As promised on my twitter, here is the new drabble. I am now paranoid that I talked it up too much with the “drabble you won’t want to miss.” Maybe it is miss-able but its themes have been heavy on my mind.

Does it remind you of a certain song?

Let me know in the comments if it worked/didn’t work for you.

And stay tuned, I’ll soon be posting an analysis of a short story I love.

“Mama!” Matty’s always tugging on her tired skirt for attention. 

Gail slips on the little yellow VR headset over Matty’s disappointed eyes. “Mama’s here,” she says, and flicks the power switch on. She just needs a minute’s peace. 

An hour’s passed before she notices Matty’s mouth open in a silent scream.

Guilt-ridden, Gail shuts off the VR. It releases Matty’s wails to the room. 

He doesn’t let her near, hate and fear in his eyes. 

She doesn’t want to think about what he’s seen because she forgot to adjust the viewer settings. 

“Mama’s here,” she says, a minute too late.

Beaks up! The MURDERBIRDS kickstarter is almost nigh and you can sign up now so you won’t miss your chance to support my story “Forget-Me-Not and Morning Dew” and the other amazing stories in the collection right away. Early bird gets the worm!

I encourage signing up because with the way kickstarter works, it’s a positive feedback loop. For the nonscientists: the faster it’s funded (if it reaches its goal on the first day for instance) the more likely kickstarter is to advertise it, and the more likely others will see it and want to fund it.

Here you can read a sample story too: https://www.mikejackstoumbos.com/murderbirds-anthology

My own story “Forget-Me-Not and Morning Dew” takes a much darker turn.

And this is the link to sign up for reminders to fund it as soon as it goes live: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikejackstoumbos/murderbirds-an-avian-anthology

I am fortunate enough to share another published story with you all. This one deals with the burdens we carry. How much misery would you be willing to keep? How much to part with? I hope we are building to a future where people support each other out of their misery rather than force acceptance through the pain.

Click below to read EJ’s choice. Be sure to click “display entire story” at the cut off. I hope you like it!

https://dailysciencefiction.com/science-fiction/biotech/yelena-crane/less-misery-enough-to-bear

I am happy to announce that my short story “Facing Reality” is available for purchase in the After the Gold Rush anthology here: https://www.amazon.com/After-Gold-Third-Flatiron-Anthologies-ebook/dp/B0B3V48HWK/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1B23UX1ATJE6O&keywords=after+the+gold+rush+anthology&qid=1659052229&s=books&sprefix=after+tje+gold+rush+anthology%2Cstripbooks%2C68&sr=1-1

What happens when too many people choose simulated perfection over reality? My protagonist, Logan, is trying to bring back the survivors, his daughter among them. Can he do it without getting tempted himself? What would you choose?

As a scientist, it has always been my dream to be published in the prestigious journal Nature. As a science fiction writer… the same holds true. Check out my flash here:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01003-8?fbclid=IwAR3iiNGJAhnF00XxbRh995thF52Zt3O0mv4_me4StzQCyuIztaVw9-Ayj7k

It’s a story about inheriting more than genetics from our parents and about how even the most privileged among us can still be lonely and in want of connection.

I got a short piece of mine published in a special anthology and it’s finally available for purchase.

The story is about Dinah, an observant woman using her faith to try to do everything she can to save her family from Covid-19. Through prophetic dreams she discovers, contrary to her learning, that there had always been a Talmud written by women sages lost to time because of social pressure. Can she save her mother and other members of her community using the miracle of her dreams or does her discovery doom them all because of heresy?

Strange Fire: Jewish Voices from the Pandemic leans into the crack between the faith we are supposed to practice and the faith we do, particularly in times of crisis. That may look like atheism paired with orthopraxis. It may look like charms and prayers one step removed from spells. It may look like philosophy in the light of secular redemption. It may look like blasphemy.