New Story “A Record of Our Meeting with the Grand Faerie Lord of Vast Space and Its Great Mysteries, Revised” at Beneath Ceaseless Skies!

I’m a little late to posting about this new story because my life has been a bit insane. A little over a month ago I accepted a new engineering position and now, a handful of weeks later, I’m sitting in an apartment in Brooklyn with my laptop and other essentials, but with most of my belongings in storage.

I’m still reeling from all the changes, but I’m also excited.

But right before I decided to upend my life, I wrote this story. I created it very quickly – when I was extremely tired and my exercise schedule was messed up (hence my writing productivity was also messed up.) I wanted to tell a time-looping story, but I all my initial ideas feel too much like Groundhog Day. The idea of revisions and how a story can change over time has always fascinated me. How you can redirect a story by adding little details here or reframing a moment there. So I decided to try that on an extreme scale with this story.

A Record of Our Meeting with the Grand Faerie Lord of Vast Space and Its Great Possibilities, Revised” is one of the most difficult stories I have ever written.

At some point, I wasn’t even sure it made sense to anyone but myself – that’s how zoomed in I was to each sentence and every worldbuilding detail. I couldn’t see the larger picture anymore. So I’m eternally grateful to Beneath Ceaseless Skies editor Scott Andrews and my beta readers for their help on this one.

I figured a time-looping story needed a looping song as its soundtrack, so I was listening to Zoë Keating “Possible” on repeat as I wrote and rewrote this story.

Hope you enjoy this science-fantasy story!

New Story: “If We Make It Through This Alive” Up at Future Tense Fiction

New story days are the best days. And I’m thrilled to say that my story “If We Make It Through This Alive” is now free to read over at Slate.com’s Future Tense!

I’m so excited to share this story with the world! It’s about a road race across America in a climate-wrecked future where the highway system has been abandoned and trains are the main mode of transportation. I’ve been working on this piece for several months now and it was definitely a challenge to keep it in the short-story word range. There’s a wonderful companion essay to the story “How Heeding Disabled People Can Help Everyone Survive a Crisis” by Damien P. Williams.

This story has several point-of-view characters, each with her own history and goals. One of the biggest challenges was to make sure each character had a chance to tell her piece of the story and to make sure she came alive against the backdrop of where she came from. So, it made sense for Sabrina, Jody, and Fern to have their own theme songs while I was writing this story.

For Sabrina, the song was “Artificial Nocturne” by Metric. For Jody, it was “I Need My Girl” by The National. And for Fern, it was “No Lights, No Lights” by Florence + The Machine.

As always, I hope you enjoy the story and the essay!

Year End Eligibility Post 2021

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:

1. Questions Asked in the Belly of the World

  • Published in Tor.com – September 29, 2021
  • 9,000 words
Cover Art by Rebekka Dunlap

2. The Stop After the Last Station

  • Published in Uncanny Magazine – Issue 43, November/December 2021
  • 3,000 words
  • Audio version at the link
Cover Art by Grace P. Fong

3. The Family in the Adit

  • Published in Nightmare Magazine – Issue 103, April 2021
  • 3,000 words
  • Audio version at the link
Cover Art by Alexandra Petruk

4. RE: Bubble 476

  • Published in Asimov’s – March/April 2021
  • 5,100 words
Cover Art by NASA

5. The Memory of a Memory is a Spirit

  • Published in Lightspeed Magazine – Issue 129, February 2021
  • 4,000 words
Cover Art by Grandfailure

6. Essay: A Million And One Different Ways to Find Your Artistic Voice

  • Published by AAPD
  • 1,000 words

That’s what I have for 2021. What have you read and loved this year? I’m always looks for recommendations.

Happy reading!

New Story: “Questions Asked In the Belly of The World” Published at Tor.com!

Dear S—-,

I need you to keep me honest. In the next story I write I’m not allowed to use my favorite props, i.e. body-less voices, ghosts, and characters whose lives revolve around making things. Bonus points if no one gets eaten.

In the meantime, I’ve created a monster.

This was an email I sent to my friends in November 2015 when I asked them to read a very early and very rough draft of this story. It was only a shadow of what this story would become, but I knew even then that there was something in it worth telling.

I’m very pleased to announce that that first draft became “Questions Asked in the Belly of the World” and it is now live and free to read over at Tor.com.

This is a story that took me five years to get right, partly because it was outside my skill level to tell until recently and partly because it took me a while to figure out what the story was actually about. It is one of the strangest stories I’ve ever written and one of my most ambitious ones to date.

My writing soundtrack to this story was “Arsonist’s Lullaby” by Hozier.

Hope you enjoy my monster!

Year End Eligibility Post 2019

It’s that time of year again where writers and readers start looking back at what’s been published in the last 12 months. I think I say this every year, but I really mean it this time: 2019 was an INCREDIBLE year for me in terms of publishing. I had 6 short stories come out in professional markets and my first nonfiction essay, as well as a handful of reprints.

Here’s the list. Some stories have an audio version too. They can be found at the link.

THE FICTION STUFF

Give the Family My Love – Clarkesworld Magazine (with an audio version) – 5,300 words

I’m beginning to regret my life choices, Saul. Also, hello from the edge of the galaxy.

Before the World Crumbles Away – Uncanny Magazine – 6,000 words

The lakeside painter is lying, but no one seems to care.

