Sunfish: Midwestern Gothic #18

The new Midwestern Gothic is out! Midwestern Gothic is a great literary magazine dedicated to promoting the writers and artists of the Midwest, and this summer I am exceedingly pleased to tell you that it includes my story “Sunfish,” as well as the work of many other excellent writers.

I wrote this story mostly while up at my family’s vacation house on Lake Wilson, way up in the middle of nowhere, kinda near the Boundary Waters. So the setting is based in reality, and it’s a “realist” story (as opposed to speculative—no aliens or sentient marble in this one—not like in the Flaubertian sense or whatever) but the characters and story are entirely fictional.

Here is a picture of our real lake, where I am in fact staying right at this very moment.

(That’s me fishing for crayfish using the traditional Finnish method of tying little bits of ham to a string and dangling it in the water. The tantalized crayfish will then grab on with his claws and you can just pull him out, keep him in the minnow bucket, and then boil him and eat his tasty little tail. I don’t know why I think of crayfish as male but I do. This is not actually a traditional Finnish thing. Finns only eat rye crackers and reindeer jerky, salted with tears. Okay, I made that up, too. Anyway. Also pictured: my dog, Romeo, and my husband’s foot. Photo by Jeff Mitchell.)

(That’s me fishing for crayfish using the traditional Finnish method of tying little bits of ham to a string and dangling it in the water. The tantalized crayfish will then grab on with his claws and you can just pull him out, keep him in the minnow bucket, and then boil him and eat his tasty little tail. I don’t know why I think of crayfish as male but I do. Like little macho dudes with their fists stuck out, spoiling for a fight. Okay, so this is not actually a traditional Finnish method of crayfishing. I don’t think there is one. Finns only eat rye crackers and reindeer jerky, salted with their secret tears. Okay, I made that up, too. Anyway. Sorry, real Finns! Also pictured: my dog, Romeo, and my husband’s foot. Photo by Jeff Mitchell, June 2014.)

Midwestern Gothic is available both online ($3) and in print ($12); you can download or order Issue #18 here. Here’s the opening paragraph to give you a feel for the story:

Flies zip and bang against the picture window, looking for the night out there, the rush of wind and waving trees. So beautiful, is what the city people will say; they’ll gaze out upon the lake, hear the loons calling across, inhale the breeze through the pines. And it is beautiful, but Hildie and Maren don’t much notice—they’ve been seeing it everyday for sixteen and seventeen years, as long they’ve had eyes open to look.

Many thanks to Midwestern Gothic for including my story, and a million billion thanks to anyone who buys the magazine.

ETA! You can also look at the Google Books preview of the issue. (7/27)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s