Good Genes published at the Future Fire!

“Good Genes,” is now available to read at the Future Fire as part of their 38th issue, or Issue 2016.38 in the magazine’s parlance.

the Future Fire issue 2006.38

I am super glad it was published just in time for Halloween as it’s a spooky story, and a bit of an epic one, combining a modern-day tale with a narrative from the Wild West stage of American history. Sometimes, a place a refuge may bring more horror than the past left behind…

Good Genes Artist Pear Nuallak

Artwork by Pear Nuallak

The illustration posted above is one of two that accompany “Good Genes” in the Future Fire. Both are done by Pear Nuallak, and I love when my stories get a little pictorial boost! Read the magazine online to see the second one! Here’s the link directly to the story. And here’s a new teaser for you:

The noise of the carnival had died down as the ceremonial hour approached and the townspeople made their way to the gathering place in a trickle. Clumps of dry needles covered brittle pine cones hanging from a handful of trees. The great lawn was a patchwork of mud-filled trenches, struggling green grasses, and yellowed squares that had given up the fight. A faded wicker pavilion rose up at the park’s eastern edge, in front of a free-standing wall of cement—handball courts? Two banners strung across the stage declared “Heritage Festival” and “May Our Founders Live Forever.”

There are other great reasons to tune in to Issue 2016.38 — free short stories by authors Ola Al-Fateh, Petra Kuppers, Kelly Rose Pflug-Back, and Damien Krsteski, and poetry by F. J. Bergmann! I look forward to reading them all. As Editor Djibril al-Ayad describes the collection:

“Not everything is what it seems—sometimes unseen terrors lurk in every shadow, around every corner, beneath an unassuming countenance or behind unthreatening doors. We might be pleasantly surprised by the resilience of a people we expected to collapse in defeat, and we could be equally shocked by the creeping bigotry and xenophobia of our smiling neighbors. Surprises are at the heart of dramatic tension, and hidden depths and dark secrets are a recurring theme in the stories in this month’s issue.”

Feel free to leave me your reactions to “Good Genes” or comment on it at the Future Fire blog. Whatever you do, try not to take your next next cough too seriously…

 

 

Catch the Hydra (and me!) Reading on 10/25!

Last week, I was invited to join the Hydra literary series for their spooky Halloween reading, and of course, I said yes. Read my horror? I look forward to any spine-chilling I can cause!

What: The Hydra #7 Reading Series!
Where: Woods Bar & Brewery, 1701 Telegraph, Downtown Oakland
When: 7 pm.

More details at the Facebook event page!

The Hydra is hosted by the Association of Black and Brown Writers, an affliate of Oakland’s own Nomadic Press. The series is inspired by the six-headed creature of myth, woken from beneath Mt. Diablo as the Bay Area burst into the poetry scene! Knighted keeper of the beast, Ursula K. Le Guin, declared “With the popularity of poetry readings in the Bay Area, the heads of the beast are growing back at an alarming rate, and the only thing that will slow down the beast is the inclusion of more fiction in the literary scene. We need stories of mythical beasts stronger than the Hydra. We need stories of worlds that is not the world it remembers, or maybe stories of lands the Hydra knows all too well. We need stories of heroes that can destroy it, and villians greater than it. We need experimental stories, we need short stories, we need fiction. Fiction is the only thing that will down the beast for once and for all. Counteract the poetry that is making the beast grow, and do it now.”

I am happy to do my part in this battle against the Hydra and will be reading at least two short stories as my weapons. And if we can get it right this time, Ben will Facebook Live it as well. 😉

But an in-person audience is always best! Hope to see you there.

cat yawning mazu

Mazu gives away the ending of one of my tales…

 

“Good Genes” Forthcoming from the Future Fire!

Announcements of upcoming short story publications don’t normally take me right up until they’re available, but … I’ve been busy, y’all. Busy in the greatest of ways, career-wise, which is a wonderful feeling but also means I don’t keep my various websites as updated as I’d like with the most current information. So forgive me for posting this announcement just a couple of weeks before the story itself will be available…

The Future Fire magazine stories

Issue #37

…that said, I am so excited that “Good Genes” has found a home in upcoming Issue #38 of the Future Fire! This magazine has been running strong since 2005, making it quite long-lived among electronic fiction magazines, no matter the genre. “Good Genes” is one of my favorite short stories, though it’s had a bit of a struggle to find the right publisher as, at 10,000 words, it’s much longer that many magazines are willing to publish. I am excited that the Future Fire has no fear of lengthier short stories, and I hope you all will enjoy this horror and Weird West mash-up tale in which a modern-day family and a group of 1850s settlers find out that a chosen place of refuge is sometimes scarier than the danger left behind.

