Reverend Jan's Fiction Extravaganza

This plethora of short stories dates from my years in high school, mostly from my sophomore year on. My teachers provided extensive encouragement for my fiction writing, and I think it shows; I owe them a great debt for helping me strengthen my skills. I've tried to date each story with the year in which it was written, so if you like, you can follow my development. Or you can read about it in this essay, written for my Sophomore College English class.

On the advice of my husband... these stories are all copyrighted 1998 by Jan Andrea. You may copy them for your own use or to share, but please give proper attribution. If you are a student yourself, I must strongly caution you against using others' work as your own -- plagerizing -- because aside from its legal ramifications, you will be committing an ethical no-no, and your own skills will not benefit from the act, which is what school really should be all about.

Short Stories, in Order of Appearance:

The Vampire (spring 1989)
This is essentially the first story I wrote at my new school in Swanzey, NH, after moving there from Wisconsin. Though it seems awkward to me now, I must include it for sentimental reasons; it got a re-write about a year later (see below).
The Cat (fall 1989)
Despite all its oddities, this story was one of three winners in New Hampshire of the National Council of Teachers of English Acheivement in Writing Awards in 1990 (or 1991, I forget).
After Death do us Part (winter 1989)
My classmates thought that this should be submitted to a teen magazine of some kind; hopefully, that's not an indication of its quality! Please note that I was an atheist when I wrote it, and still am -- that's why it's called 'fiction'.
The Minstrel (winter 1989?)
I'm told this one is a little confusing, but I'm not sure really what to do with it. It was more of an experiment in description than anything else, I think. Take from it what you can.
The Puppets of the Script (spring 1990)
This particularly long short story was written as part of a writing project assigned by Mrs. Soucy, the 11th-grade English teacher. We were to chose an author, read samples of her/his representative works, analyze their structure (plot, grammar, style, etc.), and then re-write a fairy tale based on that style. This was only the final part of a more extensive project, as we also wrote term papers on their lives and writings; but I enjoyed this one the most. My chosen author was Ayn Rand, whose black-and-white morality was very appealing to me as a 15-year-old; and the fairy tale in question was "Little Red Riding Hood," in case it's too vague to guess from the story. My version actually turned out to be some 20 single-spaced pages long, combining elements from Anthem, The Fountainhead, and We the Living. It earned an A+, something Mrs. Soucy said happened very rarely.
Death and the Maiden (1990)
This is my favorite story to come out of those days, and in my opinion is one of my better writings. It is the re-write of "The Vampire" from above; the plot is similar, but much more fleshed-out. Some of the characters will be familiar from later chapters of "Requiem for a Vampire," as they were written around the same time, and I was quite enamored of them all. (It's not the same Dmitri as in "The Cat," however; I just liked the name.) The story gets its title from the Schubert string quartet of the same name (in my opinion, the Julliard Quartet's version of it is the best recording, if you want to give it a listen sometime), and should not be confused with the play, whose appearance miffed me greatly.
Eternity Isn't (September 9, 1998)
I wrote this story in response to my husband's suggestion. I had forgotten how refreshing it can be to sit down and write; this took all of three hours, and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. I like to think the nature of the characters' situation unfolds slowly; do let me know if you think otherwise. I am considering submitting it to a sci-fi periodical (possibly "Analog" or "Omni"), so if it gets accepted, I may need to pull this version -- read up while you can!

Something in the Blood by Richard Purtill

I didn't write this one, although I wish I had; I found it in an old issue of "Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine," and instantly fell in love with it. In fact, I went so far as to type it all into our family's Apple IIc, so I could read it without further damaging the magazine; it's gone from that version to Macintosh, and now to HTML. I have it up here because it's a great story, and I'm not sure that people would have a chance to read it otherwise; so, although I'm probably breaking copyright, I hope that Mr. Purtill will understand... and not press charges!

My Novel, Requiem for a Vampire:

I started this odyssey in late spring of 1990, and it's still not done; there were many years wherein I didn't give it so much as a look, except to share the opening chapters with my friends. The main character -- and my writing style -- has changed greatly in the intervening years (seven, at this point), and so sometimes I feel like I should go back and change things... but other times I think that the evolution of my intellect and writing could also reflect that of the main character in his journey though the decades. My style has been compared to that of Anne Rice, but I didn't start reading her novels until around chapter seven, so any similarity is purely coincidental (though flattering). If you have any suggestions, please please please email me at [email protected]. I would love to hear anything, positive, negative, editorial, or otherwise!
Chapter One: Rebirth
In which our quasi-hero begins his tale, having been granted vampiric immortality. (The first four paragraphs were written in a flash just before the end of the school year; the rest was periodically handed in to my 12th grade English teacher, Mr. Allen, and shown to Mrs. Soucy for comment.) Please don't give up on the story after this chapter; it really does get a lot better as you go on!
Chapter Two: Marcella
A short lifetime in Venice (never been there, but plan to someday); Vivaldi makes an appearance, one of several composers who also represent my own musical evolution through time. (And he really is thought to have died of heart failure...) Check out the various versions of "La Folia" if you can find them; Corelli wrote a violin sonata based on the progression, as did Vivaldi, and many other composers, Baroque and otherwise (including myself, for the old Mac version of MusicWorks).
Chapter Three: Nikolai
Our hero makes a new friend, who will in the future be known as Dmitri to one Cecilia T. He's an odd fellow, but who wouldn't be after four hundred years?
Chapter Four: Haydn
Some people think Haydn's music is pretty tame, but do look into some of the trios and quartets, and turn up the volume -- there's some good stuff in there, and if you're a musician, they're a lot of fun to play! Of course, I'm but an amateur historian at best, so only the vaguest shadows of Haydn's life here are accurate.
Chapter Five: Lucianna
Things start getting really odd here, in his life, and later, in mine; I wrote this in 1992, I think, which is still a couple of years before my own similar soap-opera started. (See the end of this for details.)
Chapter Six: Julia
In many ways, Julia is the person that I wanted to be at the time this was written. I liked her character so much that she also reappears in "Death and the Maiden." (Sometimes I wonder: is it narcissism to be in love with your own characters?)
Chapter Seven: The Citadel
By this time I was a biology major at UNH, and trying to work out some vampire physiology. Being in college made me wonder about how much immortals could learn from each other if they just got together; and so was spawned the Citadel. Try not to compare it to Rice's covens; they're really quite different.
Chapter Eight: Mephistopheles
More from the Citadel, and more depth for Julia, whose mortal life is actually nothing like mine (so don't get the wrong impression).
Chapter Nine: Still Unfinished
Some of this was written while I was a sophomore, and intellectually such as well: that was the time I spent as a born-again Christian. I tried to work that into the story, but once I renewed my atheism (having studied the Bible and not at all liking what I found), I realized I had created quite a quandry for myself. Now I'm stuck and don't know where to go with the stories, so if you have any suggestions at all, PLEASE write to me! I'll happily give you lots of credit... I just need some ideas!

Lugubrious Poems from 1991

That pretty much says it all... I was depressed and love-sick, and didn't know any better than to write poetry whilst "under the influence." Hopefully you won't be too disgusted by these... some of them rhyme pretty well, but I don't know what else can be said for them...

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