Short Story: Cicadas

I’m happy to announce my short story ‘Cicadas‘ is live on Coffee House Writers! I’m excited to bring my readers back to one of my past homes as I pay homage to a city I love. Richmond is a beautiful city filled with rich history and the kind of muggy summer heat you don’t easily forget.

For those not from The South or eastern United States, cicadas are those insects you hear about spending the majority of their lives underground (17 years; 19 years; etc. depending on the species) only to emerge for a couple days to molt, eat a lot, mate, and die. In parts of the United States, cicadas are eaten because they are so numerous. They’re gluten free and low carb!

Thank you for taking the time to read my short story today! Have you ever written or read anything set in a place you have lived? What did you think of it? What do you think of this piece? I’d love to hear in the comments!

If you’d like to see more flash fiction, please like, comment, and/or share this post. It helps me know what content my readers are most interested in seeing, so I can better know what to share here.

New Short Story: The Vacant House

Photo by Sidney See on Unsplash.com

Up now on Coffee House Writers is my short story The Vacant House.

This is an experimental piece I’ve played around with since its first draft in 2015. Since then it morphed into what it is now and I decided that it was time to throw it out into the world for some feedback. My editor didn’t have much to provide, so maybe others can help?

The initial idea:

How can I tell a story from the perspective of something that would normally not be given the benefit of thought and perception?

How would a house try to communicate with its occupants?

I had to make certain decisions that frustrated me, such as the house being able to read and understand English. This introduced a supernatural element that, while I am already pushing things by talking about a house capable of thought and perception, seemed a bit too farfetched.

Another thing that frustrated me about this piece: the house’s existential crisis.

What are your thoughts on the piece? Do you have feedback?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!

If you enjoy my work, please take a moment to like, share, and/or leave a comment. This helps me know what y’all are most interested in seeing and how I can best engage. Without you, these letters mean nothing -– your brain assembles them in a way that generates meaning and decodes the way my brain encoded this information as I typed this out. It’s viewable on brain imaging studies on language processing!

Free Books And Guest Blogs!

What’s Happening?

From October through December, 2020, I will be making room for 1-2 guest posts per week. These guest posts will be of the following theme:

Critiques of Best Sellers & Famous Historic Authors

These critiques can be silly, serious, sassy, analytical, historical context focused, and, most importantly, entirely up to the choosing of the individual writing it. Each of these posts is a chance for readers to connect with a new and different author or book reviewer’s blog. They should be a minimum of 500 words and of high quality.

They cannot be: excessively rude, hateful, threatening violence, or anything that crosses over the line away from comedy into areas that make this not fun for readers or the person running this website (me).

The Fine Print On Who I Can Ship To: Unfortunately, due to current situations, this is limited to addresses within the United States. I’m sorry 😦 As global conditions improve I hope to offer more opportunities that are inclusive of other countries.

To participate, please follow all instructions. Any emails not following instructions will be deleted.

Instructions:

  • Select a book from this list – I will keep it updated as books are no longer available.
  • Send me an email with the book title in the subject line.
  • In the body of the email provide the following:
    • A U.S. shipping address
    • A link to your website and social media
    • A brief description of your approach – it’s 100% okay if this changes once you have read the book.

Once a critique draft is completed, I will work with individuals on necessary edits for quality control.

Disqualifications:

In the interest of fairness, those that cannot participate are:

  • Non-US authors and bloggers (unless you arrange the remaining shipping from a US destination)
  • Authors I have previously featured or reviewed (if your book is currently in my TBR, you are absolutely welcome!)
  • Authors and bloggers that have previously provided guest posts
  • My personal, real life friends and family (though friends of friends and acquaintances are fine)
  • Clients of my writing services (I love you, but I can’t show preference)

I will ship out all book requests by 15 August, 2020 in the order they are received. I am paying shipping.

The Final Installment Of “Waking Up”

My first serial fiction reached its conclusion today with Part 8: Into The Light. This story pushed me to write my first happy ending with a triumphant heroine story arc.

My next step with this story is to assemble the parts, then expand and rewrite it for adaptation into a novella. This will let me expand on the tender flashbacks Deidre experiences as her memories of Madison return to her.

When I started writing this story, after reviewing the premise with a friend I love, I intended to target cis audiences to help them understand trans experiences. As the parts of this story came out, JK Rowling demonstrated her complete lack of understanding, making this story more valuable. There is an archetype of narcissism in some parts of our society that refuses to accept the identity of a child beyond how they are named and the assumption based on traits observed at birth.

I purposefully left many details ambiguous and do not plan to clarify these in the adaptation. This is to emphasize the unimportance of these details in regards to the characters’ identities.

The details I chose to emphasize are those that are most important when listening to the life stories of trans women, such as battles with body image, the complex relationships with cosmetics and clothing, and the difficult impacts coming out has had on their relationships with their parents. Additionally, what I hope to have conveyed is that Deidre, and all trans women, are not inherently victims. They are the heroines of their own stories by defying a world where almost all systems are set up against them.

Of the women I spoke with, all mentioned that the relationships with their mothers were among the most helpful and harmful depending on the responses. Thus, Katherine emerged as the antagonist, going so far as to physically act out the emotional and verbal abuses described by some of the women I am lucky enough to call my friends.

I do not pretend to tell my friends’ stories – this is a work of fiction and is intended to communicate realities to a reader through the eyes of a fictional character. Though heavily researched, this story has room for improvements I look forward to adding in the adaptation as I work with more resources and sensitivity readers to make sure I hit all the important details I may have missed this first time through.

In the meantime, I want to mention that “Waking Up” is dedicated to all transgender persons struggling for acceptance in a narcissistic world, denying them of the most basic human right: the autonomy to live and express your own identity in whatever way you see fit for yourself and your happiness.

Thank you for taking the time to read about “Waking Up” – each part is linked below:

Part 1 – The First Day

Part 2 – On The Third Day

Part 3 – Six Months Later

Part 4 – Mother

Part 5 – Missing Pieces

Part 6 – Katherine

Part 7 – Identity

Part 8 – Into The Light

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this today. I hope you enjoy “Waking Up” – please like, comment, and share this story. This will help me gain feedback as I move forward into its expansion and improvement into a novella.