Our latest story
Terce—Three Hours after Dawn
Sister Alice was glad of the rain. A steady patter of raindrops displayed a landscape to her sensitive ears and helped her find a path. Without hesitation, her feet followed a line of paving stones across mossy grass inside the courtyard. It was so early that the sun had not cleared the high monastery walls. The air smelled of damp stone and new wool and brown bread. Around her, she sensed other members of her order. She heard the soft fluttering of woolen garments and a musical clinking from their Möbius beads. Alice straightened the veil over her bandaged eyes and walked towards the Mill doors. For the nuns of St. Clare’s Monastery, it was time to weave the Tapestry.
The youngest kitchen apprentice watched the line of nuns pass and received a slap from Cook for taking that liberty. He shook his head to stop the flow of tears and muttered a question to an older boy washing pots beside him. “Where do they go?”
“They go inside the Mill to make the Tapestry. Mother Oda told me they have a second sight. They weave pictures of the future for the Brothers at St. Benedict’s, the monastery on the other side,” said the older boy.
“Do they give up their first sight, so they can have a second kind?”
“Yes, but not every nun gets the gift of second sight. It’s a risk they take. Sometimes they only go blind.”
“Talk less, work more, apprentice,” said Cook.
The two boys ducked their heads and redoubled their efforts. Sidelong glances and smirks of complicity passed between them.
The Tapestry – A.C. Worth
Strangers in the Night – David Whitaker
Nobody’s Daughters and the Tree of Life – L’Erin Ogle
The Foaling Season – Samuel Chapman
Q: Do you use critique groups or other resources to polish your writing?
A: My critique group consists of my wife and my mother, who are both writers. They offer invaluable feedback, but I realize that it may not always be impartial or thorough. I have a Scribophile account, and I think it would be a very useful resource if I could manage to use it more often. I go back to Scribophile every once in a while to give it another try, and when I do I generally manage to do one critique, and then when I try to do another one I slip into a state of paralysis and self-doubt. Who am I to analyze this story? Am I being too harsh, too picky, too glib, too nice? I don’t manage to finish the second critique, because I run out of time, and I rationalize my behavior by reasoning that I am better off using my time reading the books on my Goodreads list and writing my own stories than critiquing the stories of others. This is true to some extent, but it’s also selfish and maybe self-defeating in the long run.
Gloria Wickman is a speculative fiction and comics writer currently residing in Wyoming. She has a B.A. in anthropology and has always been fascinated with the roles language and culture serve in behavior. When she’s not writing, she’s usually studying Korean or spending time at the park.