Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Summer Of The Blue Tide

 So you know that game Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon? Where you name an actor and try to link them to Kevin Bacon in six movies and TV shows or less based on who they have worked with?

With the publication of Summer Of The Blue Tide, available in Bioluminescent, I officially have a Bacon Number of 3.

In Bioluminescent, I am sharing a table of contents with Neil Gaiman. Yes, that Neil Gaiman. Lucifer, American Gods, Good Omens.

He also wrote Coraline, which starred Dakota Fanning, who was in Trapped with Kevin Bacon.

Anyway. About the story.

Set in a futuristic Martha's Vineyard, three young adults have inherited a problem: the bioluminescent blue waves that fuel the summer tourist economy might be putting the entire ecosystem at risk of collapse. Can they find a solution in which the ocean and the tourism can both thrive?

Or: what if the shark and the economy were victims of each other in Jaws?

Recommended listening for this story:

"Toxic," Britney Spears

"Only Wanna Be With You," Hootie And The Blowfish

"I Hope You Dance," Lee Ann Womack

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Don't Look Down

 This is one of those stories I didn't think was going to be about something important. I just wanted to write a fun story involving some weird folklore things. Instead, it's… much more.

Don't Look Down started with me wanting to write about atmospheric beasts. That led to Star jelly. And then somehow the Talking Heads song And She Was became involved.

It was supposed to be about an autistic girl going on a little adventure in the sky. It became a story about an abused autistic girl living in a group home where she is safe for the first time, and running away into the sky because it doesn't feel real. It feels like she's a cartoon character walking off the edge of a cliff, believing everything is fine, until she looks down and falls.


"Don't Look Down" is available now at Kaleidotrope.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Beast Of Primordial Fire

 I am very proud to announce that my story, The Beast Of Primordial Fire, is now available in Out Of The Darkness, an anthology with proceeds going to the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention.

My story is what I've been calling prehistoric mythology. It's fantastical and features a personified version of an abstract concept to explain why things are the way they are. I imagine it's the kind of story the main character and her descendants will tell around the campfire for years to come, exaggerating or forgetting details as is the way with oral tradition, until no one remembers what actually happened but everyone knows the moral of the story.

And, since I am me, the moral of the story could be condensed into "Life Finds A Way."

It's about evolution, not just in the sense that a species evolves, but the evolution of language and art and society as well. It's also about personal evolution, being scared and feeling small and helpless but letting yourself try to do great things anyway.

Content warnings include offscreen death, fear, and the hunting and killing of a mythological creature.

Monday, December 19, 2022

All I Want For Christmas Is UFO

 When I was little, we used to stay at my friend Amanda's for Christmas. One year, when I was maybe six or seven, I heard a big THUNK on the roof.

I wasn't even close to being asleep, no one else heard it, and if it was one of her parents or aunts and uncles trying to get us kids to believe it was Santa, they would not have been so subtle. So I don't know what it was, but to this day I still swear I heard something.

Which brings me to my story, All I Want For Christmas Is UFO, available now in Humor Me’s Christmas issue!

It’s the story of a little girl who decides it’s up to her to remind an amnesiac Santa about the magic of Christmas. There’s just one problem: it’s not Santa, it’s an alien who’s come to destroy Earth.

I wrote this story… gosh, I don’t even know when. At least six years ago, before I ever had a story published. And I never submitted it anywhere in all those years.

I liked it. I just knew it wasn’t ready, something was off.

When I finally went to edit it this year, I realized that the story was good, but I didn’t have a great grasp on the humor I was trying to use. Now that I’m more comfortable writing in “my style” of humor, I was able to make the story really feel like I originally wanted:

An outrageously ridiculous concept written as if the main character is oblivious to the inanity, with sarcastic comments from the slightly Douglas-Adams-inspired narrator with an oddly heartwarming message.

So happy holidays or lack thereof, and I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

If That Cowbird Don't Sing

 My story If That Cowbird Don't Sing is now available in Penumbric!

It's about being autistic and magical, growing up knowing you don't belong, and realizing the one person you're supposed to rely on is unreliable.

And from the time I thought of the idea until I submitted the final story, it was less than 12 hours.

It was for an anthology originally, although the project was canceled. On the day submissions closed, I had a story mostly finished. And then I realized it was supposed to be a horror story and my story… was not.

So I figured I wouldn't have a story to submit.

… and then around noon, I had an idea. I wrote nonstop, I had coffee with dinner so I could stay awake to finish it. And even though the anthology was it actually canceled, they did originally want my story. That will always be a huge accomplishment for me, going from blank page to finished and publishable in less than 12 hours.

***

The story itself is based on brood parasitism—in which birds trick other species into raising their offspring (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brood_parasite)—, the Carly Simon song Mockingbird, and my experiences growing up with an abusive mother who did not understand my autism.


Saturday, November 26, 2022

The Care Home

 First, some news! My story Darken The Corners Of My Mind is nominated for the Brave New Weird Award! I am honored to have my weird little story included among the finalists.

Now, for today's story.

The Care Home, available in Dark Matter Magazine, is the story of a disabled woman fighting her smart home for control of her life.

It's also the story of how I escaped my abusive mother.

Oh yes, it's a metaphor. On purpose this time.

I won't so much to spoil it, but the conversation at the end that she has with the man? That's basically exactly what happened with me. Not word for word, but that was the conversation I had with the police that day when my mother was trying to convince them everything was fine.

So yeah. Be aware of emotional abuse and manipulation, but I hope you enjoy my story. Because it is my story, as much as it is my main character's.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Barely Even Friends To Lovers

 This is a story for the weirdos.

For the children of the 80s and 90s who grew up with independent, freethinking heroines who didn't need a man but still fell in love at the end of the story because True Love is the answer to everything.

For the kids who had a crush on Fox Robin Hood and that uncomfortably sexy Tim Curry pollution from Ferngully, who strongly believe the prince was way hotter when he was a Beast.

For the confused and disappointed dreamers who became fanfiction writers so they could fix all of their beloved media.

This is my version of Beauty and the Beast, where transforming into a hot guy is truly a disappointment, where love is good but not the answer to everything, and where you never click on the folder that says West Wing.

This is Barely Even Friends To Lovers, available now in Strangely Funny IX.