MY NAME IS PHOBUS IRVING. [see photo] I am twenty-nine, two cats, semi-employed. I live in Awkward Corners, one of the domed colony towns on Mars, originally meant to be called Arcadia Corners, but something got lost in transmission. My parents were First Settlers. My painting blog PHOBUSPAINTSDAILY is linked to the big website EARTHPAINTSDAILY where artists from all over Earth post their daily paintings and try to sell them. My plan is to paint and post a new painting EVERY DAY. I will blog about the painting and my daily life on Mars WITH COMPLETE HONESTY! I hope you will follow me and enjoy the path I’m taking. Click if you’d like to buy a painting.
Spiderwebs in the Cupboard (January 1)
Oil on canvas panel, 6 x 6 in. / $12 plus shipping [Buy Now]
I opened a cupboard door in my kitchen, one I hadn’t opened for months. I was hungry and hungover from New Year’s Eve and I thought maybe an old box of Cheerios might have gotten pushed back there. But no. Instead, I saw two Waterford water glasses I’d inherited from my aunt, and some jelly glasses. And a spiderweb in the corner. And that’s what I painted. (Yes, we have insects inside the domes on Mars now just like on Earth. They arrived on fresh produce.)
Tomato with Big Stem (January 2)
Oil on canvas panel, 6 x 6 in. / $20 plus shipping [Buy Now]
I used water-mixable oil paint for this one. A complicated stem zigzags up to the top of the canvas, very Japanese. It rises out of a round ball of cadmium red hue and alizarin crimson. The photo doesn’t do it justice, but the background turquoise shows visible brush marks.
It’s not that easy to paint every day! I had a lot of laundry this morning and then Copycat threw up, and I had to scrub the rug, and my friend Spirit bipped about her boyfriend, and I had to bip back, and then it was time to show up for my shift at the Awkward Corners Art Center. What a mess! Three new shows were going up in the three different galleries, and the artists had the street doors open and were busy lugging in boxes and canvases and setting up their stuff. And it got cold in there because the dome air is only heated to fifty degrees. I had to wear a crochet hat over my new pink hair. I know I have blue hair in the website photo, but I change the color every week or so, and it’ll be blue again soon, maybe turquoise.
Classes had just started, too, and the oil painting students were still in the classroom, cleaning their brushes and packing up their equipment, when the watercolor class began to pour in (Ha! Ha!). The watercolor teacher came upstairs and complained, so I had to go down and say something. Then the oil painters huffed out, but didn’t put away their easels. The watercolor class needs a line of big tables. But the custodian didn’t show up for work today, so I had to fold up the heavy easels (and I got paint on my hands!) and set up the heavy tables and locate enough folding chairs.
Then I was just sitting down at the counter in the lobby and had touched the screen so I could look at EARTHPAINTSDAILY and see what other people had already painted today, when this tall guy loomed over me and said in a snicketty voice that he needed a hammer. He was wearing a long thrift-shop overcoat and big thick-rimmed glasses.
“I don’t have a hammer,” I said in an equally snicketty voice.
He looked affronted. “I was told all the tools I need to hang my work would be available here.”
“Well, usually. But somebody’s got the hammer upstairs in the little gallery.”
The guy shook his head. “You mean you’ve only got one hammer? I bet you don’t have an alarm system either.”
“Nope. It’s a community art center. We don’t have a big budget.”
He shook his head. “My last show was down on Earth, in Chicago, and they hung it for me. All I had to do was supervise.”
I shrugged. Most of our shows are by local artists, or by artists from the three other Mars colonies, and only the artist’s friends come. But sometimes the Art Center puts on shows by artists visiting from Earth. They’re usually teachers at our university branch and they think they’re better than us. I should know! I’d gone to Earth for an MFA myself and learned that Earthlings consider us Marsters to be provincial hicks! Then when I graduated, I discovered that I was unemployable and no longer knew how to paint!
When I got back to my apartment that evening I still hadn’t figured out what to paint today. Then I saw the tomato and here it is. Voilà! After the painting was done, I cut up the tomato and made a salad.
Face of a Cat (January 3)
Watercolor on 140 lb. cold press paper, 6 x 6 in. / $8 plus shipping [Buy Now]
I’ve got two cats, Copycat and Ditto. This is Ditto’s face—those are her golden green eyes—and you’d recognize the pattern of her fur, but her fur isn’t really blue and green with little drizzles of black, it’s more a golden sand color. But since I change my hair color all the time, I thought I’d do the same for Ditto.
