First published by b(OINK) Magazine, 2 January 2017. To jump to the story, click here.
I spent some time in Austin Texas last spring, and I loved it. Although the city, which is being overrun with what are called Trustafarians (rich kids who smoke weed and don’t have to pay their own way) and there are always property tax hikes threatening, there is a vibrant undercurrent of locals who sit and observe and keep on chugging down the tracks of life.
My husband and I had the great fortune to sit down one afternoon at The Continental, alongside two interesting locals who loved hearing about where we were from, were especially pleased that I had work as a teacher, and loved telling us about Texas. After a few hours, let’s say the Lyndon B. Johnson conspiracy theories I’d never heard of kind of made sense. By the time we were done talking, it was night; the place was on its third band.
Later, Paul and I were sitting in our hotel room overlooking the Austin City bridge, and saw with our own eyes someone jump. We saw it, but it took the brain a few seconds to register what we saw.
I have a notebook filled with material, and slowly these notes are becoming stories. A full-length short story, “South Congress,” concerning loneliness and economics and the loss of a child and featuring that bridge (and yes, at one time the city had Uber), will soon publish in Structo Magazine. A story of a broken marriage and simmering anger, “Abilene,” was just published in Stoneslide Corrective. And now here is “Cavalry” in the debut issue of b(OINK), and I love this character.
I like that the word–capital C or not–Cavalry carries with it the connotation of the cross, the suffering, the horse and helicopter.
Let me say this of Texas: I love it. I went to that state with an open mind and an open heart, and I left it with a crucifix and a knife, both gifts. I love that my husband was asked for permission to give me that crucifix.
And, speaking of gifts: congratulations to Robert Vaughan, Chelsea Laine Wells, and Rob Parrish on the launch of b(OINK) Magazine. I am so happy, honored really, to be part of its outstanding debut issue. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Vaughan at a reading in NYC this past fall, and hope to see him again soon. He’s a wonderful advocate for other writers — emerging and established — and I consider him a bit of a lucky charm. His work has led me to many wonderful magazines and editors.
I’m also a huge fan of Chelsea Laine Wells and all she does for young writers, and her creative non-fiction is jaw-droppingly good. Rob Parrish is a new acquaintance, but I can already tell from the way he is handling the debut and copy-editing and setting up the site — the teaser video for Issue 1 was just glorious! — that he’s a gem through and through.
I think back on the past year, and, thanks to this author page I can tally up my 64 publications:
- Flash: 37
- Short Stories: 3
- Novel Excerpts: 1
- Reviews: 13
- Essays: 2
- Journalism/Features: 10
Thanks have been given for all of those — my mentors, workshop regulars, instructors, classmates, family (especially my gorgeous Paul), and I try to say my thanks one at a time as I blog about publications.
I am plain happy to say thank you to Robert, Chelsea, and Rob. So, here it is, my first publication of 2017. I hope you’ll click on over and enjoy “Cavalry.”
Thank you for visiting my blog I am grateful for your readership and company.