Christopher Rowe

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The current meme, I'm told, is to post a single sentence from each of whatever writing projects you have going. "Going" is too strong a word for most of what follows, because a couple of these projects are destined to stay in the drawer forever, but what the heck. I think I can remember what order these were composed in, so, oldest to newest.

From a never completed, but oh so obsessively researched short story called "Providence," which I began under dual (not to say schizoprenic) Stan Robinson and Dan Simmons influences, probably a dozen years ago:

Above the angry face of Saturn, above his glowing rings, above the orbits of Hyperion and Iapetus and even high Phoebe, hung a cathedral, spinning.

Heh. Hopefully this will get better as we go along.

From what began as an attempt to write a story for a Marion Zimmer Bradley anthology--sort of an exercise that my then writing group engaged in at some point during my Michigan years. It eventually morphed into a middle ages book called On the Ground:

These were products of the Tree itself, harvested by the Queen's Navigators from branches so far distant as to be legend, branches that stretched even above the Royal Palace in the Crown.

Now, from the first of a long line of stories I began following invites to Ellen Datlow edited anthologies but which I either didn't finish until after deadline (as with this one) or didn't finish at all. I'm actually still poking at this story every once in a while, a sort of World War I/influenza epidemic/stewardship/extinct birds kind of thing called "The Mourning Quilt":

"My father charged me with caring for seven pairs of every bird, and they all lived through the water."

One of several comics scripts I have in various stages or research, pitching or, gasp, composition. It uses proprietary characters, though, so I can't actually give you a title to associate with this bit of "for the artist" description:

This time we see that one of the men is using his gun, an arquebus, as a makeshift crutch.

From a blue collar fairy story called "How Pader Reidy and Penny Whistle Came to America" we have:

He was a big guy--the ones I inadvertently piss off always are.

Here's one from an untitled ghost story that has undergone an editorial change even before completion because Gwenda didn't like it that the opening scene was set in a privy pit. So, from the bottom of a well:

“Drop the bucket in the middle so you don’t bring up any of that old muck on the walls,” he said, quoting his mother--and where was she, where were any of them?

And oh boy, here's something from what I believe has the potential to be my finest work, my Daniel Boone versus Bigfoot story (begun for the now-soon-to-be-dead Alex Irvine magazine project The Journal of Pulse-Pounding Narratives), "A Dark and Bloody Ground Indeed":

No wonder, then, that it was he who first saw the hidden underground fastnesses of the gigantic, degenerate demon-worshipping ape-men that some among the Indians call Sasquatch.

Ha! I love that. G will be upset that I didn't use the sentence that includes the phrase "naught but a loincloth," though.

Now, to stuff I'm actually working on.

From the ongoing novel, called The Border State for now:

A highlighted line started in the west of the state and described a long sweeping arc low through the flatlands, up across the knobs and the grassy fields where the horse masters run, ending north and east in the foothills of the impassable Appalachians.

And finally, the short story I just started and which I'm kind of excited about, which is entitled "Another Word for Map is Faith":

Cartographers were famous for their willful ignorance of social expressions like politics and history."

This last will be finished first.

Couple of publishing notes. I've got a story called "Whether to Go Through" in the latest issue of John Klima's funky zine, Electric Velocipede, and The Voluntary State will be included in this book.

Seeya next month. (Ahem, Clint.)

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