By Lancelot Schaubert• Luke 15:3–7
Five months ago, Vritra — ill and desperate — crashed headlong into the loadbearing wall that Stornheist shares with the North Gate and ever since our surrounding lands grow nothing, bear nothing, receive nothing, and hold no measure of moisture. The crash came willfully — she claimed at first, though she has since spoken little — in hopes to find a physical, metaphysical, or spiritual cure to her malady. Since her crash, no cure has emerged.
Creative writer Lancelot Schaubert brings us this inventive mini-series as he weaves together a small newspaper in response to a collection of Scripture passages. As with most shared newspapers, some of the pages have been pulled out and are out of order, so you will have to piece them together as the project is released.
This first offering focuses on the theme of "lost" as found in Luke 15:3-7.
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3 ¶ And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it , he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
The theme of lostness comes up a ton in this section of the paper: and of how to find your way back. I wanted to hold that theme up to the light in as many unorthodox ways as possible.
The Dragonsmaw daily is a paper circulating on LOMEDAY of the month of BLAGUROEDD 47 in the year 1109 P.T. on Gergia, one of the Vale Universe (short story series here). It may seem like a high-shelf sort of entry for the average reader, something that takes a herculean effort to embrace in terms of the suspension of disbelief or secondary belief in my created world. However, I think it's quite easy: if you'll trust me, it'll read as a wonderfully foreign paper from a wonderfully foreign world. It's ephemera: something like an in-world artifact I happened to pick up from a newsboy who was hawking EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA copies in order to have enough ₮ to get his sister through the week on an onion (actually it's more like a leek) based soup. She beat the fever, in case you were wondering. But I brought it back from Gergia and gave it to my friends at Spark and Echo that it might supplement the stories I've written here and elsewhere about these fantastic worlds I travel so frequently.
For those that have followed along in any capacity, this paper tells of events taking place prior to the events in the Moon Boys series from my artist residency and quite far in the past from the other commissions here at Spark and Echo. It occupies the region around the Imperial Crescent in Gergia (top left of the main land mass on that false map I drew of the world). Each of the events recorded in this paper feature major workings in the region. All together I wanted to bind up the themes of extinction, of power dynamics, and of being lost and found into one piece. So I stitched together three commissions in a more unified form than normal. Of course some parts of the paper will remain out of reach for some time — like any foreign country, Gergian customs and economics and politics only make sense after you've lived there for quite some time. But one day the times, dates, seasons, and currency will make perfect sense to you. And then the dread realization of what the paper really reveals will come all too clear, as clear as a Bell Hammer.
Born and raised in Southern Illinois amid four generations of carpenters (and named either after Lancelot the knight or Lancelot the soap opera character, depending on which parent you ask), I moved to Joplin, Missouri for college where I did internships in San Diego among young artists and in Detroit — Dearborn — where I taught English and citizenship to Arab immigrants. I auditioned for some TV shows, helped internationals feel at home, and started an artist support group with Mark Neuenschwander, the photographer.
In college, I majored in rhetoric and minored in mythology and ancient literature. Somewhere in there, I fumbled along trying to woo the grooviest girl in the world to marry me. She was from Ferguson, Missouri.
Now, we live in New York City. In addition to writing and producing, I work for ACT International helping artists in the city think cleverer, feel deeper, and act truer. Sometimes I give them grants to jumpstart their careers. Most of the time I just cook them food, let them crash at my place, and hold them when NBC rejects their screenplay or only five of their paintings sell at their gallery. If that’s you, I’m in your corner.
By now, I’ve written hundreds of articles and stories and poems (maybe thousands?) and I’ve spoken for various conferences on writing, culture creating, neighborhood development, and virtue ethics.
I’m hard at work on what will be my first published novel, but I’m also quite dangerous with a nail gun. Ask me about the squirrel sometime.