So all of our belongings are in a crate about to make its way across the ocean to the UK. I have roughly five weeks left here in Vietnam, two of which I am devoting to my wife and dog, especially as I do not know when I will see them again. My wife, a British citizen, will soon leave to find a job in the Bristol area. I am going to lounge around here for a while, then go to the States to wait for my spouse visa. And write. And write. And revise. AND READ. Published fiction, yes, but I’m also looking to be a slush reader at a magazine. Speculative or literary, I don’t have a preference, though hopefully I will read for a magazine that likes a bit of both.

I haven’t been able to write well in weeks. I don’t think it is exactly writer’s block, but probably the stress of moving. I also find myself particularly withdrawn and my words, which are always precious, want to remain under the surface where I am stewing with anxiety. This is fun!

But as amorphous as my future is, I am trying to treat this liminal spacetime as a creative place. I’m telling myself that this would be the perfect opportunity to work on a novel, but which one? I have several projects underway, but none of them are begging to be written, and the one that interests me most has gone nowhere in the last four years. (Yet every time I try to work on it I end up taking what I’ve done and using it in a different short story! What a weird combination of frustration and gratification.)

I might end up just polishing some of my short fiction instead. Nothing wrong with that! Still, as I will have the time to prolong my focus, I want to use it on a bigger piece. Maybe I’m just putting pressure on myself. Defeated by choice, I am.


Published by: katoscope

Kathryn McMahon is an American literary and speculative fiction writer who grew up in and out of the US and lives abroad with her British wife and small dog. Her prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Syntax and Salt, Cease, Cows, Tiny Donkey, The Baltimore Review, (b)OINK, Jellyfish Review, Split Lip, Necessary Fiction, and others, including Upper Rubber Boot's food and horror anthology Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up to No Good. Recently, she has had a flash nominated for Best of the Net. She is a member of Codex. Follow her on Twitter at @katoscope.

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