Deimos bipped me to ask if I’d read the local news that morning and I said no ‘cause I can’t afford to subscribe. Deimos is my older brother. He’s an artist, too. He went to college on Earth, and then moved to New York City to be a GREAT artist but got discouraged and moved back up here where housing is subsidized if your parents are First Settlers. Now he works at the Mars Bar and Grill downtown, and claims he doesn’t paint anymore but I don’t believe him. He says he’s saving his money to go to Tahiti like Gauguin and maybe he’ll start painting again in the South Seas. He has his mornings free, so I wasn’t surprised when I heard a knock at the door and looked through the peephole and it was him. He had a fernpress edition of the Awkward Corners Times and on the front page—there it was!—a story about a robbery at the Art Center.
I spread the fernpress out over the watercolor stuff on the dining room table and read how someone had broken into a lower-level window last night and stolen an oil painting from a new show that hadn’t opened yet by the well-known artist James Wiki.
And there was a picture of the guy who wanted the hammer!
“Wow!” I said.
“His paintings sell for thousands,” Deimos said. “He’s big. Did you see the one they stole? Here it is,” he said, pointing to a fuzzy photo.
“I don’t remember it,” I said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had any crime at the Art Center before, except that time the high school kid broke in and stole his friend’s clay pot for a joke. There’s a security guard who wanders around, but he mainly just tells homeless guys to move on.”
“Are those pretzels open?” Deimos asked, eyeing the new bag sitting on a chair on top of some old magazines.
“Go ahead, open them,” I said. “How’s your trip to Tahiti coming along?”
“I just need three thousand dollars more,” Deimos said, ripping open the seaphane packaging. “Then I’m off.”
Bowl of Pretzels (January 4)
Oil on canvas board, 6 x 8 in. / $25 plus shipping [Buy Now]
I arranged the leftover pretzels in this little Venetian bowl that used to belong to my grandmother on Earth. The bowl is a swirly greenish-blue. I think orange cheese puffs might have been a better color choice but I didn’t have any. But it was fun shaping the knotted pretzels and adding the salt dots.
Yesterday I told Deimos about my new blog and the websites where you can sell your daily paintings for small sums of money and build your reputation, but he just rolled his eyes. “I bet James Wiki doesn’t sell paintings that way,” he said. “Some big gallery in New York represents him.”
Navy Blue Glove (January 5)
Oil on linen board, 6 x 6 in. / $37 plus shipping [Buy Now]
This blue glove fell out of my brother’s pocket when he was leaving my house. He was reaching for some tissues to blow his nose, and it dropped out and I didn’t say anything because the blue wool blob on the floor said: PAINT ME! And here it is. I had trouble with the composition. How should I arrange it? Should the background be abstract, or should I show the glove on the cream-colored tile floor of my hallway? I decided on snow, which I remembered seeing when I lived on Earth. The glove has fallen out on a snowy sidewalk. Doesn’t it make you feel sad?
Two Blue Gloves (January 6)
Oil on canvas, 8 x 10 in. / $60 plus shipping [Buy Now]
My painting shows the index fingers of the two blue gloves almost touching. Can you feel the tension in the composition? The tension is real. Here’s what happened.
After I painted my brother’s blue glove yesterday, I photographed it, and zapped it into my blog and onto the EARTHPAINTSDAILY website. Then I took the hoverbus to my afternoon shift at the Art Center. I expected to hear A LOT about the burglary, and I was right. The gallery was still closed off with yellow tape. And Cummings the guard, his eyes watery with joy, leaned on the counter above my work screen and filled me in on all the details. How he’d been the one to open up yesterday. How he’d noticed a strange cold breeze that seemed to be coming from downstairs. How he’d tiptoed downstairs. How he’d discovered the broken window. How’d he come back upstairs to figure out what it meant. How he’d gone into the James Wiki gallery. How he’d seen the space on the wall where the painting used to hang (he couldn’t remember which painting). How he KNEW what had happened. And called the police. And then called Mr. Wiki. How he went back downstairs and saw it. How he didn’t touch it.
The glove. The blue wool glove. The burglar had dropped a glove just below the basement window. And now the police had it, and if there was any DNA on the glove, they had their man. Or woman.
