Being Weird

Flea market lamp; thrift store wine glass bought for our wedding; College Cars Only sign stolen from Earlham College in the mid-1980s; tablecloth brought from Africa via college friend; ship painting by folk artist Mary Paulsen acquired in 2012 in North Carolina; glass flowerpot candleholder from Mendelson’s Liquidators and used for wedding centerpiece, still useful; Writer in the midst of detritus of the Weird.

I am thrilled to announce that my story, “Rabbit, Cat, Girl” was chosen for the Year’s Best Weird Fiction, Vol. 3, forthcoming from Undertow Publications. Originally published in  XIII: Stories of Transformation, this is a story that I blogged about here. (For the full table of contents of YBWF Vol. 3, go here.)

I’m grateful to editor Mark Teppo of Resurrection House for first publishing the story, and to Year’s Best Weird Fiction 3 guest editor Simon Strantzas and Michael Kelly at Undertow.

It’s a big deal (to me) that 1) Anyone is reading anything these days, that 2) Mark Teppo liked my story enough to publish it, and that 3) Simon and Michael also liked it enough to honor it in this way.

I don’t often write short stories. This story came from months and strata of excavation, which I wrote about here and elsewhere on the blog: layers of messy personal essay drafting, onion-peeling story attempts…all trying to find where the innards of that slice of my humanity would fit into Story.

Grateful that it fit somewhere, and that people in the world outside my head appreciate it. I always felt, and still feel, weird. Nice to have an upper case confirmation.

Belated, but still relevant: Thirteen

These are not my hands. But I like them.
These are not my hands. But I like them.

The cycle of living and dying continues…thankfully, so do words, and stories…and so I’m belatedly announcing the birth of Resurrection House XIII, an anthology of which editor Mark Teppo writes, “The ghosts of the past have been eaten by the children of the future: this endless cycle of birth, death, and renewal is the magic of thirteen.” Between the covers of XIII you will find my story, “Rabbit, Cat, Girl,” which I hope you will enjoy. (I’ve written about the process of writing this story here and elsewhere on the blog.)

More information about the anthology can be found at

I’ve been relatively quiet on the blog lately. During the silence, I finished a reasonably far-along draft of my novel, The Eight Mile Suspended Carnival. And now my hands (and the rest of me) work on final-ish revisions of The Watery Girl.

My intention is that 2015 will be an interesting writing year. Please stay tuned.

A heart that beats for spring

Resurrection House XIII
Resurrection House XIII

This is the time of year when winter feels claustrophobic and oppressive, and although my brain knows, as Poor Will reassures us, that we have gained an hour of daylight since December 26, my psyche has trouble believing it. It’s when I start to yearn for spring, for the new life narrative that returns each year as things begin to soften and melt.

My daughter and I saw a robin in the redbud tree the other day; can it be counted as this year’s first? So early? I attach story to that robin, wonder how it could have landed, ruffled and fat, apparently unperturbed so close by the window that my daughter can’t help opening to say hello. The equinox can’t be far off.

This year, in addition to newness and hope, the equinox will bring Resurrection House XIII, an anthology of which editor Mark Teppo writes, ““Thirteen” is the first month of a new yearly cycle, wherein the old skins have been shed and the newborns are still learning to walk.” A short story of mine will be included, and I’m excited to see what else it holds, rising from the ground, between those pages.

(Any reviewers out there? I understand there may still be review copies available at Edelweiss.)

Upon a slender stalk…

This is a clue.
This is a clue.

I’m happpy to announce that my story, “Rabbit, Cat, Girl” was accepted by Resurrection House for XIII.  Here’s something about the anthology XIII from the website: “When Mark Teppo, the founder of Resurrection House, acquired Underland Press, he wanted to start numbering the titles that would be released under the new imprint. Before doing so, he wishes to acknowledge and celebrate What Was and What Will Be. “Thirteen” is the first month of a new yearly cycle, wherein the old skins have been shed and the newborns are still learning to walk. “One” and “Three” make “Four,” which is the number of completion, of coming home, and of realizing the form that has been in process for some time. Nothing is true; everything is possible. And the more things change, the more they stay the same. The thirteenth Tarot card is Death, and he is the symbol of transformation and rebirth.

This is the genesis and root of XIII.”

Ironic, to me, that when I heard the story had been accepted, in a vase in my house we had exactly what I describe in the story they’ll publish: “How lovely the lilies of the valley are, dead, brown-edged, drooping in the vase, the stem-slope curvier than when fresh, somehow more truly themselves, more graceful as they relax, tender bells now browning, baby hats tumbling off.”

Here’s another hint about the story.  I’ll let you know when you can read more.