Thursday, August 31, 2017

Great Things I Read in July and August, 2017 Edition

I'll miss you, Summer 2017! Fun as it was to see people at so many cons, it's nice to have the weather cool down and be able to stay home for a while. While I can't tell you some of the projects I'm working on yet, I am happy to share some of my favorite free reads from over the last two months. As always, everything here is free to read. Just click the link. If you like what you read, please consider donating to the author's Patreon, or subscribing to the related magazine. So many places are struggling to get it done right now.


"Skills To Keep the Devil In His Place" by Lia Swope Mitchell at Shimmer Magazine
-This is somewhere between a possession story and Slipstream. Slipstream usually bends towards the Fantastic, so seeing it wax toward Horror intrigues. Here a girl is going through the typical pains of adolescence - how to bond with people while protecting her psyche, conflict with a mother who seems alternately ambivalent and overbearing. But at the same time, she feels like the Devil himself is sometimes in her eyes, or sitting in her lap, sometimes in disgustingly vivid detail. The story teases us with how this sort of possession will overlap with the person she's turning into simply as a teenager, and whether she'll do right by anyone in her life - her mother, her BFF, or even Satan. The most poignant part is when she's so horrendously bullied at school that the strange demon slithering out from under her bed at night feels like a viable companion. Possession stories don't examine human isolation often enough, but Mitchell gets it.

"Never Yawn Under a Banyan Tree" by Nibetida Sen at Anathema Magazine
-A literally and figuratively spirited story! Dating advice is usually awkward, but especially when it comes from a ghost you accidentally swallowed. Our interloper here is a pret, which fell from a banyan tree and into our narrator's gullet. The pret thinks our narrator could do better than her current romantic prospects, and kicks off a delightful series of events that I don't want to spoil. But I've re-read this story three times over August, just to smile to at certain bits.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Two Story Sales! And more questions for my big RAQ

Happy Tuesday, Earth!

You may have noticed my birthday is coming up on September 4th. I'm celebrating with a custom called the RAQ: the Rarely Asked Questions. I'm asking you to ask me whatever you've never asked anyone else, no matter how silly, personal, or profound. Drop your unusual questions off on that post through this handy link.

But I also have two two story sales to share with you. I'm so excited for both of these to go out into the world.

The first is "The First Stop is Always The Last." This is a Groundhog's Day-like time loop story, following a bus driver who can't seem to make it to the second stop on her route. It might have to do with her single eccentric passenger. This story sold to Flash Fiction Online, and will be my fifth (?!) story in their magazine.

Many thanks to my beta readers on this one: Leigh Wallace, Ariel Harris, and Cassie Williams. It's another stretch for me, expanding what I can do with my fiction, though I don't want to spoil how just yet!

The second story is simply titled "Tank!" This one was the result of joking around with Max Gladstone at 4th Street about how tough it would be for a tank to attend a convention. So, it's literally about the exploits of a sapient tank that just wants to make some friends at Comic Con. Being about a tank, there's a surprising amount of my own lived experience at cons in this story.

Thanks to my beta readers on this one: Alison Wilgus, Paul Starr, Samari Smith, Max Gladstone, Merc Rustad, Leigh Wallace (hi again!), and Cassie Williams (hi again, Part II!). "Tank!" is expected over at Diabolical Plots in June of 2018. It's funny to already have a story set for next summer!
Counter est. March 2, 2008