Hybrid Fictive Revolutions in Domus Exsulis

The three main novellas have been removed off Domus Exsulis, ie: Kieran’s story (The Assassin’s Novella), the Festival of Songs and The Gaeirnic Exiles. This has been part of this site’s plan for over a year now, perhaps two, but I kept the stories on out of nostalgia. Lately, I’ve been concerned with various things, i.e; readability as well as the fact that these tales are pretty much belonging to the body of work that can be considered juvenilia. Wince. Cautiously, I may note that I’ve matured as a writer. Sure, my spates of writing are not as exuberant. One cannot be a literary academic postgraduate scholar without a great measure of caution and scepticism, after all. But one hopes this does not lead to a decrease in the quality of words or in the devotion for the craft of storytelling.

The sad news above is coupled with (hopefully) good news. I have – for quite some time now – been thinking of having a separate chapbook, whether print or digital, featuring the first two novellas. Both Kieran and Erna’s tale *do* provide the back-story for my novel in progress based in Domus Exsulis, but also, I want to move this hypertextual experiment to a more traditional form. I want to say “print” form, but since I envision it primarily as an e-text, it’s more sensible to say a more “linear” and traditional form. To that effect, I’m happy to announce another storytelling project for The Mythogenetic Grove:

The Caretaker’s Tale & The Dragon Who Thought She Was a Tree: Two Novellas

It makes sense to have them within the same digital chapbook, particularly since the events, to a certain extent, run concurrently. Kieran, a hybrid Australian of Chinese-Eurasian descent and Erna, a Himalayan dragon, have always been central to the many-threaded narration of Domus Exsulis. I started it in `97 based on my love for the classics, mythology and all things gothic, creepy and strange in folklore and fairytales. It was set on an island, the very same island to which Cupid had Zephyrus bring Psyche. I mused about the function of the island in folklore, fairytales and mythology and my love for The Green Serpent was partially because it hybridized that very same island with the Pagodes. It was also based on my love for Maurice Ravel’s musical visions. But wait, is that all? No! I had various locales, with stories which straddled indo-chinese, celtic, Indian and African mythologies as well as South East Asian and Malay. I did not make it explicit because, being a hybrid, mixed-raced and mixed-culture writer, I had hoped that the complexities of the connections between races would be sufficiently implicit. However, I’ve realised recently that perhaps I do need to fully flesh out this world, perhaps I do need to be more direct about what I’m doing here.

This will be my self-publication experiment; the stories have been on the web for over 13 years. It’s not a dramatic risk, but it’s not risk-free, either. It’s a leap, but one I am willing to take, as I need to start revolutionising the way I’ve been distributing my stories online, outside of my plans for traditional publishing. My goals as a writer have always been both the traditional AND indie routes – I think for my more experimental pieces of writing, I would prefer to have more autonomy. This doesn’t mean I’m planning on sacrificing on quality – the stories will be substantially different once in an ebook format. They’ve been placed on the daunting “to be re-written” list but since the raw material and storytelling framework is there, it shouldn’t take as long as completing a frigging novel! My plan is to provide a more concrete closure for both stories, making the narration richer and with more atmosphere. Both Kieran and Erna’s tale deserve more depth, I believe, and the framework has already been laid out. There is still a decent amount of fiction left on Domus Exsulis. Newer pieces and fragments that cross-refer with each other. I suspect more fictive pieces will be posted, now that there’s a lacunae of opportunity left. Right now, Millah, the mother of one of the protagonists of Watermaidens is having a fine day over at Domus Exsulis. Read her account in Better than Mathematicians. Anyway. My aim is to write more spontaneous fictive pieces in the name of virtual word-busking. They won’t be perfect, but they’ll fit within the grand scheme of the stories I’ve been telling since Day One.