On Growing Up

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I distinctly remember being told, as a child, how as I grew older I would grow wiser and people would want to listen to my accumulated experience and knowledge, and how I would have to walk slower but would be all dignified and graceful and eventually white-bearded and wizardly. But NOBODY MENTIONED the part about randomly pulling muscles IN YOUR SLEEP and waking up with excruciating and pointless agony in your right shoulder and it HURTING to type. Seriously, what fresh hell is this? Nobody mentioned that part of aging and this seems to me like crucial, need-to-know information that I should have received BEFORE deciding to grow up. I have been lied to. I demand a refund. Also, ow.

Xan and Judah, my friends, young people: Run. Run while you can. I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE AND IT IS OW.

Stant Litore

P.S. I will say that the occasional doses of random aging pain, while they cannot compare to the persistent and awful pain my wife and friends with chronic pain suffer, these moments do at least give me a fresh jolt of empathy. And admiration. The amount of pain my wife survives and works through on a daily basis: I have no idea if I could handle that. But she does. Constantly. She’s amazing.

How Stories Get Made

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In fourth grade, I wrote and illustrated a story using #2 pencils, in which a white-bearded patriarch faced off with a Balrog in the midst of a parted Red Sea between towering walls of saltwater, while Admiral Sarah of the International Space Armada flickered back and forth between galaxies fighting black-hooded and black-robed ringwraithy-type riders on giant flying creatures because an evil emperor who took the shape of a green-eyed wolf was trying to conquer all universes and timelines simultaneously, and parting the Red Sea and zooming around in spaceships is how you fight that kind of noxious evil. Obviously.

I sort of wish I still had that story, and not just the memory of it.

I do still have the little book I made in first grade in which Jerusalem the Astronaut went to the fiery lava pits of Venus to find Yoda and rescue Zelda and crashed his spaceship, but the artwork in that poor thing is an atrocity. And I also have the one-page story I wrote in second grade about the roller-blading dinosaurs who eat balloons.

And I’m vaguely encouraged to find that I still take pretty much exactly the same approach to storytelling. I still take stories and ideas I like and slam them together and watch the sparks. My child-self might approve of his adult doppelganger, though my child-self would take one look at my novels and urge me to put some talking trees on the bridge and give the dinosaurs laser guns. He’d have a point: I have been tamed, a little. But hang in there. My stories will get wilder. This is not even my final form.

Stant Litore

Everyone Needs More Tyrannosaurs in Their Life!

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The next Stant Litore novel is about a young woman surviving on the far-future space station where tyrannosaurs are grown. Think Jurassic Park meets Robinson Crusoe. You can be a part of it — readers who help make this book happen will be listed in a special section of the book! Pledge $1 on Patreon before October 31 and get your name in the book! Join here: http://www.patreon.com/stantlitore
Your pledge doesn’t just support this one book: it is a monthly membership that allows me to keep my stories independent and keep them coming — and gives you backstage access to the stories you love!
Come be a part of this!
Embark on an odyssey that will take you from cylindrical space stations on which young athletes race tyrannosaurs, to far planets where vegetable people drink sunlight, to the deeps of time when our ancestors fought the zombie hordes.
On Patreon, we’re making more of these stories together!
Stant Litore

A Life Full of Books

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I may have had a weird childhood.

SECOND GRADE
Other 2nd grader: “Whatcha reading?”
Me: “Beowulf.”
Other 2nd grader: “What’s it about?”
Me: “There’s this monster who is really really quiet and he sneaks into the hall and pops everyone into a sack and takes them home and eats them.”
Other 2nd grader: “Cool!!!”
5th grader: “Nerd.” *pummels me into the sandpit*

THIRD GRADE
Other 3rd grader: “Whatcha reading?”
Me: “The Faerie Queene. It has a dragon in it, and when his feet stomp, mountains crumble. His tail is a mile long and the whole land is full of smoke because there’s so much fire.”
Other 3rd grader: “That’s so cool!!!”
5th grader: “Nerd.” *pummels me into the sandpit*

FOURTH GRADE
Other 4th grader: “Whatcha reading?”
Me: “Dune. It has giant worms and desert fighters and everything. But I just finished The Lord of the Rings, and you have to read that first. It’s so good. There’s wizards and a magic ring and a BALROG. Here, here’s The Hobbit. This is the first one. Read it.”
5th grader: “Nerd…”
Me: “I will hit you with this book. It is hardcover, 1100 pages long, and will smash your skull like an Orc’s.”
5th grader: “oooo, sooo scary…” *doesn’t advance*

TWO WEEKS LATER
Me: “Have you made it to The Two Towers yet?”
Other 4th grader: “I’m in the part about the trolls.”
Me: “You’re going sooo slow. Hurry! You have to read it!”

THREE WEEKS LATER
Me: “Did you make it to the Ents yet?”
Other 4th grader: “Bilbo is in the mountains and there are goblins. It’s kind of hard to read.”
Me: “WHAT? It’s awesome! You have to read it! READ IT READ IT READ IT” *accidentally pummels other kid into sandpit with excitement*
Other kid: “Help! Help! Get the bookworm off me! Help!”

Stant Litore

This Sounds Like a Job for an English Major

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My one political comment for the day is that I’m starting to think all campaigning candidates should hire an English major to help out. Someone who has actually read the Constitution, “Two Corinthians,” and Becket. Or at least seen the movie. ‪#‎jobsforenglishmajors‬

Becket

Seriously. Hire an English major.

Also, I’ve heard that my good neighbor Canada has an English major for a Prime Minister. So that (electing an English major) is another way to handle it…

Stant Litore

Stant Litore at MALCon!

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Trex

STANT LITORE at Myths & Legends Con (MALCon) in Denver, August 12 – 14. Join me for the following panels, activities, author readings, and three classes for writers:

FRIDAY:

  • 8pm – Panel: Building and Cultivating Your Creative Community
  • 9pm – Activity: Rewriting History with the Living Dead
  • 11pm – Late Night Reading (If You Dare): Ansible 15715
SATURDAY:

  • 11am – Class: Write Characters Your Readers Won’t Forget (Part 1: Digging Up Your Character’s History)
  • 1pm – Panel: Religion in SF/F Outside the West
  • 5pm – Class: Write Characters Your Readers Won’t Forget (Part 2: Writing Unforgettable Dialogue that Reveals Character)
  • 6pm – Class: Write Characters Your Readers Won’t Forget (Part 3: The Character Arc Tool)
  • 11pm – Late Night Reading: Dante’s Heart

SUNDAY:

  • 12pm – Panel: Lord of the Rings – Myth or Mythopoetic?
  • 1pm – Reading: What Our Eyes Have Witnessed (The Zombie Bible)

Also, get your books signed! And come to the Doubleclicks concert and to a Q&A with Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files, our guest of honor this year. See you there!

Stant Litore