We arrived in Reykjavik at 6:00 AM yesterday morning during a spring snow squall that made the road to Akureyri impassable. But our friends Vigdis and Sveinn took us in, fed us Icelandic pancakes, and sent us to bed, for which we were grateful. We're on the road today after a good night in the company of good people and two sweet-tempered cats who curled around us while we slept.
Iceland isn't a foreign country to me anymore, breathtaking because I have never seen her before. Now her snow-covered mountains and spring-brown soil are familiar, even welcoming. I love this place from volcanic bones to glacial crown. She is a young queen among geological elders, still showing off to the world.
I said something to Vigdis about that love that I think is worth...more
I am in liminal space as I write this post. Behind me, the successful completion of my first year as a PhD student of Folklore; a discipline for which I have genuine passion in a department full of committed professionals. Ahead, ten days in Iceland, a place of unparalleled beauty for which I feel something akin to the reverence one might reserve for a god. Afterward, a five-day meditation retreat at home in Cape Breton and a summer of writing both fiction and non-fiction pieces already slated for publication in their various anthologies and journals.
And while the demands of graduate school are everything you've heard and more, I've had a good, fallow season to rest the spiritual and creative aspects of my character. In February, I retired from my volunteer position as a...more
Because we're spread out all over the world, Rhonda Parrish asked us to record an excerpt reading of our D IS FOR DINOSAUR stories for publication on her blog. Mine went live this morning. I recorded in a closet with my new voice recorder in one take, so it isn't perfect. But it was hella fun to do. Have a listen!
For all that 2016 was a problematic year on the world stage, it was a good one for me. I became a Canadian citizen, I was admitted to Memorial University of Newfoundland's Folklore PhD program, and I spent two weeks in Iceland, among other things.
On the writing front, things were less busy but still productive. My novelette "T is for Three (At the End of All Things)" appeared in the C is for Chimera anthology, and my second collection The Longest Road in the Universe: A Collection of Fantastical Tales was released with good advance reviews. If you're in a position to vote for literary...more
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Over the years, I've withheld one story from my collections of previously published work. It was originally printed in The Stolen Island Review in 2003, but it wasn't Pagan enough for The Ruin of Beltany Ring, and it wasn't quite mature enough stylistically for The Longest Road in the Universe.
But I'm a completist, and it isn't a bad tale, though I think it reads a bit more like an outline for a longer story than a fully-fledged story itself. If you're interested, I've made it available again for a buck at the vendors listed above. You might give that link a few days to become active; I just...more
I'm in DC this week and missed participating in the cover reveal for the next Alphabet Anthologies installment, but here it is now. This installment contains my story "D is for Duel/One Who Dies as a God Dies" along with a pile of great fiction by fellow contributors. You can follow the book on Goodreads and LibraryThing, and you can read more about it below.
For the fourth installment of Rhonda Parrish’s Alphabet Anthologies, contributors were challenged to write about dinosaurs. The resulting twenty-six stories contain widely different interpretations of the dinosaur...more
I should be catching up on writing career things while I'm between semesters, but now that I have my studio back, this blog post is crowding the front of my mind. So I'm going to get it out of the way first, and then I'll work on that story stamping its feet in the queue.
So, Trump will likely be president, barring some Electoral College miracle. But even if somehow Hillary Clinton takes the oath of office, we've learned something about the level of right-wing ideology in American1 culture, and it's higher than we thought. Of course, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community have been shouting this at the tops of their collective lungs for years now. Meanwhile,...more
The LibraryThing giveaway for THE LONGEST ROAD IN THE UNIVERSE is live, so if you're a LT user and want to win a copy, check out this link and scroll down the page until you find it.
I'm still writing poetry. It's been cathartic for me to make political art for its own sake and publish it to my blog. Here's another piece.
You cannot always be drowning.
You cannot sink forever in a bottomless sea.
Brine fills the lungs, but these are finite vessels,
and the body cannot endure that awful fullness.
It spasms, pinches the larynx shut, blackens the mind.
You do not want to die.
Even the small fish of the deep make plans,
zipping past your body toward a story you cannot fathom,
while the whales who pursue them sing in tongues -
too profound for any human understanding.
Fight the flailing of your limbs.
Fight the clenching of your throat.
Fight the darkness at the edges of your sight.
There is a vault above, and in it there are -
yellow leaves browning on the earth,
winds like herons' wings upon your...
I've been writing this poem since Remembrance Day. I'm still so conflicted about what has happened, what is happening now in the States. I think this piece reflects that. Make of it what you will.
By then, her knuckles were thick and gnarled,
but the needle piercing her quilt scraps -
was sure as an old woman's prayer.
"Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah," she would intone -
over the television, as if President Jimmy Carter -
spoke with the voice of Almighty God.
"Never voted Republican once in my life."
Neither have I. It wasn't enough.
I should be there now.
Her talk of Japs and negroes was an embarrassment.
She begged me not to marry "a German."
World War II and the Civil Rights Movement -
writ small on a woman I loved.
"Greatest country on Earth," she would say,
omitting subject and verb, as the...