Caleb Warner’s story “The Cartographer” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 4 November 2016.
This story really first came into being as a prose poem that I wrote for an introductory poetry class I took years ago. The primary image I began with was that of a little girl looking up at a telephone pole. I had no other context in my head other than just that image. A lot of my ideas start this way. It went through many different drafts, most of which my professor (or I for that matter) did not like very much. Now I don’t know how, but at some point I got on the idea that there was a demon in this telephone pole and it made her steal road signs. That version of the poem the instructor liked a lot better thankfully, and so did I. I liked it so much that the idea stuck around in my brain for a couple more years until I took a private writing class on the LitReactor with author Richard Thomas. I turned the basic idea of that prose poem—which I now remember was first entitled “Totem”—into the little short story you see here. Nothing too amazing in its origins, but it is interesting how our ideas go on their own little journeys.
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