I wanted to write you at least 1 story each month, but I've fallen just a little bit behind. I have 3 in the works right now, actually, each one quite different from one another. The first is a rather comical story that was inspired by a stupendously large, greasy, and delicious sandwich that I ate awhile back. I was quite determined to finish the thing, even though it probably nearly killed me. To an ant, I surmised, that sandwich must have seemed like a vast continent. So I hatched a story about the medieval city of Hamburg. A city, invaded by an evil viking king, hungry for conquest. Because the city is a place of cooks, chefs, butchers and bakers, they have no standing army. So instead of fighting the king, they invite him in and challenge them to eat a colossal sandwich, assuming that the king will be too proud and too hungry for glory to turn down the challenge. As the wicked king observes the sandwich, it goes something like this:
"A sandwich most fine lay on the platter before him. A sandwich, indeed, that sprawled like a fertile kingdom. There were forests of lettuce, rivers of grease, valleys of mayonnaise and mountains of beef. Lakes made of ketchup and an ocean of gravy, upon which sailed proudly a grilled mushroom navy. Volcanoes of turkey that spewed molten cheese and grasslands of spinach that were rolling with peas. Salt plains of pickles, draped like a shroud. Tall peaks of peppers where steam swirled like clouds."
The second story I was working on was a bit bleaker. It's about the last woman in the world, who stands upon the last piece of land in the world, all else having been devoured by the ocean.
And the last, of course, is a Halloween story. I suspect I'll have to finish that one first before Halloween rolls around! It's called The Curse of the Crimson Pumpkins. It's about jack-o-lanterns, stained red, which begin appearing in the woods, all which are lit with a glowing red flame. Eering happenings and vivid nightmares haunt those who go too close to investigate.
So anyway, I have a good excuse as to why I haven't finished any of these stories in a timely fashion. I've been working with a talented young illustrator from Australia to make illustrations for all of your stories: Tze-Chiang Lim.
Here are a few that are finished. I hope they are all to familiar to you by the time you read this.
Here is one of the illustrations from "A Place Between Worlds."
It's the scene where Elsa and Fredrick are venturing
forth into the woods in search of the immortals.
Here, Akantha at last finds The Man at the Edge of the World.
The Girl in the Sphere wanders the world.
Here we have Azri and his family at last returning to the plains of
Anatolia to plant a new generation beneath The Golden Oak.
When they are all finished, I'll hang them in your room so that you'll have little windows of fantasy to peer into throughout your childhood.