Of course I thought of Deimos! I still had the glove I painted but did he still have the mate, or had he lost that glove, too, when he stole James Wiki’s painting in the Art Center? See how I jumped immediately to the conclusion that my brother was an art thief. Here was my reasoning. My brother had stopped painting (so he said) and I didn’t think he was very happy since he’d come back to Mars. My brother knew of the famous New York painter James Wiki (I’d never heard of him) and seemed strangely excited about the story of the burglary. He brought the fernpress over to my apartment. Was that because HE was the one who stole the painting? Why would he? Jealousy? Or was he planning to sell the painting to get the money to go to Tahiti?
What should I do? I wanted to talk this over with somebody but I didn’t know who. My friend Spirit’s a blabbermouth. And I’ve been without a boyfriend for six months, not that I ever trusted Lowell all that much. He and I had been living together since we met down on Earth in grad school, and discovered we were both children of First Settlers, though his parents lived in another colony. He moved back here with me and we both managed to get art-related part-time jobs. He was a guard at the campus art museum. And then he cheated on me! With another guard! They did it under a case of Chinese vases donated to our provincial little gallery by some nonprofit up on Earth.
So all I could do was show up at the Mars Bar and Grill after I got off work. It was early, lots of empty tables, so I cornered Deimos down by the bar. His face was still puffy from a recent nap. I pulled out the navy-blue glove which I had in my bag and waved it in front of his face.
“Did you lose something?”
“Hey, thanks,” he said, grabbing for it, but I held it back.
“Where’s the other one?”
“Huh?” he said. “I guess in my vest.”
I knew the waitstaff hung their coats and stuff in a room behind the bar. I went back in there and found Deimos’s puffy vest on a hook, and to my great relief the other glove was balled up in his pocket. He wasn’t the thief!
“OK if I borrow these?” I asked.
He shrugged. “I’ve got another pair just like them,” he said.
So I took the gloves home, and here they are!
Chocolate Kiss (January 7)
Oil on cotton canvas, 5 x 5 in. / $75 plus shipping [Buy Now]
Lowell texted and asked if he could stop by. He texts me about twice a day. He can’t believe I threw him out because of one night of groping—just groping, he claims—under the Chinese vases. He claims Mimi started it. It was extra chilly in the museum that night. She suggested spooning so they could keep warm. Then she started bipping him CONSTANTLY. He was always checking his device. I had grabbed it from him one day when we were sitting on the couch. She’d sent a picture of her breasts.
I can’t get her to stop, he had said.
Oh, yeah. Sure. Or maybe I just didn’t want to believe him.
When I opened the door, Lowell was wearing a thick grey sweater and his tightest jeans. He stood there blushing. I noticed again what long lashes he had, longer than mine.
“What’s up? I asked briskly.
“Present,” he said, picking up a wrapped package that he’d set down in order to take off his gloves and knock on my door. “It’s the Epiphany, right?”
“Yesterday was the Epiphany.”
“Whatever.” He handed me the package. He knows I’m a sucker for presents, so of course I tore off the candy cane Christmas wrap right away. It was a big glass jar full of silver- and gold-wrapped Hershey’s Kisses.
“What the hell? Are you trying to get me fat?”
He shook his head. “Spirit told me about your daily painting blog. And I looked at EARTHPAINTSDAILY too. Everyone on Earth is painting candy for the holidays—so I brought you some to paint. By the way, I liked your blue gloves. I used to have a pair like that. But did you have to blab to everyone in the universe about our relationship?”
“I want to tell the truth,” I said. “Anyway, I haven’t gotten a single response to my blog. People up there don’t care about people down here.”
“You’re right about that,” he said. “I went to that James Wiki’s opening last night, the guy who had his painting stolen? I thought you might be there, but you weren’t. Anyway, I tried to talk to him, but he kept looking over my shoulder as if he couldn’t wait to get away from the dumb Marster who’d cornered him. I was just asking him about getting represented by a gallery up on Earth, but he said he didn’t really know how it worked. It was just luck in his case. Then he grabbed a glass of wine and walked off.”
“That sounds like him,” I said.
I put the glass jar down on my coffee table. Lowell was already down on the floor petting Copycat’s belly. She was purring and rolling. She’d take him back all right. So would Ditto, who came running out of the kitchen meowing.
After an hour of playtime with the cats, Lowell realized he wasn’t going to get to pet my belly anytime soon and he left. That’s when I reached into the glass jar for this little, shiny, foil Kiss. Then I ate a bunch.
