This Place From Which All Roads Go

Once upon a time I said this was one of my more autobiographical stories. Yes, I am a magical farmer.

Erm, no.

It’s not autobiographical in any clear sense. Writers put themselves into their words in ways that feel painfully obvious to them, and absolutely invisible to readers. It’s one of the tricky things about learning to be published.

But I can give you this. The reservoir I live next to is seventeen miles long. The cellar holes which are so charming now are the remains of people’s lives. It’s hard to walk the dirt roads there without thinking of what vanished beneath the water. Of what continues to vanish beneath the water, the world over.

It is not one of my more optimistic stories, but sometimes life isn’t about optimism. Sometimes it’s about surviving.

ETA: I’m not including a link because the story went out to Daily Science Fiction’s email subscribers today. If you’re not a subscriber, consider signing up. Free speculative fiction every weekday is a wonderful thing.

This story will be available on the website one week from today. I’ll add a link once it’s up.


  1. I don’t normally sign up for this sort of thing but I will be giving Daily Science Fiction a try. 🙂

    • Lydia, I hope you enjoy it. It’s an interesting sampler of what’s out there. The majority of the stories are flash, or just short, with a longer one one Fridays. Jonathan and Michelle pay very well, so they attract a range of writers. At the current subscription price, I think it’s worth a try. 🙂

  2. I almost cried–in a good way–as I read your beautiful story. Pure poetry. For what it’s worth, a posted a kind review about it on my blog.
    Steven Wittenberg Gordon, MD

  3. I got this story through a Daily Science Fiction email; thank so much! I was hooked from the beginning by the story, but as I read, it resonated very deeply. I grew up in West Virginia-still live here-and many of these struggles and interactions are bittersweetly familiar. Aging communities, unspoken bonds, vanishing talents; you’ve spoken very well for those people who stay and captured the complicated struggle.

  4. ” Writers put themselves into their words in ways that feel painfully obvious to them, and absolutely invisible to readers.”

    This is so well said! It’s something that I’m still learning, especially with my poems, where the layer of fiction is much thinner, usually.

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