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
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
- 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!
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
- 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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