Is 3 a Magic Number?

Is 3 a magic number? I’m not sure anymore. We learn from an early age that three is central in fairy tales, and later on we realise it is in folklore and mythology (and in religion), too.

3We have Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the Three Billy Goats Gruff, to give examples of fairy tales where there are three characters in a family.

Often we see a king with three daughters or three sons. Two of them are evil or lazy or whatever and the third one is the hero – e.g. Cinderella.

In other stories, the hero has to go through three trials. For example, in Rumpelstiltskin, the queen gets three tries to guess his name.

In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the stepmother tries to kill Snow White three times…and succeeds on the third try.

Norse mythology is the mythology I know best, and there we have three hard winters before Ragnarrök (end of the world). We have the Norns – the three goddesses of Destiny. Yggdrasil, the tree of life, has three roots, and so on.

We even see the number three in religion – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. Jesus was visited by three kings when he was born.

So what could possibly go wrong with three?

Unless you believe in the whole Deaths come in threes thing, nothing right? My brain sure seems to think that three is the solution to everything…I just never get there.

I’ve somehow jinxed three.

A few days ago, I sent a story I wrote a year and a half ago to some of my beloved beta readers. It was meant to be the first of three. 1.5 year since I wrote it, and have I started writing the second story? No.

And I realised this is a pattern. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Blood on Sand – my DRitC story back in 2015. I had a plan. The first story was about Zoe and Wojtek, the second was meant to be about Taz and Satul, and the third about Tedor and Koray. I had a plan, I’ve written about 20k on a story about Taz and Satul, but it’s been years since I opened that document.

Then we have The Maddest of Men – I’ve written about Grayham and Creed. The next story, which I have made an outline for, was supposed to be about Lou and a meta, and the third about Kitt finding someone so he doesn’t have to pine for Cham for the rest of his life. So how many years since I released Lords of Lettuce? Three – a magic number LOL.

Then we have It Doesn’t Translate which is a Tattooed Corpse story and not supposed to be in a series of its own – but I still planned on writing – surprise, surprise – two more. Quam, and Xog since poor Quam is about to die, and Roach and Zall since I left poor Roach in the hands of the evil space pirates. Think of that poor sod! He’s been in their hands for two years now…at least it’s not three, right?

I have another story, a dystopic story, where the first draft is almost done (almost means untouched with just a couple of scenes left to write…and it’s been like that for over a year). There I have notes with vague ideas for a second and a third story in the series. You’d think I should focus on finish the first *sigh*.

And then we have Black Bird, the story that’s already been through a few rounds of beta reading and I’m just waiting on the final input. Black Bird is 1.5 years old, has been on all my to-do lists for just as long, and what is it about?? – three friends, one who finds his mate in this story. The other two are supposed to find love…in book two and three, that aren’t written, not even outlined.

Then we have Jaeger’s Lost and Found. I was meant to write more about Archibald, Edie, and Gael. I just couldn’t decide if I should continue the series with the same characters and make them ‘find things’ or if I should just keep the world and write about new characters. I do love their bookstore, though and the original plan was…yes, two more stories with Archie.

I’m beginning to doubt the magic of three.

Around New Year, I sat down to try to structure what I was to write next. I used to be good at this shit, I used to have a plan, and I used to follow it. I still have a plan, most of the time, I just don’t follow it. But, I decided that 2020 will be my clean-up year – I started with Scary Gary, and now Black Bird is on the way.

8So what’s next? (I’m not gonna tell you about the story I started writing because it isn’t part of the plan – clean-up is not tossing a bear and a bat in an elevator, it’s not!)

I don’t know if this post made me any wiser, but it did make me remember something – I have a story, with notes from a beta reader, that’s a retelling of the Brother’s Grimm story The Three Snake Leaves. That document hasn’t been opened since 2015.

Perhaps I have a Chinese soul, and the number working for me is 8, not 3. Or maybe, I’m simply not meant to write series, I don’t know.

Do you prefer series or stand-alone stories??

 

Release Day | Scary Gary

First story of the year, yay! Today is release day for Scary Gary – a short little story about a harbourer of shadows and his Grim Reaper.

It all started with an image I saw on Pinterest of a man standing in front of a window in the dark and over the entire picture it said:

There’s a reason I’m afraid of my own shadow.

The first thought popping up in my mind was of a homicidal shadow trying to kill the one who’s afraid of his own shadow. It wasn’t meant to become a real story. I just opened a word document and started scribbling, thinking if it made any sense at all it could become a flash, a 300-word story, or maybe a blog post…for the fun of it, you know.

Well, being killed by your shadow has its pros and cons, right? I mean if you just died it would be a pretty boring story. Cue a Grim Reaper named Gary.

