Real Life to Fantasy

Once I substituted in a kindergarten class. Flu was going around, but there was 100% attendance in the classroom that day. The teacher pushed tables together so there were eight kids in a group, facing each other, with four groups in the room. Common supplies (pencils, crayons, scissors) were in a box in the middle. One little boy vomited straight ahead, all over their common supplies.

The rule was, fever or not, if a kid threw up in school, the office called a parent and the kid went home. The seven other kids around that particular table group proceeded to follow suit, both on the tables or politely turning their head to vomit on the floor…or their neighbor. By the time I’d buzzed the office, opened the windows, and commanded the class line up at the door, five other sympathetic vomiters had joined the ranks. I dropped off half the class at the office and took the rest out for an impromptu recess time, plus an extra ten-minute walk around the school grounds to allow the poor custodian to get the room cleaned up, fresh and clean-smelling.


Could sympathetic vomiters happen among adults, too? Or happen in a fantasy world with mythological creatures? The answer, of course, is yes. Author me, often uses real past experiences to embellish my stories. I already transplanted this incident in the first book of my War Unicorn Chronicles. Want to share the chapter? Or another real-to-fantasy incident?

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UQOTD – Unicorn Quote of the Day

“Wherever they may have come from, and wherever they may have gone, unicorns live inside the true believer’s heart. Which means as long as we can dream, there will be unicorns.”

                                                             – Bruce Coville



S. L. Carlson Fantasy Blog: (You are here.)

Books We Love Author Page:


Short Story Fillers for Novels



My publisher has informed me that she won’t publish a collection of short stories I have been working on — stories all connected in some way to The War Unicorn Chronicles. I’m still trying to process this.

Everyone’s story, and every fictional character, has a background, a history. Naturally, everything an author thinks up cannot fit into a novel. Everything is not pertinent or relative to the overall plot. Or perhaps it switches the POV (point of view) too dramatically.

I understand her rational, and of course, know she is thinking in terms of money/sales.

I have seven of these stories finished and sent through my critique group. I was thinking a collection of twenty. My publisher suggested putting them on Amazon one at a time. But then, I don’t believe anyone would pick it up/download it to read.

I could ignore the rest of the story ideas and let these seven merely marinate inside my computer. I could publish them individually, as suggested. I could wait for my group of twenty and put them into a collection to self-pub.

All this marketing strategy has too many distractions for this author.

And for a personal, fun distraction: Have you figured out what the photo is?

Call Me Silly — Characters & Plot


Call me silly, but I like to read (and write) stories which have friendships, and which are not dark dramas where no one likes anyone else and only trouble happens.

Yes, I write about enemies who are not friends with our heroes. Yes, those enemies can desire to kill my main characters, but…for me, there must be  (reading, watching, or writing) some hope, some goodness, some true friendships, some good family relationships to balance those black days. Even the darkest times can “bounce back” side by side with a true friend. Think Samwise to Frodo.

Oh. And happy birthday Frodo and Bilbo – yesterday. We celebrated their birthdays these past three weeks by watching a section of LOTR, with the conclusion last night. Oh, the hopelessness of their dire situation, and yet, the friendship between Sam and Frodo endured to the end! I worry for them each time I watch or read it.

THAT is what I am talking about. I wish I could write that well, with characters and plot. I try. At least it’s not all dark-dark writing. Friendships survive.

Reach out and touch a friend today, personally.

You could also read my unicorn tales (and leave a review, thank you), for stories of friendships. Here are my ebook links (also available in paperback).


Chapters or Short Stories – Unicorns Who Won’t Die

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After four unicorn novels, I sort of came to the end of the storyline. Sort of. Because life goes on. And therefore, what could happen next? I’ve written some incidents which happened before or during the books, but never made it into the books. I continue writing more of these, perhaps for a book of related short stories. A critique partner commented that one of the short stories sounded like a chapter. I agree. Only, it would never fit into the book because it’s told in a different POV (point of view) from the main character speaking-seeing-thinking in the book. Adding this “chapter” in a later edition would make the reading quite disjunct.

Then there’s the fact that my spell-bound war unicorn was previously only called out of the ring to give war counsel or do battle. Even writing battles seemed disjunct and boring to me: We’re failing; We need a war unicorn; Poof. Unicorn helps win battle; Unicorn no longer needed; Poof. I could see perhaps one event/short story/battle scene to use as an example of what she did over a 300 year period, but wouldn’t the plot-premise be boring? Besides, there are battles in my novels.

However, this is the very reason why Neighbor’s story in these four novels exists. It involves more than call-on-the-magic-war-unicorn-to-win-the-battle. The books involve relationships and twists, friendships and betrayals.

Another novel? A book of related short stories? This unicorn won’t die.

New YA SciFi Book

Fantasy is my first love, far outshining all other genres to either read or write. However…there are times I experiment off the fantasy path. For instance…

A contest for a new novel, never published before. Thought about it. Considered it. Didn’t have a completed novel. Except for this SciFi one I wrote 20+ years ago. I’d revised it many times. I had 2 weeks before the contest deadline. No family or visiting or distractions. I revised yet again. Somewhat. Now it’s available.

IF you like true YA with all its dark subjects, you might like this story.

Now…back to my fantasy worlds. Thank you very much.