because I want to post something happy today, damn it

I’ll post a link to it when it’s published, but now that the contract is signed I want to share some more details about my first story sold.

I wrote the first draft of what’s now “The One About Gabe and His Dad” at Clarion West as my Week Five story. L. Timmel Duchamp was our instructor that week. Timmi was great, with a very keen editorial eye, and she is a great nurturer of talent. She understood what I was trying to get across in the story. I would say all of that even if she hadn’t liked it, but luckily, she did. Timmi was really very encouraging.

She had us write alternate endings to our stories that week, so we could consider what other possibilities existed. That was a useful exercise–it helped me figure out what kind of story I was writing, and frankly let me embrace the fact that I wanted to write a fairy tale.

For Week Four, I had written a very heavy and very flawed piece (dealing with the Holocaust in 6,000 words!), and I was originally set to write another very heavy piece (dealing with what happens to us all when feminism* dies), but I was fortunately derailed by one of my classmates’ story, which used semi-autobiographical elements to tell a broader tale. It prompted me to do the same, and to hold onto the ending that I wanted.

I took a couple of bits of conversations and smells and emotions from my life to anchor the thing, and wrote a story about a boy named Gabe and his dad, and transformation.

“The One About Gabe and His Dad” is forthcoming from Strange Horizons in (I’m told) mid-January.

*I define feminism as the idea that women are people.

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