I’m writing this tonight from my desk in my living room/office while eating dinner. It’s been that sort of weekend. Not bad, but gone too quickly. My desk sits in front of a window and from it I can see the people in the apartments across the street, in their kitchens or dining room or hybrid spaces like mine. I know they can see me too.
Do neighbors in NYC wave to each other? Or do we politely pretend we don’t have windows into each other’s lives?
I was going to talk about my writing this week, but honestly, works-in-progress are not very interesting to talk about because it’s usually the same update week after week: Still writing and still revising. So I’ll just say that one delightful surprise was getting the Long List Anthology, Volume 8 in the mail! This has my story “Questions Asked in the Belly of the World” as well as many other amazing pieces published in 2021. As a reader, I alway really enjoyed this anthology series.
Seriously, having a four day weekend has been so nice. I managed to spend part of the long weekend with my family, eating tons of home cooked food and playing with my dog. Hope those of you in the States have enjoyed it as well.
Not much to report on the home front this week. I continue to make headway on short story edits, essays, and new story drafts. Although progress is slower than I would like it to be. (It always is.)
This week, I finished reading the short story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell. I found her storytelling craft exceptional, even though not all of the stories resonated with me. One of the things I liked most about it was how varied and unique each story was in terms of topics, settings, and breath. Each piece had a mix of darkness and humor, though the ratios varied from story to story.
I also saw the animated movie Porco Rosso by Hayao Miyazaki. It came out in 1992, but I never seen it before and there was a matinee over the weekend at one of the dine-in theaters in Brooklyn. So with coffee and truffle popcorn, I watched this strange, beautiful film and was once again fascinated by Miyazaki’s dreamlike way of storytelling. I learned recently that he doesn’t use a script when creating movies. Instead he creates a storyboard and he doesn’t know how the movie is going to end until he draws it.
Which, as someone who has to literally write things down to give them shape and meaning, I find that mind blowing.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with this: If you’re looking for a SFF short story to check out this week, try Slow Communication by Dominique Dickey
It’s that time of year again and I’m not talking about the holidays, though I’m excited for American Thanksgiving next week. (Four day weekend and homemade cranberry sauce!) Award season for the science fiction, fantasy, and horror community has begun, and it’s good practice to post a year end round up of your work and where to find it.
Also, since Twitter seems on the verge of collapse, I thought I’d mention that you can find me on Mastodon at @email@example.com.
Also, I’m hoping to post on this blog weekly.
Okay, onto the stories. It’s been a bit of a rocky year for me in terms of writing, but three stories of mine were published and in some excellent venues.
Published March 2022 in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. 7,600 words (novelette)
“It should be noted here, at the beginning of the record, that the decision to invite such an esteemed and unknowable entity was not made lightly nor without a great deal of heated debate among the crew. [Addition: Upon reflection, Pilot Uma and Navigator Wilson conducted most of the debate and, ultimately, made the decision. The events that followed could have perhaps been avoided had they sought wider counsel.] However, it was agreed by all that the potential results were worth the risk. The crew was eager to
Published January 2022 in Slate Magazine. 7,000 words (short story)
“The open road is just potholes and misery, but Sabrina loves it anyway. Not that she has anything against the national train system, trains are great. But it’s the challenge, the potential to rebuild everything, that has her doing final checks on Gran’s old Jeep at the starting line of the Great American Road Race.
Not that Gran would’ve recognized her beloved car.”
Published June 2022 in the Bridge to Elsewhere Anthology. 4,000 words (short story)
“Tessa rubbed her face. Click, click went her teeth, but now, her only accompaniment was the ship’s deep hum. The junkyard man had warned her she was on borrowed time with The Castaway when she’d bought it, but there was something, something that Tessa couldn’t quite name, that whispered, Don’t give up on the ship. Not yet“
That’s it! What have you read this year that you’ve loved? Have you published something that you’re proud of? Please feel free to leave a comment!
The last five months been some of the most stressful months of my life and I’m finally getting a chance catch up on the things I’ve missed. I’m writing more again and trying to reengage with the SFF community. I’m slowly responding to overdo emails and tackling some of the less urgent things on my to-do list. I’m noticing the less urgent things too, like how I moved my Tupperware containers into my new apartment, but not all of the lids.
