Jasmine and the Lamp
Leonard Tate The Battle for the Kingdom JasmineandtheLamp.com
Author's blog #2

An Author’s Blog #2 – The journey doesn’t always end as expected.


  Leonard Tate

Author of “Jasmine and the Lamp of Spells


“Jasmine and the Lamp of Spells” did not start out as Jasmine and the Lamp of Spells. It started out as a short story titled “Tales of the Great Ookie Bookie”. There was a short story contest in Writer’s Digest that’s held every year. In 2004 I decided to enter the contest in the fantasy category. I have always been a big fan of medieval fantasy and this appeared to be a great opportunity for me to get my feet wet, so I jumped right in.


I started my story with the idea that this would be the first of many tales about a great genie named Ookie Bookie (pronounced ooo-ky, boo-ky, like sky). One small problem, the contest had a 3000 word limit, and anything more than that would be disqualified. After seven pages of building my fantasy world, introducing the main characters and developing my storyline, I was already over 4000 words and only 40% done. I must admit that at this point I was a little discouraged.


But not to be out done, I started to edit my half a story with a machete. I hacked and chopped and hacked some more. When I emerged from my word jungle, the word count was down to 2,998. Yippee! No… at that point what was left wasn’t what I set out to create. It wasn’t much of a story, at least not one I could be proud of. And it was only about 30% complete.


The contest entry deadline was drawing near and there wasn’t time to change directions. I searched my neatly typed pages for a story within the story, but my hacking adventure had all but destroyed that possibility. What could I do now?


With only a couple of days left to the contest deadline, I had to come to grips with fact that I would not have an entry. I let the darkness of disappointment engulf me and swallow me up for about three days. And on the fourth day a new light shone from the heavens, I was going about this all wrong. Maybe I was trying to fit a round peg in a square hole.


What was the message? What did I fail to see? I got it! This was too much to be a short story. Maybe it had the potential to be a novel. That’s it! I’ll write a novel!