was blah bordering on meh.

Now, my

trouble, personally, was that I wanted to find a way to bridge the seemingly impassable gap between the Haves and the Have-Nots when it came to talent.

Why? Because I wanted to be in awesome shows fully stocked with talented people. I wanted better scene parters. So shoot me.

And yes, I was a member of category 1. What point is there to being dishonest? I’m very good. Moving on.

Being good is not very fun if you can’t play with quick-witted scene partners and create DRAMA.

So I started

working my little actor heinie off to figure out how, if one could, to close the very long, socially separating bridge between The Cool Actors and the rest of the folks who wanted to do theatre and just didn’t know how to do any of it particularly well.

And that brings us to the subject of writers, where the same issue arises. Some are Just Really Good, and others are tepid in their accomplishments. And again, my question becomes: How do you get from ‘lukewarm meh’ to ‘phenomenally sleek and objectively awesome?’

You know,

because I like reading other people’s stories that are really good. And that are emotionally and psychologically building as well as being entertaining and juicy, in a dramatic sense.

I did crack the formula for actors. Oddly enough, the majority of the issue comes down to really, really particular care of the skin, hair, and spiritual vehicle plus permanent, mature detachment from the biological roots. Good times.

I have yet to form a small commune of writers to try a similar experiment on the wordy folk, but I might get into that sort of dabbling someday. Fun times.

If you want to experiment, though, here’s a brief formula:

What Makes A Desirable Actor in Victor Poole’s Experience

  • Scrubbed skin (free of oil, optimally moisturized with quality product).
  • Well-cared for hair, always shiny, clean, and ‘done.’ Like, always.
  • Zero internally directed negativity. Absolutely zero. Nada. Zip.
  • Hope
  • Holistically separate from and independent to, in every sense of the word, the relatives who birthed you and around whom you grew as a small’un.

If you’re looking for a fun meta-experiment, live thusly for a few months, write every single day without exception, and observe, I predict, great strides in your fiction.

Now! This is what happens next to our fairy:

Sample

(If you’ll remember, she is desperate for modern clothes and flirting, and is plotting to escape the forest and the supervision of the other, more traditionally-minded fairies.)

A Devious Plan in Two Parts

So now you have a full picture of my conundrum, and I can finally lay out my super amazing plan to get away from this place. Ready? Okay, so the first part of my plan is to be completely, over-the-top cheerful to everyone, all the time, in an intensely sugary-sweet kind of way.

You see, most fairies are naturally sunny in their dispositions. That’s normal for our kind of magical folk, but me, personally, I’ve been in this funk about the clothes issue for, oh, about eighty-some-odd years, and so everyone in the whole forest knows that I’m really grumpy.

Because, let’s face it, I have been grumpy. Kind of—doldrumy and annoyed at everyone and everything, to be honest. I’ve been frowning and slumping around doing my job with crabby scowls and quips about the general negativity in life for decades now, ever since I was a little tween fairy, and so for me to be cheerful–it kind of puts everyone else’s back up. They get all sorts of suspicious and want to know what the heck is going on, and a lot of them start feeling that something terrible is about to happen.

Suspicious little noodles! So the very first part of my plan, the warm-up stage, is to be completely, a thousand percent cheerful and bright about literally everything. I know for a fact that the fairies are going to get really uncomfortable and on edge, because the last time I was really in a good mood—well, that’s another story and I don’t want to talk about that right now.

Never mind. Let’s just say I’m sure this will work, because they all got uneasy and freaked out last time, okay?

Then, the real first part of my plan, the segment where I take action, is that I’m going to take a half-day off work and sneak all the way over to the rotten oak to seek out the help and advice of Moffer Bones, who is, like, the oldest guy n the whole forest and kind of–sort of–evil.

He’s not actually bad, per se, but he’s—dodgy. Kind of—off. Like, he decorates with the skulls of animals and keeps butterfly wings and fur skins all over his house, kind of like trophies, and his place always smells like the kind of mushrooms that you really shouldn’t be eating unless you want to get kind of out of your head with—you know, the particular chemical properties of certain dangerous mushrooms.

Okay, yes, so Moffer Bones stews mushrooms that he probably shouldn’t, and yes, he’s kind of a crazy dude who may or may not actually eat animals (shudder), BUT, the important part is that he is definitely old enough, sour enough, and annoyed with the Queen Mother enough (because she keeps him from running amok and doing some disruptive things in the forest—mostly eating a lot of cute animals and playing love-pranks on visiting humans, I believe) that I’m pretty sure he’ll be willing to help me. He likes stirring up trouble and I think—I really hope—that he will feel that me slipping away like this will just be a pretty good joke to pull on all the other fairies.

