My science fiction story “The Llama’s Tale” was posted Sunday at Space Westerns’ Web site at http://www.spacewesterns.com/articles/45/. A one-sentence synopsis: Kella is sure she'll be chosen to be a rider for the prestigious Llama Express Service—until the training school pairs her with the aging, scruffy, flatulent, half-deaf llama Buddy.
If you have a moment, I’d be honored if you checked it out. The Space Westerns site charges you nothing to read the postings, and it contains many good cowboy stories set in outer space.
I thought it would be fun, after recent postings about “filling the well” here and at Steve Malley’s Full Throttle or F**k It, to briefly analyze the contributions of my well to this story.
Buddy the llama existed in real life. I did give him a species change (from horse to llama), but otherwise he is the same tired creature my sister, Renee, was assigned to when she took riding lessons.
The comment Kella’s brother Trivvy makes during the show is what my own little brother Vince—now far from little, as he delights in pointing out as he rests his elbow on my head—actually said during the graduation show when Renee finished her riding lessons.
The setting was inspired by the ABC television program “The Young Riders” (about Pony Express riders), which I watched faithfully from 1989 to 1992.
Kella is based partly on my sister. She wore such a horrified look during the horse show that I can still see it ~35 years later.
Kella’s arrogance is based on mine as a teenager. School emphasized book smarts above all other qualities, and I bought it hook, line, and sinker. I thought that because I was smarter than other people, I was also better than them. (As in Kella’s case, life taught me otherwise.)
So how much did I drain my well? Buddy the horse is probably good for only one go-round, and the same for “The Young Riders” as inspiration.
On the other hand, some elements that went into “The Llama’s Tale” did not lower the level of my well. My brothers can still serve as models for little boys in other stories. And despite my efforts at self-improvement, I still can be arrogant and have many other flaws to draw on to flesh out characters; I don’t see that well running dry—not so good for me, but great for my fiction.
Well Depletion Score: –2
Odds and ends
- If you are a Jennifer Blake fan looking for the interview mentioned in Jennifer's February newsletter, please look at the post that follows this one.
- Today is “The Liar’s Diary Blog Day” in the blogosphere. Because first-time author Patry Francis is undergoing treatment for cancer and cannot promote the paperback release of her novel The Liar’s Diary, hundreds of bloggers today will do so for her. You can read about Patry Francis’ life with cancer at her blog Simply Wait. Her Website is at http://www.patryfrancis.com, and her book is available at Amazon. (Note: I have not read The Liar’s Diary, so this announcement is not a recommendation but rather a helping hand for a fellow writer in trouble.)
- Next week’s post will be an interview with debut author Therese Fowler. I have read her powerful novel Souvenir, and I believe you’ll find her interview fascinating and thought-provoking.