Preambles and Prologues
I don’t know where it all comes from. I don’t. I’m a normal person. I’m sane. But for whatever reason, I write literary fiction that is bent across genres, and love doing it. Creating normalcy in and amidst the strange.
The thing I have is this: I am true to this craft. I work incredibly hard at it. And anyone who supports me, I will pretty much do anything for you, because this means so much to me. And you do, too.
My promise is this. Here, you’ll find fiction unlike anything you can read elsewhere. Genres will break, and then they will snap. I will write fearlessly. I will hone my craft, grind the words, and find the story they were meant to tell. And I will be shamelessly open about wanting to be read – whatever else might be inherent to my writing, it’s unabashedly commercial. I know I’m good. But getting published traditionally and out there takes more than just being good.
The 2020 Stories
My year of short stories posted on the blog (about 30% of the total stories I wrote this year):
The year started with a drug addicted prostitute in Port-au-Prince who believes that there was a twelve-minute period of time in history when no one in the world died, and is trying to find out how that’s possible. From that, I went to God. A famous incident in Fatima, Italy in 1917 when angels descended to Earth. In this case, an old nun takes that event and predicts the downfall of Communist Russia, plus an avalanche on a certain Swiss mountain in 2038.
God was on my mind in 2020. In Thirty Eons, a bearded, female God creates the Earth while drunk and then decides to take little Janey to the other end of the universe in a celestial sleigh. On the opposite side, I wrote an untitled piece about an online predator that I tried hard to redeem, and mostly failed. How do you redeem someone like that? Can they be redeemed?
An alien searching for this ‘music’ it’s heard of. An autistic, abused girl trying to find something, too. Of course they meet! We the Divine. Then an Indian boy lusts for his cousin while a family tries to use a traditional method to cure a schizophrenic child. What could go wrong? Later, the security guard struggling with her weight, who gets beaten up while wondering who named our planet ‘Earth’.
The sing-songiest story I ever wrote, pictures and words. My goddam grandfather shot his hand off behind a shed, and where he bleeds, roses grow aplenty.
I got to show off some award-nominated short stories this year, three in total. One is Boston, D.C., where a down-on-his-luck Canadian travels to India to become a phone scammer. In The Arms of Village, an entire village of people has their arms cut off, but this story is not about that. I reposted one of my favourites, a story that was shortlisted for a very large writing competition. Poor Saad just wants to save the girl in the apartment building across the street. In each of these cases, I finished within the one percent of submissions made to these competitions, and that’s just lovely.
I saw the future. I did. Interstellar beings arrive to start evacuating the good people of Earth. But only the good ones. This story is not about the aliens. Or the good people. It’s about those who don’t get the invitation to ascend. Speaking of invitations, a drunk who sees ghosts, an old woman who hates airplanes, and a goose whose mate was curried, intersect around around the commonality of being widowers.
I said I’m a person of colour this year. I hid that for years. Even my pen name hides it. But it’s true. So I produced a story about what race means when it works backwards on you. I know this doesn’t matter to many of you. But for those of us who have been marginalized in the past, it’s important to speak our truth.
I had to do one epic story, so I wrote about Drew Ramos, a boy who went to other worlds, but whose only dream was to paint. This story is about the beautiful girl in the boarding school that loved the boy, and then saw him go so far away. I love these two characters, they really did it for me.
In Last Rights, a human travels to the stars, only to discover that other people have already beaten him because ships get faster over time. The results are predictable. What he does about it is not. And then a ro-bot that grows wings and makes the acquaintance of a dragon-whale, sing-songy as we descend on a city of metal beings.
In Down Bubble, a gay submarine captain in WWII meets a sea monster. Via Promise, high school losers who detest each other strike a bargain that spans decades, an imperfect match that is the perfect union for our times. In another untitled piece, Althea rides her red scooter while delving into the history of chess, and the woes of love. But this is not a love story. It’s a story about a strong girl who replenishes her life on her own.
And finally, the Icelandic teenager and the homeless Canadian climb up a mountain that was deforested by the Vikings. What are they looking for? What are we looking for?
That’s some of the stories I wrote this year. Others were written, my secret stash. Those have been sent into various competitions, so I haven’t posted them. Others are sitting on my laptop, just waiting. Some of these… I don’t even know what to say. They make me very proud.
In 2021, I’m going to publish my novel, “Girl Island”. I just am. It’s a wonderful book with an uplifting story. We need that. We need to start again sometimes, and this book is about just that.
I’m going to start a new novel. The premise is set, the structure is being built.
I’m going to continue writing short stories for the blog. Different styles, different genres, many flitting across genre. Some controversial, many of them funny, all about people. About us. I’m going to continue to love my characters and be thankful for them. I’m going to continue to love all of you who stop by and read and comment. I am so thankful for you.
And I’m just going to level-up my writing in general. I’m ready for that. I hope you are, too.