Bird and Lime (January 7)
Oil on canvas panel, 6 x 8 in. / $43 plus shipping [Buy Now]
This little ceramic blue bird, last year’s birthday present from Lowell, is facing the lime I bought for margaritas. They’re about the same size. The bird’s beak is almost touching the lime’s round, knobby stem-button. Are they going to kiss? Could anything come of this relationship?
The stolen James Wiki painting has been found! It wasn’t found by me but it could have been found by me because it turned up in the UNI TOILET near the upper gallery and I go in there every day. But for weeks one of the stalls has been out of commission. On the door of the stall there’s a sign that says: OUT OF ORDER.
During my shift, the plumber finally came to fix the broken toilet. And lo and behold, when he opened the stall door, there was a painting sitting on top of the toilet seat! He hollered down and I ran up. The painting was a big one, 60 x 30 in., showing a barefoot woman with long hair and a pale face and scary, yearning eyes. I knew it was called Medusa, though the hair wasn’t all that snaky.
So I bipped James Wiki. He showed up ten minutes later in paint-stained jeans and a ragged T-shirt under his leather jacket. I’d told the plumber not to touch the painting (fingerprints), so he’d gone downstairs to get a Coke. I took James Wiki upstairs to the UNI TOILET.
The artist contemplated his work propped up on the toilet seat. He kept shaking his head. “It looks OK,” he said. “No visible damage. I don’t want to touch it and rub off any fingerprints or DNA. But can you understand this? Why would someone do this to my painting?”
“Maybe they were going to steal it and got scared,” I said.
“Or is it some kind of joke? A comment?” He looked at me. He’d taken off his glasses, and I noticed that his eyes were dark with gold lights in his irises. He was staring at me more than he stared at the painting, tilting his head, squinting a bit. “Your hair is green,” he said. “Lime green. The other day it was…?”
“Magenta,” I said.
Martini Glass with Pickled Onion (January 8)
Watercolor on Yupo with fixative, 8 x 8 in. / $25 plus shipping [Buy Now]
I thought of inventing an olive for this glass, or copying one from a photo, but since all the olive trees on Earth died in the big blight thirty years ago, I thought the painting might seem too nostalgic. So I opted for the little translucent onion that actually came in the drink.
Last night James Wiki stopped by the Art Center and asked me to have a drink with him. He wanted to know where we should go. I told him we had two choices—The Mars Bar and Grill or The Canal, a trendy place with tables set out along a fake indoor waterfront with trees full of glittering lights.
He opted for The Mars Bar. It was a stormy night with rocks pinging against the dome, and he kept looking up. When we got inside, he suggested we sit at the bar on tall red stools. So we did. I ordered my onion martini—he said they called them Gibsons in New York—and when it came, a winking wet glass full of pale shimmery liquid, I knew I was going to paint it, and before I took my first sip, I snapped a photo.
He laughed at me. “Now why did you do that?”
“So I can paint it.” I told him about my blog PHOBUSPAINTSDAILY and how I planned to paint one small painting every day until I broke through. He pulled out his device and immediately scrolled through my first seven paintings.
“Not bad,” he said, slipping his device back into his pocket. “But why don’t you paint Mars?”
“You mean Mars landscapes? That’s what people mean when they say paint Mars.”
“Yeah, I guess so,” he said. “This planet is pretty boring but I love the color of the sky here—I’ve never seen so many shades of red.”
I shook my head. “I hate nature,” I said. “I try to pretend it’s not out there.”
Just then a waiter came by with a basket full of folded Breathers. “High-risk storm alert,” he said. “We’re passing these out just in case.”
I took a Breather for each of us. “See what I mean?” I said.
“What are these?” James Wiki asked.
“Portable Breathers in case the dome gets cracked during the storm. You probably have some in your apartment. They’re mandatory.”
He picked up the Breather and turned the package around. “I guess I didn’t know what they were for.”
“Tell me about your own painting,” I said.
And he talked and talked about the mythical women he had painted, was painting, and planned to paint. He told me how he’d started out doing installations because that’s what everyone did back then, but after he’d gotten a lot of notice for the wrecked car filled with champagne corks, and for the butchered stuffed animals, he realized that he wanted to paint, really paint, with canvas and oil. So he did, and his stuff sold. But now he felt he was getting stale, so he’d taken this gig on Mars, hoping for a little stimulation.
