Story Publication: Secrets at Strange Horizons

In writing news today: I have a story out at Strange Horizons!

A few things you may or may not find interesting:

A. “Three May Keep a Secret” is a YA story with a questioning bisexual protagonist and her new hipster bestie.

B. It’s also a ghost story. I like to think it’s a little creepy.

C. I’m a little nervous about this one. Okay, I’m a lot nervous. There are a couple of reasons for that: one, the story deals with some sensitive material that I’m hoping isn’t harmful to any readers. (Appropriate trigger warnings can be found at the link.)

It’s also a story that’s probably gone through, like, 57 different revisions. I think it’s a much better story for it and, honestly, I’m pretty proud of how it’s turned out But this one didn’t come easy, and that also makes me a bit nail bite-y.

D. Finally, a random line that tells you basically nothing at all:

“Shit, there’s not even a candy store for 70 miles.” He crosses his arms. “This town is bullshit.”

Hope you enjoy!

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“I Know Your Mustache.”

I read my first Agatha Christie novel when I was eleven. By now I’ve read dozens, and while I always enjoy them, most have long since blended in my head, like half-forgotten Friends episodes or various bad Christmases. Murder on the Orient Express, however, is one of those mysteries that you never forget the solution to.

That being said, my interest in Kenneth Branagh’s take on the classic novel was mild. Perhaps Imagine Dragons wasn’t quite filling me with confidence, I don’t know. Still, Mekaela and I are suckers for murder mysteries (she’s an even bigger Christie fan than I am), so it’s probably no surprise that we decided to check out the adaptation last week, despite some reservations.

And it’s . . . okay? It’s serviceable. But it could totally be better.

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“We Know Each Other! He’s a Friend From Work!”

So, I went to the movies last weekend. One guess on what I saw.

I enjoyed Thor: Ragnarok! I don’t think I liked it quite as much as other people, which I guess is just normal now? Still, I had a good time.

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“Better Swim, Rennie, Before Jason Pulls You Down.”

Hello again! Apologies for my long absence–it’s been pretty chaotic here. Part of that, certainly, is because of the Northern California fires that hit my community pretty hard. But it’s also because I’ve been working on a novel all year, and I’ve spent the past month editing it into something that I can show people and not instantly die of shame. The novel is currently with awesome people, so in between anxiously awaiting feedback and eating leftover Halloween candy, I finally have some time to devote to the blog!

And you know what that means: more Jason Vorhees! When we last left off, Jason was battling a telekinetic and thoroughly annoying teenager. Now that’s he been resurrected (again), he’s going to Manhattan to kill other equally annoying and less telekinetic teenagers!

Well, eventually. He’ll get to Manhattan eventually.

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TL;DR: The Fire – Catharsis Attempt No. 7

It started for me on Monday, around 3:30 in the morning. I’d worked Saturday night and then stayed up 30 hours straight. I finally went to bed around 10 p.m. Sunday. I didn’t smell the smoke or see the news. I was exhausted. I was out. And then 3:30, and Mekaela was waking me because we got a call. Evacuate, it said. We did.

I lost nothing. Hot water, for a few days. Power, briefly. I wasn’t even awake at that point. I returned home mere hours after I left. I lost nothing at all.

At the shelter, the sky was split in half. It would have made for a hell of an Instagram photo, but I couldn’t take one; I’d accidentally left my phone behind while grabbing my bag. I want to describe that sky now, and I can only think of this:

“Armageddon is almost upon us.
“I’ve got news for you. It’s already here.”

It’s from Clue. Why am I like this?

They evacuated the hospital I work at. The radio reported it went up in flames. They were wrong, but we didn’t know that as we sat in my sister’s car, listening in horror. I squeezed her hand and cried.

I work every Sunday night, every single one. I didn’t work that Sunday because I was supposed to go on vacation the next day.

Can you have survivor’s guilt when no one at your job actually died?

I should have been there. I would have been useless there. There’s nothing about me, nothing, that says “good in a crisis,” and I feel like maybe I already hit my “trauma at work” quota when I watched my friend and co-worker die there years ago. But those were my nurses, my crew. I should have fucking been there.

I’ve been editing, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been donating money, and I’ve been editing. It needs to get done. People are dead. People have lost everything. I still need to do it.

(There are missing pieces here, things I cannot tell you. Just assume a lot of anxiety, and a lot of anger. I get so goddamn angry sometimes.)

Wind bothers me now. I feel anxious when I see it: listen for sirens, Google wind speeds. I worry that I’ll watch The Happening and think it’s actually a scary movie.

Why am I like this why am I like this why am I like this?

We’re moving past the worst of it. We’re #SantaRosaStrong. We’re #SonomaCountyStrong. Our Love is Thicker Than the Smoke.

Maybe this is why the sarcastic, nerdy friend dies in horror movies. Sincerity is called for. Humor is a defense mechanism nobody wants in the aftermath of a crisis.

Here I am anyway.

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“Welcome To The Loser’s Club, Asshole!”

I’ve said this before, I know, but It is my very favorite Stephen King book. There are problems, of course (the scene, THE SCENE), but the novel will always and forever have a place in my heart. Likewise, The 1990 miniseries starring Tim Curry will also always have a place in my heart, for as I’ve described both here and here, it is an incredible four-hour mash-up of genuine creepiness and so-bad-its-good hilarity.

It was only natural that I would watch Andy Muschietti’s take on It, too.

Well. I definitely liked parts of it. Probably not a forever spot in my heart, though.

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Story Publication: Astronauts at DSF

Some writing news today: my story “Astronauts Can’t Touch You” is now available up at Daily Science Fiction. Fun fact: it’s the first story I’ve ever written that I feel would make for a decent music video.

Not gonna lie: I feel a little weird about this one, and not just because I’m an overly literal bastard who rarely writes stories that operate under Music Video Logic. As will likely become apparent to anyone who reads it, I wrote it very shortly after my father died in February, and while probably most of my stories are therapy stories in some way or another, I like to think that they’re not all quite so obvious as this one.

Still, I needed to write it, so I did. If you check it out, I hope you enjoy.

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