I am honored to announce my short story “To the Future Child Residents of 27 Oakbridge Road” is featured in the current issue of Far From This, a quarterly digital illustration journal by New York based designer Erin Murphy.
I want to take a minute to talk about Erin. And yeah, I know, I’m a writer, I’m supposed to be all eloquent and whatnot, but looking at Erin’s work overwhelms my ability to be coherent. Buckle up for a word roller-coaster. Erin’s fine motor control is incomprehensible to me, but it’s way more than that. She has this way of using colors and shapes to evoke emotions so moving and complex that I just can’t with the words. I linked to my story above, but I highly recommend you spend some time perusing the rest of the journal as well. Far From This has more amazing content on Instagram and Pinterest too.
I’ve gotta take a breath here to re-compose my ability to Words because the next part is more serious.
OK. I’m diving in.
As you may be able to tell by the name alone, this story is largely autobiographical. I wrote the story long before I’d ever heard the term COVID-19. Re-reading it brought a special type of poignancy. I’ve already canceled trips to see many of the people I referenced in the story. Every day I see more people are sick. Each hour I see more of my “normal” life is gone. A part of me wants to go back to believing what the narrator believes at the start of the story– that I need the magic of a place to keep me safe and secure and loved. If that were the case then maybe I could find a way a way back to that special place. Maybe I could find a way to get rid of all this fear.
But ultimately, it is this COVID-19 situation which make the lessons of the story more important to me. I need the reminder that love is not tied to a place. It is not tied to a hug. It does not go away with a canceled trip or a missed birthday party. Love is stronger than COVID-19. Perhaps this sentiment feels saccharine. That’s fair criticism. But with all the bitterness in the news, I’m willing to hold on to any sweetness I can find.
I hope you enjoy the story, friends. Go look at Erin’s work– it’s the good kind of mind blowing!