New story! "The Young God" and other updates

I have a new story out! “The Young God” is a flash fiction piece (under 1000 words) appearing in Kaleidotrope alongside some wonderful stories and poetry. My story is about the apocalypse, a young god, and finding the faith to keep on.

I’m also featured in a new interview for the Reading 5X5 anthology series. In case you missed it, the idea behind  Reading 5X5 was to give five basic story outlines in five different genres to five different writers. . . and to see just what diverse and wonderful stories might result. I wrote a piece for the genre of “contemporary fantasy” and was delighted to see how differently the assigned writers approached the same basic premise. I previously blogged a bit about my story for the anthology here. All proceeds go to the Clayton Memorial Fund to benefit Pacific Northwest writers facing medical emergencies.

In other updates: 

My family and I recently returned from a road trip vacation. We took a ferry across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin's Door County peninsula. Our time there was too brief. It's an utterly enchanting place, an unspoiled land extending into Lake Michigan, carved with little harbors and dotted with picturesque harbor towns and lighthouses. This was the view from our hotel.

And this was a fish boil we attended.

Fish boils are a Door Country tradition. Potatoes, onions, and whitefish are boiled over large kettles outside. Toward the end, the "boil master" throws kerosene onto the flames to create the dramatic and photogenic "boil over" that you see here. The top layers of water boil out over the kettle, carrying with it fish oils (and any ashes and debris) that were floating on the surface. Supposedly the tradition started in local lumber camps, as a way to easily feed the hungry lumbermen. Now hotels and restaurants carry out the tradition for hungry tourists each summer. After the fiery show, they carve up the fish for you and serve it drenched in butter alongside the boiled potatoes and onions, along with coleslaw and rye bread. Cherry pie is the traditional desert.

After only a few days in this pastoral paradise, though, we were off to the urban adventures of Chicago. Unfortunately, it rained the entire time we were there. 

View from our architectural river boat tour (tour from the Chicago Architecture Foundation). 

I admit that there is something wonderfully romantic about rain in the city. . . at first. After the first day, it does start to get a little wearing.

But we spent the unexpectedly chilly and drizzly days museum-hopping, shopping, and eating. Helloo, Maximo, the new titanosaur that has replaced Sue at the Field Museum. Helloo, wildly eclectic exhibits at the International Museum of Surgical Medicine near our hotel (jars of kidney stones and gall bladders; a cabinet of random rodent skulls and a whale skull; exhibits on genomics and X-rays and the changing fashion of eyeglasses, including some gorgeous opera glasses). And of course we ate.  Husband and I were blown away by the dan dan noodles at Lao Sze Chuan. Neither of us are that familiar with Szechuan food, and the complexity of the sauce on the noodles was a revelation. As were the rich Portuguese egg tarts at Fat Rice (we all agreed, with not even a hint of misgiving, that they are much better than dan tats, the related Cantonese egg tarts). Although this did not stop us from scarfing down dan tats later at dim sum. 

And now we're back home, in the middle of a Midwestern heat wave. My younger daughter just walked in to show me a water balloon she'd made, and spilled it all over me and my office chair. Even after this, I can hear that she and her sister are still bored. And so I cut off this post to return to my glamorous summer life.


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