Life, Writing (Published)

Published — “Saamiya”

I’m proud to announce that “Saamiya” was published in Issue 4 of HeartWood Magazine. Without giving too much away, I’ll say that “Saamiya” is about a depressed Muslim girl who encounters the brave but fatal heroism of Piggy from William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and finds common ground, perhaps inspiration. There are elements in this story I find important, including the guidance we receive from stories and the healing we receive from storytelling.

HeartWood is a digital magazine which publishes biannually in April and October. The editors prefer writing that “pushes into… its own truth” and “that takes emotional risks, that gets to the heart of the matter.” Because the magazine is run by the MFA program at West Virginia Wesleyan College, its voice has a very strong Appalachian presence. Luckily, they found enough merit in my short story to include it as well.

Writing Process

Author Interview at Theme of Absence

Theme of Absence runs an author interview series alongside its original fiction called, well, Theme of Absence Author Interviews. These dialogues employ the same questions every week, allowing readers to scan questions and spend more time on author replies. If you want a mixture of pragmatic and wild writing advice, I recommend a chai tea with a pinch of milk (I guess I’m not sure how milk works?), a comfy chair or lap, and one hour spent (c’mon, don’t be cheap) in the magazine’s archive (located here).

Oh, and don’t forget to read my interview for “The Spheres.”

Life, Scifi, Writing (Published)

Published — “Spheres”

Theme of Absence just published my comedic take on extraterrestrial nihilism (the story’s called “Spheres“). The digital magazine is devoted to speculative flash fiction, and primarily posts original fiction on Fridays. These pieces are accompanied by a Q&A with the author, which I think is a really smart move on the editor’s part because then readers can come for writing and/or writing advice. And if that’s not enough for the literary enthusiast, the editor and owner of Theme of Absence also runs Write Good Books, a blog dedicated to producing useful writing resources and articles.

Life, Satire, Writing (Published)

Published — “An Obituary for the Coolest Christian”

The Higgs Weldon, a humor site that does everything from comedic credits to caption contests, published my satirical panegyric “An Obituary for the Coolest Christian.” The piece satirizes Christian youth culture (sans the tight pants, iphones, and XS plaid shirts—that’s Christian youth Starbucks culture). The site is run by Los Angeles stand-ups Robbin Higgins and Paige Weldon and others (sorry to cut you short, others). They also have a live Higgs Weldon show which is a mix of character, sketch, games, and other improv facets at the Hollywood Improv Lab.

Scifi

Fiction — “Garden War”

Between two trees exploded into boulder stumps, Elemmírë raised a fist. Behind him, ten figures, barely visible above the gloom and bloom, dropped to their knees and scanned the street. They relied solely on the ghostly green readouts from their face masks, as their actual sights would have been distracted by the feral tapestry of flowers, the result not only of civilization gone wild but the biodegradable ammunition being used in the War. Inside each bullet was a gene seed which, when struck by fire, would sprout by day’s end into a single flower. It’d been the only agreed-upon convention between the elf factions—a way of turning war zones into gardens, of reducing the carbon imprint from endless shelling.

For a heartbeat, Elemmírë’s Sight picked up a cracked skull, lilac seeping out like purple brain. Then he was Focused on the lights of armored cars bouncing across perforated rock-wake. A set of hand signals and the Ten disappeared, their gaudy red-and-gold camouflage blending with laceleaf and marigold. What Elemmírë’s scouts were about to do was an ugly thing; an undignified ambush of a supply convoy. But in another way, a way beyond the soulless tactical hell of battle, they’d be returning motorized death-cannons and plated mercs wearing the ears of enemies around their necks to the serenity of nature.

Published at Rune Bear Weekly on September 27, 2018. 

Fantasy, Life, Writing (Published)

Published — “Dredge”

Whatever Our Souls published my short story “Dredge” in their June 2017 issue (see its Amazon page if you’re interested in buying the issue—paperback is $7.99). My short story introduces Dredge, a plant zombie and necromancer who just wants to be left to his bog garden and tea. Eventually I’d like to pit this character against paladins, but for now a petty hero will suffice.

Whatever Our Souls is a digital/physical print publication devoted to pushing the peculiar, especially stories that would usually “struggle to find acceptance in traditional literary magazines.” This means everything from “space wolves” to “mutant rabbits.” One unique feature of the magazine is its internal competition between its two editors (Team Pollux and Team Castor). Each editor posts their MVP (“Most Valuable Prose”) to the website,and readers have the opportunity to vote for a “reigning champion”*

*Quotes from the site’s homepage.

Life, Satire, Writing (Published)

Published — “Flexible Groups”


Defenestration published my short story “Flexible Groups” in its December 2016 issue (for context, they release an issue every April, August, and December). I was influenced by Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” and my experiences in professional education. One of the members of my writer’s critique called this style “snarky with a soul.” I’m keeping that.

Defenestration is an online publication devoted to humor in all its varieties, and its About page boasts such accomplishments as selling its life story to Christopher Nolan (you might have heard of a little something called The Dark Knight) and successfully defending the Earth from Martians.

Life, Writing (Published)

Published — “Snippets”

 

Rat Ass Review’s “Love and Madness” section published my poem “Snippets.” The online publication is devoted to poetry about “our varied attractions to one another” and isn’t “intended for children, nor for those adults whose views of individual liberty and freedom of expression would best suit them for life in 1630 Massachusetts or modern-day Syria.” Get reading because it’s an amazing, ever-growing page of stories of love and madness, if there’s even a difference. You can also find my poem (after clicking the link) by hitting CTRL-F and searching for “Desmond White.”

Life, Scifi, Writing (Published)

Published — “Pink Pastures”

365 Tomorrow has published my speculative flash fiction “Pink Pastures.” The story was based on a dream, and since I can’t afford a therapist on a teacher’s salary, I resorted to a poor substitute (something I also know about, being a teacher). Ursula Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” influenced the setting, plus I really wanted to write about eldritch genitalia without using the word “vagina.” You’ll notice the comments aren’t forgiving; in my defense, my “purple prose” could have been intentional on a meta-level. (It’s not). 365 Tomorrows is an online journal that produces a new speculative fiction every single flipping day. The site would be a great complement to your morning bagel and cup of raktajino.