Year End Eligibility 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, writers and readers in the science fiction/fantasy world start looking back on what was published over the year. In terms of writing, 2018 has been a good year for me. I was extremely fortunate to have two stories come out in Uncanny and a story in the final issue of Mythic Delirium.

And Yet– Uncanny Magazine, March 2018 (4,600 words)

Heavy Lifting – Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction! (Uncanny), September 2018 (5,000 words)

Graffiti Guardians – Mythic Delirium, April 2018 (1,800 words) 

“Right now, there’s a silent monster roaming the city, and though Adwin has never seen it and doesn’t know exactly what it is, he can’t pretend not to see the damage. The blocks full of empty houses and empty people. Like a parasite has gorged on their insides but kept the façade intact. And lately, that emptiness has been spreading.”

That’s what I got. What have you read this year that you’ve enjoyed? 

Story Link Love 11/17/18

It’s been a while since I did one of these. I’ve been reading a bunch of short fiction lately and a friend asked for some recommendations and links. For now, I’m just recommending three stories because I read somewhere that no one really checks out recommendations past the third one. I have no idea if that’s true or not, but I find long lists overwhelming sometimes.

So, in no special order:

Thirty-Three Percent Joe” by Suzanne Palmer

‘[CC] Welcome online, Cybernetic Elbow Model CI953-L. This is your introductory Initial Boot orientation. You are currently in a locked and muted configuration while external medical systems run diagnostics to see that your replacement procedure has been fully successful. If so, you will fully join the collective cybernetic units that currently comprise—with your addition—approximately thirty-three percent of the biological unit known as “Joe.” ‘

The Oracle and the Sea” by Megan Arkenberg

‘When she plays, it’s the old songs—not her heavy concertos but brisk two-fingered melodies, folk tunes and old hymns, the first songs her youngest students would master. Every month when the soldiers bring her supply of flour and milk, they also bring waterproofed parcels of manuscript paper and cool bricks of ink. She always refuses them.’

How to Swallow the Moon” by Isabel Yap

‘Tonight, as in every night, she smiles when the door opens. Her arms loop over your neck; she leans in and rests her head against your cheek. She looks down at the basket between you. “Is this for me?”’

Hope you enjoy!

“Heavy Lifting” Now Live in Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction!

As soon as I heard that there was going to be a Disabled People Destroy anthology series last summer, I started plotting.

If you’re not familiar with the Destroy project, it’s a series that started with Women Destroy Science Fiction when critics said that woman writers were ruining the genre. Since then, there’s been Queers Destroy Science Fiction and People of Color Destroy Science Fiction (As well as Destroy Fantasy and Destroy Horror editions). Everyone working on these anthologies, from the writers to the interviewers to the editors, are part of the marginalized group of that particular anthology. Most of the characters in Destroy stories are too, because the idea behind this series is not so much to destroy, but to normalize narratives that have often been left out (or worse, badly handled) in the genre.

Disabled People Destroy was a project I’d hoped to be part of for a very long time.

So, I’m pleased to announce my story “Heavy Lifting” is now free to read online. It took me many drafts and much pacing and wringing of hands to get this story right. But it’s important to me to create disabled characters who are well balanced, otherwise healthy, and are perfectly willing to go on an adventure.

Sort of like me.

I always write to music. Strangely enough, I never found the perfect song to be the soundtrack of the story while I was writing it, but settled on “Shadow Preachers” by Zella Day because of deadlines. Also, I liked the song.

Hope you enjoy!

P.S. My personal essay for the Disabled Destroy series is also free to read here.

New Story: “Graffiti Guardians” in Mythic Delirium

I’m very pleased say that “Graffiti Guardians” is now available to read in Mythic Delirium’s 20th anniversary edition!

I wrote this story a few years ago when I was feeling hopeless about writing and wondering if it was worth all the time and energy I was pouring into it. This story was a reminder to myself that art is important, unexpected, and unpredictable. And I hope that if you’re facing similar struggles now, it will encourage you of that too.

Soundtrack: I wrote this story to Sharon Van Etten’s “Serpents” on loop.

Thanks for reading!