Here are your teaser first few lines:

$450. 2 BR, 1 BA, 800 sq. ft. Available now. Enos. 555-987-0342.

Rockie halted her clicking of the refresh button, the advertisement text cutting her free from the train tracks. Her cellphone’s touchscreen confounded her shaky fingers, but after three tries she pressed the right keys. Ten minutes later, grateful the landlord had asked as few questions as she had, Rockie refreshed the webpage. The text disappeared from the screen and her frantic packing resumed.

I will also tell you that this short story was inspired by an experience the parents of one of my best friends in high school had, driving along a very small town very late at night to find many of its residents strangely standing outside in their front yards as they passed. Let’s just say I am never going to pass that way myself. Here also are a pair of photographs to set the mood.

Yosemite canyon view

Winston-Salem downtown park

I’ll let you know as soon as I do once “Good Genes” goes live at the Future Fire, along with a handful of what’s sure to be exciting stories from other speculative fiction authors. Stay tuned!

September Appearances

The last week of September will be a busy one for me! I will be participating in two groups readings, and I’d love if you came out to support me and the great slates of other authors sharing their work at these series.

Rebecca Gomez Farrell reading At the Inkwell

Me, reading last spring at Alley Cat Books for the At the Inkwell literary series.

I will read excerpts from my short stories released this fall, though I’m not sure which one I’ll do on which night quite yet. Those stories are “Mixed Signals, or, Learning How to Speak,” a humurous sci-fi tale that is available now in Issue #9 of Typehouse Literary Magazine (info on how to get it here), and “Good Genes,” a horror/Weird West story that will appear in the Future Fire’s Issue #38, publication set for mid-October.

Each of these readings is a regularly occurring literary series in the Bay Area. You’ll get to hear from talented authors who write a range of genres, which is always a treat for me, as I think literary and genre fiction share more in common than in divergence. Here are the details:

What: Literary Speakeasy (link goes to Facebook Event page, where you can RSVP)
Where: Martuni’s, in the piano room
Address: 4 Valencia Street, San Francisco
When: 9/29 at 7:00 pm

There’s no event page yet for the Liminal reading, so just let me know below if I will find your smiling faces in the audience! I look forward to seeing you.

What: Writers-in-Residence Reading and Art Closing for Affordable Art Prints
Where: Liminal
Address: 3037 38th Avenue, Oakland
When: 9/30 at 7:00 pm

I will also be attending Con-Volution in Burlingame on 10/1 & 10/2, so I would love to meet you there as well! Let me know, and we’ll figure out how to make our paths cross during the Con.

Fall Workshops at Liminal

I concluded my writer-in-residency at the Liminal Center in June, but I am still fully in support of this awesome, communal, feminist space for women in the creative arts to come together to learn and grow our talents together.

Liminal Oakland artwork

Fall Workshops Offered

One of Liminal’s primary purposes is to provide hands-on writing workshops for writers who identify as female. These six-week sessions provide valuable instruction from experienced writers and instructors in small groups, and they are starting soon! The full list is here, but sign up before these classes begin on 9/18.

May I recommend Origin & LIMINALITY: Experimental Writing with Gina Goldblatt? It’s one of two workshops Gina is leading, and as the founder of Liminal, you’ll get a great view into the heart of this organization. Learn to write subversively while exposing truth through fiction.

Liminal stalwarts Terrilynn Cantlon and Brenda Usher-Carpino are both at the helms of workshops as well. Terrilynn will be Silencing the Critic Within, an essential dragon to tame for anyone seriously venturing into the creative arts. Brenda will delve into the Art of Dramatic Dialogue for character development in the dramatic arts.