I had a great time in World Fantasy Convention last weekend – it was a last minute decision to go and I’m glad I did. For me, it’s always a revitalizing to go to cons. So much of writing is done alone and for me, going to a con is always a reminder that there’s a whole community of people creating and writing, geeking out about stories and stressing out about the industry too.
I’m currently working on some solicited stories and have been trying my hand at writing more personal essays. Some things I can’t talk about publicly yet, but I can share that my story “Waystation City” will be published in Uncanny Magazine early 2023! If all goes to plan, I should have a few more things coming out in early 2023. Until then, I’ll remain cryptic
One bit of exciting news is that I will be doing a reading at the KGB Fantastic Reading Series on January 11th with Chris Cevasco! I’ve been a fan of this reading series for a while and am super excited to get to be a part of it!
I’m going to try to update this blog more often now that Twitter seems to be imploding. I’m aiming for once a week, but maybe that means only posting a recipe I tried or what I’ve been reading.
Hope this post finds you all healthy and safe. I’m going to keep this quick today because I’m not feeling well and am quite tired, but I wanted to let you know that I have some exciting things going on next weekend. And it will all be online!
First up, I’ll be on a panel at Luxcon 2022. Troubling Tropes: Depicting Disability – Saturday at 9:00am ET
Next, I have a reading at Flights of Foundry. Reading – 10:00am-11:00am EST in The Eyre. (Note: An hour is a long time to read, so I probably read for 20-30 minutes and host a kaffeeklatsch-like Q&A the rest of the time.)
Lastly, I’ll be teaching a class for Clarion West Online called “Persisting as a Short Story Writer” from 4:00pm-5:00pm. Here’s the details. There’s still a few spots available!
Is it too late to still be wishing everyone Happy New Year? I think January 19th is riding that edge, but since this my first post of the 2022, I feel like I can get away with it. So anyway, Happy New Year! May 2022 be full of happiness, success, and relaxation for you. Because what’s the point in welcoming a new year if not to hope for something a little better than the year before?
Anyway, the end of 2021 was crazy busy for me – full of projects I couldn’t talk about yet. I still can’t talk about a few of them, but I share a few things.
First off, I have a story coming out later this month in Future Tense Fiction! The theme was the future of transportation, so I reimagined the Great American Road Trip. It was a fun project to work on.
If all goes to plan, I’ll have another story out in February in one of my favorite magazines, but the details are still being worked out for that.
In addition, I have two stories coming out in two different anthology projects. The first of which is Bridge to Elsewhereby Outland Entertainment which is to be released in June. This anthology is all about spaceships and their crews. The second one is Luxcon Anthology with speculative stories based or inspired by Luxembourg. The anthology should be coming out in spring or summer 2022.
I’m not sure what happened to 2021. Where 2020 seemed to drag on and on, 2021 flew by. I suspect the pandemic has truly warped my sense of time. It’s a little frightening.
In terms of writing though, 2021 was another amazing year. I had one novelette, four short stories, and one essay published. One of my stories from last year was a finalist for the Nebula, Hugo, and Locus Awards. My work has been translated into a half dozen different languages, including Klingon. I got an agent and I taught my first writing related class.
I’m still stunned to be honest.
Anyway, if you’re catching up on reading from 2021, here’s my work that came out this year:
As I write this, it’s almost the weekend and I’m settling in for a few days of story revisions and writing related work. I have a handful of stories coming out in 2022 if all goes well – two that are finished and accepted, one that I’m revising this weekend, and one that is only a few opening sentences in my notebook. (That last one is a problem child.)
However, one of the two finished stories is going to be in the Bridge to Elsewhere anthology, edited by Julia Rios and Alana Joli Abbott, published by Outland Entertainment. The anthology is centered around space exploration and daring crews. My story “The Music of a New Path” is about an AI ship that changes course without warning, while the crew races to figure out why before it’s too late. It was fun to write!
The project is currently running a Kickstarter and the list of authors included for this project is amazing. Please consider supporting the anthology here.
That’s it for now. I’ll be posting my year end eligibility post at some point this weekend. Probably.
In any case, thanks for reading and I hope you are staying safe and happy wherever you are.
The Hugo Award is an annual science fiction and fantasy award celebrating writers, artists, podcasters, game writers, editors, and TV/film writers. It is one of the most prestigious awards in the field and the ceremony is hosted every year by the World Science Fiction Convention or WorldCon. This year the convention will be on Dec 15th-19th, 2021 in Washington, DC.