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Tag: Northern Michigan

The Skull House in Midwestern Gothic

Very excited to be in the summer 2014 issue of Midwestern Gothic, a great journal based out of Ann Arbor.

First paragraphs:

Lillie Korpela collected skulls. She disappeared deep into the federal forest behind her family’s old dairy farm in northern Michigan’s Bear County during all seasons for sixty years, trudging through knee-high snow in the winter to find the remains of animals that had starved to death. In the summer, the waxy green woods were a hot riot of mos- quitoes and flies. She would brave the heat and bugs to find deer, raccoon, and porcupine carcasses decomposing and rank in the steamy swamps and drag them back to the farmhouse to clean, a process Lillie had learned when she was 18 and checked out a book on osteology from the Sampo branch of the library. 

Cover image copyright (c) Tara Reeves.

Cover image copyright (c) Tara Reeves.


Here is the Midwestern Gothic to buy and cherish

The Final Voyage in The Great Lakes Review

My contributions to the Great Lakes Review aren’t limited to this Bear County story, I also coordinate the online Narrative Map for the journal.


First paragraphs:

Captain Frank Bjorklund stared at the silver Samsonite emblem swimming on the black suitcase like a beacon in the dark and knew it was time to flee. Age and disease had taken his vigor. He refused to look at his naked body in the mirror anymore. The sag of his underarms and the mushy lumps his muscles had become didn’t make any sense. When his wife fell asleep at night, he would do push-ups in the dark. They were weak and feeble— nothing like what he performed in the Navy years before—but they built his strength up, something he didn’t want his wife to know. It was like he was a convict planning an escape, which in many ways he was.

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