Calliope of Hope (2016)
Part of the inspiration for Calliope of Hope came from the late poet and translator Taylor Stoehr, an admirer of my book Buddha In A Teacup. He was keen for me to write a companion collection of stories with a Sufi bent. In my favorite Sufi parables, the central characters are inspired to go on journeys to resolve their emotional and philosophical quandaries.
When I finished writing the rough drafts of the first ten stories in Calliope of Hope, six characters had emerged as my protagonists, and thereafter their separate and conjoined adventures formed the body of the resultant collection/novel. In three of the thirty-one chapter/stories, none of the six recurring characters appear, though these three stories carry on the flow of ideas and feelings that illuminate the entire work: adventure, curiosity, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, love, dreams, and the inevitability of change.
The six main characters of Calliope of Hope appear again in Todd’s novel Magenta, set seven years later, and so the books are connected but need not be read together or in any particular order.