My cup overfloweth. Contracts are signed, edits are underway, and I just discovered that I’ll be sharing the tables of contents in two upcoming anthologies with some very excellent people.
Your cup might overflow as well, dear reader, because in each of these anthologies I have two stories.
In MoFo’s third anthology, Religion (originally Sacrilege), my stories are kind of different from each other, but between them cover plenty of my Roman Catholic influences.
“Deliver Us” is about what happens when you get exposed to bondage through B-movies about exorcisms, and your girlfriend is an ex-Catholic who once wanted to be a priest.
(When your boyfriend did become a priest and you want to rescue him from his decision, you get A Last Touch of Grace. Comparing that story in 2016 to these stories in 2017 probably reveals something interesting about my spiritual journey.)
“Annunciation” is a semi-autobiographical novella in flash about growing up queer in the Catholic Church. Novella in flash might be a slight exaggeration, but I’ve recently fallen in love with the form and its cousins after reading Sylvia Brownrigg’s Pages for You—even if I didn’t manage a “true” novella of the appropriate length and independence of the composite flash pieces, it was fun experiment. The format might also be influenced by the 5 + 1 fanfiction genre, in which case we have “Five times I* believed lies the Church told me about gender and sexuality and one time I figured it out,” I guess, or maybe “Five times I really missed the fact that I was queer and the realization(s) that put me right.” Not only was “Annunciation” fascinating to write (I said these stories “covered a lot of my Roman Catholic influences,” but what I learned most is how much is left to uncover), I also got a little angry. In “Deliver Us,” too. That seemed to fit MoFo’s call, which includes “a preference for Catholicism—the eroticism and hypocrisy are built right in.”
The narrator of “Annunciation” first identifies the androgynously-illustrated Gabriel as female, “So to me, the Annunciation was always a matter of two women together in a bedroom. “