As soon as it gets dark, Micah’s shadow is trying to kill him, but even when it succeeds he isn’t allowed into the realms of death. This makes his life pretty lonely. He’ll live forever trapped in his apartment, and everyone he knows will die while he has to live on. The only one who’ll also be around forever is Scary Gary – the Grim Reaper who arrives every time Micah’s shadow gets the better of him.

If he could have Gary by his, eternity might not be so bad.

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Micah Thaxter pressed his back against the cold brick wall, making sure no part of him was visible outside the shadow of the building. The air was thick with the stench of urine and the moldering trash that littered the alley.

His heart was stuck in his throat, but no amount of swallowing made it drop to his chest where it belonged.

How could he have been this fucking stupid? February meant darkness fell early, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. God, he couldn’t believe he’d allowed it to happen. Again.

After thirty years on this earth, he should be able to keep track of time, but the library had been warm and cozy, the book about the history of European kings and queens captivating, and before he knew it, shadows stretched into the illuminated areas.

He blew out a breath, pushed his glasses into place, and glanced across the street. There was no way he’d make it. If he stepped out into the lit circle underneath the lamppost, his shadow would separate itself from the surrounding shadows and it would come alive.

If he was outdoors when the sun dropped and his shadow got enough light to hold its shape unmarred by any other shades, it got a life of its own. He’d been born this way, had adjusted his existence, and normally all went well. When he wasn’t being stupid or became too engrossed in the lives of long-lost kings, it went well.

His building was right there, his door mocking him from forty feet away, a soft glow coming from his kitchen window. So close and yet so far away.

Filling his lungs with the putrid air, he prepared to run. Every muscle in his body tensed before he leaped. His feet hit the asphalt—one step, two.

A chilling chuckle echoed in his ears. He managed one more step before his shadow no longer followed him. One second it was copying his motions, the next its arms reached for him.

The ghostly fingers grabbed Micah’s shoulders, one hand moved up to curl around his throat as his shadow stepped in front of him to block his path, its feet the only part that couldn’t break free of Micah. The chuckle bled into a manic laugh as black dots invaded his vision.

He tried not to panic, silently praying he wouldn’t have to explain to Gary what had happened. His lungs burned and his pulse thundered. No amount of clawing at the hand choking him made it corporeal. His nails scraped the skin on his throat, but he didn’t have time to think about what the stinging burn or the wetness trickling down his chest meant.

He kicked.

He hit.

He scratched.

But there was nothing there—nothing except laughter.

Gary! Had he been able to, he’d have cried for Gary, begged him to come. Gary. His heart slowed, his shadow tsk-ing in his mind. His body grew heavy right before his knees buckled. The second before the world went black, there was a crack of lightning followed by blue smoke, but despite Micah knowing Gary had arrived, he couldn’t fight the darkness any longer.

books2read.com/ScaryGary


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Micah Thaxter has a problem—one scary, inconvenient problem. His shadow wants him dead and isn’t shy about it.

On the plus side, it’s not his time to die and Scary Gary is always there to carry him back to the land of the living. Gary is far too pale, his black cloak a bit out of fashion, and his scythe quite terrifying, but he’s still one of the most beautiful men Micah has ever seen.

Micah may be stuck with a homicidal shadow, but perhaps there’s a way to keep Gary around too. His job escorting souls keeps him busy, but since Micah has already died once today, Gary’s there. So what’s the harm in offering him a cup of tea?

New Year, New Plans

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Here we go again! We have a new year, and with it, new plans. Though, I don’t know if my plans are that different from last year LOL.

2019 I decided to have a theme for my year – Out of My Comfort Zone. I did that.  Every time I wanted to go into hiding, I told myself that no, the reason I don’t want to do this is that I’m not comfortable, but that’s not a valid reason to run away.

I published my first story in June 2014, so 2019 was my five year anniversary as a writer, and yet I did everything the same way I’ve always done.

It was time for a change.

The result:

  • I wrote 193 384 words (my goal was 182 500)
  • I published 6 stories
  • I published those stories through a new to me publisher
  • I created a Facebook group, and that might not have been a big business decision, but Facebook really scares me, so there was a lot of panic involved despite the group hardly having any members LOL
  • And, biggest of all, is that I’ve turned my writing into a business. I’m now a sole proprietor registered at the Swedish Tax Agency instead of having it as an income bringing hobby (and if we’ve talked panic before, it’s nothing compared to the sleepless nights that decision has given me. But if I’m to take this seriously, I damn well should take it seriously and make it into a real business.)

2019 in review

Goals for 2020:

For 2020, my theme is Clean-Up. I have soo many stories that I’ve started only to abandon due to some due date coming up for a different story. Stories I’ve started writing because they’ve amused me, but that I’ve then dropped to write something more expected. A few of those are M/F stories, so I’ll plan to do something with that. What I in way of goals have so far is:

  • Write 182 500 words
  • Publish 6 stories
  • Start an M/F name

So, we’ll see where that gets us LOL

The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”– Bill Copeland