Oh, I didn’t really tell you this yet, but Moffer Bones is kind of a—well, he’s a fairy bastard, a love child of an ancient god and a fairy. And I don’t know that story at all, but I do know he’s illegitimate and kind of in his own category, as far as what he is.

So, to sum up my plan: I’ll be super-duper cheerful to throw everyone off and put them on edge, and then after about a week of that treatment, off I go to see Moffer Bones and beg for help. I’m pretty sure he’ll give me good advice. He’ll sense, I’m sure, that we’re kindred spirits, since I’m all rebellious and stuff. He’ll totally help me. I hope.

You’re reading Victor Poole, my latest-available book, Diana Is Alone, can be purchased here, and in my current novel, some of the men are taking out bets on who from among the new recruits will be the trainer’s favorite pupil.

**just story

Today you are receiving (you’re welcome) a snippet of our fairy adventure.

Ergo:

If you will recall, our jeans-lusting heroine is aiming to get free of her forest and become temporarily human-esque in order to flirt with many men, and in order to shop for modern clothes (and then wear said items of attire).

Sample

A Very Brief History of Naughty Fairies

So! I need to get banished without earning a death sentence (yeesh) or making the Queen Mother mad enough to strip off my wings (which would SUCK).

Oh, you probably don’t know what happens when a woodland fairy gets her wings taken off. Gosh, telling this story is more complicated than I thought it would be, but here goes. So my wings, like I told you, are the core of my power. Obviously if I lost them or they were cut off, I would be a pretty lame fairy. That’s like, worse than death, I think, because you would end up having ugly scars where your wings used to be, and your magic would just—be gone. I can’t imagine living without magic.

Well, there have only been two other times *that I know of* when a fairy from our clan has lost their wings. Boy fairies have wings, too. I just said ‘she’ before because I’m a girl, so I’m not, like, calculating about being a boy fairy who lost his wings. ‘Cause I’m a girl.

Anyway! Um, but there have only been two times I’ve ever heard of a fairy losing their wings, and the first time was, like, six hundred years ago when one of the princes in the ruling family at the time got into huge trouble for falling in love (which is a big no-no in the first place) with a nymph and actually getting her pregnant.

That was kind of a huge big kerfluffle that stretched on for ages, according to the stories, and finally his–the fairy prince’s–wings were stripped off as punishment and he had to live as a mortal for a normal human lifespan of years without magic before being turned into a river. Like, he’s a river now.

Oh, and his son, the kid he had with that nymph, is sort of immortal, but no one will say a word to me about him, because I’m ‘too silly to understand serious matters,’ so I don’t know anything about that part. I’m pretty sure the nymph is still just a nymph, though. You know, she’s just around still, somewhere, being all tree-maidenly and whatnot.

Anyway, so that’s the first instance of a fairy losing their wings in our segment of magical beings, and then the second time was about two hundred years ago when a fairy turned kind of crazy and tried to assassinate the Queen Mother.

No one will tell me anything about that story at all, but I know the fairy was stripped of her wings and got turned into a stone statue. I have no clue why the fairy got all murdery all of a sudden, or what she was hoping to gain out of killing the Queen, but those are the only two times a fairy out of our particular family group (which goes back for centuries) has been stripped of their wings.

I’ll sum up for you:

  1. Fairy prince from the royal family goes nuts for a tree nymph and has a very against-the-rules son; prince is stripped of his wings, made mortal, and eventually turned into a river. (No thank you! I don’t want to be a body of water, even a constantly moving one!)
  2. Regular female fairy loses her grip and tries to assassinate the Queen Mother (the same Queen who’s in charge now); wanna-be assassin is stripped of her wings and transformed into . . . a rock! (Ugh. Also no thanks! And why would she want to kill the Queen, anyway? Makes no sense.)

Now, I do NOT want to be unfortunate fairy-stripped-of-wings number three, so I’ve got to be just super, intensely irritating to everyone until they all want a break from me. It’s a difficult tone to hit, being aggressively annoying without actually doing anything wrong. I would hate to be turned into a rock or a tree or something instead of being banished, you know? Trees cannot go shopping, or wear hoodies. Or stilettos. Or flirt. Sigh.

You’re reading Victor Poole, and in my latest book, an old man is having an emotional reunion with a former employee.