January Fifteenth, My Forthcoming Novella, Front Cover

I’m still really excited about my upcoming novella, January Fifteenth. It’s coming out from Tor.com in just a few months.

I really like the cover:

book cover of a person walking down an alley with an umbrella and the following text: January Fifteenth, “Money Changes everything–except people.” Rachel Swirsky, “One of the best speculative writers of the last decade.” –John Scalzi

I really like the cover! It reminds me of one of my favorite paintings,”Paris Street; Rainy Day” by Gustave Caillebot.

image of oil painting "Paris Street; Rainy Day" by French artist Gustave Caillebotte with several people in walking the street of 1800s Paris
January Fifteenth tracks four points of view, each in a different part of the United States of America, on the day when the government disburses Universal Basic Income. There’s a young mother in upstate New York; a freelance journalist in Chicago; a wealthy college student at a resort in Colorado; and a pregnant teenager who is part of an FLDS cult in Utah. None of them quite look like this gentleman in the rain, but he could be part of their world, a page or two away.

Cat Drawing! Pete in a Box

drawing of a cat laying in a box with four paws visible

This is one of the images I used in Scragamuffin, the chapbook I released as October’s exclusive Patreon reward. I thought it might be fun to release the pictures with the photos that inspired them.

I didn’t think I would be able to draw this because of the weird positions of his paws. It’s the kind of thing I’d shy away from if I were sketching freehand, but because I’m using the photographs as direct templates, I gave it a shot. “Trust the photograph,” I told myself as I made lines that seemed intuitively weird. The paws still look weird, but I think that’s at least 80% because paws look kinda weird.

photo of a cat laying in a box with four paws visible

Luna

A simple poem about the moon.

I wrote this during a class on poetry that I was teaching for Cat Rambo’s excellent writing academy. (There’s a ton of classes available there–if it’s the kind of thing you do, you should check them out.)

I think the writing exercise was something like, “You can find poetry where you look for it.” The night before, the moon had been a heavy, looming harvest orange.

I’ve always liked traditional stories that depict the moon as a lonely woman. I wonder if that was in the back of my head.

Image with lunar cycle and the following text: Luna by Rachel Swirsky "Alone / with no one to call / no man, no lady, no rabbit / only footprints of men / who won't return."

Check Out the 2021 Locus Recommended Reading List

image of a purse in a grassy field with the following text: 13 of the Secrets in My Purse "Number Five: The pearl from the sacred heart of the Earth. I keep it in a mint tin." a short story by Rachel Swirsky, Uncanny Magazine

Uncanny Magazine Issue Forty CoverLots of short story goodness on the Locus Recommended Reading List!

I’m excited to see my short piece, “Thirteen of the Secrets in My Purse,” in there. I’m really excited to see how much it’s resonated with people!

Sometimes, it’s just good to write something a bit silly. I know, pandemic-wise, I’ve been craving fun and ridiculousness.

If you haven’t read it, it’s up at the inimitable Uncanny Magazine:

One: My lipstick.

The shade is Heart’s Blood.

Morbid, if you ask me.

I wanted to know if it was really the color of heart’s blood so I bought beef heart and tried dabbing my lips.

Close enough.

I emailed to congratulate the lipstick company on their realism. They did not respond.

keep reading

 

An Alphabetical Guide to Potential Building Materials for Aspiring Urban Planners

This month, my patrons are receiving an exclusive flash piece, “An Alphabetical Guide to Potential Building Materials for Aspiring Urban Planners.”

I wrote this for the annual flash fiction contest I participate in every January/February. The goal is to write a piece of flash every weekend for five weeks. Last week was two of five. I had some trouble revving up my thought process until, with the deadline looming, I focused on the prompt, “What is your kingdom built of?”

As you might be able to tell from the title, it’s a bit (a lot) silly.

All my patrons receive an exclusive reward each month. There’s no specific amount required. I’m happy to share my creations with everyone who subscribes to my Patreon.  

A is for Alligators

Challenging for inexperienced planners. They will bite when you try to stack them.

B is for Barricades

Though barricades make good walls by definition, beware barricading yourself out of your own city. 

C is for Carbonara

Messy, but delicious. Do not continue eating your city after it’s been left unrefrigerated for more than three hours.

continue reading

Thanks to all my current patrons. Every dollar helps keep me writing!

photo of a lego with with people sitting at a bus stop and ambulance, cop cars, fire truck in front of city hall

Cat Pictures! Pete in a Hat

drawing of cat in a paper bowler hat

This is one of the images I used in Scragamuffin, the chapbook I released as October 2021’s exclusive Patreon reward. I thought it might be fun to release the pictures with the photos that inspired them.

Pete doesn’t look particularly happy about the hat, but he tolerated it. Zephyr was having none of the hat. I think Clone was just fine with the hat because it meant someone was paying attention to him. His entire goal in life was attention. For instance, during that visit, the other cats were skeptical of the dog. Clone, however, used him as a stepstool to get closer to human hands.

photo of cat in paper bowler hat