6. Moon Laws, Dream Laws
The Un-God told us, later, that this was a lie, and that the sun’s disappearance was astronomy and optics. But a story can be true and not true, just as my Lady is the moon and not the moon.
This story was written – and by that I mean conceived, drafted, beta read, revised, and submitted – in one week. It entirely owes its existence to Krista D. Ball, who was friends with the person editing Tyche Books’ “Ride the Moon” anthology, and who asked around to everyone she knew when the editor suddenly had several of their solicited authors back out at the last minute.
I was not at all convinced that I could write anything good to such a short deadline, but with Krista’s encouragement, I just DID it. Not only did the editor like the story, but it ended up in pride of place as the anthology’s very last story – the one that summed up the anthology’s themes, I suppose, most fully.
“Moon Laws, Dream Laws” takes place in a fictional world that venerates polytheistic, mystical gods – gods whose whims can and do directly influence the physical world. But it’s also a technologically advanced world that is building a moon colony. The protagonist, Viola, is a priestess of the Lady of Blood and Stone, an easily angered, Artemis-like moon goddess. Her wife, Trulia, has been selected for a mission to the moon – but the Lady of Blood and Stone is very particular about who and what is allowed on her surface, and things quickly go awry.
Trulia was one of the first overtly autistic characters that I wrote into a published story, and I liked very much having a queer autistic woman as a love interest.
Viola and Trulia’s universe appears again – with a completely different set of mortal characters, and a very different kind of plot – in “The Herdsman of the Dead”, a story from Shimmer Magazine that didn’t make it into MONSTERS IN MY MIND. (I think “Herdsman” is a very good story, but it wasn’t a tonal fit for the collection.) The Herdsman of the Dead is a god who is mentioned a few times in “Moon Laws”, so people who’ve read that story can look out for that bit of continuity.
Song Pairing: There is no better song for a story about a moon priestess than Bellini’s “Casta Diva“, a literal hymn to the moon in operatic form.
7. Memo From Neverland
I fell out of my crib with nothing.
Now the mermaids and tigers are mine-
A short poem about some of the more practical considerations of being Peter Pan. It appeared in Kaleidotrope’s Winter 2014 issue, and is free to read there online. The poem emerged from some thoughts that I had about “adulting”, and about what it really does and doesn’t mean.
A beta reader told me that this poem is wildly out of character for Peter Pan and at odds with values that he strongly espouses in the actual books/plays/films. I considered this criticism seriously, and concluded that it’s true, but that I also don’t care. 😀