Fire&Ice: What’s Next?

WELCOME to our final edition of Flash! Future! From the beginning—way back in August, believe it or not!—we launched Fire&Ice hoping to build and spread courage in the sharing of stories among friends. The world has seen hard times before and will again. But there’s always hope to be found, as you have shown us so powerfully week after week. Your story-words and faithful encouragement of each other proved just the therapy we needed, and we hope it’s proved the same for you. Thank you!

Where can writers go after Fire&Ice? Sooo many wonderful places to stay connected with the flash writing community. We’re slightly biased of course, but #VSS365 is the Twitter venture closest to our hearts. Read more about it in our Flash!Future post here from September. Be sure to read up on its exciting changes here. In the #VSS365 community you will find daily engagement and encouragement, as well as heaps of hashtags to join all sorts of other related writing challenges.

OK, but what about the actual Fire and Ice dragons? Who are you, anyway, and are you disappearing back into the Void after Sol 19? Very sweet of y’all to ask! Here’s a quick take.

Fire Dragon: Rebekah Postupak, aka Kitten Minion

What do you write? My home is dragons, always and forever (I’ve even the tattoo to prove it!) in the wide world of YA

What’s your favorite mythological tradition? Despite growing up in the story-rich jungles of Southeast Asia, my reading roots germinated in Tolkien and Lewis. It was Robin McKinley who first showed me women could wield magic too, and that the pale fairytales of the West could be fractured and re-spun. These days I’m mostly, gloriously, lost in un-mything myself; I’m elbows-deep in histories and biographies and other works of non-fiction, alongside a towering stack of non-Tolkien-esque fantasies. I’m forever grateful to and for Middle Earth; I’m also grateful for an industry that’s finally, if reluctantly, recognizing there are worlds beyond it.

What’s the best book you read in 2020? Nonfiction: a very belated but lifechanging read, The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson. Fiction: also very belated, but ohhhh the thrill of making up for lost time! the Middle-Earth-shaking The Fifth Season, by NK Jemisin, and brain-bursting, heart-rending Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor. And then for pure candy: The Ten Thousand Doors of Januaryby Alix Harrow. Maybe next year I will finally finish Chernow’s Grant.

What’s up for 2021? Where can we find you? Oh my goodness, it’s been ages since I’ve felt this excited about a new year. Thanks to my heart-and-writing-sister Deb, I’ve a heap of new stories just about ready to go out. Funnest of all, though, is the Middle Grade speculative fiction project we’re building together. Without risking spoilers, I’ll whisper in your ear alone that you can expect to meet a young dragon, Manhu, who might be an utterly amazing dragonglass-spinner if he could go five minutes without breaking something. -Follow me on Twitter here (I’ll follow back), so I can, like the busybody I am, stalk your personal affairs without having to ask first.

Robot DreamsIce dragon: Deb Foy, pictured here as a space-bewitched robot

Your turn! Tell us what you write. I write Middle Grade worlds populated by capricious spirits, alien-made mech, & apocalyptic scavenger kids.   

A portal into fiction’s multiverse just opened up. Where are you off to? So many places! I’d wander the cities reseeded by nature in the action-adventure game The Last of Us; there’s a peacefulness, a comfort, in such a quiet, moss-and-vine triumph. Or I’d sneak through the decks of the HSS Matilda from Rivers Solomon‘s novel An Unkindness of Ghosts, or walk the B-Mor settlement in Chang-rae Lee‘s On Such a Full Sea to better understand how communities move in solidarity or function despite emotional isolation. Or perhaps, more indulgently, I’d drop by a certain Hobbit-hole in time for all the soups and pies and cakes and ale one serves at an unexpected party.       

Any books you read in 2020 you won’t soon forget? Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi; their novel is raw and weighty, with imagery that will carve itself into your soul. Also, Katherine Arden‘s The Bear and the Nightingale. She weaves Russian folklore into the narrative seamlessly, and the chill of her wilderness winter seeps into the bones.

Tell us about your half of our 2021 middle grade mischief! And where can we find you? I still can’t believe we’re doing this! I already adore the fearless Manhu. ♥ Of course what every impetuous dragon needs is an overly-practical robot companion, no? Enter Oki! Together, the two of them *might* be able to save their world from certain annihilation despite themselves. To track our progress, and encourage us when the chocolate runs out, stalk our social media! I’m on Twitter and Instagram—find me here & here

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