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.

Get out there!

Featured

Hey everybody!

I hope you’re doing well in this surreal, scary time. I never thought the pandemic apocalypse would have such nice weather and reliable Petco delivery. Hats off to healthcare workers on the front lines of this, and essential workers, and my Petco delivery driver. We’re thinking about you.

If you’re like me, excited for the next human interaction via Zoom, and fantasizing about your next great adventure, you should watch an episode of “The Horn.” It’s about Air Zermatt’s search and rescue team on the Matterhorn. The heights make my palms sweat, and the rescues they pull off may just make you forget that you’re supposed to stay six feet away from everyone!

In writing-related quarantine news, the magazine fresh.ink is worth a look. It’s free, and you can read online, download the app, or subscribe and get a story to your inbox every day. They curate stories that have already been published, so they’re only sharing the best. (Exciting disclaimer — if the internet doesn’t collapse, fresh.ink is publishing a story of mine at the end of April.)

And when you get sick of watching, reading, and boredom-eating, the 100 pushup challenge is both entertaining and painful! I did the Day 1 workout yesterday, and my upper body is very sad (yet getting so swole). Anybody think we’ll all stay out of trouble and be able to do 100 in a row in 6 weeks? My dogs are skeptical, but at least they have a variety of dog treats to nibble.

Stay safe & well, everyone!

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!

Dog Days

Hey y’all,

Happy summer, happy July, and happy upcoming day of fireworks!

Quick two things I’d like to share with you:

  1. TIMBER, a great literary journal from CU Boulder, just came out with their summer issue, including my short essay “Guess Why the Dog is Crazy.” It’s about my struggle to understand why people have kids, and I feel a bit peculiar that this story was published a month from when I’m supposed to become an aunt to two more little rascals. PROTIP: The format of their website on my computer is a little weird, so I had to fullscreen my window. Thank you, Roz, for your help on this one. 🙂
  2. Down East, a magazine in Maine, recently published Kathryn Miles’s “Homeward Bound” about how dogs are rescued from overpopulated kill shelters in southern states like Georgia and transported to northern states where adoptable dogs are much harder to find. The photos accompanying the article are stunning—Cait Bourgault took the photo below, not me.

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Be good, everybody!