Tag Archives: short story

Recommended Short Fiction: THE SYCAMORE AND THE SYBIL by Alix E. Harrow & GROW, DIVIDE, SACRIFICE, THRIVE by Jo Miles


This week’s recommended stories deal with mistreatment from family and the strength it takes to stand tall against that mistreatment.

THE SYCAMORE AND THE SYBIL by Alix E. Harrow is about a woman-turned-sycamore who can do nothing but remember a time when she’d been human while she watches another woman fall to an abusive man under her branches. Published in Uncanny Magazine.

GROW, DIVIDE, SACRIFICE, THRIVE by Jo Miles is a poignant tale about Chris, a nonbinary person who has felt cut off from their family their whole life, particularly when it came to the family’s traditional sourdough making. The family yeast, who the family pretends can communicate with them, seems to have more a spot in the family than they do, which pushes Chris to finally act. Published in Metaphorosis Magazine.


Eligibility Post for 2020 Awards!

I have never written one of these before despite having stories published in prior years. But there’s a first for everything!

In 2020 I had a grand total of 1 stories published :) But it’s a story I’m proud of; it’s a story I think touches the hearts of most, if not all, writers.

Click to Read!

The Pop-up Artisan of Drink Me Café, published in October in both print and audio at Cast of Wonders, is my one eligible story during this awards season. It’s about 3400 words long and is about a girl escaping her grief and subsequent abuse and neglect by hiding in a café every one of us wishes existed, a café that changes decor and coffee offerings to match favorite fantasy and science-fiction books and shows. There she reads to find solace in other worlds as she struggles at home, at school, and in life. There’s something about her situation that speaks to the dreamers in us, just as there’s something magical in those cafés and coffee shops writers frequent :)

I hope you’ll give it a read or a listen in consideration of your nominations this year!

<3 Marie C.

Recommended Short Fiction: Makeisha in Time by Rachael K. Jones & I, Crocodile by Jacinta Escudos

I’ve been wanting to do recommended short fiction for a while, and now, after two years of keeping track of almost everything I’ve been reading, I’m finally getting down to the business of sharing short stories I’ve absolutely loved in the hopes that you’ll give them a read too.

The first two of the year I’d like to talk about are both from Constelación’s sample issue #0.5, a taste of things to come for this new magazine. Both were exemplary.

MAKEISHA IN TIME by Rachael K. Jones is a tale about a girl who lives countless lives across history. She is swept back in time at random moments, only to be returned in the exact same place and moment from when and where she’d disappeared. It’s a tale about historical erasure, about choosing what lives we wish to live.

I, CROCODILE by Jacinta Escudos is another powerful tale about a girl who can transform into a crocodile in the river. It deals with forced genital mutilation and the adults who propagate the ideas behind it. But especially, it deals with the fury of the ones who resist.

My Odyssey Workshop Experience: The Salon & Games

One of the other meetings that occurred, this one weekly, were Friday meet-ups that either took the shape of a Salon discussion or a Game.

Maybe about half the class showed up to these events, some people starting the event and then making their excuses. I think I went to all of them.

The Salons centered around stories or story-telling methods generally. We discussed pre-class readings, both fiction and non-fiction, where I was intrigued to discover just how the views changed from person to person on the pieces we’d read. There was one story especially that many of us read it completely differently, which was incredible and eye-opening.

That being said, it was the Games that were the most fun! :) We’d have to come up with plot additions, with changes in character motivation. Or we’d have to craft world-building additions that wouldn’t contradict a prior rule already stated.

And, of course, there were options to contest an addition to the working plot or world, etc. So there were plenty of arguments as to what would work, what wouldn’t work. Continue reading

My Odyssey Workshop Experience: The Introduction

For those unfamiliar with how the Odyssey Workshop works, it is a six week long course that includes lectures and full-class critiques. There are added Q&A sessions with visiting authors and editors (though “visiting” is only loosely used this year given everything was virtual), a Slam event, and many small side meetings and check-ins.

WHAT IS TO COME!

I’m going to admit, I have always been terrified of anything that draws people’s eyes toward me. The more people there are, the more terrified I get. The more time I have to think about it beforehand, the more anxious I am. There doesn’t need to be a stage. There doesn’t need to be a microphone. There just needs to be people, the anxiety going up in an exponential way according to the total.

So there were a number of situations about the workshop I knew I was going to be muscling through by sheer force of will. First up: the dreaded icebreaker meet.

None one likes these, least of all anyone with even a modicum of social anxiety, and being on a virtual setting does not change things. [I did have bare feet (as I did for 99% of the workshop) to give me a small level of comfort.] I got to meet my fellow Odyssians for the first time via their heads, torsos and backgrounds. We did a typical icebreaker game that divided us into breakout rooms a few of us at a time, and that had the typical stilted conversations that come with having no idea who you’re talking to. Continue reading