Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Research in progress to finish Michael’s fourth “Columba” story

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I’ve been quiet this week, folks, partly because earlier this week was the sixth-year observance of my late husband Michael’s death.  I don’t enjoy this — who does? — but I feel it’s important to do my best to remember his life, and what he meant to me (I do this every day, but try especially hard during this particular week), and re-dedicate myself toward this difficult, often frustrating and sometimes rewarding business of writing.

Michael left behind a fourth “Columba” story that is, at best, 1/3 finished.  I know the title, which I will not share right now, and I know the circumstances Columba and her husband, the Duc d’Sanchestre, were in after they attempted to cross to his demesne but ended up somewhere else instead.

Complicating matters, I don’t have any notes for this story or universe — none whatsoever, unlike the “Maverick” universe (where there’s two completed stories there I’ve finished, and two novels I’m working on), which has plenty — all I have is the title, my knowledge of Michael’s writing style, and the completed 1/3 (or maybe 1/4) I have of the story to work with.

What I’ve done is figure out the setting — Michael has set this well, but I need to know how I can continue to describe it as it doesn’t come naturally to me — figure out some of what’s about to happen next, and because I know these characters very well (even though I’ve never written them before, I’ve read these stories over and over as they are outstanding), I believe I’ll be able to start writing the fourth story (or at least my continuation of it) very soon.

Very few authors have attempted what I’m doing — what I’ve already done to a degree with Michael’s “Joey Maverick” stuff — most especially in the realm of trying to finish in the same style as the original author .  A husband-wife pair (or spousal unit pair, if you prefer), where only one is left to finish the work of the deceased, is even more rare — I know of Ariel Durant, the much younger wife of Will Durant, completing her husband’s work, and of a few SF authors (Leigh Brackett, C.L. Moore, perhaps Janet Asimov to a degree) working in their late husband’s universes by permission or actually finishing stories in their late husband’s style.

At any rate, it can be done, but it’s difficult and often frustrating — this is not the writing that comes easily to me, and it tends to block out everything else I want to do until I’ve gotten enough of it out that I can get back to my work — and that’s the main reason my blog is languishing at present.

Aside from that, I continue to submit stories, write more stories, and edit various things — so I’m doing whatever I can to keep my dreams alive.

I can only believe that Michael would very much approve.


Note:  Please, please go to eQuill Publishing and look for my late husband’s “Columba” stories — it’s not too late for his work to gain a following.

Here’s the link:

Written by Barb Caffrey

September 23, 2010 at 7:05 pm

2 Responses

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  1. E-quill doesn’t have a preview/snippet area, which is mildly annoying. Nothing against Michael, but I don’t remember his stories up on the old old Bar and I don’t generally buy books without having any idea what they’re about.

    However, you know you could review one of the shorts that are published at e-quill over at Shiny Book Reviews. Conflict of interest? Hah! I don’t believe in that, only an honest review of books.


    September 24, 2010 at 11:46 am

    • I’ve been trying to get them to put a few pages up as a sample — they have done that for others, and I think the only reason they haven’t done that yet for Michael’s work is because Lawrence, the publisher of eQuill, hasn’t been feeling very well the past several weeks.

      You really wouldn’t have a problem with me reviewing a story even though I edited Michael’s three “Columba” stories, wrote the little blurbs for ’em, etc.?

      I must think on this.

      Thanks for the offer, Jason. I will consider it. 😉

      Barb Caffrey

      September 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm

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