If you haven’t noticed yet, most of the titles for my stories are one word. “Sensu Learns a Lesson” is actually an aberration for me. Why do I chose such simple titles? Well, in most cases you will find that the titles are far more complex than the single word expresses and has a profound connection to the underlying theme of the story.
For example, “Sanity” is a story about creatures that can manipulate people’s minds. In fact, they can reach into their minds and bring forth their deepest fears, pushing them until the person hits the point of breaking into insanity. Thus, “Sanity” is used as a counterpoint to what actually happens in the story. Also, one of the creatures says “We have returned your sanity”. The whole story is based on the choices made that lead us down dark roads that can end in insanity borne from sanity.
“Lepidoptera” on the other hand is a symbolic title. Lepidoptera is the class name for butterflies and moths. Yes, butterflies actually appear in the story but they are representations of art, beauty, and peace. War is represented by crows killing butterflies, while peace is represented by being embraced by butterflies. Artists are marked by butterflies.
Basically, I like to use very simple titles that seem un-complex until after you have read the story. Then the title turns out to be much deeper than the simple word suggests and cuts to the root of the entire story. Please consider reading one of my stories to see how their titles resonate throughout them. For only $1 a month you will get a every month at my Patreon page.
I thought I would give you a taste of the story I uploaded to Patreon this month. Remember, if you sign up for just $1 a month, you will get the full story plus all the ones that have already been uploaded. In addition, I will continue uploading stories from my collection Mystics and Misfits. You cancan sign up here my Patreon page.
Lepidoptera (excert) by Robert Garbin
With a look of determination, Maia followed Diocles along the winding paths of the sacred groves. Diocles was twenty now and two years older than her but he never spoke down to Maia, even though next year would be his time to enter the Wood of Calling and find his place among the Sindain people. To Maia’s dismay a new seriousness had put distance between them where they had been inseparable before. Today they were going to the Shrine of Memory to see the great works the ancestors had created before the thousand year war with the Hadar. The costs had been great for both peoples, yet the Hadar refused to relent; all entreaties were answered with weapons.
Ahead, Diocles turned and waved impatiently. Sensing the tension in her beloved bother, Maia quickened her pace as the paths shifted with the magical pull of the Wood of Calling. She recalled the fear of her first encounter with the shifting pathways of the shrines that circled the great Wood at the center of Sindain life. Falling to her knees, Maia had cried in terror as the shifting landscape confused her senses, leaving her feeling lost. Her brother had calmly lifted her up and firmly held her hand as he demonstrated how to follow the flows surrounding the Woods. Maia now moved with the ease of a sailor plying the great seas she had once heard about. Catching her brother, she slipped her small hand into his powerful grip, a grip that was firm yet gentle
The paths seemed longer than usual today and by the time they reached the Shrine of Memory Maia needed to catch her breath, which felt wrong to her. She felt something was trying to draw her attention to something important. Her mother had told her to always be aware of the paths between the Groves and Temples since Sky Father spoke to the Sindain in subtle ways, a path may take longer to remind you to have patience or to strengthen your body. The sight of a wounded animal may guide you to a healer’s life or a hunter’s existence. As Maia climbed the steps to the Shrine of Memory, she could not shake the feeling that Sky Father had taken personal notice of her, drawing out the paths to get her attention.
Here it is, the story of a family struggling to survive in a war torn world. A war one thousand years old against an implacable enemy where all other civilized pursuits are almost mythical. Can a civilization find its way after so long? Read and find out.
Also, the story is downloadable as a PDF or a RTF.doc file at my Patreon page .
No, this is not a post about the United States, although, given the threat to our cultural programs, it is oddly appropriate. I am actually posting about next weeks story for the month of March “Lepidoptera”. This is the story of the Sindain, a culturally advanced race that has lost all of their creativity to the necessity of surviving a thousand-year war with a brutal warrior race called the Hadar. Every family bears the scars from generations of fighting.
Hope is an ever dwindling commodity for the children of the Sindain whom will soon face their rite of passage into adulthood through the Forest of Calling. The Forest of Calling is the center of Sindain life and is where all the young of the tribe must go to commune with their God, Sky Father, and learn the place where they are needed. Into these trying times come Diocles and Maia, the children of Androcles and Melina, respected members of the tribe.
Diocles is troubled by his pending rite of passage because he fears having to become a warrior and fight. His dream is to re-learn the ancient artistic skills of his forefathers. Maia is the sister he adores and a gentle soul. How will Sky Father’s need for the Sindain change their and the tribes fortunes? Will their culture survive?
Hopefully, you will subscribe for $1 a month at my Patreon page to find out. Fun fact: the title “Lepidoptera” is the scientific order name for moths and butterflies, which figure prominently in the story.
It is time to tease you with next month’s story. This is a change from what I had planned to place for March but I thought it would be nice to give you guys a hopeful story.
The Sindain have been at war with the Hadar for a thousand years. Without the warnings sent to them by their God and the Woods of Calling, the Sindain race would have ceased existence for the Woods of Calling returned the youths that entered as warriors and craftsmen to battle the Hadar. Unfortunately, as the warriors emerged from the woods, artists, singers, and musicians disappeared from Sindain society. After a thousand years of war, the Sindain were losing hope.
Maia and her brother Diocles will soon take their initiation into adult society by entering the Woods of Calling to receive Sky Father’s directions for the need of the Sindain. Both are nervous and hopeful for change in the peoples fortunes. The two siblings are closely bonded and spend much time in the Shrine of Memory where the ancient works of art have been kept for the Sindain to remember better times.
The changes these siblings undergo will ripple through the tribe, changing everything. Be sure to subscribe to my Patreon page for $1 a moth so that you can read “Lepidoptera” next month.
Just wanted to pass on that I finished Lepidoptera and added it to Mystics and Misfits. The final word count was 7,427, which is about 263 more words than I estimated. Also, I finally wrote my introduction to Mystics and Misfits that with Lepidoptera brings the book word count up to 20,864 or 38 pages. So far this comprises a total of seven stories. Thanks for all of your encouragement and I hope to continue giving you many positive updates throughout the rest of this year.
Lepidoptera has now reached 6,664 words with maybe another 500 to finish connecting the pieces of three separate but related stories together. So hopefully soon I will be able to share it with my neighbor, whom will help to tidy it up before I place it in my book and move on to the next story. This should put the book around almost 20,000 words with plenty of stories to go. A soft goal at this point is 60,000 words for the book.