Today you can download and listen to a podcast of my short story, “Bone Mother”, from the horror podcast Pseudopod.
The story is read by the lovely and talented Cat Rambo, who is also a terrific writer.
Many thanks to Ben Phillips, and the rest of the team at Escape Artists Inc., for putting together such a fine version of my story.
I wrote the first draft at Clarion West in 2006, and it was a pivotal story in my progress during the six-week workshop. I’d written a mediocre story the week before, and I felt extreme pressure (from myself) to produce something that proved I possessed even a smidgen of talent. Initially, I’d intended to write it from a third-person perspective, but found it difficult to get the story underway.
I decamped from the house on a warm summer’s afternoon with a sheaf of my classmates’ stories to critique, along with my notepad. I settled down in a coffee shop, opened up my notebook, and suddenly I “heard” the narrator’s voice in my head. The story shifted into a first person perspective immediately, and I wrote it quite quickly thereafter.
I was wryly amused later when a couple of people suggested a change in point of view: it was impossible for me. The story only ever found its focus when Baba Yaga was allowed to tell it.
The story I wrote at Clarion West was a rough version of the finished product. I received good advice from my fellow students, but in particular I had a brilliant feedback session with Ian R. MacLeod, whose advice gave me confidence and provided a tremendous help with reshaping the narrative.
I’m also indebted to Sean Wallace and Paul Tremblay, the editors who took a chance on the story, and published it in the Fantasy sampler anthology in 2007.