Short Story: “The Yardstick” (Swords and Sorcery Magazine)

Swords and Sorcery is an online magazine published by the inimitable Curtis Ellett, and this month I’m honored to have been chosen to have a story of mine published there.

(note: if The Yardstick is no longer in the current issue when you read this, click the Archive link and search for Will Weisser to find it).

A little more background for those who are interested: during the very little downtime I had at Worldcon last year, I felt like I needed to write something, having been inspired by the presence of so many great creative types. I free-associated a bunch of random titles in my notebook, most of which will likely never amount to anything, but one that did catch my eye was “The Yardstick.” I have no idea why I wrote down those words, but the idea of a measuring device implied story possibilities to me. What if this yardstick wasn’t regular, but magical? What could it measure? A person? What about them? Perhaps if they were brave enough, strong enough, worthy of some title or distinction?

Over the next couple of weeks I fleshed out the rest of the story without any planning, just making it up as I went, which is not my usual M.O., especially since I rarely write short stories anyway (I’m not nearly brave enough to try and write an entire novel that way). I think it turned out pretty well, and although not everything I start ends up so good, after 4 years I feel like I’m definitely making progress at writing fiction thing, as evidenced by this, the first time someone has paid me up front for my work.

So, please enjoy, check out the other stories on the S&S site, and blog, tweet and otherwise share the fruits of Mr. Ellet’s (and the author’s) labor. Now I’m going back to work on some ideas for my third novel…

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