The Liminal Fall Workshops are offered on a sliding scale of $200-$320 — Pay what you can afford to support this awesome literary organization! Liminal also reserves two spots in its workshops for participants who can’t pay at all. Contact Gina at gina@theliminalcenter.com if that’s your situation.

One Day Intensive Workshops

For the first time, Liminal is offering one-day writing seminars, which I personally think is a great idea as that’s the commitment level I can handle. The first one is happening tomorrow, September 10th, and it’s not too late if you’d like to Get Into the Writing Groove with Jenee Darden. Just head here to sign up and get the full list of one-day sessions offered this fall.

There is a great set of one-day classes on the agenda throughout the fall, including how to Write Characters of Social Action with Jasmine Wade, creating the heroes we need to see in fiction these days. Jasmine is also teaching the Wonderland of Myth: Writing into the Past and Present, which I would love to take if I were in town that day. *cry* Sessions on grief writing, healing from trauma through writing, and writing about negative experiences are also on the agenda.

Pricing for the one-day intensive sessions depends on the length of the course, whether a couple of hours or a full day. Again, head here for the full list!

Whatever course or workshop you choose, Liminal will greet you with welcoming, supportive arms. Or at least that was my experience co-working at Liminal with these lovely women this last spring.

Liminal Coworking Oakland

Coworking at Liminal with Aqueila and Terrilyn!

“Mixed Signals, or, Learning How to Speak” Now Available!

“Mixed Signals,” or, “Learning How to Speak” Published!

“Mixed Signals, or Learning How to Speak,” a short story I wrote last summer, is now available in PDF or print as part of Typehouse Literary Magazine’s Issue 9. You can head to their webpage to download the PDF for FREE – ABSOLUTELY FREE – and it’s chockful of what’s sure to be an amazing mix of literary and genre fiction, poetry, and photography. Just click on the cover image below.

Typehouse Issue 9 Mixed Signals Rebecca Gomez Farrell

There should be a link to the PDF on that page, or you can download it directly right here. The print version of the magazine is not free, but at only $8 for 150 pages of brand-new fiction and poetry, it’s a pretty good deal. Order it directly from CreateSpace here or from Amazon here. I’ll be picking up a couple copies myself!

Mini-Synopsis

“Mixed Signals” is a humorous sci-fi tale about someone down on their luck, romantically and economically. He soon discovers he has a whole lot more he should be concerned about when a crosswalk signal sends him on a convoluted scavenger hunt through the city. Yes, a crosswalk signal.

Miami University Crosswalk Signal

 

I borrowed that photo from Miami University — surprisingly, even though I’m writing stories about them, I do not have a photo of a crosswalk signal on hand! The short story hinges on a speech from which I took inspiration from that television masterpiece, Mork and Mindy. I, indeed, was revising that particular scene around the time of Robin Williams’ death, and that encouraged me to go all in, embracing the potentially cheesy, but ideally moving, moment. Here’s the first paragraph:

Ka-kink. Ka-kink. Ka-kink.

Some guy’s hand flew to the crosswalk button as though a magnetic force drew him, a few feet from
where I sat at a sidewalk café table. Dressed like a hippie and smelling like it too, he spit out
the words, “Callin’ in, Cap’n. Callin’ in.” The syncopated rapidity interfered with the vibe of
melancholic freedom I’d been cultivating. That morning, Alvarado Construction had pink-slipped me.
Three weeks earlier, my girlfriend, Jolanda, had broken up with me, screamed me out of her place
with complaints I didn’t understand her love language, and no, she didn’t mean Spanish.

But I was over it. Completely.

Go read! And please share with me your thoughts on the story. Or better yet, review Typehouse Literary Magazine Issue #9 on Goodreads or Amazon!

And the Next One is…

“Mixed Signals,” while I hope it entertains all you lovely readers, is not all I have coming up the pipeline for you. Stay tuned for more announcements throughout September! In the meantime, have another picture of an important piece of the “Mixed Signals” narrative.

Image from the World Scout Shop

Image from the World Scout Shop

Final Liminal Writers in Residence Reading 7/8

This Friday night, you can catch me reading as part of the final reading session for the Spring group of Liminal Writers in Residence!

