Just a memory of Cami: She sent me a 90-word story for Wrong Tree Review Issue 1. I wrote back and asked if she could add 10 words or so because we had a 100-word min. limit. I loved the fact that she wrote back and said she could not. THAT is a writer, I think. Those 90 words, like so much of her work, was exactly the way she wanted it. Just wanted to share that memory. Oh, and of course we published the story anyway. It was fantastic. That strength and conviction, alongside such talent, is what I will miss.
Here's our exchange about the story Cami sent to me after I asked if she'd send something for Wrong Tree Review Issue 1. Also, stay tuned near the end of this post for the full story eventually published in WTR 1 from Cami:
Me: A shameless solicitation...well, not completely shameless. I'm a little ashamed. But it's only because I've never solicited material before. But I'm glad I've been doing it. We've got some good people on board so far (David Erlewine, Stephen Graham Jones, etc.). I put out a little diddy called Wrong Tree Review and we're getting together material for a print issue this December/January. Was wondering if you'd be interested in sending something?
Cami: Wow, It's so cool that you thought of me! I'll try to put something together-- is there a website or anything for this?
Me: Very, very awesome! The website is www.wrongtreereview.com. Jump on and send away. So great that you're cool with sending something. Thanks so much, Cami. Roxane Gay just wrote me and she's on board. This issue may end up being everything I hoped. Looking forward to seeing something from you.
Cami: Great! I have a friend who's really good, too, can I ask him? It's Jason Lee Norman on here.
Me: Tell the old boy to shoot us something. I've read his work. It's solid, and thanks again. You rock it like Chuck Norris on a tilt-a-whirl.
Cami: Hey, I have a story I just finished writing, but it's only 90 words-- is that too short? I could send something else, if so.
Me: Sorry it took some time for me to return a message. A 90-worder, you say? Well, we usually have a min of 100, but let's have a look at it and see what we've got. Just send it back in a return message and I'll have a look. Does that sound cool?
Cami: Here you go-- I can't really add 10 words to it, but I can send something else, if you like.
The following is Cami's story that eventually appeared in Wrong Tree's first issue:
The Night Air, the Throats
Someone is running. Away from the ragged heath, toward slanting mountains behind a crossed Indian moon.
To the people he cannot be innocent-- it is understood that running sleepwalkers harm, maybe murder, feet separated of will, accomplices of wind and street.
all these trembling limbs already badly entangled one neck visible in the tackle moon a wonder to press against the tiny sing that sound!
I walk so nobody is screaming, why not? Really it is entertainment; everyone is running. Nobody wants to kill him.