A Charmingly Monstrous New Year

Happy 2021!  Welcome to Not Last Fucking Year at last!  Go us, we made it!  I’d meant to write yesterday, but I got lost in a book that one of my wonderful friends bought for me on writing monsters, and the contemplation of the different flavors of fear (and yes, I do mean flavors and not in a poetic way) because I’ve been noodling at “Auntie Yaga’s Home For Wayward Monsters” a lot lately, and have childhood monsters on the brain and I maybe lost track of time a little bit….

What is “Auntie Yaga’s”?  I know I’ve mentioned it before, and it’s something I’ve been playing with in various formats over the years to try and figure out just what the answer to that *is*.  It seems to be resolving itself into a story form at last, so we’re running with that to see where it goes.  

What’s the general concept of this story?  In short, it’s the story of a woman and her companion, originally the “Monster Under The Bed” from her childhood, running a sort of boarding/halfway house/outreach program for other “childhood monsters” who are trying to distance themselves from the stereotypes associated with their assorted species.

What do I mean by childhood monsters? I mean things like the monster under the bed, the monster in the closet, the thing that lives under the basement stairs, that sort of thing.  (IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I VERY MUCH ABSOLUTELY DO NOT mean the horrible humans that do terrible things to children in the real world.  Like, seriously, at all.  I highlight this because I’ve had way too many people think that’s what I mean, and just…no.  I don’t deal with writing trauma. I write dark whimsy, and it genuinely pisses me off when people decide that’s what I mean and start to unload their childhood trauma on me because what the fuck. Anyway.  /rant.)  More Pixar, less Stephen King.

That’s not to say that my monsters are cute and fluffy and harmless.  They really are based on that shadowy thing that lies in wait in the blackness under the bed at night, with it’s long, sharp claws and needle-like teeth, drooling wetly on the floor, waiting for you to slide a foot out from under the blanket and over the edge of the bed, so that it can grab your ankle and pull you under to devour you.  Just smarter and with personalities and ya know, look, sometimes a monster decides it’s would-be dinner is actually kind of cute and gets attached and starts to reconsider its menu planning and that’s where Auntie Yaga’s Home For Wayward Monsters comes in.

Look, I was a weird child and I turned into a weird adult and in a way, I’ve been trying to write this story for most of my life, so here I finally am.

Still not 100% sure exactly what specific form this is going to be (could be epistolary installments! could be a full novel!  could end up being some sort of unfiction thing! could be all of the above!), but the bits are being written down and fleshed out and I expect to have something concrete to share shortly.

So that’s how my New Year is starting.  How are you all doing?

(Originally posted on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/riversdaughter.)

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