On Writing

Dustbaby

small-sept-previewAfter a vast and echoing silence, I’m thrilled to say I’ve got a new story up today at Shimmer Magazine (the delightful crew of editors and readers who I definitely haven’t hypnotized/bribed to publish me once before).

If you’re interested, follow this here link to find an odd little story about changelings and loss and the Dust Bowl. You should also check out the rest of the issue, with stories by K.L. Owens, Stephen Case, and Rachel K. Jones.

If you do follow that link, and end up scratching your head and wondering how a story like that came into the world, here it is:

(more…)

February 17, 2015

Short and Sweet Banner copy

Winter has come to Kentucky. And before you northerners chuckle to yourselves and say “those poor bastards wouldn’t know winter if it danced naked in a snowdrift with christmas ornaments in its hair,” let me tell you: it’s our biggest snowfall in 17 years and it’s not getting above freezing until Saturday. It counts. So, the first story this week is fittingly titled, “In Winter.” (more…)

January 31, 2015

Short and Sweet Banner copy

Welcome to the first edition of the doubtless-irregular and potentially short-lived Short and Sweet, featuring unformed thoughts on speculative short fiction I’ve read and liked in the last week. I have two goals, here: First, to sort of participate in the digital curation of great short fiction.[1] Second, to take note of useful “lessons” buried in these stories, for myself and folks like me, who aspire to write more, better, and more bravely. (more…)

The Animal Women

My short story (novelette, for the technical-minded) is now up at Strange Horizons (Part 1, Part 2). Because I’m a compulsive over-sharer who can’t let art stand on its own spindly legs, there are a few things I want to say.

“The Animal Women” started as a bulleted timeline of 1968. It metamorphosed into a ramble-y story about a young girl in eastern Kentucky with a Polaroid camera and a speech impediment. At its most successful,[1] it would be about the fractured cultural landscape of the 1960s, the changing nature of race politics, white backlash, women’s voices, and magical transformation.

I think it’s my favorite thing I’ve written.[2] Not for any super objective reasons, but just because everything in it is…kind of very close to my heart.

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Me and my Dad, sometime after the Berlin Wall fell but before NAFTA.

It’s about Kentucky. The place I grew up, the place I circle back to, the place I hold in my heart next to the word “home.” Sometimes, when the light’s just right and the cicadas are so loud your teeth rattle and everything smells like wet summer clay—I think it’s just a half step away from heaven. Sometimes, when you’ve driven by four Confederate flags and a dozen “Coal Keeps the Lights On” stickers on your way to class only to have a student tell you racism ended in 1965—I think my partner and I should just drive north until we hit Nunavut and live like polar bears.

Maybe everybody feels that way about their home. (more…)