The Story That Wouldn’t Stop

Back in March of 219, when I started writing “The Tripper of Aberdack,” a story about time tripping and marijuana, I could tell it would be an extra-long short story, but I liked the characters, so it was fine to spend some time with them. Then along came the anthology Classics Remixed from Left Hand Publishers that wanted fractured re-tellings of well-known tales. I thought, “Why not?” and sent my protagonist, a high school varsity pitcher from Montana, on a cyclone-driven bus trip to Oz. And because it was Oz, I added in a talking German shepherd as the team mascot. The resulting story, “Ding Dong the Pitch is Deadly” (he kills the Witch of the West with a fastball),” sold quickly and I discovered that a talking German shepherd was exactly what my original short story needed. So I kept writing . . . and writing. Now in April of 2020, the Aberdack tale has passed 60,000 words and is still not finished, though the end of the time-hopping is in sight. And suddenly I have a novel. I’m pleased — don’t get me wrong — but it’s also odd to have a novel spring to life without permission. But you know how it is with high school kids these days — easier to ask forgiveness afterwards than permission before. No wait — that’s everybody.

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