My first publication this year: The Scribe Anthology from Breaking Rules Publishing includes my short story “The Four Last Sings.” This… pacifist communitarian survivalist story? inspirational post-apocalyptic Christian lesbian love story? begins, “On the third morning of the apocalypse, Arlie painted “WELCOME” in straggling rainbow capitals on the side of the rabbit shed that faced the road.”
Paper copies of the anthology can be ordered direct from Breaking Rules Publishing, and e-copies from Amazon.
This story was partly inspired by a long-ago freelance gig writing devotional reflections and farming tips for a Christian homesteading site. That site’s content was, in my view, a strange mix of constructive information on gardening, herbcraft, solar power etc, and alarmist fantasies about bunkering up and defending against invaders who might or might not be backed by the UN… I thought the two elements shouldn’t have to go together. I wrote my devotional reflections about the Gospel call to neighborliness and peaceableness and freedom from fear for a few years until the gig ended. I thought of that site when I saw ads for survivalist novels of the bunker-hunkering variety, and I began mulling stories about a very different approach to surviving and thriving in hard times.
As well as trying to disconnect self-sufficiency and resilience from fear and hostility, I wanted to reconnect two things which I often heard described as opposed but saw as deeply compatible: love for God, expressed in the Christian tradition, and love between people of the same sex and for same-sex couples. I’ve seen those things come together beautifully in the lives of people I know, but often I still hear them described as incompatible in “culture wars” arguments. I wanted to tell a different kind of story.
So all of that went into this story, which I then wasn’t sure where to send, as it didn’t exactly fit in anybody’s boxes. I am very glad that Breaking Rules Publishing gave it a home.