OK, now that I’ve done the edits… Pleased to announce I’ve sold my Villa Diodati story “Immersion” to Clarkesworld for their June issue. It’s… er… my rant against globalisation, beauty standards and the uses and abuses of tourism and expatriation in non-Western countries. Also, it has a plot that centres around a Vietnamese restaurant and a dish of lemongrass chicken 🙂
Thanks go to the Villa Diodati crew (Ruth Nestvold, Sylvia Spruck Wigley, Floris M Kleijne, Stephen Gaskell, John Olsen, Nancy Fulda); to Glen Mehn for volunteering to read it even after I told him it was unkind to White males; and, above and always, to Rochita Loenen-Ruiz for inspiring this and so many other things in my life.
In the morning, you’re no longer quite sure who you are.
You stand in front of the mirror—it shifts and trembles, reflecting only what you want to see—eyes that feel too wide, skin that feels too pale, an odd, distant smell wafting from the compartment’s ambient system that is neither incense nor garlic, but something else, something elusive that you once knew.
You’re dressed, already—not on your skin, but outside, where it matters, your avatar sporting blue and black and gold, the stylish clothes of a well-travelled, well-connected woman. For a moment, as you turn away from the mirror, the glass shimmers out of focus; and another woman in a dull silk gown stares back at you: smaller, squatter and in every way diminished—a stranger, a distant memory that has ceased to have any meaning.
(also, wow. Remain very very amazed at Clarkesworld’s response times. I think Neil is a robot)