Saturday Recommendation: Kelly Washington

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Last year I took a few days to write about some other writers I thought were doing good work. Turns out, I liked it. It’s fun to point out things I like. Go figure, right?

So, I’m hoping to do a little more of it this year—talking about writers, or musicians, or other artists—starting with Kelly Washington today.

You can find her at that link, of course, as well as on twitter at @kellywashwrites.

I decided to talk about Kelly now because she’s got a new short story out this month from Kaleideotrope and I didn’t want you to miss it. The story is titled “Dissonance.” I put it in one of my browser tabs a couple days ago, and just not got back to it. It’s an outstanding piece of science fiction. You should read it—though I give you fair warning, Kelly (1) will not pull any punches, and (2) will ask you to work a little in the process.

She’s playing with timelines, with metaphor, and with the essence of what it means to be … well … I’ll call it “alive” and leave it to you to figure out what I mean.

I first met Kelly at a writer’s workshop a few years back.

The thing that struck me about her work was that she wasn’t afraid to put things onto the page that maybe some others wouldn’t. I’ve always thought that was an attractive quality in a writer, and it’s something I try to remember when I’m throwing my own words down. The bottom line is that Kelly swings for the fences. When you pick up a manuscript she’s written you know it’s going to have something to say.

If you follow my links to her stuff, you’ll see she writes a lot of romance, a solid chunk of darker romantic fantasy, and bits of science fiction. It’s all good, and it’s good because she understands characters. She pays attention to detail in all the right ways. There is, for example, a reason she chooses the rose-tinted teacup and its matching saucer in what is technically the second sequence of “Dissonance.”

So, yeah, you could do a lot worse than to spend some time on her work, starting with “Dissonance” and, of course, going from there.

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