“The Blessed Days” return via KALEIDOCAST + a #ShareYourRejections tale

/ Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 / No Comments »

The Blessed Days” are here again. And if you’re familiar with this story of mine, you know that doesn’t herald joyous times to come, unless you’ve got a hankering for the end of all humanity. [Insert evil cackle here.]

I’m absolutely overjoyed, on the other hand, to have a new adaptation of this blood-soaked horror tale available to share with the world. This new manifestation comes courtesy of the folks at Kaleidocast — today they’re re-released “The Blessed Days” as part of episode four of their second season of podcasts, paired with “Unleashed Beauty” by Nancy Hightower.

Click here to listen to the episode.

I also love this gif that Jo Ladzinski created to promote the story.

I’m grateful to be part of this project, and I want to note there’s plenty more where this came from. Kaleidocast Season 2 launched with a story by three-time Hugo Award winner N.K. Jemisin, and also showcases stories from Carlos Hernandez, Marcy Arlin and ZigZag Claybourne; Season 1, released in 2016, has work by Jonathan Lethem, Richard Bowes, Tim Pratt, Amal El-Mohtar and more (not to mention an adaptation of “Squeeze” by Rob Cameron from Clockwork Phoenix 5.)

Last month, I spent most of Readercon behind the first ever Mythic Delirium Books dealer’s table, which we set up for the launch of Nicole Kornher-Stace’s Latchkey. But one of the things I got to do beyond that was take part in a reading held by the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers group — i.e. the people behind Kaleidocast. They offered a hilarious sample of the kind of skit they open each podcast with. I will forever treasure the term “brosquitoes”!

I got a chance to share the opening of “The Blessed Days,” and other Season 2 writers shared snippets from their work. (Then we went to Mimi Mondal’s birthday party on the hotel patio and had cake!)

“The Blessed Days” had a long road to publication. In a way the story is my attempt to channel the queasy emotions I’ve dealt with as a journalist when covering horrific large-scale tragedies. When I first attempted the story, I didn’t quite have the skill to pull it off. (In the spirit of #ShareYourRejections, one publisher I sent it to told me they that they found nothing whatsoever in the story related to my stated aim, though not put quite as politely as that.)

I kept revising it, until I got an acceptance (from David Lee Summers of the late lamented Tales of the Talisman) — and did even more rewrites before David went to press in 2009. I continued to tinker with “The Blessed Days” as it was reprinted a couple more times, and rewrote it again before it appeared in my collection Unseaming, incorporating suggestions volunteered by none other than Thomas Ligotti.

Worth noting, perhaps: I didn’t rewrite this story again for Kaleidocast. The way this worked: they read through several of my stories and chose that one to adapt. I’m honored they found it worthy. (And honored they went through all that effort in the first place!)


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