My 2 Book Week
It’s been an incredibly busy week for me on the story front. I was blessed to have stories that appear in two different anthologies. I couldn't choose between the two anthologies, so instead of writing about my inspiration for one story, I’m doing it for two!
On 09/28/20, the anthology Southeast Asian Fantasy Drabbles came out from Insignia Stories Publishing. As the name says, this anthology is a speculative fiction drabble collection based on folklore and culture of Southeast Asian communities. I had three stories published in all and I’ll talk about the other two at some other time, but today I wanted to discuss my drabble, “Family”. I researched a lot of folktales and stories while I was thinking about what I could write for this call. I also looked into cultural practices that differ from my own. One that I found fascinating was the practice of having a family altar to celebrate and remember those who had come and gone before us.
It’s a common practice in many Asian communities. I thought it might be interesting to tell the story from someone watching as an altar was set for a holiday. This became a story of a family ancestor, come to join others to check on their family and celebrate from the other side of death. I adore this piece and I hope you pick up a copy of the book to read it for yourself!
The next day, on 09/29/20, Black Hare Press released School’s In which featured my story, “I’ll Bring You More”. I’ll admit, once again, to being drawn in by the cover of the book. What could make a schoolgirl turn murderous? Did something happen that made her thirst for revenge so strong she had to act on it? Or is there something more behind it?
It brought up my own (long-gone) days of high school. And not only the fears I’d had back then, but the anxiety I felt when my daughter went to high school. Were the halls safer now to a teenage girl’s sanity? Were they worse? When you throw in social media and cyber-bullying, how can they be? Does the pressure we put on our teens to succeed leave its mark deeper than we realize?
Does it infect the very building itself? Or create something entirely different, that can feed off the malice and fear and stress that bubbles under the surface of a teen girl’s demure smile?
And that, my dear friends, was how those two vastly different short stories came to be! For more information about them, check out the links below!