The Mythogenetic Grove

Publication Notes: “Benefactors of Silence” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 243, January 2018

by on Apr.06, 2018, under Author News and Updates, Publications!

I’m still gobsmacked by the way this story got accepted and published!

It happened like this: Every semester I make my class on dialogue with students rather adventurous. I tend to make 2-3 students stage an impromptu sketch, and I ask the rest to write their own flash fiction based on the sketch their friends come up with. Additionally, I teach them to format dialogue by writing my own short dialogue for them.

I do this in real time. It’s a no guts, no glory situation. Also, I’m a bit of a show-pony sometimes like that.

So I sat down last year in class and typed out this dialogue between two characters. And as I typed it, the story grew, and grew. Students watched as I wrote “You will never be Lusini”, watched as it became a 300-word flash piece, on the powerpoint slide. Later, after their sketch, while they were writing down their own flash fiction pieces, I finished the story and turned it into a 700-word flash piece. I was also talking to them about narrative voice and mentioned that Beneath Ceaseless Skies had very specific editorial directions when it came to voice. I wrote it in a limited first person POV, and showed them how to format it in Standard Manuscript Formatting to illustrate the voice/style that might fit this publication.

Later that night, after coming home I was going to send it to DSF because it was short. But the story grew, and grew into a tale of Lusini, that’s been haunting me since I finished writing Butter-Daughters, and then started penning its sequel. And I thought about how much I wanted to be published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

The story was already over 1k words and so with a deep breath I lobbed it at BCS and was completely astounded when it went into revisions (customary for BCS) and then I was given a contract. It was — almost fairytale-like in how surreal the whole process was. I kept pinching myself. I’m still pinching myself, to be honest!

But I was also so happy to be able to give my students a happy ending to that adventurous exercise in teaching creative writing and I hope they will also be brave enough to submit more of their own works!

Another thing I love about this piece is that it returned to me a kind of lyrical style of writing I had when I was younger but which disappeared during and after my work on my PhD dissertation. I mourned the loss of that voice and was so glad it came back to me.

Benefactors of Silence in Beneath Ceaseless Skies  , Issue 243, 18 January 2018. 

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