I have been Chosen. By one James K. Moran, an Ottawa writer and friend. James nominated me to be the next stop on the Canadian Writers Blog Tour. I’m not sure where it originated or how long it’s been going on, but all I have to do is take a week to respond to four questions, paste them on the internet, and pass the torch. Here’s me being obliging:
The very kind staff of The Future Fire posted mini-interviews of its Issue 30 authors on their Facebook page. The questions relate to my story “No Chimeras,” which TFF was kind enough to publish and illustrate. It was a pleasure, and here are the results:
TFF: What does “No Chimeras” mean to you?
RR: “No Chimeras” is a reminder to myself to distinguish between productive imagination and castles in the air — because I have a problem managing that distinction in my own head. But it also vilifies the utilitarian, anti-arts mandate that creeps into politics from time to time, today and going back to the ancient world.
TFF: What are you writing next?
RR: I’m working on two novels simultaneously right now (is that wise?). One is a post-apocalyptic story set in real-world Ontario, Canada in the near future; the other is an epic secondary-world fantasy — without a whit of magic (or chimeras) in it, so I’m not sure how that will fly.
Excerpt: “His antennae droop, and so does his head, and Osheen waits to see if the chimera will succumb to instinct, turn away from the cave, and return to hiding somewhere in the ravening valley. Many do — many more are deterred from shedding by Osheen’s words once they stand or coil or hover in the mountain cave, wary of the white wire, of the map, of odds.”
So delighted that one of my favourite-ever tales came into the world today, published in The Future Fire, Issue 30. I’ve always wanted to write an Ossian lay, near-fourteeners and all, and yes, I admit it’s programmatic as heck. This is what happens when a writer has to watch her government edge out of liberal democracy and into authoritarianism: heavy-handed allegory. It’s cathartic.
I was asked to effuse about the upcoming launch of Postscripts to Darkness Volume 5, and all things PstD-related, on CKCU FM’s Literary Landscapes spot last night, co-hosted by Kate Hunt. Kate is a big supporter of speculative fiction and was happy to talk about the burgeoning SFF cluster in Ottawa, which includes Postscripts and Lackington’s, as well as Bundoran Press, Can-Con, and the ChiSeries readings that take place four times a year — and a passel of talented local writers. There was so much to say and so little time; our amazing illustrators certainly deserved mention alongside our writers, but I was distracted by the words once again. I could talk about the stunning cover art by Ottawa’s Cherry Valance all day, for instance, and the elegant cover design that Danny Lalonde continues to bring to each project. I’ll make a point to hail Dan, Cherry and the other artists at our launch at Raw Sugar, Thursday July 31, 7pm. You can stream the interview here.
Behold: new posts. Well, not really new. More a matter of porting my fiction over to this repository. What is new is my plunging into the publishing game. In 2013, after featuring my story “Long After the Greeks” in their second volume, Postscripts to Darkness asked me to come on board as an editor, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I struck out and founded my own quarterly, Lackington’s – named in honour of James Lackington, a fellow I’ve admired since writing a graduate thesis about him (and because it’s the sort of nice, firm, direct name that helps balance out the sometimes indirect poetic prose contained therein). Lackington’s and PstD keep me busy, as does fiction-writing, when the maggot bites. All the words and links and such can be found somewhere in these here parts, which were south of dormant while I was completing the PhD. No regrets, but it’s nice to have time to devote to finer things again. I may not be writing about film anymore, but I have been writing. See?