Since the last issue of Scribal Tales occurred on April 2011, I feel that I owe an explanation to our readers and writers for the lack of publication, but nothing comes to mind, except for the fact that I had lost my joy of writing and reading fantasy, science fiction, horror – even though I have a number of personal uncompleted stories awaiting final editing.
So, why publish at this late date? What prompted me? Well, I received a submission from Jagiiwan Sohal, “The Pale Stranger” that captivated me. It is a wonderful story that was well-crafted, and I thought that if I were publishing Scribal Tales, this would be a feature story. But “The Pale Stranger” could not stand alone. I do not know if you can really consider this a horror story, it is more of a hybrid story, as I believe there is an evolution taking place, which in and of itself, might lead to a revolution, but certainly a war. So, this short story is a true treat to read and behold.
Therefore, our featured story is:
The Pale Stranger by Jagjiwan Sohal
Joel Weichs Levy, assistant editor-in-chief, and a writer I have collaborated with in the past, sent me an idea for a new collaboration with a werewolf and a were-snow leopard. Nothing too fancy, just a joining of the two characters. I quickly named the werewolf, a herald, Baldor; we exchanged letters, and thus began, The Quest of the Shape Shifters. As we wrote – and the storyline still needs some depth – but it formed a short story that I felt should be published – and why not? Who can argue with the editor and publisher of his own website, not to mention his newly appointed Vice-President of Editing, JWL?
Here is the premise of the story:
Quest of the Shape Shifters: Cortwain, a snow-leopard were-being possesses a gem which has been given to him so he can go on a quest; he arranges to meet with a herald, named Baldor, who finds that his contract is null and void, but faces an interesting proposition: Steal the treasure of The Dragon. They are joined forces by Alleshea who transforms before your very eyes to the woman all men desire.
I would love to have had a female writer participating in the Shared World series, but no one seemed available. A shared world series has always been part of the publishing anatomy for Scribal Tales and I hope that the writers on this site start sending in some submissions so I can publish a grand quest for the next (if any) publications.
Lo and Behold: A series of short stories by a writer from Auckland, New Zealand, named Simon Arthur Mill arrived via email. He was writing about an evil punk warlock, who I immediately despised, named, “Colin the Horroist.” Honestly, you really wanted to smack this punk (Colin) around.
Simon submitted a half a dozen stories. He is, obviously, a very talented, young writer who has a great tale to tell. I look forward to finding out about Colin and why he acts the way he does; who his rivals are; why they are at opposite sides of the fence. Perhaps, Scribal Tales is witnessing the arrival of a very promising author.
I asked Joel to read through two of the submitted stories. Joel conatacted Simon directly, made some suggestions, and the result was a newly written short story named, Colin the Horroist – Fire and Ice.
I am sure the Pretentious Twit will be reviewing Simon’s submissions very soon. Fair warning Simon, the Pretentious Twit can be quite a handful, but his suggestions to the promising author, when taken, usually results in a far more polished story than every imagined.
Of course, I have had continuous back and forth with Michael Battaglia, of Pretentious Twit fame, who is currently beyond the two million word count (whew) on his opus, “Time Falls Away,” featuring a cast of hundreds if not thousands of characters, staring the reluctant hero, Tristian.
I asked Michael if he could come up with an article that might explain everything that is on his mind – no easy task – for his column, The Pretentious Twit.
Here is a flash, as I write, Michael contacted me. The Pretentious Twit goes to press once again.
Last, but far from least, I contacted Rebecca Gallant, our web goddess, to see if she had the time to revamp Scribal Tales. It is short notice, but if anyone can revamp Scribal Tales, it is our web goddess.
On a personal note: This year did not work out as I had expected, having broken a finger, followed by a spontaneous break of my ankle, being nursed back to health by the living embodiment of Nurse Ratched, my sweet darling, Terry-Ann. So, in order to honor her and her other skills, I recount for your reading pleasure, Terry-Ann’s first tournament, Breakfast at Binion’s.
Poker – that’s a long, sad story. Those that have followed my exploits on the tournament trail will not have to be forced to read them again. I can hear a sigh of relief from Mark “Redrum” Bowin. “Variance” is but another name for luck; luck is good for one player, bad for the other. Thus far, I have been on the losing side of “variance” but, perhaps, in 2013, thing will change.
Odan the Scribe: An untold tale of Odan the Scribe, when he was but a mortal scribe. It is a tale of daring, as Odan comes across an evil wizard, imprisoned within a mystical tree. There were tales before and after this one, but I choose this story to illustrate how the troublesome scribe began to earn his immortality, by saving a magical faerie from a fate worse than death. Perhaps, one day, the immortal scribe will write his life’s story. This tale will be included in those writings.
So, that’s it. I think we will be able to publish a Christmas/New Year’s issue. I’ll keep adding to the Scribe’s Gazette, as soon as new articles reach my dusty editor’s desk.
Again, thanks to all who helped bring about this holiday issue of Scribal Tales, with a special thank you to the love of my life, Terry-Ann (The Silent Assassin) Volberg.