I just posted the tenth story in the Baker’s Dozen challenge.

Once upon a time in the kingdom of Illumignot lived the handsome King Franklin and the clever Queen Isabella. They loved each other dearly and their only wish was to have a child. After a decade of trying, the brave Prince Kyle was born. All the kingdom celebrated. That night, while they all slept, the Blue Fairy came and stole all their shadows.

This story is available here on my web site for free for the rest of the week. I’ll pull it down when I post the next story.

I came up with this story back in the late ’80s — 1988 maybe — while I was babysitting a young boy named Kyle. I told this story out loud, and I think I may have written it down at some point. But I realize recently that I’d never typed it up. So I decided that since I’ve remembered this story for so long that it was about time I actually wrote it out.

Much of the original elements of the story are in this version, with the prince trying to be brave, how the children and the dead are affected by losing their shadows, the princess who challenges Kyle, and the meeting with his shadow at the end.

This is a story I wrote straight to the computer. It isn’t as clean as my other work. I should go through it carefully one more time, but I needed to post to meet my deadline. Before it goes into the anthology I’ll edit it heavily, I’m certain.

Was it not as clean because of the method I wrote it? Probably. But it was also just a messy story, trying to remember something from so long ago, trying to make my current voice accommodate that old voice. It was originally all fairy tale, nothing told from any POV. But I like the mix that came with this version.

Did I enjoy writing this straight to computer? It was certainly easier. I followed the one bit of advice about figuring out exactly what I was going to write just before I wrote it, and OMG did the words fly from my fingers. Were they good words? Some of them were. It’s a new way of writing for me, but I think that with practice I could get really good at it, that it would become my new process for writing.

I’m still not convinced that I can produce a clean enough draft typing straight to the computer. I had to spend a lot of time rewriting, and I hate revising. I’d just as soon it all came in really clean.

This week I’m going to be typing straight to the computer again though, unless the story screams that it must be hand written. (I’ve had stories like that.) I have to travel this week, I have social obligations, I have vacation rental stuff to do and stuff around the house as well. I am BUSY this week. My choice, always my choice, but this week is a little more crazed than usual.

Tonight, though, I’m taking some more time off and just relaxing.

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