Sunday, April 19, 2020
I just wanted to give a shout out to WriteHive for putting together such an awesome convention for writers.
It's totally free and all online for everyone to access.
^ That's their link.
I wrote The Stink for their short story horror contest and was one of the three winners!
This is almost the first contest I've won for writing, but my manager (AKA my husband) reminded me that years ago I won hundreds of dollars worth of sex toys.
It was a contest asking us to write about why our significant other is so sexy. So really, that contest was about him, but I won by detailing his cunnilingus skills that make us both winners.
The Stink is probably one of the most personal stories I've ever written, and it's based on true events.
My mother is mentally ill. Her anxiety has rendered her agoraphobic and has hoarding tendencies thanks to America's lack of mental care and crippling poverty. I also struggle with anxiety which is why this is particularly frightening for me.
Between her physical disabilities and a landlord looking to avoid a lawsuit over hazards conditions, my mother was evicted from her home of over 20 years. There were lawyers involved. It was awful and she was forced out without any safety net.
So I had two options, help her, or let my mother live in her car under a pile of lawsuits she couldn't hope to get out from under. Naturally, I chose the former.
I worked with the landlord. We cleaned up the mobile, and yes, it really did smell as I described in the story. The main inspiration was me coming home after a trying afternoon of throwing away my mother's belongings. If you've ever accidentally thrown away a hoarder's magazine collection, you'll understand. I got out of my car, went to put some things in the garage and I got a wiff of myself and my stomach churned. Some of the things in my garage still smell like that place.
Unlike The Stink, our story has a happy ending.
My mother is safe, happy, and living in an apartment she can better afford and maintain. Her mental state has drastically improved.
The Stink is really about how our society views mental illness as though it's contagious, even people who suffer from it, which is pretty much everyone. It's about how I use my wealth and resources as a shield to tell myself that I will never become my mother.
So that's it. That is the awful truth of The Stink.
Thank you to everyone who read it. Thank you to Write Hive and their judges with totally awsome and accurate feedback (the best part really), and thank you to people who take the time to read this blog and my work.
Friday, April 3, 2020
My short story, The Freak can be found in April's Envie Magazine.
It's totally free, you just give them an email address and they give you a monthly magazine for free.
The Freak is about two young brothers who encounter a strange creature while staying with their grandparents over summer vacation.
It's a short story, so, that's all you're going to get.
What made me think up this story?
Like most of my stories, it was based on a dream. My dream was probably a compressed version of dealing with the loss of a cat, but not just any cat.
Her name was Mila, but Mila did not answer to Mila.
Thanks to an overly-attached breeder, Mila only responded to "Baby," which we then called her "Baby Kitty".
When my husband (boyfriend at the time) first moved in with me, I told him he could pick out whatever cat he wanted. He'd never had a pet because of his mother. She hated cats and didn't want to pay for vet bills.
So, he picked out a cat. Of all the things he could've had...he selected a hairless cat.
Twelve-hundred-dollars later, I was wrestling a hairless kitten out of a woman's arms and it went from a baby-hungry woman to a baby-fevered seventeen-year-old. (Yeah, he already wanted babies, but that didn't happen for another six years.)
That thing slept between us at night. She needed baths, she had a bigger wardrobe than I did, and she was the most pampered, obnoxious cat that I've ever met in my life. She would unscrew the caps off bottles with her creepy cat hands and wanted constant cuddles.
We started calling her the crotch barnacle because every time anyone sat down, she would ninja onto that lap and bask in the warmth.
One year we tried to host Christmas where she took one of her notorious, evil shits and stunk up my whole condo. Per usual, I had to chase after her with a wet wipe...because yeah, I had to wipe her ass after she pooped.
She needed sunblock.
Long story short, I had this weird, naked cat that had the mentality of a baby. People were generally horrified by her initially, but she was so sweet and affectionate that she would win them over.
Much like The Freak, Mila was a creature with her own spirit and will, and her bald, ugly ass found its way into my heart.