"A Chance to Breathe" published in Zooscape!

 My story "A Chance to Breathe" is in the latest issue of Zooscape. This is a story I wrote years ago and could never find the right market for--until now. There are three main inspirations for the story: 

1) My grandma's family immigrated to what was then New Mexico territory because the Dutch doctors recommended it for the tuberculosis that both her mother and grandfather had. Her grandfather died within a few weeks of their arrival (well before she was born), but her mother went on to live a long life in south-central Colorado. I've always been fascinated by their story, and it creates the basis for another of my favorite stories as well, "The Desert Cure."

2) The image of the Victorian consumptive, the young and beautiful maiden who dies before her time--not the reality of the sickness, but the way it gets turned into a SYMBOL (I say, somewhat tongue-in-cheekly). Especially, if I remember right, I was thinking about how the book Winter's Tale uses that image, with the girl who sleeps on the roof because the cold air is a relief. (Admittedly, it's been a long time since I read that book, so the particulars are less part of that image than the general sense of it.)

and 3) Shaun Tan's utterly amazing, wordless graphic novel The Arrival. It's a lovely book that celebrates the arrival of an immigrant to a new land where everything is strange and unfamiliar.

Earlier this year, on one of the writing forums I'm on, we had a thread going of favorite stories that can't seem to find a home. And this was the one I mentioned, a story I've been sending out, getting rejected, revising as necessary, and sending out again for so long, because it was a story I kept believing in. I'm so happy to be able to share it with readers at last! So with that...give the story a read, and enjoy!

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