I’m excited to share that my story “Sasha’s Pattern, Sonia’s Edge” is out now in the Ambition issue of Apparition Literary Magazine! This story explores sibling rivalry, VR technology, and games and puzzles. There’s also an author Q&A where I explain more about the story’s inspiration.
As for the issue’s theme, I’ve been thinking a lot about ambition the past couple years. The decision to go to grad school didn’t come easily for me, especially due to the impact on my husband and young kids. When I was growing up, my dad worked very hard and was very fortunate to have a great career, but he always prioritized family. I’ve always looked up to him for that. Ambition can be so personal and play out in a number of ways, which I think makes it a fascinating theme to explore in fiction.
After that Sunday morning thunderstorm, we traipsed through the rain in our hoods like good little Portlanders until it got sunny again. We checked out the Guenther House and walked through the scenic King William historic district, which reminded me of the Garden District in New Orleans with all the mansions. However, we noticed it was eerily deserted. Oh, sure, there were cars parked along the streets, but we were the only humans in sight, whether pedestrian, driver, resident, or otherwise. I commented that either the storm had scared everyone away or we had become postapocalyptic survivors.
That afternoon we caught the river shuttle north, through the lock, and up to the Pearl Brewery area. It was a peaceful boat ride with lots of interesting murals, bridges, and buildings to see along the way. I can see why San Antonio is fashioning itself as the Venice of America. I enjoyed walking through Hotel Emma. Very cool industrial style. We were staying in the Menger Hotel, which was super close to the Alamo as well as a major stop on the ghost tour.
That night we watched the San Fernando Cathedral Light Show. We arrived a few minutes late, but luckily the show lasts quite a while, so we didn’t feel like we’d missed out. We really enjoyed it. The images projected onto the cathedral and the accompanying music celebrate the history of San Antonio and the blending of cultures in the city. There are strong influences from Mexico and Germany all over, from the names on the cemetery headstones to the street and building names. In fact, our last dinner in San Antonio was at a German restaurant, where my mom told us a few anecdotes about her side of the family; her father, my grandpa, was from Germany.
Since an early morning thunderstorm has taken the liberty of forcing me onto this time zone, I’ll get caught up on yesterday. The Alamo tour was very informative—did you know the iconic church building didn’t originally have a roof?—and I really enjoyed walking the grounds and seeing the historic walls surrounded by so much greenery. There was a Turkish festival setting up in the plaza, so we swung by that too.
At the end of our ghost tour last night, the tour guide recommended some local dishes to try. When my mom, sisters, and I asked her for more info., she said the bus could drop us off at one of the locations. So, after everyone else had (ahem) departed, we got a personal trip on the ghost tour bus!
I forgot to mention, back home on Friday while going through airport security, as soon as I went through the scanning machine, they pulled me aside. Turns out they needed to check my hair. That’s right, my hair is so thick it had to be frisked.
Hmm, technical difficulties are preventing me from uploading any photos as this time. I’ll have to try again later.
I’m not used to taking a trip that isn’t connected to either a work conference, writing conference, school program, or visiting family. It’s a nice change of pace. My mom, sisters, and I arrived in San Antonio late yesterday. It’s such a treat to be together as a group, including with my sister from San Diego.
We toured the Alamo this morning and took a cruise on the River Walk this afternoon. I’ve been trying to take diligent notes for story setting ideas, but of course my pen died halfway through the cruise. That didn’t stop the tour guide from asking me when we disembarked why I was doing so much writing on the boat ride. Don’t worry, I also took in a lot of the sights. It’s lovely here.
Tonight, we’re going on a ghost tour. I enjoyed the one in New Orleans so much, I suggested it to the group here, and they agreed. More to come.