Monday, June 1, 2020

Wiscon, The Nebulas, and the Ballad of Bloody Brigid!

So, I can yell about my short story sales now! In August, The Dark will be publishing another of my short horror fantasy stories, "Bobbie and Her Father."
Some time next year, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet will publish their second piece with me (and my first short story with them), "King Moon's Tithe to Hell."
May was some kind of month, let me tell you. 
This past weekend, I attended my first Wiscon in a way I didn't imagine doing so a year ago: virtually. It was deeply fun.
The chaos of the discord server that served as the main socialization page had the same taste as a convention: tons of strangers, united by specific, common interests, all competing to talk to each other. Once I figured out how to mute and mark channels as read, it was much easier, though the overwhelming energy was absolutely still in the air.

There were less panels than I expected, but what was there felt very tight and well done. My favorite pieces of programming included Benjamin Rosenbaum's lecture, "Doctor Who as the Wandering Jew," THE NOT HUGO AWARD-WINNING BUT VERY IMPORTANT NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL, and Renaming the Otherwise Award. The last addressed some questions I had regarding the name change of what was formerly called the Tiptree Award in a thoughtful, nuanced way.
I had so much fun, I went ahead and registered for the virtual Nebula Conference. It was much more business-oriented and intimidating than Wiscon, but still enormously social (through Zoom breakout rooms, mostly) and full of amazing programming. My favorites included Finances for Traditionally Published Novelists, Publish SFF Romance: Pick a Seat, Not a Side, the rescue cat livestream, and The 55th Nebula Awards.
Wiscon also gave me the chance to meet fellow writer, Judith Huang, whose debut novel, Sofia and The Utopia Machine, has been added to my to-read list. We chatted a little and she was kind enough to read my story in The Dark, Brigid Was Hung By Her Hair from the Second Story Window. Then, to my shock and joy, she wrote me a ballad based on it! 
With her permission, it's my absolute pleasure to share it with you.

The Ballad of Bloody Brigid

By Judith Huang, a fan poem of Brigid was Hung by Her Hair from the Second Story Window

Poor Brigid came from County Cork
Nineteen years of age
To marry Mike O’Flannery
Who said he’d wed his maid

So Brigid sailed the ocean blue
On the strength of his last letter
And didn’t think to wait to see
If it’d end in bloody batter

The man she met in Boston-town
Had eyes as blue as blue
And so though he was a ne’er do well
she thought, he’ll have to do

O Brigid, Brigid, why’d you leave
Old Cork for over there?
We know as well,
His moods will tell
He’ll hang you by the hair

They married on a Wednesday
The next day she was hired
One day later he knocked her up
By Monday she was fired

The baby yowled and Brigid shook
He wanted her in his bed
He grabbed her bloody screaming throat
And held her by the head

He thrust his hand straight out and hung
Her o’er the window ledge
She twisted in the crying wind
And as neighbours gawked she bled

O Brigid, Brigid, why’d you leave
Old Cork for over there?
We know as well,
His moods will tell
He’ll hang you by the hair

Brigid prayed to her mother’s god
And then she wrote this song
She flicked the wax and bit the spoon
And framed O’Flannery’s wrong

Brigid dropped her severed thumb
And left her babe as well
She walked and walked a night and day
Between the earth and hell

Soon Brigid came to Gloucester where
She could hear the waves again
And snared herself a gentleman
Who would cause her no such pain

Her girl she named for Brigid too
To exact the sacrifice
The cancer came to make her pay
But even that would not suffice

O Mama, said her baby girl
I’ve met the man I’ll marry
His eyes are blue as blue can be
His name is Joe O’Flannery

O Brigid, Brigid you must pay
With the youngest from your womb
The man you loved
For whom you moved
His seed will be her doom