Okay, friends, here is a thing I’m going to do:

I own a largeish collection of tarot decks. Like, kind of an absurd number of tarot decks, both traditional and not. Every Tuesday (morning, assuming I have my shit together), I will pick a card from one of the decks and take a picture of it plus a small random item I find lying around my house; I will post the picture on Instagram.

Using the card + item as prompts, I encourage you to write a flash fiction before the weekend. You do not have to share it. If you do share it, post it someplace — your own blog or social media, in the comments here, wherever — on Saturday or Sunday. (But I repeat, you do not have to share it. This can be a scribbly personal exercise, a brain warm-up just for you, whatever.)

I will tag the pictures on Instagram #tuesdaytarotprompt, so you should be able to find them readily if you miss one.

A Story, Co-Authored by a Toddler

My daughter requested an improvised story about a King (a boy King), a Knight (a boy Knight), a horse (gender unspecified), and a Princess (a girl Princess). 

(She specifies desired character genders because she knows Mom will make all Kings and Knights female unless otherwise directed.)

Once upon a time, there was a knight named Tim, and a king named Bruce. There was also a princess, named Miranda. They all lived together in a castle.

Toddler: And there was a bridge! [arms extended drawbridge-fashion] And a dark, dark forest, full of scary animals! [hands around eyes, like … a raccoon? I guess?]

That is correct! Have you been to this castle? There was a bridge, and a dark forest, and many scary animals.

Continue reading A Story, Co-Authored by a Toddler

Paradise, In Brief

Viable Paradise was … I do not think transformative is too strong a word. It was a transformative experience. I have returned from across the water exhausted and nourished and abuzz with the wisdom of the hive and also some shockingly bawdy filk lyrics. I have got a tribe and I love them all and can’t wait to see their names on bookshelves and magazine covers and award lists in years to come. The instructors are geniuses and the staff are giants and everyone is 102% sweeter and more excellent than they have any right or reason to be. Also I will be dreaming of Mac‘s curry for seasons to come.

I’m still in a sort of liminal brainspace between the island and ordinary life so that’s all I’ve got to say for now, but if you’re considering applying to VP in future, I recommend it absolutely and would be happy to talk to you about it.

Coming out of the experience, though, what I know is this novel is as strong as I’d hoped, and now I know how to make it even stronger and can set about doing so. My goal is to have a completed draft of Ash and Ordinary by the end of the year. My secondary goal is to sand and polish the story I wrote at the workshop (currently and cunningly titled, “Shit, I Forgot to Think of a Title”) and send it out into the world. And and and — I have a hundred other goals and ideas but those are the two I will aim at for now.

Tonight I’m going to unpack and eat some sushi and drink some wine and make some lists. Tomorrow is Day 1 of Life After VP.

Important Character Questions, Part I

I’ve recently been posing “Important Character Questions!” on Twitter, and it’s fun and I will probably continue doing it. Exactly zero of the questions is actually important, most are and will be completely absurd, but that’s why I love them. I’m a sucker for those Tumblr RP prompts that are all, “What’s your character’s favorite ice cream flavor? Preferred sleeping position? View on Brexit?”

And because I figure it’s only fair, I will answer them myself here. (The characters in question will be my Ash characters unless otherwise noted.)

The questions so far, in chronological order: Continue reading Important Character Questions, Part I