Vicki Saunders

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Vicki Saunders

About Me

Writing Sample

I waited until the Big Room emptied, then threaded phalanxes of ergonomic chairs to Jake’s workstation, at the far end of the room-spanning table. A half-century after Google’s birth, tech companies were still packing them in.
One touch of the mouse woke his machine.  A lemon yellow-electric blue fractal snapped across his locked screens.
A harsh cry. I jumped. I’d made sure I was alone. A scritch-scratch, flap, a puff of air, a rattling plastic thump and a crow crouched on the keyboard. Black and shiny as the best technology, with a chisel beak.
It flew at me. Claws pricked as it lit on my left shoulder. The beak hovered in my side vision, way too close to my eye. I froze. But the specter of the bird trapped, beating itself to death on the floor-to-ceiling windows, was more than I could bear. If the crow stayed with me, I could get it out.
It held tight as I pushed through heavy glass doors to the world. Clouds flaring gold, the end of a long Cascadia summer day. I shook my shoulders. “Go, get out of here. Fly.” Still it clung. I bent over. It climbed on my back. I stood, and it returned to my shoulder. I jumped. “Scat,” I said, “Go home,” then raised my right hand, dared the chisel beak, and brushed the bird off. It cawed and clicked, scolding.
I ran back to the doors, but it was after hours. They’d locked behind me. I dodged into a dank pedestrian underpass.
Pigeons swirled, white and grey. A blast of air knocked me sidewise, the world flickered and I found myself tumbled into sticky, fleshy pleats. The folds glowed lemon yellow, cast cobalt shadows, lining long tubes that stretched as far as I could see. Jake’s fractals.
Wind fluted through the tubes, a breathy harmonica. I shifted, slid, jammed myself tight into the sticky, bitter-almond-smelling pocket and craned my neck. Bird heads and tails poked out of holes. Overhead, a spiky orb, blimp-sized, cruised.
As it brushed by, tiny flexible hooks on the spikes caught my clothes and dragged me as it rose into a vast, vertical tube. Heart thunderous, I splayed my arms and thrust my chest into the rubbery spikes.
A crawk. I looked up: a crow. I studied it, wondering if it was my crow. 

What I Write

There are always animals in my fractal trees.


“Deux ex Chelonia,”  Ideomancer

“Carpe Chelonian,” Three-Lobed Burning Eye

“Whale Woman Watches,” at Three-Lobed Burning Eye


Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

To make more time for writing. I’ve now set up specific writing hours–I text virtual writing partners to keep me on schedule, because otherwise duties, deadlines, obligation, and procrastination snatch it away.  I’m planning to set aside more hours. During the Write-a-thon I hope to finish the rewrite of one story and send it out, and begin anew on the story excerpted above.

Fundraising Goals

Clarion West is facing the same challenges as any long-term resident of Seattle: how to afford rising housing costs. The workshop has no offices, but for six weeks every summer it requires 18 bedrooms, classroom space, dining and kitchen facilities, and instructor living quarters.

So this year my fundraising goal is to somehow put a dent in that bill. Maybe a $500.00 dent.

To inspire donations, I’m going to try something new. The workshop is all about writing process. For some writers, that includes playlist. For me, it’s image files. If you sponsor me for $35.00, I will send you a link to an online photo album that contains images that inspired one of the published stories listed above.

If you donate a multiple of $35.00 I will link you to that many more albums. I cannot tell you the maximum number of albums, though I can attest that they are finite…and some will be for stories in progress, such as the one excerpted above, or from my novel in progress.