The waiter came back and took our orders. I noticed Deimos hanging around a table near the bar, pretending to arrange the silverware as he listened to James Wiki. Deimos and I had an agreement that we would not acknowledge each other when I ate at the Mars Bar and Grill, but he recognized James Wiki, and I knew he must be dying to meet him. He kept making little noises, ringing glasses, scraping chairs, and finally I gave in and called out, “Hey Deimos!”
He came over at once. “This is my brother Deimos,” I told James Wiki. “He’s a painter, too.”
“Oh, I get it! Phobus and Deimos, the two moons of Mars! Hi Deimos.”
I think Deimos was going to sit down at the bar in his waiter’s garb but the sirens went off. “Oh, shit,” he said, “Major Alert!,” and hurried off. I grabbed James Wiki’s Breather and showed him how to unfold it and place it over his head. I placed mine over my head.
“What do we do now?” he mouthed through the obscuring veil of seaphane.
“Wait,” I mouthed back.
Sunset on Mars (January 9)
Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in. / $100 plus shipping [Buy Now]
Dear silent fans of PHOBUSPAINTSDAILY, I have some good news to report! This morning when I checked my painting blog, I discovered that someone wanted to buy my painting Bird and Lime! This is the first painting I’ve sold to a person who wasn’t a relative or a friend. I now have to ship it off to an address in Phoenix, AZ!
We didn’t have to wear the Breathers too long last night. The All Clear sounded in ten minutes. We got our faux steaks and baked Mars-grown potatoes with imported Cheddar topping and drank big glasses of red wine. Deimos was kept busy and didn’t come back to the bar. Whenever there’s an All Clear after a Major Alert, everyone in Awkward Corners goes out for drinks or dinner, glad to be alive, and the Mars Bar and Grill filled up fast. I could tell that James Wiki was feeling a little shaky all through dinner, though. He kept biting his nails, and he’d twitch and look up at the ceiling at the least noise. This was his first visit to Mars, he said, and although everyone up on Earth had reassured him about the strength of the Mars dome, he’d been having trouble sleeping, knowing it was there.
“I grew up with it,” I said. “It’s just part of life. There are a lot of ways to die.”
James Wiki said he wanted to paint me as Pandora sometime, and I said sure. When we got outside, he couldn’t find his gloves. Then he said he was feeling shaky after the Major Alert, and asked if I would come back to his place for a while.
“I’ll show you my etchings,” he said.
“What?” I asked.
“It’s a joke,” he said. “I’ll make you some cocoa. It’s always so cold here.”
He had a studio apartment on the second floor of a retro building made of Mars brick just up the street from the Art Center. It was just a bare cube with one of the new sleep tubes in the corner, and some blank stretched canvases leaning against the wall. On his easel, he was starting a face—right now there was just a block of burnt sienna and a pair of eyes against a grey background. A big black cape was tossed over a folding chair—a folding chair that looked like it had come from the Art Center. I wrapped myself up in the cape.
“This is nice,” I said. “Real velvet, right?”
“That’s my James Whistler cape,” he said. “You look good in it.”
So he kissed me, and we messed around. I took off the cape and the rest of my clothes, and so did he. We crawled into the sleep tube. I’d never been in one, and it was nice. The temperature was perfectly regulated for nudity, and there was plenty of room for two to stretch about.
“How do you like painting on Mars,” I asked after a while.
“I hate it,” he said. “I was hoping to jumpstart my career but it seems like a dead end up here—I mean down here. I keep forgetting that Earth is up there. Even after all that good publicity after the theft of my painting, hardly anyone came to my opening. You didn’t even come.”
“No, I mean how do you like PAINTING on Mars?”
He grunted. “You saw my canvas. That’s all I’ve got so far. You know, I don’t think the story even made it to Earth.”
“The story about the theft of my painting. Hey, where are you going?”
I was crawling out of the sleep tube. “Home,” I said. “I want to paint that martini glass while I’ve got all this adrenaline.”
So I did.
But today I thought about what James Wiki had said about the Mars landscape. And the sky beyond the dome seemed especially dramatic this afternoon. I used a lot of Venetian red and yellow ochre and Quinacridone gold to capture the tones. It felt a little cheesy, I admit—a landscape, come on! I could just hear the note of mockery in my fellow student painters’ voices! But I wasn’t a student anymore.
