Emily C. Skaftun


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Emily C. Skaftun

About Me

Writing Sample

I crept up to a space that I thought was near Shaundra’s side. “What is it?”
“Probably nothing.” I’d been right; her voice came from about two feet away from me. “It’s in the creek.” She stepped toward the creek. “If it’s a thing at all, I mean. I can’t tell. It’s all … shimmery.”
It was frustrating being invisible at times like these. I wanted to have her point out the thing she maybe saw. “Where is it?”
Shaundra laughed. “Oh you know, kind of near that one rock.” There really wasn’t any good way to describe a specific point in the stream. This part of it was a very gentle slope with water-worn pebbles as its bed.
As I looked for a “shimmery” thing in the babbling brook I saw footsteps appear in the damp bank of the creek, and a small splash, and then the trippy distortion an invisible foot causes when caressed by water, like a roughly foot-shaped crystal vessel containing nothing.
Just before Shaundra’s trippy crystal hand reached into the center of the creek, I saw the thing she was about to grab. There was another disturbance in one area, ripples in the water near the stream’s rocky bed that skirted an unseen object. It was small, tucked in among the solidly visible sources of chaotic disturbance comprising the creek bed. As I watched, it broke loose and the disturbed area tumbled downstream. Not far, just a foot or so, swirling water end over end and coming to a rest in a new position just out of the reach of Shaundra’s invisible hand.
“I see it!” I said. “What is it?”
“I don’t know, do I?” she said, almost curtly. It wasn’t really curtness; she just got that way when she was concentrating. I interrupted her working through a story problem once and she almost bit my head off.
I sidestepped down the creekbed, thinking I’d get in front of the thing. We could surround it, in case it was something alive. Was there an invisible animal in the creek? A frog or bottom-dwelling fish? The possibility boggled my mind. The leading theory at St. Clare’s was that people ended up invisible by fading into obscurity; if an animal could travel that route it said a lot for non-human consciousness and its effect on the universe.

What I Write

I like to call it “delightfully absurd,” and hope no one notices it’s a smokescreen covering my distaste for details like “how things actually work.”

Website

http://www.eskaftun.com

Twitter Handle

@eskaftun

Publications

Full list at http://www.eskaftun.com/p/publications.html

Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

Real talk: I haven’t been writing much. See, I have this full-time editor job and it’s killing my fiction. In previous Write-a-thons I’ve had big goals and I’ve never ever met them. So this summer is about trying to clean my much-neglected writing house and figure out how to re-integrate fiction into my life. Here are some of the things I intend to do:

• Add a year’s worth of old travel writing, book reviews, and other junk to the blog. (at least 2 posts per week–see, I had this as a goal last year, and actually did it, but then didn’t keep up on it all year long. Sad trombone!)

• Um, actually submit some fiction for once? (at least 1 per week)

• Write and post new postcard stories. (at least 3 per week)

• Organize postcard stories on website. These are probably the most distinctive fiction I write, sadly, and they’re hard to find. DONE!

• Work on current WIP, a murder mystery set in a school full of invisible teenagers. This had been last year’s goal too, upsettingly. At that time I thought it was a short story, but it wasn’t. It’s a damn YA novel. On the bright side, I did “finish” it last year. Too bad I have to “finish” it again.

• If that doesn’t work, I have two other unfinished/abandoned novels I half-heartedly want to finish/update.

Perhaps having goals will get me back into the habit of writing before work. Dare to dream!

Fundraising Goals

Sponsor me with money! All sponsors paying over $15 will receive a one-of-a-kind postcard story on an actual postcard from an actual foreign country (Iceland, Ireland, Cuba, or Israel primarily). For more on what these are, visit http://eskaftun.com/postcards-from/.

All sponsors will receive updates, so the more of you there are the more guilty I’ll feel about not meeting this year’s goals. See? You’re helping!