All Stories, Literally Reruns

Literally Reruns – Wishbone by Jennie Boyes

In the interests of fair play lovely Leila has been concentrating on the female authors for a little while. We have met Jennie Boyes a few times on the site and she has some great pieces in her catalogue:

I was luxuriating in sloth when the voice of the ghost of Abigail Adams spoke into my ear: “Remember the ladies,” said the ghost. Although Yours Truly is female, if hardly a lady, by happenstance something on the order of eighty percent of the reruns I’ve submitted have been done by men. I’m the only person to notice (or say something about it), so I promised aloud that I’d remember the ladies when the time came to make more reruns…months from now…after so much luxuriating in sloth had gone by. Unfortunately for my love of luxuriating in sloth, the ghost of Abigail Adams can be overly bright-eyed and pushy-tailed for my tastes. But she’s also a Great Lady, so I acquiesced and postponed an action almost indistinguishable from death.

I need to get one thing straight: the run of upcoming reruns written by women is not an act of affirmative action. If anything, it should be considered another personality defect on my part. Anyway, no undeserving story will ever be chosen for a rerun. Which brings us to an extremely deserving selection, Wishbone by Jennie Boyes. This is the first, but certainly not the last rerun for Ms. B. The wait is due to a one year waiting period I’d installed a few months back, and as of the date I write this Wishbone is just eight months old. But I believe that it will hold its lustre for ages to come.

Q: How long did it take to build this world? Each action in Famine’s story seems to take place in a world where little nuances foretell Great Events, more so than they ever do here.

Q: A lot of fantasy fiction has a narcotic dreamlike quality, and a distance between the reader and the story. Your fiction retains a little of that, but it is also rugged and built for the long haul. I see books coming from this world; am I mistaken?

Leila Allison

***

Q: How long did it take to build this world? Each action in Famine’s story seems to take place in a world where little nuances foretell Great Events, more so than they ever do here.

Thank you Leila for picking my story for a re-run, and for your questions.

This story did have a few drafts. I wanted to write about a castle but decided it might be more interesting if it were a ruin; Dunstanburgh Castle in Northumberland came to mind. I imagined a person sheltering there, someone aged and suffering like the crumbling stone, someone emaciated and near death (quite literally, it turned out). The Four Horseman are notoriously fearsome, but I wondered what it would be like if they were weaker; for me, this was Famine’s tale.

The idea of the wishbone came later. I wanted Famine to use his scales, to remember some of his old power, but wasn’t sure what would happen if he did. A bone would symbolise death and contrast with the holly leaf (life), and then the idea of a wishbone came along. Everything else, including Famine’s character arc, seemed to flow after that.

I like your point about nuances and Great Events. I did want to give the impression that these Horsemen were the link between potential and actual. Humans have their castles and their wars, their famines and plagues, but I wanted to suggest that these things were influenced by the Horsemen, and that the smallest actions – supposedly insignificant details, forgotten customs – can resonate centuries later. I wanted to raise the question of whether these events in history had taken place because of nature or humans – and the Horseman just happened to be there because they like a party – or whether they took place because the Horsemen made it so.

Was it Famine’s wish, his magic, or Death who brought the humans back? Fairy tales believe in the power of wishes, but I wanted to leave an open interpretation of causality, and even the suggestion that maybe this sort of thing had all happened before (maybe Death quite likes existing and is looking for any old excuse not to be out of a job – the world can take more than one apocalypse, right?)

Who knows, maybe this all happens in our reality as well. Perhaps we just don’t see it.

Q: A lot of fantasy fiction has a narcotic dreamlike quality, and a distance between the reader and the story. Your fiction retains a little of that, but it is also rugged and built for the long haul. I see books coming from this world; am I mistaken?  

Ah wow, thank you for your kind words. I did intend a certain feeling of distance, as if these events had happened long ago, but I wanted to get a balance between feeling ‘otherworldly’ and also grounded and established. I’m glad that came across.

I hadn’t considered expanding the world into a longer piece, and am flattered you think it could have that potential. Maybe I should give it a go!

Wishbone

3 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Wishbone by Jennie Boyes”

  1. So happy to see Jennie Boyes appear this Easter morn. And I am delighted by her well thought out answers. Now hit the link and grab onto the Wishbone. Even the ghost of Abby Adams thinks it will make a good book.
    LA

    Like

    1. Thank you again for picking my story, Leila, and for your encouragement. It was such a lovely surprise to be selected for a re-run. Hopefully we’ve done Abigail Adams proud.

      Like

  2. Hi Ladies,
    Excellent questions and answers.
    And this just gives me another chance to plug ‘Rattletrap’.
    If anyone hasn’t read it, have a look, it is excellent!!
    All my very best to both of you!
    Hugh

    Like

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