• A Predatory Transcience: Reckoning 7

    “[O]ne of those speculative fiction magazines that I get genuinely excited to read because the kind of stories they publish are always some concept or execution I’ve never seen before.”
    —Alex Brown, reviewer for

    Reckoning 7, edited by Octavia Cade, Priya Chand, and Tim Fab-Eme, focuses on oceans and the global water cycle.

    I am over the moon and sea to be included in this year’s issue of Reckoning Magazine. My eco-justice short story, “A Predatory Transcience” is very near and dear to my heart. Set in the beautiful marsh of South Carolina’s Folly Island, the traditional land of the Kusso People, Transcience features omnivorous sharks and a plus-sized anti-hero.

    Reckoning Magazine is available in ebook form with Weightless Books and Amazon. You can pre-order the print version (out this summer) [HERE].

  • The Woman Called Witch

    The Woman Called Witch

    I struggled for years with how much and why I hated witches, especially when I don’t—in fact—hate those who call themselves witches. I am a feminist, a historian, a religious studies scholar. I’m a queer autistic woman in her forties. I don’t actually hate witches. I may dislike certain appropriative expressions of neo-pagan faiths for their inherent issues of racism and colonialism, but I do not hate the wild women, the woods-women, the wise-women or the wonderers.

    I have dear friends who have reclaimed the word “witch,” and respect the faith and practices of others who—in myriad beautiful ways—claim that name for themselves. I admire the crones who have found their voices, and I like to think that I have long been one of them (though wisdom came more slowly than the strength of my voice).

    I have been called “hearth witch” and “wood witch” and “swamp witch.” When I turned these over and examined them, they fit about as well as any other cloak I’ve worn—better in some ways—but I still didn’t call myself witch. I have never claimed any kind of magic, and even when given that compliment from others, I never understood why a part of me cringed. Then I realized:

    I am the woman others call “witch.”

    I am the woman who doesn’t quite fit. The one who doesn’t belong. The one who doesn’t mind that she doesn’t belong. The woman who isn’t pretty enough or womanly enough or straight enough, or interested in performing whatever feats she must to achieve those. I’m the woman at the edge of the village, the woman at the edge of the woods. Never quite a part of either. The woman who speaks too loudly and freely. The one who tells truths no one dares to say, and fewer want to hear. I am the woman who is too much for the village, who disrupts their everyday harmony, who is rarely invited in, but without whom they cannot exist. Not really. Not for long. Because the witches know things. Because when life seems impossible, the witches are the ones they come to. Because being unwanted is not the same as being unneeded.

    I am the woman they call “witch.”

    Once upon a time, a village lived and died by who it chose to silence. Some revered us, some tolerated us, some ignored us until a child was sick or a heart was broken or a cow refused to milk. They needed us then—as healer, as wisdom, as scapegoat—and they need us now. And yes, they feared and fear us too, women who are not enough and too damn much and filled with everyday magic. They forget now and then and they punish us for their own failings, their own fears. They watch us burn like earthbound stars, condemning themselves to worse than our absence.

    (But no matter how poetic, our deaths are not justice).

    I am the woman they call “witch.”

    I talk to animals and sing to trees and believe that we find the Divine in the wonders of our world and the stars above us. Sometimes even in each other. I call birds friends and I feed the hungry wolves when they show up at my door. I have ridden wild ponies without intent or control, without the need to assert my own spirit over theirs. I have swam with sharks and rays without trapping or baiting. I have rehabilitated deer, and I eat venison with full awareness and thanksgiving for the life that nourishes mine. I can heal and crush hearts with a handful of words. I can tell you what spices are medicinal and tasty. I make a mean pot of tea. I would prefer a cottage deep in the woods, but I live on the edge—that murky, misty green border—because I believe it is here that I can do the most good for others.

    I am the woman they call “witch.”

    This was never my never. I am a mender, a tender, a gardener. Scholar. Memory Keeper. I am a welcome hearth and a cup of tea and somehow I always feel like autumn. I am a word-tangler and worlds-wanderer and I prefer the company of hellhounds and songbirds and the beautiful, (and perhaps foolish) soul who returns daily to edge of the woods for nothing more or less than who I am, no more or less mine than the creatures who always seem to find me.

    Witch was never my word, but it has grown on me. Like moss and magic and unexplained mysteries.

    I am the woman we call “witch.”

  • All the Creatures Were Stirring ebook

    If you would like a free epub or .pdf of All the Creatures Were Stirring, please fill out the short form below. This is for the story only. It is not a newsletter signup. You should receive your copy within 24 hours and will receive no further email from Thank you so much for your interest!