About Chica by Alex Dally Macfarlane

(Debbie's Tale)

"Chica, Let Me Tell You a Story" had an almost record sojourn at GUD. Alex Dally MacFarlane submitted it in March 2007, and it finally saw print when Issue 3 was released in Autumn 2008. To this day I don't know if Alex was incredibly patient, or if she sent us the story and then forgot all about it!

Chica came in while we were reading slush for GUD Issue 2, and I first read it shortly after it arrived. I slapped a 'smilie' on it and so it survived the first round of slush. However, I only gave serious consideration to publishing it when I began reading for Issue 3. During the handover from one issue to the next, the incoming instigator gets their pick of anything the outgoing instigator short-listed for their issue but didn't actually buy. Chica was one of those. Because the instigators often have very different tastes, the handover process can result in a flurry of (apologetic) rejections.

But I read Chica again with a growing sense of wonder, and immediately bagsed it for Issue 3. Stories that unfold without constantly explaining themselves are a joy. Plus, Chica drew me in and fascinated me. Every time I read it, I was sure I understood it, yet, after a short period of reflection, I'd realise I didn't quite understand it yet. But the joy of reading it never palls.

There are some fascinating notes about Chica in the database. Kaolin wrote, 'I LIKE it.' Julia wrote, 'Weird little thing.' And Sal--the Issue 2 instigator--put 'sure. this works.' There's also a copy-editing note that I don't even remember writing.

'Historic moment--sqrl puts her foot down (paw?).' Hmm, I wonder what that was all about.

So, after a year and a half, one author revision, and at least five copy-edits, Chica made it into GUD. And here it is in .pdf format for you to enjoy free during #gudhalloween.

Remember: It's a weird little thing and we like it!