Well, I apologize for the long delay between posts. I seem to have injured my wrists from over-typing (and yoga, apparently. Who knew?) and had to take a week of physio and various treatments to get back in the saddle, metaphorically speaking, just in time to get my copy edits, which I hope are the last stage in the editing process. I’ve also used my return to flexibility to knock off a 10,000 word prequel to The Beggar’s Opera that (fingers crossed) will be part of a promotion involving Kobo. (Details later.)
Now I’ve never written a short story before, and I didn’t find it easy. I got very stuck on plot until I went out to the cottage for a few days. It’s funny how the creative process works. I often find inspiration there, even though my cottage is in Ontario and the books (and this story) are set in Cuba. Although my lake is freshwater and doesn’t have any jellyfish, I got thinking about jellyfish, and they’ve ended up in the opening lines of the short story, as well as its conclusion once I found that (a) they are poisonous even when dead and (b) octopuses use parts of them as weapons against their enemies. I knew that octopuses predicted soccer matches and could open bottles of peanut butter, but using jellyfish as tools/weapons? Had to write about that.
Every now and then I craft something that makes me tear up, and it’s the jellyfish in this murder mystery (go figure) that make me cry.
You know, the scores of blue ones that strand themselves on beaches in Florida and fictitiously in Santa Cruz del Norte which is the setting of this story. All of that links back in the story eventually, to Cuban Inspector Ramirez’s Yoruba slave grandmother, his impending mortality, and his small son.
The short story is out with external readers at the moment: I’m hoping they like it. What is your inspiration? Where do your ideas come from? And how weird are they? (I mean, really, who would have thought I’d ever write 10,000 words inspired by jellyfish?)