Chiral Mad 3

Guys, I'm late to the party here, but the anthology Chiral Mad 3 hit Amazon and bookshops on March 28. The anthology contains my story "The Black Crow of Boddinstraße," one of the first pieces I wrote after moving to Berlin in 2014. It's the story of a Nebelkrähe (gray and black crows that you often see picking through trash or fluttering around Berlin) looking for a home during one of those impossibly dark, why-do-we-live-so-far-north German winters. Also the Nebelkrähe might be a ghost, obviously, because it's pretty impossible for me to write a story without at least one ghost or haunting. I didn't make this lamp for my old apartment for nothing:

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1509150_10201548984669575_1058627094_n.jpg

But I digress. Go forth, check out the anthology and its impressive lineup!

Sale: The Rondelium Girl of Rue Marseilles

So very pleased to announce that Michael Bailey of Written Backwards has accepted a story of mine, "The Rondelium Girl of Rue Marseilles," for his upcoming horror/science fiction anthology Qualia Nous. Michael Bailey is the editor extraordinaire behind Chiral Mad 2 (my first professional sale) and I'm honestly so excited to appear in another of his anthologies, alongside other Chiral Mad 2 authors and plenty of other wonderful writers.

I came up with the idea for "Rondelium Girl" while reading The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era, a history book that I reviewed for the Christian Science Monitor while wearing my journalist/book critic hat. In the book, author Craig Nelson mentions an American dancer, Loie Fuller, who was famous in Belle Epoque Paris for performances that incorporated billowing phosphorescent veils. At one point, Fuller asked Marie and Pierre Curie for advice on creating "butterfly wings of radium" for her performances. Well, at the phrase "butterfly wings of radium," my imagination was off to the races. You'll have to read the story to find out which direction I headed off in (hint: it includes nostalgia and regret and mad science and chestnuts).

Here's one of the reference images I used while writing, a painting of Loie Fuller by Austrian artist Koloman Moser:

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 11.53.32 PM
Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 11.53.32 PM

And here's the Bois de Vincennes, a large park on the eastern side of Paris (its western counterpart is the more famous Bois de Boulogne) and an important setting in the story.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here's to spring and story sales and the dollar oysters and gin & tonic that I'm going to go consume tonight to celebrate!

Hello to the wide world of blogging

I can no longer contain myself: it's time to start blogging.

I've wanted to start a blog about my nascent writing career for awhile, but the time never seemed right. It's easy to stumble into the rabbit hole of productive procrastination (and I am quite the expert on procrastination) and spend too much time blogging about writing and not enough time actually writing.

But at the same time, blogging can be a great way to keep in touch with other writers. I also think it's important for writers to chronicle our careers, to talk about the pitfalls and successes and truths of the trade. A year ago,  I was determined to embark on a fiction writing career but had few connections, no beta readers, no guarantees I was going to get into a workshop for the summer of 2013, and no idea how to push forward with my career. Reading blogs by other writers in various stages of their careers was invaluable for me as I sorted out how to proceed into the mysterious world of fiction writing.

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So I weighed these pros and cons, and decided I would allow myself to start blogging when I made my first pro-rate short story sale. And, lo and behold, at the beginning of the month Michael Bailey of Written Backwards bought my short story "A Guide to Etiquette and Comportment for the Sisters of Henley House" for the Chiral Mad 2 anthology. I am, needless to say, extremely excited about this, and I've decided that now is finally the right time to start blogging.

On this blog you can expect to read about my fiction writing career; thoughts about the art and craft of writing (especially the three-act structure. I have MANY thoughts about the three-act structure); my travels and how they inspire my fiction; books I'm reading; my obsession with the darkly beautiful and the macabre; and, occasionally, my other interests: fiber arts and running.

So welcome! Let us embark on this strange and haunting journey together.