A Day in the Life of a Struggling Writer

I’ve had a rash of short story acceptances lately–so hooray! I’m still waiting to hear on three others, which are, of course, the ones I really, really want to be accepted. But in the meantime, there are these, and since announcements are boring, here’s some first lines, too.

A Delicate Architecture, to the as-yet-unnamed Datlow/Windling fairy tale villains anthology for 8-12 year olds. Yes! I wrote a story for kids! I am absolutely certain that, should a child actually read it, it will warp them for life. Viral literature, molding the minds of the young. Mwa ha ha. Can you name that villain in three lines or less?

My father was a confectioner. I slept on pillows of spun sugar. When I woke, the sweat and tears of my dreams had melted it all to nothing, and my cheek rested on the crisp sheets of red linen. Many things in the house of my father were made of candy, for he was a prodigy, having at the age of five invented a chocolate trifle so dark and rich that the new Emperor’s chocolatier sat down upon the steps of his great golden kitchen and wept into his truffle-dusted mustache.

The Proslogium of the Great Lakes, to GrendelSong 3, possibly to become a serialized long story or chapbook or gods-save-me novel–but any way you cut it, this first piece is only the beginning. I blame


 who are determined to make me love this place.

There were so many bridges where she was born. When she was a girl chewing the sour black paint from her father’s rosaries, Anselm used to stare at those old iron arms stretching tired and cranky over the rust-river and think that they grew like plants, unfurling girders and suspension cables like leaves, like flowers, setting down pylons into the water like growling stone roots, and stood waiting in the green and winding current, drinking sun and spitting out the occasional seed which would nestle in further downriver.

And finally, Ghosts of Gunkanjima to Best New Fantasy 2006, which is awesome, because despite the little Papaveria Press book being the most gorgeous thing ever, it was an extremely limited run, and so not too terribly many people (read: 20) ever got to read this story. So I’m very happy to have it in a widely-circulated form.

Gunkanjima, or Battleship Island, is a tiny island in Nagasaki Prefecture on which coal was discovered in 1810. A boom followed, and the island was heavily populated and owned from seabed to rooftop by the Mitsubishi Corporation…Eventually overpopulation and dwindling output began the island’s decline — in 1974 it was permanently closed by Mitsubishi Corp.  All remaining workers were sent elsewhere. Today, it is forbidden to all visitors, and is being slowly reclaimed by nature.

During WWII, some 1,300 Chinese and Korean slave laborers died there.

Also, I have an interview with the Plain Dealer on Monday, the proposal for The Spindle of Necessity is done, and the one for Palimpsest is almost there. It’s May, my birthday is in three days, and things seem pretty bright. Knock on the internet.

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