This novella, Take What You Can Carry, is a product of the fruits of my efforts in my Creative Writing: Fiction Seminar. However, the idea originated long before I signed up to take this class. One rendition that lived in my head was an Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife-esque story about a woman spontaneously generating a clone fetus of herself. Another idea was titled Everything At Once and was about a young woman who winds up pregnant after a first date only to find out that the father of her baby was seriously injured on his way home from the date, thus spurring the couple to consolidate their lives, recover, and prepare for the baby in less than nine months. Neither ideas were very good or very fleshed out in my opinion. Plus, I had a long-harbored fear of stepping out of my usual genre of realistic fiction to write a piece of speculative fiction. But for some reason, at the start of this semester, this felt like the right idea to run with, so I did. And I made it to what feels like a finish line, maybe not the finish line, but definitely some kind of monumental marker along this long stretch of writing and revision. So I give you…


Take What You Can Carry

They say when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, but what do you do when there’s too many dogs to walk, two postmenopausal muggers on the loose, and one unexpected pregnancy? That’s for MJ McCormick to find out. Upon taking a pregnancy test in a coffeeshop bathroom one afternoon, she soon finds herself grappling with the reality of a strange genetic condition, its religious connotations, and her family’s secrets.

the same–different–the same attributes,

different yet the same as before.

— H.D., “Tribute to the Angels”

Table of Contents:

Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten

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