Mountains Beyond Mountains

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Hey y’all,

It seems stupid and frivolous to be talking about made-up stories when there is so much pain right now. Atlanta has been under curfew for days, and my sister-in-law shares videos of protest marches on the street outside her home. Hopefully the powers that be will take note this time… (PSA: Elections are happening in a lot of places right now. Vote!)

But this morning, I went walking, and one of my neighbors set two buckets of sidewalk chalk in their driveway, with rhyming instructions to brighten our city. And when I shared my latest story with a friend yesterday, she said she was glad for it. So I’m putting it here.

Jolichanga’s Fury doesn’t really have anything to do with what’s going on now, except in that it’s about courage, and love, and change. It takes place in the not-quite-Himalayas, and it’s on the longer side. It is, I think, mostly happy, but you can decide that for yourself.

I hope you’re all doing well — even (especially) if that means a little civil disobedience.

Body Bound

Hi everyone!

I hope you and your families are all doing well. Whether you’re locked in your apartment or taking care of patients or helping keep grocery stores open, thank you, and I hope this little handful of a story brings you some joy.

Body Bound is featured today on fresh.ink (which will email you a short story every day if you sign up). It’s an oldie of mine, and super short.

I hope you like it, and stay safe!

Barkley sleeping
It’s her birthday!

p.s. Shout-out to the amazing woman at PetSmart who brought a new collar to the car when Murphy’s broke yesterday!

Other People’s Clothing

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Happy leap-year weekend, everyone! I hope the end of February is good wherever you are.

In Atlanta, we’ve got America’s best marathon runners racing tomorrow in the Olympic marathon trials, and I’m psyched to go cheer on some of my favorite athletes. I’ve also been watching Netflix’s “Love is Blind,” which is eye-bleedingly trashy and delightful, and ordering face masks on Amazon so I can ward off COVID-19.

In even more exciting news, the underwear story is out at Maudlin House! It’s wacky, weird, and fun, if I do say so myself. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Learning to Count

Hey, y’all!

It’s February, which can be a kind of cold, dreary time, but so far we’ve had lots of Valentine’s Day candy, snow in Atlanta, and I’ve got two stories coming out! I hope your February is at least as good.

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“Counting to Sixty” came out today in the Eckleburg Review. Issue 21 (filled with stories that are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud while you also feel a little nostalgic/heartsick/bruised) is available for $5 with the coupon code “ContributorXO!” (If you’re looking for a hard copy because you’re old school like that, they’ll be available on March 1.)

Expect another email from me in a week or two. Maudlin House is publishing a crazy little story featuring an underwear thief. I honestly don’t know what to say about it, except that you’ll be able to read it yourself.

I hope you’re finishing the last of your Valentine’s Day chocolate, because the Easter Bunny is coming with more!

Beach Reads and Lost Pencils

School’s out! We made it! Congrats to all students, parents, and other school-affiliated creatures!

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Now that we’re done for the year, it’s time to lay in the sun, heal up our stitches, and sink our teeth into something delicious. (Yup, Barkley’s got about ten more days of cone left from a cut by something vicious in the backyard.)

  1. The Emerson Review ran a short story of mine called “Pencil Thief” in their latest issue! The first story in the magazine features an armadillo that I can’t get out of my head, and there’s an amazing poem about eating disorders that is to be read forward and then in reverse. It’s all free online — Check it out!
  2. If you’re craving something longer, something with aliens, and something you’ll be thinking about for a while, check out Cadwell Turnbull’s The Lesson. The novel comes out in mid-June, and features aliens who settle over the US Virgin Islands. I think one of the things Cadwell does best in his writing is to treat all characters as fully realized. Every single person (or alien) that he develops has a lifetime’s worth of problems, and fears, and dreams, and each character’s complexities drive tension and plot. I tried to learn from his attention to character while we were at NC State, and am still learning. (Yes, we attended NC State at the same time. No, I don’t make any $ in talking about him.)
  3. Last but certainly not least, THANK YOU everyone who looked into my poetry chapbook! We made it into the top 10% of books sold on Amazon!

Enjoy the beginning of summertime, everybody, and happy reading!