Work in Progress, Plus an Exhortation About the Write-a-thon

Mysterious Silver Writing on Black Paper

I've been jotting down notes for these pieces in a wonderful notebook made of black paper I found at the University Bookstore. Anything looks more profound written in silver ink.

As many of you know, I am working on a Big Fat Fantasy Trilogy and chunks of it have become my write-a-thon goal. I hope to have a complete rough draft by the end of July and am well on track for that. Interspersed in the narrative are little set pieces. I thought I’d share a recent one and mention that if you support me in the Clarion West Write-a-thon, you will get at least two more of these AND the first three chapters of the book over the course of the Write-a-thon, even for the smallest of donations. Only people supporting me in the Write-a-thon will see these pieces before publication.

If you donate, shoot me an e-mail or drop a comment here and I will make sure you are on the mailing list for the next one.

From Pamphlet series #3 of A Visitor’s Guide to Tabat, published by Spinner Press.

While in Tabat, you’ll want to try the drink it’s famous for: chal. Salty fish and seaweed are mixed with strong black tea in what is admittedly an acquired taste for many. The drink supplies the city dwellers with energy and places to exchange thoughts and news. Many chal houses pride themselves on the antiquity of their brews, which may be years, decades, or in at least one case, centuries old.

The Dancing Cup: Located at the edge of Salt and the Serpentine, the Cup hosts students from the nearby College of Mages. Go here to catch a glimpse of them showing off new spells and minor magics, particularly in the open air of the back courtyard. Their house chal is over a hundred years old, but they offer many variants, including cider and other fruit drinks. Open all hours.

Two chal shops near Tabat’s Arena are renowned: the Blade’s Savor and Berto’s. Fierce rivalry between the two often leads to savings for customers willing to switch allegiance. Both shops frequently sponsor Gladiators, many of which will be spotted drinking and telling stories in one or the other. Bella Kanto and the majority of the Brides of Steel school can be found in Berto’s. These are the only shops you’ll find open during Tabat’s Games. Open all hours.

The Salty Purse, situated a block from the docks on Trade Way, claims a chal of over 200 years provenance, and serves only that, along with ship’s hardbread, doing a hearty business in the former, if not the latte. Open all hours.

In Tabat’s small theater district, the Fuchsia and Heron is favored by actors and wealthy theater goers. The most expensive shop in the city, it subsidizes actors’ tabs and even pays a few to patronize it, ensuring a steady flow of Tabat’s most glittering figures. Open from the last afternoon bell till the last night bell only.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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