Story Idea WIP: Cinderella Retelling

          My new sisters call me Cinderella. I’ve never before heard a name as appropriate as it is cruel. It has a sense of heat to it, like it’s burning into my soul, marking me even while it changes me. At least I’m sure it would feel that way if I had a soul to burn.

          My birth name is Ella, and I was one of the thousands of children born each year with the disorder Careo Animus. In essence, I was born without a soul. It’s a rare birth defect, but not so rare as to be unheard of. You probably know at least one person who was born with the disorder, although they are unlikely to admit it. There is a bit of a stigma around having been born soulless, but we have the same rights as anyone else. Well… Most of us do.

          I’m a bit different. I’m a Construct. A Singed Construct. When my parents learned about my genetic deficiency, they did not follow the law and adopt a soul from the waiting pool of corporal applicants. They took me home, and forged a brand new soul for me. A few microchips, a couple gears, a pinch of magic and voila! Instant soul.

          Only one problem. I’m not supposed to exist. Their plan, while brilliant in execution, lacked a thorough consideration of the consequences. They viewed the act of creation as a miracle. The world viewed it as murder. My body could no longer house a real soul, leaving in its place a pale and artificial imitation. Like so many other foolhardy parents, their crime was discovered, their souls were impounded, and their bodies given over to the next applicants. Unfortunately, the gift of corporal form came with some unwanted baggage; me.

          To mark my shame, and the damaged state of my soul, my entire wardrobe has been singed. I can’t even go to the market without everyone staring, whispering, judging. I would know. I am the one who goes to market every week. I am the one who does the laundry, cooks the meals, washes the dishes, and scrubs the floors. Along with anything else my new family demands. A Singed Construct has no rights. We are lucky to exist.

          I am going to change all that though. Today I’m making a gambit for my freedom, and, win or lose, I’m all in.

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Nanowrimo Novel – Vessel of Souls

Its only 8 days until Nanowrimo officially kicks off, so I wanted to share with you the idea my novel Vessel of Souls will be based around. This has been kicking around in my head since 2004. Has it really been a decade? Talk about your idea gestational period! I wouldn’t have realized how old this was if I hadn’t drawn this picture and written the poem below around the idea:


Deep within the chamber lies
An empty girl with empty eyes
She sits upon an empty throne
In the dark, all alone

She’ll guard a land of war and strife
For all of her empty life
She watches as men’s lives are lost
And tallies up their empty cost

And deep within her empty shell
Lies the thrice damned gate to hell
This she guards with empty might
Hides from all mortal sight

Her magic runs wide and deep
And deep within her spirit sleeps
So that every empty day
She might keep evil at bay

Fate awaits us all in turn
The wicked are sure to burn
So men from every land bow down
And kiss the empty princess’ gown

Intriguing? Terrible? Maybe. All I know is it won’t get out of my head, so I’m going to tackle this in the month of November. Wish me luck on 50,000!


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