I’m so excited to share Ungnyeo, the product of a wonderful 14-day collaboration I did back in July with Brooklyn-based artist Rachel Egan. Big thanks to editor Lisa Locascio for introducing me to Axel Wilhite, who co-founded 7×7 along with Amy Bonnaffons. Inspired by the surrealist game of exquisite corpses, 7×7 pairs together a writer and artist. Over a two week period, the participants take turns sending each other work to create an improvised narrative. With Rachel, we came up with what became Ungnyeo.
Not only was I given the opportunity to collaborate with another artist (something I always wanted to do but had no idea how to initiate), I got to play with and retell Korean mythology, specifically the Dangun creation myth that involves Ungnyeo, the bear that became a woman. In that story, there was a tiger that wanted and did not end up becoming human. I always wondered why a bear and tiger would desire to be human.
Check out the gorgeously designed 7×7 site. They post new collaborations every Thursday, and I’m really curious to see how this magazine will grow over time.
Joyland published my short story, Norse Gods, Venice Beach. Post-Ragnarok, the gods prepare to meet at Idavoll. Hod is assigned to distribute the rings that will grant the gods passage. Her brothers–Hermod, Thor, Vidar, Vali, and Balder–start coming by her house in the Venice Canals to say hello.
This story was edited by Lisa Locascio, Joyland’s Los Angeles editor, who has a story herself that I really love called Barri Gotic, revolving around an English professor’s trip to Barcelona. Very funny, and very honest in its yearning. Read it!