Sorry, no painting today (January 10)
I woke up this morning to find a message from the woman in Arizona who was going to buy my painting to give to her sister for her birthday. She’d just realized that the shipping for the $43 painting was going to cost $1800, so she’d cancelled the order.
My spirits were sort of low after that, but I decided I just had to get back into the groove and paint something. But what should I paint today? I hadn’t thought about my subjects much—there’s always something to paint!—until James Wiki asked me why I didn’t paint Mars. So I did that sunset yesterday. But today I spent a long time scanning the ten thousand new paintings on EARTHPAINTSDAILY. At first I was excited. There seemed to be so much to paint! I saw bright paintings of oranges and orange slices, lots of apples, lots of pears. I saw trees, straight trees and twisted trees and extinct olive trees. I saw interiors, landscapes, portraits, clouds, baseball players, and cathedrals. I saw lots of flowers, impressionistically painted flowers in watercolor and flowers painted in such detail, in acrylic, that they looked like photographs. I saw a lot of shaggy goats, a lot of frogs, and many cats. People had painted chocolate ice cream on sticks, chocolate labs, sweet-faced cows, snow cones, pairs of lips, birds, tigers, and teacups. They’d painted abstractions! They’d painted boats! Boats, boats, boats. And old houses and views out windows, toy trains, straw hats, mountains, glaciers, and the canals of Venice. They’d painted everything! And it struck me that there was nothing left for me to paint. If I could think of it, someone had already painted it. And when I looked at the fantasy category, it was the same thing. I found angels and melting faces and weird mushrooms, along with flying seahorses, glass cities, comic book spacemen, monkeys in Elizabethan ruffs, and dragons, all the usual stuff.
I was about to make myself a cup of tea, huddle up with Ditto and Copycat, and dream up a new career, when my device pinged. It was a bip from Ewa, the Art Center Director. Something important had come up. She needed me down at the Art Center right away.
Ewa was waiting at the front desk. She was wearing a blue blazer and a long printed skirt with clogs. She was nervous, and kept licking her lips and pushing strands of her streaked hair behind her ears. Cummings was with her, and a plainclothes policeman whose name I didn’t catch. She told me they’d been looking at the surveillance images, which they’d only just accessed because of a technical glitch, and wanted me to confirm something.
My heart pounded. I followed the others into Ewa’s office, and we stood around her screen. A little clip began. It showed the empty, shadowy gallery where James Wiki’s paintings hung. Nothing happened for a while. Since there was nothing to see, I kept staring at a corner of the gallery where two walls came together. The shadows were interesting. Then a hazy figure appeared in the far doorway. You could hardly see the hazy figure as it crossed the room. It looked more like a ghost. It stood in front of a dark painting, almost blending into the painting. But you could sort of tell that it was wearing a cape as it reached up both arms. It removed the painting from the wall. The face of the figure was hidden by the painting as it carried it out of the gallery, but the cape fluttered.
“Do you recognize that person, Phobus?” Ewa asked.
“No,” I said. “It’s too dark.”
“We think it may be Mr. Wiki himself, the artist. But we’re not sure. We wanted to see if you could perhaps confirm that. You’ve seen him a few times, right?”
“It doesn’t look like him to me,” I said. “It could be anyone.”
Ewa looked at Cummings. Cummings shrugged. The police detective, who’d said nothing, shook his head.
Corner of a Room on Mars (January 11)
Oil on canvas panel, 6 x 6 in. / $350 plus shipping [Buy Now]
This somewhat abstract white and cream painting is a corner in my apartment where two walls meet. One wall is shadowy. The other is not. The baseboard creates a bit of diagonal interest. Notice the reddish dust on the floorboards. The Mars touch!
This is the last of my paintings that will appear on EARTHPAINTS DAILY. It will soon appear—as soon as we get it set up—on MARSPAINTSDAILY, a new website that I’m organizing with my brother Deimos, my painter friend Lowell, and, though he doesn’t know it yet, my depressed new boyfriend James Wiki. I’ve raised my prices, too. Art from Mars ought to cost more than art from Earth.
MAURA STANTON is the author of ten books. Her stories appear in Antioch Review, The Baltimore Review, Big Muddy, New England Review, and Upstreet, She won the Supernatural Fiction Award from The Ghost Story and a 2014 O. Henry Award. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana.