S.G. Browne: Five Things I Learned Writing Lost Creatures

A household of luck poachers receives a phone call that sets them off in the hopes of reversing their bad fortune. At a singles mixer for chemical components, a luminous-yet-jaded Neon looks for love, or at least a one-night exothermic response. When blue skies turn gray and the daikaiju siren shrieks, the ten-year-old daughter of the local weatherman discovers her destiny. And washed-up evil people live out their worthless lives at a retirement house for villains– you never understand when someone may turn the swimming pool into a shark pit, or bring a death ray to Taco Tuesday.


From the creativity of S.G. Browne comes a collection of fourteen narratives of downtrodden luck poachers, lovelorn chemical aspects, obsolete bad guys, disillusioned children, trademarked teenagers, outcast reindeer, preyed on zombies, and time-traveling alcoholics– much of them lost and searching for answers. Some of them discover what theyre searching for, while a couple of discover that youth dreams can come real.

Theres A Leprechaun Sanctuary In Carlingford, Ireland

You can learn all sorts of interesting (and typically worthless) information when you write a narrative about the pandemic, incorporate the internet meme “The earth is healing, nature is returning” into your story, and end up checking out a lot of articles about mythological animals and decreasing the proverbial research bunny hole.

The genesis for the leprechaun sanctuary started back in 1989 when P.J. OHare, a local pub owner, claimed he found proof of a leprechaun after hearing a scream near the wanting well on Slieve Foye, the mountain that overlooks Carlingford. When the pub owner investigated, he found small bones, a small green jacket and trousers, and a handful of gold coins surrounded by what appeared to be burnt earth.

Finally, in 2009, twenty years after the discovery of the leprechauns remains, the European Union granted main heritage status to the leprechauns who lived in the caverns of Slieve Foye, stating the mountain and all of its occupants, animals, and flora a designated location of security under the EUs Habitats Directive.

Carlingford is a small coastal village in northeast Ireland, about an hour south of Belfast. Among other things, Carlingford is known for its oyster farms, medieval structures, and leprechaun sanctuary. Thats right. A leprechaun sanctuary.

The discovery triggered The Carlingford National Leprechaun Hunt on Slieve Foye, with thousands coming down on the mountain to search for leprechauns. While a lot of the locals welcomed the surge in visitors and the increased income it brought to Carlingford, they desired to make sure to secure the little people and their habitat, as it was thought that 236 leprechauns resided in the caverns of the mountain. I have no idea why or how they reached 236 instead of a nice round estimate like 250. Im just the messenger.

Who desires to go to Carlingford?

Chlorine & & Fluorine Are Promiscuous Elements

I aced high school chemistry and was a straight-A student going all the method back to 1st grade. Getting a C throughout my very first semester at college came as rather of a shock.

I believe its safe to state that the majority of the elements on the periodic table tend to be polyamorous or at least choose to be in open relationships. I likewise believe its safe to state that when it concerned writing a short story about a weekly songs mixer for chemical elements, I learned a lot more about chemistry than I performed in high school or college.

If youre not thinking about making a commitment or forming any sort of enduring bond, there are a lot of chemical elements who are simply searching for a one-night exothermic reaction. Its most likely best to avoid Technetium and Promethium, considering that neither one of them has any steady isotopes. The last thing you want is a stalker.

When it comes to chemical promiscuity, Hydrogen isnt much better. Carbon, meanwhile, has two stable naturally occurring isotopes and is capable of forming multiple steady covalent bonds, which makes him more of an ideal candidate for a long-lasting relationship. When it comes to monogamy, hes not precisely a paragon of virtue, having formed more substances than any other element.

I didnt keep a lot of information from my college chemistry class. Go figure. Even had I not been hungover in class on a routine basis, Im pretty sure my college chemistry teacher never ever discussed how chlorine and fluorine are two of the more promiscuous components of the routine table.

Fluorine has actually formed compound bonds with almost all of the other aspects. Like all halogens, Fluorine just has 9 electrons. In routine table parlance, shes one electron shy of a full shell. Not to discuss shes highly harmful. So caution emptor. Chlorine, meanwhile, has, at one time or another, talked to almost all of the other elements, which is unexpected considering hes toxic, gassy, and annoying. Who am I to judge?

I Enjoyed Exploring My Feminine Side

By the method, if youve never checked out anything by Karen Russell or Kelly Link, I highly recommend it.

Prior to composing the majority of the fourteen stories that make up LOST CREATURES, I composed 9 books, one novella, and four-dozen or so brief stories. I discuss my writing history to stress that although my books and many of my brief stories have included popular female characters, none of those characters played the role of the primary lead character.

Not that I had not read books or stories written by female authors before, but none of them had motivated or obliged me to move my viewpoint when it came to my characters and how I desired to tell my stories or who I wished to inform them. Not to point out the kind of stories I wished to tell. It brought more balance to my writing and I discovered myself checking out stories and ideas and characters that I never would have considered composing about previously since they wouldnt have worked too, or at all, when informed from a male POV.

While half of the stories in LOST CREATURES have a male protagonist, the other half are informed from the POV of a female– including a ten-year old Japanese lady worried about daikaiju ruining her weekend strategies, a college-aged zombie taking restorative English classes, and a mother reminiscing about the animal centaurs she raised as a child. Many of the stories are told in the 1st person POV, which allowed me to invest a great deal of time in the female point of view, seeing the story and the world through a different set of eyes than I had so typically informed the majority of my stories. And these stories turned out to be a few of my favorite stories Ive ever composed.

Then I was presented to the brief story collections of Karen Russell and Kelly Link.

Writing Short Stories Helps Me To Find My Happy Place

When writing becomes a grind for me, when my book isnt working or I find myself composing something for the incorrect reasons, I write narratives. Theyre my way of checking out concepts that matter to me without needing to fret about a due date or a contract or if my agent or editor will like them. I compose them for me. I compose them for enjoyable. And I write them without the constraints of expectations about whether I can sell them. It would be great if I could. But thats not why Im composing them. Im writing them for the pure joy of writing. To remind myself that composing can be fun. To remind myself why I began down this course in the very first location.

And then there are the times when youre not writing to meet yourself however in order to meet a contractual responsibility. It happens more typically than you d believe. Sometimes the business of writing becomes more about business than it does about the writing. And that draws.

When the story isnt working no matter how hard you try to make it work, especially when youre on a due date and you need to find a way to make it work, thats when the joy of writing becomes a panic-filled grind. Chances are its not going to work for anybody who reads it since if the story isnt working for you. Whichs even worse than anything Timmy was doing to piss you off.

To write stories.

The important things they dont tell you about being a writer is that there are times when it can end up being a grind, drawing all of the joy out of the creative process. Not that writing is always fun. When all you desire to do is sit down and write, the business side can be a time suck. However sometimes its a challenge to be creative, to compose words that youre pleased with, to craft sentences and paragraphs and scenes that make you believe, “This is what I was suggested to do. This is my jam.”

Thats the sweet area that authors want to strike. And when were lucky, we hit it. But other times it can be tedious, like when you cant determine how to fill a plot hole in your novel or when one of your characters begins doing things that do not make any sense and you scream at your computer, “What the fuck, Timmy?”

Compiling A Short Story Collection Is Like Being A Literary DJ

To me, narrative collections are like literary playlists and the author is the DJ, spinning tales to create a rhythm and flow to keep the energy going and the reader engaged. I cant speak for other authors, but when I compiled LOST CREATURES, I put the stories down in a particular order, moving them around up until I discovered the right flow, with the concept that checking out the collection from start to complete would give the reader an experience they would not manage leaping around from one story to another. Not that theres anything wrong with that, however its just not the experience I meant for the reader to have.

So LOST CREATURES is my literary mixtape. My Friday night DJ gig. Rather of spinning songs, Im spinning stories, attempting to produce the right mood and rhythm in the hopes that the reader sticks around up until last call.

Over the years, Ive made my fair share of mixtapes and am old adequate to have made some on real cassette tapes. I still occasionally make mixtapes on CDs (although you might argue that its technically a mix-CD). You still desired to spin an excellent mix of tunes that would keep the energy going and the customers pleased.


He lives in San Francisco.

SG Browne: Website|Twitter|Instagram

Lost Creatures: Amazon

When composing ends up being a grind for me, when my novel isnt working or I find myself writing something for the incorrect reasons, I compose short stories.

Prior to composing the bulk of the fourteen stories that make up LOST CREATURES, I wrote 9 books, one novella, and four-dozen or so brief stories. Not that I had not read books or stories composed by female authors prior to, however none of them had actually influenced or forced me to move my perspective when it came to my characters and how I desired to tell my stories or who I desired to tell them. Most of the stories are told in the 1st person POV, which enabled me to spend a lot of time in the female perspective, seeing the story and the world through a various set of eyes than I had so frequently informed most of my stories. And these stories turned out to be some of my favorite stories Ive ever written.

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