Happy birthday, Mary

I just got the paycheque for “We Are the Flower“, the story I wrote for you. This post is going up a day late because I didn’t hit the Publish button! But I know you would forgive me for that, as you and all my friends have forgiven me for never being a birthday-rememberer.

Ever since 2016, when Spells of Blood and Kin was published and the US election exposed cultural progress as the frail thing it is, in need of constant action and support, I’ve been in the privileged position of being able to donate all of my short story income to causes I support. The #FictionFightsBack initiative kicked it off for me and I’ve kept up the habit.

The arrival of this money in my account was particularly well timed, Mary, because it would have been your birthday, and we had a Zoom call with some of your dearest ones who confirmed to me that you would have loved to see this donation go to the Movement for Black Lives. So there it has gone.

I miss you a lot. We used to joke that when you were away it was my job to be the weird one in the corner. I don’t think I have a fraction of your panache, but I care about a lot of the same things you cared about and I hope for a lot of the same things you hoped for.

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