I love how this story conveys the perspective of the sand guards, battling this impervious giant. It’s such a great twist. Was that your original idea or was it something else?
I trampled my share of sand castles back in childhood (always ones I had constructed myself, and never any as large and elaborate as the one described in the story), and I have therefore lived well over half a century with the fantasy-construct of just how the denizens of such an easily crumbled castle would defend it against a creature out of nightmare like myself. It may be the single longest period of gestation of any idea in my entire writing career, but who knows? At age 100, I might write the story of where Daddy disappears to when he plays peek-a-boo.
It’s great that you were able to fashion a happy ending both for this sad, failed, drunk, who becomes a relatively contented remote monster in this strange world, and also for the sand people, who have a mythic-scale being to inspire heroes and scary tales. Did you always know this was the ending or did it take a while to get there?
Inherent in the story of a woman who others see as a monster out of legend is giving her the life such a monster traditionally leads.
We are the fortunate recipients of many of your short stories here at Lightspeed. Do you have a quota you try to write to, like X many stories (or words) a month, or just put down ideas as you get them? How does that work for you?
I have a word quota, best described as, “If I get 1000 words down, I did not fail today.” I try to get substantially more done, and when zooming along on a project that’s going well, I manage two or three or four times that much. In practice, this does not mean I produce the equivalent amount in publishable fiction, as a substantial number of stories trail off and must be abandoned, and some, inevitably, don’t find anybody who loves them. (Though I just recently sold an AMAZING story I deeply believed in that had gone unsold for, I shit you not, twenty-five years.)
Ideas are easy, is the thing. I have more than I can possibly use. Stories are hard.
. . . Twenty-five years. Dang. Anything new you’d like to tell our readers about?
As I am still waiting for That Thriller to find a home, alas, nothing on the book-length front. But I repeat my plug for my audio collection overseen by that Lightspeed favorite, Stefan Rudnicki: And Other Stories (Skyboat Media), where, among many other things, you will find a story original to that collection, “Big Stupe and the Buried Big Glowing Booger.”
Spread the word!