Hooray! My historical fantasy/horror story “Stitching Time” was re-published in the new online magazine Grendelsong this weekend.
I wrote this story as my adult response to the stories I was told as a kid of what used to happen to Michigan farmers’ wives over the long, isolated Michigan winters. Here’s a quick snippet from the opening:
Imagine a farmhouse surrounded by snow. Not a thin layer of soft, flaky whiteness, the kind you might see in more civilized climates–this is Northern Michigan, where the snow falls and falls until it buries the roads, covers the windows, and mounts up before the door. The nearest neighbors are a mile away, impossibly far. Every morning, the men in this scattered community dig their way through to the barn where the livestock are sheltered from the cold. Every winter, some of the wives go mad.
There is a special asylum for these women, and in the spring you can watch the line of farm horses pulling them away in carts, plodding down the familiar road once the snow has finally melted. Women who were mail-order brides from the East Coast, seduced by the idea of family and land. Women who carried on correspondences with lonely Western farmers for years before they took the plunge. Dr. Horace Q. Grace will care for all of them, for a very moderate price. Some of them will return to their husbands, almost cured, by the fall. Others will be less lucky, and then their husbands will start all over again, biting on the tips of their pencils as they try to recollect spelling lessons from long ago. A lonely farmer hopes for a woman’s touch…
Thank God for the invention of cross-stitch…
“Stitching Time” was originally published in two different magazines that are now both out of print, so I’m really happy to have it out in the world and available to readers again.
There’s another story of mine that was also published in two different magazines that are now out-of-print (including the previous, paper version of Grendelsong, actually!), “By the Light of the Dark,” which has been unavailable to readers for a while now. However, it’s just been added to the stretch rewards for Funds for Rochita, a fundraiser for a warm, generous fellow author whose family has just suffered a terrible loss. There’s a minisite for donors which offers free downloads of all sorts of cool stories and other things (including stories by Ursula Vernon and Elizabeth Bear and even a dinosaur coloring book, too!) to everyone who donates any amount, no matter how large or how small. The fundraiser is currently at 10,265 Euros, and as soon as it hits 10,500 Euros (which I strongly suspect it will within the next day or two), a free, downloadable version of “By the Light of the Dark” will be added to that minisite.
“By the Light of the Dark” is a retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales, “East of the Sun, West of the Moon,” and I originally wrote it as a Valentine’s gift for Patrick…so as you might be able to guess, it’s a very romantic story. :) If you donate any amount at all to Funds for Rochita, you should be able to download the story for yourself very soon, and even before that happens, you can enjoy all the other treats already uploaded to the donor minisite.
And! No matter where in the world you live, you can enter a giveaway right now (at least, if you see this within the next four days) for a signed ARC of Patrick’s fabulous upcoming MG British/Martian adventure novel Secrets of the Dragon Tomb. All you need is a (free) Goodreads account to enter. I love this book SO much. Dinosaurs! Spies! Clockwork butlers! Adventure! And annoying little sisters! You can enter the giveaway here.