What: FINAL Reading – Spring Writers in Residence and Workshop Attendees
Where: Liminal, 3037 38th Avenue, Oakland
When: Friday, 7/8, at 7:00 pm

I will be reading from “Garbage,” a humorous sci-fi tale that I’ve been chipping away at for quite a few years, including during the last two months at Liminal. It never fails to draw laughs from readers, so I’m pretty sure an audience will react the same! I’ll be going on right at 7:30 pm, when the actual readings start, but I’ll be sticking around throughout the night’s program, as listening to this diverse and talented group of writers is always a worthwhile evening.

Here’s the Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1761472000741686/

I will not be continuing with the Liminal Writers in Residence co-working program after this, as I am shifting my focus to the speculative fiction community in the Bay Area, but I will make sure to come out and support Liminal’s events whenever possible. There’s always something happening at that great space for female writers of every stripe and background.

Liminal Oakland artwork

Hope to see you Friday!

New Short Story Publication Forthcoming!

I am thrilled to announce that my next science fiction short story will be published my Typehouse Literary Magazine! Typehouse is put out by the People’s Ink, a writers’ community based in Portland, Oregon, and it’s been published three times a year since 2014.

Typehouse Issue 8

The short story that Typehouse accepted is “Mixed Signals, or, Learning How to Speak,” which is a humorous but poignant tale that first dawned in my imagination from years of observing all the different ways in which people approach crosswalk signals. Yep, you read that right. Crosswalk signals.

Here are the first few lines:

Ka-kink. Ka-kink. Ka-kink.

Some guy’s hand flew to the crosswalk button as though a magnetic force drew him, a few feet from where I sat at a sidewalk café table. Dressed like a hippie and smelling like it too, he spit out the words, “Callin’ in, Cap’n. Callin’ in.” The syncopated rapidity interfered with the vibe of melancholic freedom I’d been cultivating…

I will, of course, update this post when publication information is available, which won’t be until close to September. In the meantime, let me leave you with a photo to stimulate your own imagination as to what this short story may contain:

Mixed Signals intersection fiction

 

Reading tonight at Liminal!

Tonight at Liminal, a feminist and womanist space for writers in East Oakland, I’ll be reading the Salvation of Soup, a personal essay I’m working on. Since mid-April, I have been a Writer-in-Residence during Liminal’s new co-working hours, and you can continue to find me there through June from 1 pm to 5 pm on Wednesdays! If you identify as a woman and you’re interested in checking out a supportive co-working space, Liminal is a great option. First time drop-ins are free, and monthly memberships are available at very reasonable rates.

As for tonight’s reading, which yes, I should have posted about earlier, it’s an evening of Liminal’s Writers In Residence sharing works that we’ve been pecking at for the past few weeks. I wrote the first draft of the Salvation of Soup last spring, and I’ve been slowly gleaning out the filler — I originally wrote it for a submission call that asked for 1,000 words more than I really thought this essay should be. So I think I’m getting closer to my original intention!
 
In addition to hearing our WIPs, tonight is also the closing for Sheri Park’s
 art exhibition Wear & Tear: Living Woman. Art response pieces to her work and an art journaling station will be ongoing. Doors at 7, readings begin at 8! Come out and buy some art and lend me your ear!

Hear me at the Inkwell’s Leap Year Reading!

At the Inkwell WebsiteI am excited to announce that I’ll be participating in a literary reading in one week with At the Inkwell! Giving readings is one of my favorite parts of being a writer, though I also get just a little bit of stage fright before it’s my turn at the mike, so familiar faces in the crowd are always helpful. I am one of five authors reading on 2/29 at Alley Cat Books (3036 24th Street, San Francisco) from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

I’ll be sharing “No Crossing,” the prologue to what will eventually become my third book. The theme of the reading, appropriately, is Leap Year. I considered writing a personal essay for it, seeing where inspiration led. But then I remembered “No Crossing” patiently waiting in my virtual manuscript shelf for me to write the rest of the book. It’ll have to keep waiting for that narrative, but the prologue ties in wonderfully to the Leap Year theme, with a giant canyon to surmount and the shattered and re-building faith of a young girl learning that adults don’t always tell the full story. Regina takes a leap at the end into what will someday be her own story … when I write that part. 😉

Full information on the reading, along with my bio and those of the other authors, can be found here.  Let me know if you plan to come!