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Posts from the ‘Fiction’ Category

Dear Robot Blog Hop – #iamhuman

This blog post is part of a blog hop for the Dear Robot Anthology. Please click here for details on the editor, Kelly Ann Jacobson, inspiration for the anthology and to links to other contributor’s stories. There is also a Goodreads sponsored giveaway until December 10th.

You know you want to get this book! Who doesn’t want a free book?

Here’s the story behind the story –

The ticket that started it all.

One year ago, on a cold December night, a handful of fantasy authors and their supporters gathered together in a local writing center. The night was the book release for the anthology Magical. I came to support my fellow contributors with a couple of friends and my mom in tow. The reading was fun and after, when we all were chatting and swapping autographs, the editor, Kelly, let it slip she had thought about another anthology.

“I’m thinking some science fiction,” she said.
“Ooo,” I said. “That sounds interesting.”
“Yeah, but I’m not sure yet. Anthologies are so much work. I’ll have to see.”

After that night, I didn’t think much about the antho. My final class for my MA was coming up and I had to shift my attention to my other stories. In no time spring came, my class was done, and I graduated. Kelly’s e-mail about her new anthology submission call came about a month later in June.

My first thought was, Epistolary Science Fiction????

Now that was new.

To be honest, my brain was fried in June. I was out of ideas and more focused on my brother’s up coming wedding rather than coming up with a brand new story. So I pushed it to the back of my mind. I had time. I would think of something.

In July, I felt more refreshed and ready to write. Sometime in the first week or so, a couple of odd things happened. First I went through some of my old papers, and by old I mean OVER 5 years. I found a few abandoned stories I never finished, but there was a story I wrote in 2005 or 2006 that I couldn’t find. I had thought maybe I would finish it.

Sadly, I think somewhere in the three household moves I’ve made in the last ten years the story got lost. Maybe tossed away in a stack of papers I thought were worthless. I was bummed because I loved the idea of that story, but I had never had a clear vision of how to finish it. I imaged an earth far in the future, where people had flexible genders, flexible sexuality, and flexible ethnicities. It was a daunting task to describe a world like this (mostly because I had to think about how this world would come into being in a realistic way) and keep it in the realm of short story. It was the kind of story I couldn’t write in my twenties, but could now in my thirties (or at least wanted to try).

So I stripped away the previous story (had to there were no reference points for me to refresh my memory) and instead focused on exploring the world’s origins. The pre-story, if you will. What would the early days of this new reality look like? Why would humans change themselves?

The second event was a late night idea I had of a teenage girl, who was getting surgery to get into college. I saw her clearly, red-hair, freckles, and reading a thick paperback waiting nervously for her doctor. Why was she there? I wanted to know more.

Combine those two ideas and my love of long form essays, and you have my story “#iamhuman.” I wrote it in a blistering three day focus, set it aside for a week, read it over, and sent it to Kelly.

A few weeks later, she accepted it.

Dear Robot Anthology

Dear Robot ImageMy short story is in the new anthology Dear Robot. Get it here.

Here’s the full Table of Contents:

2 GOD ARTICLE by Rafael S.W
3 WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE by Misha Herwin
4 DRINK, KILL, CONTRACT by Michelle Vider
6 SLEEP FOREVER by Tabitha Sin
7 DODONA 2.0 by Llanwyre Laish
9 DUO-13-TRIP by Marlena Chertock
10 DEAR R.A.Y. by Tanya Bryan
12 WELCOME TO OASIS by Terri Bruce
13 AL’S ROBOT REPAIR by Bruce Markuson
14 USGITP COMMUNIQUE #544 ERC by Johnna Schmidt
15 THE INSTITUTE by Diana Smith Bolton
18 #IAMHUMAN by Christina Keller
19 COUNTDOWN (MY DEAR ONE) by Jacquelyn Bengfort

The Anthology is Now Available to Buy

A winter cold sidelined me for the post on the 5th. Tis the season for bad heath, right? Luckily, it was mild with only a stuffed up nose and nothing more serious like the flu. (I did get my flu shot, so all in all, not too bad.)

But, some big developments have happened in the first ten days of November. The biggest is that the anthology I’m in is now available for purchase. You can buy it here. Feel free to browse the “look inside” feature and read the sample stories. Kelly did a fantastic job on the book and I am very proud to be a part of it with all the other talented writers.

Other big news concerns my graduate school status. On November 3rd, I registered for my thesis class. I’m coming to the end of my time at JHU. This fall semester has flown by and now I have just a little over a month left. Come January, I will be at the beginning of the end. In a strange coincidence, by the time I graduate from JHU, it will be exactly 20 years after I graduated from high school.

I would make some joke here about being old, but in this day and age, everybody is going back to school. Age is just a number. The mind always wants to learn.

New Fiction for March 2013

So I made my deadline.  Yay!

If you look over to the right side of the screen there is a category called “Fiction”.  There is now a new short story up.  I hope that you enjoy it.  I did plan on posting another story, but I decided to workshop it for class and I haven’t finished the rewrite yet.  Once that is finished, I will put that one up next.  It probably won’t be until April.

Still no fun stuff found while book collecting.  Oh well.

I finished Parable of the Sower.  It was a great read.  The plot is about a young girl named Lauren, who lives in the near future.  The infrastructure of the US is crumbling and Lauren lives in one of the last safe havens just outside Los Angeles.  One night, her home is destroyed and her family wiped out.  She decides to set off into the world and to start over.

It is a gripping story.  Recently there are a lot of near future, everything bad is going to happen, books, but this one is different because it suggests a new religion (No it is not preachy. It  just doesn’t ignore religion.).  If you have ever read any Octavia Butler before, she tends to write very diverse futures where people are neither all good, nor all bad.  I have the next one in the series Parable of the Talents, but I am waiting to read it.

Right now I’m reading Jonathan Lethem’s Wall of the Sky, Wall of the Eye.  It’s a short story collection.  I’ve read one of them before (Light and the Sufferer).  So far I like most of them.  I have both the British and American versions (which are a bit different).

Once again I hope you enjoy my story!  Thanks for reading.

How My September Came and Went

It’s been a busy, sad, and thoughtful few weeks.  It’s now the end of the first week of October and I can’t believe how fast time goes by.  I’m deep into my class for JHU.  I’m still working away (and crossing my fingers for the business to do better) at my full time job.  I’m still on the hunt for great books, although I haven’t found anything good since the last post.

But last weekend was hard.  One of our cats (I say “our” because she was technically my parents, but I had been taking care of her for the past two years.) had to be put down.  She was a wonderful cat, but at fourteen, she just got very sick.  I cried when the vet told us, but I didn’t want her to suffer.  She will be missed.

Class is keeping me busy.  We just read and discussed A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.  I liked it.  The structure, voice, and characters all made it for me.  My favorite chapter, “Ask Me If I Care”, just jumped off the pages.  I also love the flash forward moments too.  This seems to be a trend in literature today.  I’ve read a few other authors that practice this technique.  I haven’t tried this yet in my own fiction, but I am excited to try one day.

Speaking of writing, I’m suiting up for National Novel Writing Month.  Lately I’ve been feeling like I need more material.  I am a very slow writer, but now that I am in grad school, I feel like I need to have more material.  I just feel as if my body of work is too slim.  So I’m going to tackle something big next month.  I also have grand plans to finish a few other short stories I have started.   We will see how far I get.  Hopefully I will have something to show at the end of the year. *Crosses Fingers*