Thursday, May 2, 2013

"The Manticore, the Mermaid, and Me"

Whenever I see Neil Gaiman, he asks me whether I've been writing. Most of the time, I mumble something about how I'm working on this project or that project, slowly, oh so slowly, but--my god!--dance just eats up all the time in the world and how will a story ever finish itself?

The answer is that it won't. Sometimes, this makes me feel guilty.

Sometimes, I throw myself into a chair (or, more likely, across a bed) and fling words on paper until the story is finished.

It's hard though. And since dance really does eat up all the time in my world, it's embarrassingly rare.

When Neil asks if you have a story that might fit into a book he is putting together, the answer is obviously yes, even if you are typing this out in a state of tipsiness and are not entirely sure whether or not you have such a story. The answer is still yes, even if you discover that the story you thought might fit is actually in a state of sad disrepair, an untouched and confusing first draft on a pile of papers festering at the bottom of a cardboard box. The answer remains yes all through the night and next day as you strip, cannibalize, and restring the story and discover, after many hours of labor, to your great surprise and delight, that it works.

So, I am ridiculously thrilled to say that a story of mine is in a fat, gorgeous book edited by Neil and Maria Dahvana Headley. Unnatural Creatures is a collection of sixteen stories about unlikely and impossible beasts. The other authors are ones who I admire like crazy, ones whose stories have made me cry, or made me happy, or given me terrible nightmares for weeks (see: E. Nesbit.) Sales of the book benefit 826 DC. The 826 organizations are amazing and magical, a force of marvelous good.

You can read Neil's post about the book HERE. You can read Maria's post about the book HERE.

My story is called "The Manticore, the Mermaid, and Me." Neil and Maria gave me this title. It makes me think of an old movie from the 1960s that doesn't exist and this makes me very happy.


Wendy said...

You know, of course, we are all writing "say yes to Neil Gaiman" on our to-do lists? (Secret between you and me -- I also have "say yes to George Clooney" on my to-do list. Pretty sure they are different categories, though.)

Anyway, I'd heard about the book and it looks fabulous. Love the cover and love creatures of all shapes and sizes.

Your picture with the book is adorable. Time is a precious commodity, so whatever comes out on top -- if you are following your passion and you're squeezing the juice out of life you made the right decision for the day.

Thanks taking the time to do something so generous for 826 and for young writers. I hope the book sells like crazy.

Kris Is Rad said...

Amazing, I've been waiting for this book to come out! So wonderful that you have a piece in it, and that you have such an amazing friend who drives you forward!
Definitely excited to read this collection! Congrats!

Megan Kurashige said...

Thanks, Wendy! Thanks, Kris!

It's true that time is the hardest thing to find enough of... and I'm actually OK with not writing as many stories for as long as I'm doing interesting dance things. At least I will theoretically be able to write when I'm old and stiff and creaking...

Nancy said...

I just told this story to a class of 11- and 12-year olds as part of a Storytelling festival. It was the runaway favorite!!