Urban Fantasy Homesteading

or, how to build a thousand lives from two

The other night, my fiancee Amber asked me if I’d seen Originalfic100. I told her that I had without thinking about it much, and only later realized that this is a new, DreamWidth-hosted iteration of the original idea. I’ve wanted to do a 100 for a long time, but I generally don’t manage to stay motivated. (Hell, I can’t even manage a bingo card.)

But the thought kept rolling around, and last night I asked her what she’d want to see me write, if I did it.

Lost the Sky,” she answered without hesitation.

Lost the Sky, you may remember, is an alternate history with magic and gods and Atlanteans and aliens and Ragnarok and… well, you know, that kind of stuff. I currently have about three hundred years of it plotted (about two fifty before Ragnarok and fifty after). This universe houses everything from Chinoiserie to Danger Days (which really needs a name that’s not a My Chemical Romance reference) – not to mention that, yes, I’ve played with ideas set much further back in the history.

This thing is my baby, even if I’ve never finished a novel-length story in it. It’s perfect for a 100-type challenge, because there’s tons and tons of ground to cover, and characters, and spots in the timeline. But still, the idea of writing one hundred things was kind of overwhelming, so I asked Amber if she’d collaborate with me. She’s written a few odd pieces in that universe before, including Annie’s POV lately in Danger Days. She agreed.

I told her that now she can never leave me, because I’ve had stories become too painful to work with in the past when I lost touch with people who’d worked on them with me, and it hurts. A lot. Losing this universe would break my heart.

Doing this means more to me than asking her to marry me. It’s a bigger commitment. I’m putting more on the line. (Especially since I can’t legally marry her right now, but that’s a different essay.) We could separate out the book collections. We could decide who keeps which DVDs or game systems. We could divide the linens, the dishes, even the altar pieces without too much trouble.

But as we’ve talked about what I want to do with this universe, and how magic works, and how the timeline runs, we’ve found places where stories she was already working on weave seamlessly in with mine in much the same way that I realize afterward that a given story is actually part of this world. My ideas are warp and hers are weft, and together they create a more complex pattern – but we won’t be able to cut them apart again.

Once I do this, there’s no going back for me.

This is scarier than handfasting vows or diamond rings. This is my heart and soul and stories.

I can’t give her anything more than this.

I can’t wait to see what she does with it.

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