On-line Now: Self’s Newest Pieces

On-line now, August:

“The Future” in Monkeybicycle

“Spores” in decomP

decomP also posted a link to Morgan Cooke (Tyrone Guthrie friend!) reading “Spores.”

Stay tuned.

Coming August 2016 in decomP

Self’s dystopian fantasy, SPORES, is coming out in decomP Magazine next month.

Excerpt:

When my friend Summer lay under the beechwood seems a lifetime ago, puking insides, puking until her stomach was a strange convex shape, what happened was, I heard a whooshing noise, and then from the other side of the trees came a Sand Spirit. Drum-beat Ta-ra! It came down from the sky, propellers whirring, dredging hay and thistles. Then snapped her right up.

As they used to say in Marble Arch: The Lady Exits.

For a long time after, I stayed under the beech, whispering Summer, whatya reckon to all this and watching two yella bitterns wing from branch to branch to branch.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

Writing/Revising

Self is going through a stash of papers that she’s been toting around in her suitcase, for the longest time.

Lo and behold, it’s a print-out of her story, “Ice.” The one that Bellingham Review is going to publish.

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Page 1 of self’s dystopian fantasy, “Ice”

Self’s writing is very, very spare.

Some have even described it as “simple” though self really takes exception to that word as her process is anything but. It is the most intricate process ever.

She cuts ruthlessly during revision.

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Flash Fiction Revision: every phrase that isn’t 100% necessary gets cut.

What’s left on the page is not simple.

At least, not in self’s humble opinion.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

OPPOSITES: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 1 July 2016

There are so many ways to infuse photos with drama, from choosing an unusual angle to focusing on a strong, vibrant palette. One idea I often explore is contrast. No, not so much in the technical sense of shadows and highlights (important as they certainly are), but more fundamentally: I love the power of a single frame to bring together conflicting elements.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

**********

Self has been pondering this challenge for a few days. It turns out she likes taking   high-contrast shots, mostly silhouettes, but on re-reading the prompt, she decided to try something different.

Here’s a picture from an illustrated version of Noah’s Ark. The etchings, by Arthur Geisert, are very fine. Self picked this particular drawing because of the way the straight lines of the support beams and the wooden floors are set off against the ark’s round bottom:

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An Illustration by Arthur Geist for THE ARK (Houghton Mifflin, 1988)

Here’s a sign showing opposite directions:

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Self-explanatory, really: near the Mendocino Headlands

Finally, two sharply contrasting book covers: Another Kind of Paradise is an anthology of short stories from the “new Asia-Pacific” edited by Trevor Carolan. After is an anthology of nineteen stories of “apocalypse and dystopia” edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Wandling. Both books are highly recommended (Self has a story in one of them).

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Two Anthologies: Wildly Different

Hope you like these interpretations of the theme “Opposites”!

Stay tuned.

Adding to “Spores” (The Future Is Sooo Dystopian)

The fans burn our fingers. Burn them raw. We have to wait hours for the new skin to grow back. Fingers never feel quite the same, after.

— from “Spores,” self’s short-story-in-progress, about a pair of grunts who are very depressed, hate their job, and generally have no hope about the future of humanity.

Stay tuned.

 

WIP: Ocean Dwellers

A sphere is about to descend into the ocean depths, and the two main characters in self’s story-in-progress have this conversation, self knows not why:

We’re going under.

When?

Today.

Just like that.

Yes.

Well, I need a little more time. To select.

You might say this abruptness of language is one of the hallmarks of self’s science fiction. Elena Ferrante, too, writes with a kind of abruptness, but her abruptness is not at all in dialogue.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

While Self Was at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre

She worked on a number of things. One was a collection of her dystopian science fiction. She placed one of those stories while she was still in Annaghmakerrig (luck of the Irish!)

She also worked on “First Causes,” her sequel to “First Life,” and got a very quick response. Though the magazine did not take her story, saying it was a little too “out there” for their magazine, the editors “nevertheless” wanted me to know: “This is indeed a very good story and we have no doubt it will be picked up by some other magazine.”

YES! YES! YES!

Ridiculous to get so excited over a rejection letter. But —

YES!

Self had worked particularly hard on the ending, and on the dialogue between the main character, Dragon, and his nemesis, Big:

There’s a bluish-greenish shadow on Big’s back, right between his shoulder blades. I see it when he disrobes for inspection.

What is the cause? Is it Tumor? Is it Plague? Is it Virus?

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The Pod, Viewed From Somewhere Near Whitechapel, London

Stay tuned, dear blog reader. Stay tuned.

 

 

Earth 3: Boulders, Ice, Lake

This week, The Daily Post asks bloggers to “share your vision of our glorious Mother Earth.”

Here’s another corner of the world self can share with dear blog readers: Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.

It was the last week of April 2015. It was cold. The water looked like it might hurt.

Self has always been enchanted by ice and oceans. Here’s an excerpt from her new WIP:

Working Title: “Oceans”

Finally, when it became too painful to breathe the air, the last remaining human colonies began to send pioneers into the deep.  These early explorers were the brave ones. They mapped the ocean floor, marking the location of dangerous fissures that led to deep cauldrons of hot magma, bubbling up from the center of the earth. They identified places least likely to be affected by the powerful ocean currents.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Where To Find (Some of) Self’s Published Pieces

Look here!

Next year’s AWP Conference and Book Fair: Washington, DC.

You do not want to miss it. For sure.

Stay tuned.

Sylvain Landry Week 41 Photo Challenge: Incongruous

Self loves the incongruous.

Which is the theme of this week’s Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge.

Here’s her entry: a book in The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles:

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Incongruous in The Last Bookstore, S. Spring Street, Downtown Los Angeles

Thanks once again to Sylvain Landry, whose prompts always pull something unexpected from self’s photo archives.

Stay tuned.

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