It’s a beautiful lie, even Elodie will admit that. There are two lovers on the pier with the painter, sitting for their portrait, and she’s honest about the way the light of the setting sun catches their hair, the way the breeze ripples their clothes, how they lean into each other. She gets so many details right that even Elodie doesn’t notice what’s missing at first.

On the Other Side of the Line – Fireside Magazine (with an audio version)- 1,700 words

My dog is longing for something just out of reach.

Move Forward, Disappear, Transcend – Clarkesworld Magazine (with an audio version) – 2,400 words

I lost my favorite fingers as I was walking to the library. Spotting it first from the corner of my eye, I glanced down. A gasp seized up in my throat. Instead of the long, beautiful, expertly manicured prosthetics that Sonya made me, there were ten empty nubs. And the grief I’d been carrying these last few months grew heavier

Team Work – Fireside Magazine (with an audio version available) – 1,000 words.

I was never an amazing Super. I only joined the team because I wanted to be with people like me. I never thought I’d, you know, try to save anyone.

The Gods of Empty Places -Pantheon Magazine – 1,500 words

Jamie was the first of us to give a piece of herself to the gods of empty places. She started by trimming the tip of her left ring finger.

THE NONFICTION STUFF

How to Send Your Disabled Protagonist on an Adventure in 7 Easy Steps – Uncanny Magazine 1,200 words

And that’s the list! I’m always looking for recommendations. What have you read this year that you enjoyed?

“On the Other Side of the Line” Now Live at Fireside Magazine!

I’m very excited to announce that my story “On the Other Side of the Line” is now live and free to read over at Fireside Magazine! It’s narrated by the fantastic C. S. E. Cooney and it has an amazing illustration by Amanda Makepeace.

This isn’t a happy story, but it’s one I felt I needed to write. It was fueled by loss and the looming grimness of our future. It was heavily influenced by some traveling I did where there was an international fence line and witnessing people on the other side standing of it, staring through the wires.

It’s not a happy story, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.

The dog in the story is based on a real one. He name was Tiger and he was the best. We lost him over a year ago and I still miss him dearly.

Picture of Tiger

Oh! I almost forgot. The song I listened to on repeat while writing and editing this story was Now and Not Yet by Hammock.

Give your loved ones a hug tonight.

Stories Published in 2019 (So Far)

2019, so far, has been a good year for me in terms of writing. Like an extremely good year. Like, I haven’t been doing a proper job of talking about which stories have come out, which ones have audio links, what’s been reprinted, etc.

So, this is a post to recap what’s out and what’s coming out soon!

Online Publications:

Stories in Anthologies:

  • The Gods of Empty Places – Pantheon Magazine – February 15, 2019
  • Forthcoming: “Heavy Lifting” – Best Science Fiction of the Year Vol. 4 – July, 2019 (preorder here)
  • Forthcoming: “And Yet” – The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2019 – September 2019 (preorder here)

Podcasted Stories:

Seriously though, I’m still stunned by this list.

Happy reading!

“Before the World Crumbles Away” Live at Uncanny Magazine

A new story is up and free to read online over at Uncanny Magazine! “Before the World Crumbles Away” is a bit different from most of my other stories. It’s near future focused and centered around a relationship of two people with different world views. There’s also an interview posted where I discuss the story in more detail and talk about its influences.

I listened to two different songs on repeat as I wrote this story. The first was “Gone” by My Bubba and the second was “Forgive Me” by Sky Gienger.

This is the third(!) story of mine that Uncanny Magazine has published. Uncanny and other magazines rely on readership support to continue publishing short fiction. If you like this story or any story they have published, please consider supporting them.

Lastly, a podcast of “And Yet” should be up later this week at Escape Pod. I’ll post an update here when it is!

Happy reading!

“Team Work” Now Live at Fireside Magazine!

I’m please to say that my short story “Team Work” is now up and free to read (or listen to) at Fireside Magazine!

My goal for this story was to get better at writing flash fiction – stories that are 1,000 words or less. You’d think that after spending so many years as an editor assistant for Every Day Fiction and Flash Fiction Online, I could put together a flash story, no problem. But unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Writing them still takes tons of practice.

Anyway, in this story I wanted to combine my love of weird, almost useless superhero powers with anxiety and acceptance. I listened to tunnels pt.2 by Joshua Burnside on repeat while I was writing and editing this story. For me, the song captured a sense of urgency and anxiety.

I also want to add that if you’ve enjoyed my stories or the magazines that published them, please consider getting a subscription or supporting them on Patreon. Most fiction magazines run on razor thin margins and need the support of readers to survive. Fireside Magazine makes both ebooks and print books for their subscribers. I get the print books quarterly and they’re beautiful!

That’s it for now. Next week my story “Before the World Crumbles Away” will be live at Uncanny Magazine and an audio version of “And Yet” will be podcasted in Escape Pod. I’ll post updates here when they’re available, so stay tuned!

As always, thanks for reading!

“Give the Family My Love” Live at Clarkesworld Magazine!

I’m thrilled to announce that my story “Give the Family My Love” is now free to read over at Clarkesworld Magazine! In a few weeks, it will also be narrated by Kate Baker and on the Clarkesworld podcast. I’ll post a link when that’s available.

This is my first story to appear in Clarkesworld and it took me years to write. For a long time, I didn’t quite have the skills to tell it and frankly, the future Earth in this story is based on climate change research, and it terrifies me.

I don’t remember what I was listening to when I was working on the first draft of this story (it was that long ago), but for later drafts is was Florence + The Machine’s Big God on repeat.

Hope you enjoy the story!