This story is entirely a product of the Clarion West Writers Workshop, and all the demented inspiration, hard work, and cheerful collaborative insanity the workshop entails.
"Sister Jasmine" began as a Week One writing exercise: John Kessel asked us to write a scene that incorporated as many random words as possible. "Sister," "habit" and "crucifix" were on Kessel's list, as were "Einstein" and "Wal-Mart," so clearly a scene involving a nun, a Wal-Mart expedition, and a zombie-hunting robotic dog were in order. I've always loved post-apocalyptic SF, and so my scene rapidly expanded into a tribute to all the triffid-infested, boy-and-dog, monks-saving-humanity stories I've read.
I really enjoyed writing about Sister Jasmine, and by the end of the workshop, I'd decided that she deserved a story of her own. "Sister Jasmine Brings the Pain" is a version of that Week 6 story, albeit a version improved by the feedback of my classmates. It's thanks to them that you have the story you do.
Speaking of my classmates, I understand that the very talented William T. Vandemark has a story coming out in IGMS soon. I had a chance to read a version of "Forcing Coin" at Clarion West, and I thought it was wonderful: a dark tale, but with a real sense of heart to it. I can't wait to read it again in IGMS.