As previously noted, last Thursday I e-mailed off the manuscript of Mother of Souls to the publisher. So I should have a brief relaxing break before plunging into my next writing project. Somehow that never quite works out for me. In one of those peculiar conversations that started out on facebook and then jumped over to Twitter, I found myself being inspired by a Starbucks Coffee shopping back to write a fluffly little short story about mermaids. And Nantucket Island. And lonely early 18th century Quaker ladies. Tentative title: "Light in the Water".
And so (as you do) I found myself pulling up old maps of Nantucket that showed settlement distributions, researching types of small watercraft appropriate to the era, and devising an internally-consistent social ecology of mer-people. (Did you know that the two-tailed form featured on the Starbucks label and known in heraldry as a melusine is actually the sexually mature form of the species that has the more familiar single tail only in the juvenile form? What's that you say? "Heather, you just made that up!" Well, yes. Yes, I did.) I'm not sure I'm capable of writing a historically-based story without plunging into some sort of research project. Fortunately I could poke around for an appropriate (human) character name in my own genealogical records.
When I got hit by an attack story back in January after finishing the first draft of Mother of Souls, I put it up as a free e-story. But I think I'll hold on to this one and see if I can find a market for it. Probably not. It's too much of a fluffy romance for a fantasy market, and not "spicy" enough for the usual LesFic markets. But hope springs eternal.