Publications Feb 2021 and On

2021, much like 2020, has somehow managed to be both a slow year and the quickest in recent memory.

Still, over the past few months, a few publications were accepted.

A revised version of my first thesis chapter, titled “A Modern Saint in the Making: Auto-Hagiography and The Autobiography of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Treasure in Clay” was accepted by McGill’s graduate journal ARC and I believe it will be appearing shortly.

I also received some good news this morning: my lightly speculative / mildly magical realist story “Brian Bumps His Head” will be appearing in Litro in May.


I’ve Started Having Dreams About Facemasks

There was a knock at my door. I rushed from my home office to answer it.

But wait! I need to put on a mask before answering. It’s the right thing to do.

So I scavenge around our living room and the little box we keep by the door.

No masks.

Shit. More knocking at the door.

I start turning over the sofa, calling for my wife. The knocking, all the while, grew more and more impatient

So there I was, all the while frantically running around and somehow unable to find one of the dozens of masks in our home when I woke up.

It was a dream. And an oddly topical one at that.

Surprisingly, as far as I can recall, this was the first dream since the start of the pandemic that explicitly involved face masks.

I’m not sure why it took so long (8 or so months) before that part of everyday reality finally crept into my unconscious mind. However, what’s more remarkable is the kind of dream where they finally popped up.

I’m no stranger to anxious dreams. I’ve had my fair share of being the only one in the room who somehow forgot to wear pants or realizing I had an imminent deadline that had somehow slipped my mind all week.

Where in high school it wasn’t uncommon to dream, I forgot my locker combination as recess was rapidly drawing to a close, during COVID my anxiety has found new ways to express itself.

Mask anxiety strikes me as just the latest in that series of dreams. Though it is odd that masks are the only element of COVID to have snuck in. Where are all those anxiety-riddled dreams about hand washing, running out of sanitizer, and maintaining social distancing?

I suppose we’ll see. Maybe they’ll be more frequent, but I have a suspicion it was either a one-off or a few and far between kind of deal.

Now that the weather’s gotten cooler and my wife and I have a newborn, we’re not doing a lot of “getting out of the house.” In that regard, a lot of the major bits of the pandemic haven’t really been touching us. I spend more time worrying about washing my hands before handling the baby or after changing a diaper on a daily basis than I do out in the wild.

Now let’s wait and see when those baby anxiety dreams start trickling in.


Got my author’s copy of Recoil with my story “Detour” inside

I just got my author’s copy of Shotgun Honey Presents: Recoil (Volume 4) in the mail this week, where my crime story “Detour” appears.

Shotgun Honey is a great little crime fiction publisher (a few other of my flash fiction stories have appeared in their online archives) and I’m really happy to have gotten one of my short stories picked up and appearing in print.

Also in this anthology is a short story from Nick Kolakowski, one of my favourite crime authors.

Looking forward to giving the whole collection a read as soon as I finish tearing through book 7 of Maurice Druon’s Accursed Kings historical fiction series.