Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Pat, as Always

When it rains, it pours. I'm pleased to say my short story, "Pat, as Always," runs today with the fantastic SFF magazine, Anotherealm.com.

It's a fun little story about office drones and cupcakes and giant mutant slugs and the limits of what a person can take. The site is absolutely teeming with great genre fiction; I'm above thrilled to add my little story to the list.

Image by Clever Cupcakes. Used under CC BY 2.0 License

As I like to do when my work sees publication, here's a side-by-side of the story's first line as originally drafted and as published. My first draft of Pat opened with:

Cold basement air gelled Pat’s back sweat, turning her blouse to papier-mâché.

Its an image I like. It feels immediate and relatable. However, it doesn't quite set the table or do the character work the story required. Here's Pat's first line as it runs today in Anotherealm:

Pat jogged down the basement steps, cake carrier in her upturned hands like the Ark of a lesser Covenant.

Same action—jogging down the basement steps—but with a more character flavor. A sweeter cupcake. That Pat is carrying a cake carrier like it's a holy relic, hopefully, tells you a little more about her. The stuff with the sticky blouse, a card too good not to play, got shuffled later into the hand.

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