My story “Dreams in Dust” went live for free reading today at Lightspeed Magazine. Unlike some of my recent stories, I can easily point to the direct inspiration for this story. Back in February, I stumbled across a regular column at io9: Concept Art Writing Prompt. It’s a weekly feature (every Saturday) in which a visual prompt and a resulting a flash story is presented and readers are encouraged to submit their own story in the comments.
Back in February, the visual prompt was a picture from the folks at Pene Menn, a group from Korea that produces concept art, matte paintings and other very cool artwork. In the picture (the original can be found here and be sure to check out Pene Menn’s extensive galleries), a person with a rifle slung over his shoulder leads a camel through a desert. In the background the wreck of a submarine lies half buried in the sand. A ramshackle house has been built alongside the submarine.
It’s not difficult to see where my story came from. The idea for Keraf and the waterless world immediately popped into my head. I knew immediately that he was on a quest, and I knew that quest needed to be about water, which gave rise to both the immediate narrative arc and the big-picture back story. From that, the rest of this story about hope quickly fell into place.
I wrote “Dreams in Dust” in a single sitting, revised it a week later, and sent it out to my writing group for comments. I turned around a minor revision a short time later, and then it was out the door. I couldn’t be happier with the home its found at Lightspeed, one of favorite publications.
I hope you enjoy my story, and while your over at Lightspeed, check out the other fiction, including originals from Ken Liu, J. T. Petty, and Sarah Langan.