Some stories hurt more than others to write.
A story that opens with the death of a beloved cat is, for me, quite painful to write. And yet, in a sense, liberating. Catharsis, if you will, for crossing the deepest despair of such a loss to emerge from it pained and scarred but alive is a journey to be valued.
“Pinch of Chaos” is such a story for me. It’s the first story I wrote after I gave up writing for almost three years, and I had been carrying the burden of too many losses for too long. I mourned the loss of beloved cats, the loss of another way of life and the absence of writing in my daily life. Writing the story dealt with all three, in various degrees.
So I was ecstatic when it found a good home in the “In a Cat’s Eye” anthology from Pole to Pole Publishing; what better fit than amidst tales of tails? (Not ashamed in the least for my terrible pun). And just now, I received word that it will appear a second time in the (Dis)ability Short Story Anthology from the John Hopkins University.
Because, you see, the protagonist, a man in ancient Egypt, has a disability (like many of other people had, back then). But that doesn’t stop him one bit from embarking in a quest to save a cat so he can have someone to clean after. (Let’s not forget where our place as humans is in the greater scheme of things). And I just can’t wait to read the rest of the stories, once the anthology is published in March of 2018.
And now I too must perform my duties a read a bedtime tale from “In a Cat’s Eye” to little Loukouma (Doughnut) so he can fall asleep and wake up refreshed in the dead of the night to chew on my slippers.