“Mae Jemison Cheeks” published in “Schlock Magazine” (2,361 words)

This week I got a real, full-length short story published. It is called “Mae Jemison Cheeks” and you can read it here, in “Schlock Magazine.” I’m also really proud of it—and not just because “Mae Jemison Cheeks” represents a bit of a branching out for me. When I first started writing fiction all I wrote was scifi, or “speculative fiction,” if you want to get slightly “snobby.” This was my first foray into writing something without any supernatural elements, and yes, the magazine cover below might seem contrary to what I just said, but please give it a shot. I really feel like the hard work I put into it shows and hopefully you’ll like it as much as I do. Now a few notes.

First, I was partially inspired after hearing a story about Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel. You can read about it more in this article, but in short, Putin, current and former president of Russia, met with Angela Merkel, current chancellor of Germany, in 2007. Rather famously, Merkel has been scared of dogs, or at least is uncomfortable around them, since she was attacked by one in 1995. So when they met Putin brought his dog Konni to the meeting, and you can make of that what you will, but in any case I thought it would make an interesting basis of the story. Though with all of that said, Konni doesn’t look too scary.

Second, as for Mae Jemison, and why she’s a cool person: Jemison was the first African American woman in space, orbiting in Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. She entered Stanford University at the age of 16, and four years later completed requirements for a degree in chemical engineering and African American studies. Then she got her MD from Cornell, opened a dance institute, joined the Peace Corps, joined NASA, and broke protocol every day in space by beginning radio conversations with “Hailing frequencies open.” Oh also, she was the first ever astronaut to appear on an episode of “Star Trek.” Cool right? And now you know!

–Jeff and Leah

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