Gotta love irony—or maybe it’s serendipity.
A couple weeks ago, I created an original watercolor piece as part of “Home for the Holidays,”an online auction event presented by the group Art for Critters. To quote A4C, “Artists from around the world, with a desire to help animals in need, have committed to donating a portion of their art sales to help animal charities…Home for the Holidays is a special auction this holiday season to help raise awareness and funds for animals seeking a forever home or permanent refuge.”
I chose a horse charity to benefit from my auction—I love the beauty, spirit, and heart of horses. My experience in drawing them has been limited, but I long to try more often. What better time to practice than now, I asked myself? Since I was right smack dab in the middle of organizing Art for 1000 Wells, though, I didn’t have time to create a new work for home for the Holidays—so I happily took a work I already had in progress, and completed it for the event. I named it “Home for the Holidays,” imagining this fantasy heroine and her faithful companion were heading home after a long journey.
For me, art inspires words. As my work takes shape on the paper, a tale begins weaving through my mind. I see possibilities in nuances—by the time I’ve completed the artwork, there’s a very good chance I have a short story outline to go along with it. This piece was no exception. As I painted, a longer tale came to my mind—one which may very well end up as a novel in the next few months! But I filed it away in my thoughts and went to create my listing for the charity.
Time got in the way—Art for 1000 Wells was wrapping up, and a few days passed before I could give attention to getting the charity information for my fantasy work. In the meantime, since I really enjoyed this one, I used it as the background for my Twitter page. Every day—many times a day—I would glance in, see the work, and be inspired yet again by the story it had prompted.
Then, on December 4th, I received a message from Twitterer seamusspeaks—a writer himself (with an awesome Star Wars story on his blog,I might add). He had come up with the idea of TwittyTales—one story serial a month, one part per day, one Twitter post at a time. A chapter in 140 characters, as it were. Not as easy as it sounds, and it doesn’t sound easy!
But exciting? Awesome. I was totally up for that challenge—yet I had absolutely no idea what to write. As I thought through my mental filing cabinet of characters and scenarios, my eyes drifted up to my Twitter wallpaper.
And “Four Days Late” was born.
Marian stood in the empty camp and stared at the devastation. 4 days. She was 4 days late. How could one make up for 4 days lost?
A winter wind bit at her lips as she drew a gasp. Tents & supplies were scattered. No sign of life. She was afraid to start looking.
A messenger had been sent but was caught. He escaped after 4 days. Only then did Marian get the news: Her home camp was under attack.
Marian had grown up among the forest camps. Now she was lady in waiting to a baroness. But her blood was wild, & her spirit was free.
With no more aid than a knight, a horseman & the messenger, she had come to save her people from the enemy. But found home in ruins.
Movement behind her; a large form. A deep, quiet voice.“What next Milady?”
The knight. A nobleman, returned from war that very day.
He was a war hero & noble; Marian had a background lower than peasantry. Yet he quickly helped her. Eyes wet, she replied: “Search.”
The four combed the camp. Silent, cautious. Marian knew the enemy could hide. Raiders, thieves, they were. Covetous of home’s bounty.
Soundless minutes passed. Then a voice:“Everyone’s gone.” The wiry horseman, roughly clothed, eyes wary. “Fled? Captured?” he asked.
“Doomed,” whispered the messenger. A shell of a man, eyes blank. “The enemy took no prisoners.” The Knight stared. “They took you.”
Marian’s story continues every day on my Twitter posts. You can tell the story serial from the updates about what’s in my teacup by the story’s header, “TTa:” followed by the number of the installment. I have a couple weeks left…tune in daily, or catch my Twitter in my blog sidebar on the right, to find out what happens next…
And in the meantime, I have renamed my watercolor work “Marian.” It goes live on eBay tonight…and, to my thinking, would make a fabulous Christmas present for someone. (Hint, hint.) Especially since 20% of the sale price will help abused or abandoned horses find a caring, loving home.
Today I finally finalized the charity my work will benefit–Knick O’ Time Horse Rescue.Very ironic, I thought to myself—Marian’s story is “Four Days Late”…but for the “Knick O’ Time.”