Friday, July 29, 2011

Short Fiction Friday

During the months of May and June, ChiZine had a plethora of excellent stories and poems as part of their fund drive. Those stories went down once the month was over, but there's a new issue now. I quite enjoyed the first story that I read from it, "Linking Words" by Grace Seybold. The opening image of the rebels dancing into the city is a resonant one, and I liked the way it plays with expectations as it goes.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dog-like Crocodiles


I so want to use these crocodile offshoot creatures in a fantasy story...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bar Book Club

We met last night at Coopersmiths for our book club.

Beer of choice: Scottish Highland Ale--a new beer for them, as far as I can remember. From the description I was expecting a darker beer, but it was good. I also tried a sample of their blueberry mead, another new offering, and liked that a lot. And then they had a watermelon beer. Beer mixed with watermelon juice. Those two should not go together. When you actually order it, instead of the little sample we requested, they shove a slice of watermelon on the edge of the glass. There are so many things wrong with that... I tend to be intrigued by new and surprising pairings in my food and beverages and am willing to try a lot of things, but from the first smell I knew I wouldn't like it.

I didn't get my copy of the book, At Play in the Fields of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen, until last week when we had visitors. So I'd only finally found a chance to read in the past couple of days and didn't finish it. What I read set up for an interesting conflict between a missionary beginning to realize he'd rather be an anthropologist (to the consternation of his wife and colleagues) and a half-Cheyenne mercenary who'd found his way down to the same South American jungle.

Our next book is Tea With Hezbollah. The book comes from an evangelical press, which makes me somewhat leery, but the idea of going in among these groups that we in the West label as terrorist and actually learning how they see things and who they are sounds interesting, if it truly is done in an open-minded way.

There was some question if the person who was supposed to bring books could make it, so I grabbed a backpack full of books from the library right before hand...and now I have a bunch of books checked out that I'd really like to read (and just when A Dance With Dragons comes out...). I'll probably have to bring books next month, so I could return them and try to check them out again then, but they're calling to me...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Poetry Monday

Recovering from a few weeks of busy-ness here, culminating in family visiting through yesterday. So I haven't read a lot of the recent short fiction in my usual ezines (much less from the less frequent ones), but I was looking back at some recent poetry and enjoyed this one: "The Curator Speaks in the Department of Dead Languages" from Strange Horizons.

I also just recently discovered an ezine for minimalist poetry, Inkscrawl. Bruce Boston's "Surreal Wish List" is especially worth a read.

Friday, July 08, 2011

A pair of stories available


In what's an impressively quick turnaround, my story "LumberJill is already available in Flagship Issue 6. You can buy the issue in text-only, audio-only, and text-and-audio-both versions.

This story is one I wrote the first draft of several years ago. I was reading Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings, which includes a heading listing a number of tall-tale-ish animals that supposedly could be found in lumberjack camps. It put me in mind of Paul Bunyan stories, so I combined the two (without ever directly referencing Paul himself--the title character thinks about and refers to her uncle without it ever saying who exactly he was) in a fun riff. I'm very pleased for this story to be out there and available now.


The other story to have recently become available is "To Save a Hero" in Bards and Sages Quarterly's July 2011 issue (Amazon link).

This story came from a one-hour writing exercise where the prompt was something like "Your character is drunk because of something bad that just happened. A stranger offers to send him/her back in time to fix it, but when s/he goes back in time, s/he discovers that this time s/he's still wasted (making fixing anything problematic, much less trying to change the events)."

It's a twisty little tale that only gets revealed slowly. I gave it a sort of weird Western feel, which was fun to play with.

Monday, July 04, 2011

"Fall of the City" online now

As I mentioned last week, this story is available to read now to non-subscribers as well. It even has some nice artwork there to go with it.

This story was one of many that started as a one-hour writing exercise. I forget the exact prompt, but what I had in mind was the butterfly-flapping effect (which may have been the prompt, but I'm not sure) of small events having big consequences.