My story “Forget the Rain” appeared this month at Kasma SF. I wrote it shortly after joining the Codex writing group early in 2011. Codex is a large community of predominantly new writers who share information about the publishing business and encourage its members to write. Shortly after joining, they held a writing “contest” in which a series of prompts were given and anyone who wanted to take part could write a story and submit it for comment. I wrote “Forget the Rain” based one of the provided prompts, in this case a visual prompt:
It’s a neat picture of a real mechanical elephant with a howdah on top and chambers in the side, and it really appealed to my sense of the bizarre and exotic. For my story, I decided to make it a real elephant, and then brainstormed from there: What are the chambers for?—Who would live with such creatures?—Where would they live?—How would they live? Eventually a story of genocide and war and one man’s desperate effort to saved his tribe and his family emerged, and I wrote a decent first draft of “Forget the Rain” in a single weekend.
If you haven’t yet, head over to Kasma SF and read “Forget the Rain.” While there, be sure to check out the other fine stories published by some of the best names in speculative fiction.