Ten Mile Creek

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, but I haven’t been totally quiet. I finished a novel and sent it into the query trenches. Ditto a few short stories. And I made an album.

Writing songs is different from writing fiction, but not that different. The songs I picked for Ten Mile Creek are mostly story songs. And every one is about loss. Heartache, mourning, the broken places that never made you stronger. Even the one about the rancher who got cheated by a bartender is about watching your dreams die.

They say “sad songs make you happy.” I’m not sure if happy is the word, exactly. But sometimes we need a good weeper to remind us we’re not alone. Shannon McGill, the artist who created the album cover, asked me how I wanted people to feel when they listened to my songs. I fumbled for an answer, but she knew what I was trying to say: “You want people to feel seen.”

If you’re inclined, you can visit my music site, skyealexandermusic.com, for lyrics, a little about every song, and me going all starry-eyed over everybody who played on the album. I knew there was a great music scene on Vancouver Island, but I didn’t expect to be working with some of the best musicians I’ve ever heard. You can download the album there, or just listen, or stream it on streaming platforms, or I even have CDs. 

Whatever you’re listening to these still troubled days, keep singing along. It helps. I swear.

Art by Shannon McGill

New story in the world

“Once, in the grocery store parking lot, Leo had grabbed my car door and said if he ever caught me and Harriet together, he’d put an end to me and my sick ways. I’d never told her. Harriet was a wild bird; she’d be across the river in a breath if you startled her. I needed to be quiet and observe, leave out small soft things for her to find, things to tempt her to build a nest.”

I always thought we should hear Paulina’s version of events in The Winter’s Tale. My story “Runoff” is out now in Cloud Lake Literary.

New story coming out

Friends! I have a story coming out in Cloud Lake Literary. I’m more shocked than you are because 1) this story is a very personal and weird retelling of the Winter’s Tale and honest to god I never thought anybody would want to read it, 2) this was the story I wrote during Viable Paradise, meaning I bashed it out in 2 delirious days and it doesn’t feel or act like any other story to me, and 3) it’s science fiction. Cloud Lake Literary is literary.

And! This is my first Canadian sale. I moved back to Canada in June after spending my entire life upwards of age 5 in the U.S., so I feel like a giant imposter, but I am technically Canadian by birth. Through careful study and practice, one day I hope to be perceived as Canadian by all-around good manners and ability to tell a moose from an elk. I could not be prouder to be in this all-Canadian magazine. I’ll clutter up your inbox again when it comes out in October. Sorry.

Wordy news: new story out!

Mythaxis Magazine is out today and my story Alight is in it! This was one of my submission stories for Viable Paradise, but I’d despaired of it ever finding a home. I’m still astounded that it has. And all the other stories in the issue are so damn good. And the story art by Andrew Leon Hudson captures the exact abandon-hope-all-ye-who-enter vibe I was going for.

mythaxis story art

Wordy news

Friends! I’m reading at Literary Speakeasy next week alongside these wonderful writers. Come have a drink with us and I’ll tell you the story about the girl with the magic eyeballs. Or the one about the DJ who gets kidnapped by the fae for a dance underneath the Van Ness Muni station. I haven’t decided.

Literary Speakeasy
Thursday, August 29, 7-8:30 p.m.
Martuni’s | 4 Valencia St., San Francisco
No cover charge, no drink minimum
Facebook event here.


Perfectly Queer 3/22

I got all overeager and announced that I would be reading at an event I am not, in fact, reading at. Oh, my errant enthusiasms.

So I am NOT reading on Monday, March 13 at Dog Eared Books in San Francisco on the Perfectly Queer event, but I will be there to listen because Ellen Klages! And the other readers, M. Christian and Vylar Kaftan, look splendid.

And I AM reading on Wednesday, March 22 at Nomadic Press Uptown in Oakland. I adore Nomadic Press and I could not be more excited to meet Kwan Booth and Na’amen Tilahun. What should I wear?