WHAT i HAVE BEEN WORKING ON lately
A literary novel with an arch sense of humor about an elementary school teacher who is convinced her students have formed a cult and want to incite a violent revolution.
Alice Frost lives under a mountain of student loan debt and a mounting alcohol dependency. The last thing she needs is for Travis, a poor boy in her class, to bring for show-and-tell an enormous book about the filoguelle—-a gland in the human body that, it claims, has been overlooked by medical science, and which is responsible for inspiring feelings of love and affection. As the book circulates among the children, Alice comes to suspect—-based on its stranger, edgier contents—-that its true purpose is to stir the collapse of civil society. When the children start behaving unusually, Alice fears the worst, and so she interrogates the children and surveils Travis, but fails to uncover their plan before she loses her job and is forced to move on.
A decade later, she has cleaned herself up and moved back to the town where she failed as a teacher and as an amateur investigator. Her students, now teenagers, seek her out again, as they fear that Travis is building a dangerous machine that will help him finally achieve his goals. Alice must once again become a makeshift detective, and use the knowledge she has gained from her new job ghostwriting literature papers for college students to solve a ten-year-old mystery that refuses to stay in the past.
DEEP FEELING is currently under submission to literary agents.
A novel about a pig who tries to change his world and destroys it in the process.
As an unsuspecting piglet, Weird Pig is delivered in a box to a family in the suburbs, to help them solve their domestic issues. He only angers them, and escapes their wrath to a farm full of animals who are desperately materialistic and easily manipulated by the farmer who oversees them. On the way to the farm, he fathers an illegitimate son, The Sun Pig, who grows up with a messiah complex and believes it is his destiny to cook and eat his father. When he and Weird Pig are not clashing, Weird Pig spends the novel wreaking havoc on the farm and its surrounding community. He travels to New York City and becomes the star of a series of children’s books. Weird Pig’s character arc, in which he begins as an innocent pig and becomes, by degrees, a maniac, provides cohesion to the episodic saga, which chronicles Weird Pig’s life unto its end. The novel echoes other fabulistic narratives, like Animal Farm, that feature anthropomorphic creatures taking actions that have severe implications.
The character Weird Pig has been the subject of many short stories that have appeared in literary magazines that include Barrelhouse, The Collagist, Shirley, and The Collapsar. Three of these stories won the Editor's Prize at Copper Nickel, and the original Weird Pig story, "Weird Pig," was selected by Aimee Bender for inclusion in BEST SMALL FICTIONS 2018.
WEIRD PIG is currently being revised and prepared for submission. I have to add some more curse words.
Yost in space
This one's about a reluctant passenger on a near-future space tourism flight that goes terribly wrong. It is still in its early stages, but this time I wrote an outline, at least.