Saturday, 4 February 2017

Fairy on the Christmas Tree

Welcome to the shadowy and not-so-shadowy space behind Sally's books. If you're not familiar with this blog, scroll down to see what it's all about.

 Fairy on the Christmas Tree (Post 35)

 As regular readers of this blog have probably noticed, I enjoy a writing challenge. Since my first published story in 1970, I've written all kinds of lengths, genres, sub-genres and formats. Some I write because I've come up with an idea I dearly want to pursue, some because a new market has surfaced, and some just more or less to see if I can do it. Back in Post 10, I explained how Windsinger came to be, and introduced Lark Westerly, an alter ego who writes stories for the adult market. Apart from a few ventures to the dark side (horror), Lark generally has fun with the forms, playing to the inherently comedic and often subverting tropes. It had been a while since Lark got out for a run, so when the call went out for Christmas shorts in 2016, I asked if Lark could come and play. Lark could, but she had to have a title right now, so she came up with one; The Fairy on the Christmas Tree.

She had notions of gay fairies, I think, but when it came down to writing the piece, she decided that was probably not in the best of taste. Instead, she tossed me a few images. Okay, wench, we need a fairy (check) and a Christmas tree (check). And you know how you stuck your phone in your shirt pocket and leaned over while you were scrubbing the floor and it fell in the bucket of soapy water? Oh, and remember how you always do something else while you're stirring custard? And oh yes! that half-baked notion you have that a silver car is the ideal colour to have when you're parked somewhere you possibly don't want to advertise... and hey! What about all those horrible tacky things you see in shops around Christmas time? Antlers! People dressed up as elves (do they get danger money for that?) The implausibility of how much some things cost!

All these things came together in the story of Frances, who never uses her left hand for anything except brushing her hair and who thus manages to drop her phone in the custard while she's stirring the pot with her right. Add an acrimonious break-up, a Christmas Eve shopping trip for a new Christmas tree, an equal-opportunity elf named Egbert and a fairy doll who isn't all she (sorry, he) seems, and there's your story. 

The tagline for this confection is A phone in the custard and a fairy in her bed and the only problem was Niall, the fairy doll, didn't actually make it onto the Christmas tree. That was easily fixed by adding a line where he suggests the traditional perch might be uncomfortable and comes up with an alternative.

So... that's the story behind The Fairy on the Christmas Tree. The series of shorts came out in December 2016, using a shared cover, and numbered. As you see, this one was Number 23. You can buy the short for a truly short price here, and from various other places around the net. (Just put "Fairy on the Christmas Tree" "Lark Westerly" in the search field.) Remember though; if you're under eighteen, or if you find amorous nekkid fairies offensive, this one's not for you. And don't blame me for the nekkid fairy. It's all Lark's fault.

About the Blog

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. This preamble will be pasted to the top of each post, so feel free to skip it in future.

The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 

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