Firewords Quarterly: Issue 3 was released on November 20. It features my short story, Night Swim, as well as work by eighteen other writers, seven poets and nine illustrators. I received my contributor copies in the mail a few days ago, and was blown away by the issue's beautiful illustrations and overall design.
Jordan Harrison's illustrations for Night Swim have left me particularly impressed. Not only are they stellar in their own right, but they also capture the spirit of the story perfectly. It's a great honor to have something you've written serve as a basis for a talented artist's work.
I woke up to a seagull sitting on my chest. The eyes were a fiery yellow, the feathers as harsh and heavy as white marble. The head moved closer to my face until it blurred in my vision, and then it said, “Come find me, son,” and I recognized its voice. And then I woke up.
Issue 3 features the writing of: Alison V King, Andrea Glenn, Andrew Mackey, Barry Charman, Benjamin Hobson, Charlie Galbraith, Die Booth, Emma Filtness, Erika Brumett, Glen King, Karl Russell, Laryssa Wirstiuk, Lauren Bell, Lloyd Mills, Mary-Jane Holmes, Mildred Achoch, Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois, Rachael de Moravia, Rachel Stevenson, Romalyn Ante, Sarah Gonnet, Stephen McQuiggan, and Tom Ryan.
- Family by Die Booth – In this elegantly-written short story a woman finds a stranger's family photograph. Then it gets, as they say, curiouser and curiouser, while never losing its subtlety. A good mix of the mundane with the just-this-side-of-surreal, and engaging from the first paragraph.
- Cactus by Tom Ryan – Through the documentation of a character's obsession with a cactus, the intricacies of their personality are slowly brought to light. This is very much a character story; while the cactus's various ailments and recoveries take up most of the plot, the focus is on its caretaker's attitude – sometimes comical, sometimes sadly revealing.
- Flutterings from the High Spire by Charlie Galbraith – A flood of written pages, which flutter out of the window of a hilltop spire, terrorizes a town. Further elaboration seems unnecessary. A whimsical, fantastical, fantastic story.
And here's the seagull.