Leah R. Cutter’s “A Stitch in Time” appears in Small Gods, book 6 in the Blaze Ward Presents anthology series.
As Viviane was merely a minor goddess of sewing machines, she didn’t have a real temple to inhabit. She didn’t have a set location either, in the living world, where worshipers came to her.
Instead, she lived in a huge warehouse full of sewing machines that was located in one of those between places, outside of life and time. When someone had need, Viviane went to them, not the other way around.
She didn’t really remember when she’d been alive and traveled through time sequentially as the living did, though she supposed she had, at one point. Possibly from a much earlier time, as the treadle and hand-cranked machines were her favorites.
Even though it was just a warehouse, because it housed a minor goddess, Viviane still called it her temple. It wasn’t much of a temple, though the high peaked ceiling did lend a certain wonderful stillness to the air.
As the warehouse wasn’t set in a single location, the windows that filled all four walls from floor to ceiling showed different landscapes every day, frequently reflecting whatever Vivian was feeling. Sometimes the view was a forest, rich and verdant, with happy birds singing and shy creatures peering out from under the trees. Sometimes the view was a desert, broad and empty, with impossibly blue skies. Mountains occasionally appeared, or lakes fed by burbling streams.
Never cities, or ruins, or people. No one came to see her. Viviane still did the best she could, despite being lonely now and again.
When the dawn came, Viviane woke from dreamless sleep on her four poster bed tucked into a corner and covered with magnificent quilts, then flowed over to where the machines stood waiting.
—from “A Stitch in Time” by Leah R. Cutter
Which god(s) did you write about in your story, and why?
I originally wrote this story for the Maze & Labyrinths issue of Uncollected Anthology. I couldn’t figure out how to write about a maze. Mazes have to be built.
Then I was looking at one of my machine-stitched quilts one day, and realized that the stitching pattern produced quite a lovely maze.
Which lead to my goddess of sewing machines, who would trap her enemy in a quilted maze. I also used the quote, “A stitch in time saves nine” which is talking about that last stitch that a shroud maker did, stitching the shroud to the dead body, and the nine pound weight at the bottom of the shroud that would sink the body into the depths.
What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?
I just started a new novel in the last couple of days. It’s a new SF universe series, all new characters, new tech, etc. The books will have multiple points of view. I just finished the first chapter with the main character. Part of the fun, at least for me, is discovering how voicy the character is. She has so many opinions, and quite frankly, much more of an edge to her than I’d realized when I was initially thinking about her.
And that’s a big part of the fun for me, making things up and discovering new things along the way.
Your author tag line is “Come someplace new.” Why did you choose this, and why is it important to you?
Years ago, someone at a workshop asked me why I wrote, and how I would describe myself.
Many of the writers in that workshop responded that they viewed themselves as entertainers. That never fit me. Instead, I described myself as your tour guide. I have experienced some weird things in my time, seen some strange sights. I also have some pretty strange things in my head. “Come someplace new” implies that you’re not going alone, I’m coming with you. I’m going to be exploring just as much as my reader it. It really encapsulates what I feel is my relationship with my readers.
Anything you’d like to share with the readers, promotional or otherwise?
I have a new SF series, The Long Run series, starting with Project Nemesis. All of the books are available for preorder. I describe it as Leverage versus Star Trek. It’s all about the capers, and getting away with some of the best cons in the universe. While sticking it to the man.
Leah Cutter writes page-turning, wildly imaginative fiction set in exotic locations, such as a magical New Orleans, the ancient Orient, rural Kentucky, Seattle, Minneapolis, and many others.
She writes fantasy, science fiction, mystery, literary, and horror fiction. Her short fiction has been published in magazines like “Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine” and “Talebones”, anthologies like Fiction River, and on the web. Her long fiction has been published both by New York publishers as well as small presses.
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