Aphelion Issue 295, Volume 28
June 2024 --
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Flash Fiction
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Hello and welcome to the April 2019 issue of Aphelion!

The polen is gently foating in the air of Northeast Georgia. Everywhere you look there's a patina of greenish-gold powdering. Lyn and I aren't having a very good time of it this year. I came down with a sinus infection that is starting to resemble that old SNL sketch "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave." And as it turns out, Lyn has an alergy to juniper polen. Guess what is the most common tree and bush in my home's landscaping?  Yeah, junipers--tall, dwarf, and ground-hugging varities. In my defence, almost all of them were planted long before Lyn and I got together.
At least, we've had plenty of rain to wash a bit of the stuff out of the air. we're both looking forward to getting back out into the yard, nevertheless. I have several projects to finish up--left over from when the weather turned cold last Fall. I'd like to get them out of the way. I've been writing more, lately. In fact, I have a new Tom Darby story that I'm hoping will be finished in time for the May issue.

I posted part of it on Facebook a few months ago, and got some valuable feedback. I went in and made the recommended edits then, and let the story percolate in my mind for a while. This week, I pulled it back up and did some serious editing--adding in more details, giving some characters more dialog, fixing the times that different sceens ran for so that it flowed without too much choppiness. The plan is for Tom to relate a cross scetion of his adventures during his early life and on into middle age. Then the real work will begin: rewriting "Abducted" to take into account how I've changed Tom as a character over the past 20 years.

That is going to be a serious undertaking. I've learned so much since then. There's also the fact that I originally wrote Tom as a much younger man than he turned out to be as his history developed. I'm going to have to go back to my story timeline and nail down his exact age in each story he's been in since I created him. That'll take time, LOL!

In other news: I'm almost finished with the first phase of the map of Bethdish! Just a bit more coloring around the edhes of the mountains, the coasts of a few islands, and it'll be ready to reduce to poster-sized so that I can begin adding placenames. I'm so excited about getting my map back!

For those of you who missed the announcement last month: I was recently able to recover a scan of a photo of my original Map of Bethdish--the big, poster-sized thing that I spent months hand drawing and hand-coloring as I wrote my earliest Mare Inebrium and History Of Bethdish stories back in the early 1990s--before the Internet was a thing. I'm involved in computer-coloring the faded out photo of my map--the original was destroyed in a house fire back in 2007--so that I have a reproducable copy of my old artwork. The same artwork that was essentually a mnemonic device to help me remember all the details from my planned stories from back in the day. The map is like a huge notebook of planned stories, history to make said stories work within the framework of my created universe, and between the map and my Timeline file, it's how I want stuff to go when I make it go. And things are still going, all the time!

I've also got to get back into writing more new Mare Inebruim stories. I'm sure there's another book's worth, lurking in my head, LOL!

All right, it's about time I shut up and let y'all get to reading the new issue of Aphelion! Enjoy!



Title: Outbursts from a newborn star

Photo Credit: ESO/M. McCaughrean