Everything from:short stories

Story Day!

“Nightfall in the Scent Garden” is up today. This is one of several stories I’ve written about unrequited love: in this case, the love a teenaged lesbian feels for her best friend, who is straight. It’s also about the Queen of Faerie, who you do not want to meet. And most of all, it’s about bargains, and how we don’t always know what we’re giving up. The scent garden is a real place which I visited as a child–I’ve been meaning to set a story there for ages, and I finally found the right one. […]

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In which I will be anthologized!

Brit Mandelo has made the official announcement of the table of contents for Beyond Binary here, and I’m in it! This looks like such an awesome collection of stories: “Sea of Cortez” by Sandra McDonald“Eye of the Storm” by Kelley Eskridge“Fisherman” by Nalo Hopkinson“Pirate Solutions” by Katie Sparrow“‘A Wild and a Wicked Youth’” by Ellen Kushner“Prosperine When it Sizzles” by Tansy Rayner Roberts“The Fairy Cony-Catcher” by Delia Sherman“Palimpsest” by Catherynne M. Valente“Another Coming” by Sonya Taaffe“Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All-Female Production of Waiting for Godot” by Claire Humphrey“The Ghost Party” by Richard Larson“Bonehouse” by Keffy R. M. Kehrli“Sex with Ghosts” by Sarah Kanning“Spoiling Veena” by Keyan Bowes“The Metamorphosis Bud” by Liu Wen Zhuang“Schrodinger’s Pussy” by Terra LeMay Beyond Binary will be coming out in May from Lethe Press. […]

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In which I have a new story

It’s tentatively called “The Root of the Root” and it has been in the world for almost an hour now while I dicked around with poetry books until I decided not to call it any of the things I’d been thinking about. It may change again before I call it done. Pretty things: Solveig’s cardigan; a puppy; a whole lot of cats, all of whom are based on actual cats I know (because you can do that with cats, although it’s kind of inappropriate to do it with people) Horrible things: carbonaceous sputum; 24-hour WalMart; sad unused baby shower presents Soundtrack: Olinka’s “Puss in Boots” mixtape; Fleetwood Mac, of all the damned things; Fever Ray Sustenance: Aleve and gunpowder tea. Fetishes: decade-old Lululemon hoodie. I’ve worn it so much that the cuffs have torn. There is nothing else in my closet so comforting. This story is a happy story. It is also a story written by me, so the happy takes a while to kick in. I will look forward to seeing if it sells quicker or slower than my less-happy stories. […]

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In which it’s always better on holiday

I saw this destroyer in Boston, on a precious day off following a business trip. I was impressed with how much depth it has below the waterline. You can only see this depth in drydock, or if you’re a good diver. On my return I discovered that two of the magazines to which I’ve submitted are undergoing editorial changes. Catherynne M. Valente is stepping down from Apex, and Ann VanderMeer will no longer be editing Weird Tales. These situations aren’t identical: as far as I can tell, Valente is stepping down to give herself more time to write, which is laudable, while VanderMeer has been let go by Marvin Kaye, who has bought the magazine with the intention of editing it himself. I am not a prolific writer, and when I have something to sell, I want to place it with a market where it’s a really good fit, both for the audience and for the editor. I chose to submit to Apex because I love Valente’s writing, and to Weird Tales because I love VanderMeer’s editorial taste. My good impression of VanderMeer was further borne out by a fantastic note she sent me on my first submission–she didn’t buy […]

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In which it is Story Day!

My latest work: “Bleaker Collegiate Presents an All-Female Production of Waiting for Godot”. I had a lot of trepidation about this story, and I’m so glad the wonderful editors at Strange Horizons gave it a home. My high school actually did perform this play with an all-female cast. I can’t remember who they were, sadly–and none of them were Ginevra–but they did a wonderful and very memorable job. Ladies, if any of you ever happen to read this, thanks for absolutely laying waste to my little teenage mind, in the best possible way. […]

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In which I wonder where the last month has gone

On submissions, some of it. You see, I’ve decided to sell some poems. I wrote them, after all. I’m a writer–a professional writer, even, technically. Ergo the things I write should be good for something other than sitting in files. We’ll see if the poetry markets agree. Also, on productive things such as my bike race, and a fair bit of work-work, and also on less productive but mandatory awesomeness such as Pride. What hasn’t really been happening, though, is Words On Page. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever had that thing called writers’ block, but it does occasionally occur that I just don’t really do it. Or I do some, but not enough, or I do a lot, but nothing good. June was one of those months. July, luckily for me, is proving better so far. Today’s excellent work: hauling “Houdini” back on track, by main force and the application of some Elvis Costello. This story will probably have nothing to do with Houdini by the time it’s done, but it will have to do with a woman I saw weeping on the downtown 6 between Bleecker Street and Astor Place, and with Puss in Boots, and with a pair […]

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In which I have elderflower nectar

As of an hour ago, I have five stories out on submission. This is a new high water mark for me. (Two of them are reprint submissions, but still.) I also had the jawdropping realization this week that I have a personal theme. All of my novels, and many of my short stories, are about pairs of magicians, one mentoring the other. In trying to trace back the origins of this very persistent meme in my own life, I came back to the Vasilissa story. This story has been interpreted by Clarissa Pinkola Estes as a story about women’s intuition, as Wikipedia reminds me; I remember reading Estes at the direction of my therapist, when I was in university, and thinking that she basically took a whole pile of interesting old stories about women and said that they were about intuition, which galled me a bit, since I don’t possess much of that thing. To me, this story feels like it’s about power. Not necessarily feminine power, either, not in some essentialist way: we’re talking about flaming-eyed skulls, people. Clear, burning sight. Baba Yaga, the elderly witch who lives in the forest, teaches Vasilissa, the young seeker, how to wield […]

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A new thing

It has no name yet, but it is itself, and it is good. And I have been up all night making it and now I am tired. First line: “If you ever read this, you’ll tell me what grew over the arbor was ivy, not wisteria.” Pretty things: a scent garden, a sundial, a guest book, a pocket square. Horrible things: a gold cross, a froth of sputum, chicken fried rice. Ongoing themes in my current work: queer girls in high school, and the forgetting of enormous things. Every other living thing in my house has gone to bed. My neighbours, on the other side of the plaster and lath, have turned down their music, but they are still laughing, and this is the sound that will lull me to sleep. […]

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Just haven’t earned it yet, baby

I have three stories on sub right now, which is the most I’ve ever had out at one time. In fact, these three stories represent the sum total of my short fiction inventory. My efforts to become more prolific have been… about as successful as my efforts to get a driver’s license. I gave up trying to get a driver’s license. I won’t give up trying to be prolific; it’s too much fun, and also, if I screw it up, no pedestrians’ lives will be at risk. I suppose I hope that while I’m low on the quantity axis, I’m proportionately high on the quality one. I have a low sample size with which to judge, but for what it’s worth, my stats are pretty good (all sales pro so far; few rejections per story; when rejected, always personal and inviting me to submit again). This is, of course, whistling in the dark… I haven’t made a sale in a year, and I’m frittering away my momentum, especially if none of my three hopefuls make the cut. They are lovely little things, in my opinion. And I must make more of them. […]

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