NEW STORY OUT: THIS VILLAGE

Wall of Roses by Elaine Ho

I am happy to announce that my story “This Village” is out today in Uncanny Magazine issue #46, in which features a breath-taking cover and a company of excellent writers. 

This story sprang from a Codex writing contest, during Week 3. By that time I had already written another story for the contest which turned out to be a short story instead of a flash. Then a week of no story at all. This one was a desperate attempt to actually nail the flash length after a long time of not writing any. I was so absorbed by the form that I only saw the themes the story grappled with after I had finished and had gotten the first feedback. 

The story talks about literally building your own safe space (or safe house for accuracy’s sake,) and having people urging you on and supporting you in the process. It also talks about resisting forces that might try and stop you. Someone who critiqued this story called it ominous positivity and support and I think that’s exactly what it is. 

If you peer through an opening framed by two linden trees. If you follow the foam of the waves on a cold night. If you are not afraid to crawl into the long narrow caves that open like mouths on jagged rocks. You will see them. They all lead here. To this village.

The story went out today during a very difficult time, while things already look pretty bleak around the world. I hope that anyone who needs a little positivity–even if it is the ominous kind–and finds this story, will feel a little more hopeful, or just escape for a little while in that village.  

Love, always. 

MY FIRST NOVELLA IS UP IN UNCANNY: THE GIANTS OF THE VIOLET SEA

The Sun Temple by Julie Dillon

I am very excited to announce that my first ever novella The Giants of the Violet Sea is now free to read at Uncanny issue #42!

The story is a very fleshed out version of a flash piece I attempted to write back in 2017 during a flash fiction contest on the Codex Writers forum. It was about an old woman who was a tattoo artist for the dead and her estranged daughter. I did not know how to finish the story back then, probably because it already felt too big in my mind to have a flash-type ending. I then expanded it into a novelette and then into a novella, because it felt like the right length for the characters to be able to breathe.

Caroline M. Yoachim asked me some great questions that helped me realize things about the novella that I hadn’t before. If you want to know more you can give my first ever interview a read here.

And if you have read the novella and the interview, this is the island Alimnia was inspired by: Santorini. This Island is bound to appear in a lot more of my stories in the future, because of its beauty and strangeness.

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I hope you enjoy my first longer work!

Nebula con and New story out: How the Girls Came Home!

With Her Familiars on Mars by Galen Dara

Nebula Con just finished and I am both tired and elated.

My story “My Country is a Ghost” was a finalist for the Nebula Awards in the short story category. It is also a finalist for the Ignyte Awards and I could not be more honored. I did not make a blog post at the time the nominations were announced mostly because I was so overwhelmed. But now things have quieted down I can finally scream about it!

Big shout-out to all the wonderful winners and finalists and especially the fellow short story finalists. John Wiswell (who won the Nebula Award!), Rae Carson, Aimee Picchi, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, and Jason Sandford. I am in awe at your talent and extremely privileged to occupy a space next to you.

As for the con itself, it was a blast! As someone for whom it is really hard to attend cons in North America, virtual cons are a great opportunity to keep up with friends and make new ones. I got to be in two panels with some very smart people and hang out with them in the rooms afterwards.

Now to more cool news…

I am super exited to share my new story “How the Girls Came Home” in Uncanny Magazine issue #40! There is even audio, narrated by the amazing Joy Piedmont. Lynne Thomas asked me some very insightful questions for the podcast–and was also very understanding of my nervousness. Give it a listen!

This is a story I wrote during Week 4 of Clarion West, and one that’s closest to a fairytale than anything else I have written. The idea came to me as I was reading about the earliest version of Cinderella, which is said to be of Greek origin. A story called Rhodopis. I started thinking of all the ways these magical shoes (and magic in general–can change a woman’s life in stories and what if someone were to push back on that change.

Every morning Amalia’s feet change. They transform into different animal feet that come with different abilities and challenges for her. In a fairytale the happy ending would be for her feet to become forever human, but this is not quite the case here.

Here is an excerpt:

Each pair of feet has its own beauty. So she takes time to examine every new version of her feet, love them for what they are. Learn what she can do with them each day and start over the next, and the one after that. Her mother taught her this.

I am so happy Uncanny bought this story and I hope you enjoy it as well!

New Story Out: My Country Is a Ghost

Fallen Embers by Nilah Magruder

I am so thrilled to announce that my story “My Country Is a Ghost” is out today in Uncanny Magazine issue #32!

This story sprang from an idea I had about ghosts being able to follow their families. The initial idea branched out to be two different stories (at least). One was the flash “What Cannot Follow” and was published last October in Fireside Magazine.

This one though takes the premise to a more personal territory and that is immigration and mother-daughter relationships. What if ghosts, like living people, needed permission to emigrate to a new country? What if that permission was denied? How would the family of this ghost fare in a strange country without the solace of the ghost?

I wrote the first draft of this story during Week 3 of Clarion West Workshop and my instructor for that week was none other than the wonderful Amal El-Mohtar! With hers and my amazing classmates feedback I was able to expand the story and make it much more nuanced in a way that resonated with me.

Caroline M. Yoachim asked me some very insightful questions about the story and myself. If you want to know more you can give my first ever interview a read here.

I hope this story resonates with you as well. Happy New Year!