“The Banjo Singer” finds a home

I just heard today that Realms of Fantasy will be publishing another story of mine, “The Banjo Singer.”  While “Here’s What I Know,” previously published by Realms mythologized my father’s life, this one’s about my mom, by way of the fantastic, of course.  Here’s how it begins—

The Banjo Singer

Marie’s father was a large man with hands square and flat like coal shovels.  He owned the music store where Marie worked—like her dead mother before her.  She was a quiet girl, slim and slightly bent like a young tree planted in the way of a tireless north wind, but stronger for it.  There was something discomforting in her gaze if you looked her in the eye, and so Marie rarely looked others in the eye, not wanting to make anyone uncomfortable.

Afternoons she helped her father among the tubas and piccolos and banjoes and violins and thought them all of  no real importance.  Wood tubes, bent brass, strung wires and cat gut—they were dead things.  She wanted to be a singer.  She was a singer.  She wanted this all her life, though few had ever heard her sing.   Even at birthday parties or at Christmas when everyone sang, she always busied herself doing something else.  In church, she never voiced the words, for she knew if prayers were answered, her life would be quite different altogether….

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