This spotlight will be slightly different from the other since…it’s me, the one writing all these updates. Hi! I’m Claire Houck, pen name Nina Waters, fandom name unforth. I own Duck Prints Press LLC, and I’m the lead editor for this anthology, and I was selected to contributor a story through the same anonymous process as our other contributors were (and I was depressingly prepared to have to step up and say my own application writing sample wasn’t actually good enough for me to be included in anthology with this many wonderful writers – five members of our management team applied and only two of those five were accepted, though the other three will be in our second anthology).
Working with everyone on this project, from recruitment, through development, through editing, and now during the Kickstarter, has been every bit the wonderful experienced I hoped it would be when me and my advisors first conceived this anthology. We’re so excited to share it, truly. And now, a bit more about me as a writer, and a teaser to my story…
Claire Houck (she/they/he) is queer, 38 years old, married to the lovely Lisa, and a mother of two. Claire has been writing fanfiction since the young age of seven, when she penned (well, two-finger typed and printed dot matrix) the timeless classic “the story of my littl ponies and the glob.” Since then, her spelling, grammar, and prose have improved immensely. She has written over two hundred short stories, a number of novellas, and 16 novels—some original, some fanfiction—including A Glimmer of Hope, which was successfully Kickstarted and self-published in fall, 2016. Before she became a full-time writer, Claire had a career as a professional grant writer and program evaluator, providing consultation services for the New York City Department of Education and other non-profit education organizations.
Story Title: Knishes and Noshes
tags: blind character, creature character, dragon, fluff, interspecies romance, Jewish character, meet cute, mentions of ableism, mlen, mute character, non-binary character
Aaron wasn’t sure when he developed a crush on the dragon.
It might have been when he realized that the halo over the dragon’s head was the size and shape of a yarmulke with a heat-generating band inserted within it.
It might have been when the dragon special-ordered three of Aaron’s Tu B’shevat platters, then tried to stuff a crumpled-up handful of bills into the International Tree Foundation collection box without Aaron noticing.
It might have been when, on a snowy Tevet mid-morning, the dragon stayed for over an hour, laboriously tapping their way through a one-sided conversation with Aaron.
He couldn’t have said, really—but he could say when he realized that the dragon maybe returned his feelings.
A cold and windy Thursday, with the forecast promising overnight ice storms.
The dragon came in and approached the counter. They set down a sheet of paper and a jar, the contents of which sloshed turbidly, turquoise, 16 degrees. Something—a talon, Aaron assumed—dipped into the jar and emerged coated with liquid. The paper’s location shifted, the tip of the talon swept lightly over the page, and letters formed in its wake.
I’m Eli, the dragon wrote.
What a lovely name.
This, and 19 other fantastic fluffy queer stories, can be yours by backing the Add Magic to Taste Kickstarter!