Summer Smoke and Story Fuel

Hello loves,

As summer winds to a close, our beloved Pacific Northwest is blanketed in a thick cloud of wildfire smoke. The skies are grey and hazy. The Seattle skyline is a ghost of its former self. The mountains have vanished. Normally this time of year is all blue skies and beach time. We wait patiently through months of mist and rain for our precious summer months. Not this year.

Forgive me some theatrics, but I can't help feeling like there's something very wrong, something wicked on the wind. Probably this is more to do with my latest mood and work than anything else, and yet...

I recently wrote my first horror piece, a short story titled "Flowers for Gretel Gideon", that will hopefully be published in a Sirens benefit anthology in the coming months. It was surprisingly easy to write and cathartic to share with some of my beta readers (thank you!). More on that when I have info.

I've also been working on revising a pre-apocalyptic novel about the slow drowning of South Florida. The main character is Carey Marilla, a pregnant twenty-seven year old woman who struggles to leave Miami and make sense of her condition as the waters rise. 

Both of these works are darker than my typical interests, but they wanted to be written. I generally try to be hospitable when a story comes a-knockin', though they're not all well-mannered houseguests. Nor should they be. 

Speaking of manners, my July and August have been turbulent and wild. Lots of adventure. I traveled to New Mexico with my beautiful mother,

to South Carolina with my beloved Phoebe, 

we hosted friends and family for several fun-filled visits, 

we got a new puppy (! more on that soon), 

and I spent a couple of boozy weekends at our local Renaissance Faire with fellow pirates and merrymakers. 

In each of these settings and circumstances, I felt alive and lost all at once. I left my work and usual responsibilities behind to inhabit a different story, navigate new characters, wrestle with vices and anxieties, and imagine other timelines. It was good fun, and, if I'm honest, completely overwhelming.

Here at the end of the summer, I feel stirred up. I'm back at my desk now, returning to revisions and trying to breathe it all in. Trying to clear my head and find my way back to the next breath, the next sentence. I've got plenty of story fuel, but I'm ready for this smoke to lift.

I hope this note finds you well. As always, I'm so grateful for your presence in my life.

May our skies clear up.
May the next stories come knockin' soon.

Much much love,


erica lynn said…
Thank you for posting, I feel like the smoke is a veil of sorts and when it lifts all kinds of new things will present themselves. Want to hear more about your horror story. xoxoxo
I like that take. Thanks. Happy to chat horror anytime. Looking forward to seeing you soon. Still hoping for dance church. Xoxoxo

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