Publication announcements: “Bone Chill of a Too-Wide Smile” and “Neck of the Woods”

I’m—well, thrilled to announce that Thrilling Words has published two of my stories!  First up is “Neck of the Woods,” available to read on their website, and “Bone Chill of a Too-Wide Smile” is available to their subscribersThrilling Words offers pairs of speculative flash stories that are somehow related.  My two stories share thematic connections around extreme engagement/disengagement and transformation.  You could say they deal with the consequences of obsession.

I’d long wanted to write a jester story as well as something featuring glass delusion, and it finally occurred to me to combine those ideas into “Bone Chill of a Too-Wide Smile.”  For naming my jester character, I drew upon two other fictional ones:  Giacomo from the film The Court Jester, and Reala from the NiGHTS video games.

For “Neck of the Woods,” I’d been reading about mycology and how fungi are more closely related to animals than plants.  Then on a walk I came across a group of enormous mushrooms, pictured below.  A while later, one of my sons randomly started intoning “Fungus among us” at the dinner table, which he claimed he’d heard in a TV show.  This story spawned from there—like a fairy ring.