“And Yet” Now Live at Uncanny Magazine!

I’m so excited that my story “And Yet” is now up and free to read at Uncanny Magazine! This is a story I care deeply about, though it’s not personal. I’ve never been to a haunted house and my parents have always been super supportive. But it’s important to me because I want there to be more disabled characters in fiction that aren’t viewed through the lens of their disability. Who are individuals, first and foremost.

Also, I’ve been having a lot of fun lately bending time in my stories and I love having protagonists that are problem solvers to the core.

This story started its life as my week 2 Clarion West story while Kij Johnson was teaching. It was also revised frantically this fall while I was house hunting. I can now say from experience that you probably shouldn’t work on a haunted house story while trying to pick out your next home. It just adds another weird layer of stress to the process.

As always, I listened to one song on loop while I wrote and revised this piece. So thanks Woodkid for “Land of All

Hope you enjoy the story!

ETA: Oh, I was also interviewed up at Uncanny Magazine where I talk about the story and other things with Caroline M. Yoachim!

New Story is Up at Flash Fiction Online

Won’t lie, publication days are awesome. Technically, “Listen and You’ll Hear Us Speak” went live yesterday, but I was too brain fried last night to be trusted with stringing words together into coherent sentences. So here we are.

This very short story was an experiment to see if I could weave two parallel story lines with two separate points of view into a cohesive whole in a thousand words. I think it worked.

The song that was on repeat while I was writing/revising this story was “My Medea” by Vienna Teng.

Hope you enjoy!

“A Place to Grow” is Live at Beneath Ceaseless Skies!

I’m happy to announce that my story “A Place to Grow” is now free to read at Beneath Ceaseless Skies!

I’m pretty excited about this one. It was a huge technical challenge for me and took many, many drafts to get right. I’m not exaggerating when I say it took years for me to learn how to pull this story off. (I think I wrote the opening paragraph back in December 2013?) I’m extremely grateful to my very patient friends and very patient editor who help me through the iterations.

The song I played on repeat as I was writing and revising this story was “Outro” by M83. Because, naturally, my characters needed an epic soundtrack as they were trying to rebuild the world around them.

Hope you enjoy!

2016 Year End Post

Even in the best of times, these types of posts are always awkward for me to write. And 2016 has been a rough year on many different fronts. It feels a bit selfish to be posting this today (especially today) in the wake of all that’s happening in the world.

But terrible global events shouldn’t negate our small triumphs. So we fight on.

In terms of writing, 2016…hasn’t been bad to me. I had three short stories I’m proud of published in markets I really loved. These stories are:

They Said the DesertBeneath Ceaseless Skies, May 2016

A Non-Hero’s Guide to the Road of MonstersMothership Zeta, May 2016

Dido, RetoldStrange Horizons, September 2016

And as if that wasn’t awesome enough, “A Non-Hero’s Guide to the Road of Monsters” is going to be reprinted in Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017. How cool is that?!!!!

horton-yearsbest2017-cover

(Here’s the full Table of Contents.)

I’m hoping to post a “Fiction I Loved This Year” compilation here soon. Maybe in a few weeks, when I’ve caught up a bit on my “To Be Read” pile.

Special thanks to all my friends who offered encouragement, read rough drafts, and just listened when I was frustrated. I couldn’t have done it without you.

New Story Up at Strange Horizons

I’m excited to announce that a new story of mine called “Dido, Retold” is now live over at Strange Horizons! Please check it out here.

This is one of several stories I’ve written that attacks the traditional idea heroes and the way they warp their own narratives. Also, like my other stories, it took many, many drafts to get right.

As always, a shout out to the song I listened to as I wrote this one: “Storm Song” by Phildel.

Hope you enjoy!

New Story Live at Beneath Ceaseless Skies!

They Said The Desert” is now up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies for your reading (and listening) pleasure! Still can’t express how excited I am that this story’s found a home in one of my favorite magazines.

And let me tell you, this story was an exercise in tenacity. I wrote the first draft back in early 2014 as part of a contest on Codex. It was 750 words and completely terrible. Over the next year and half, I drafted and redrafted this story at least a dozen times. But I always felt like I was a half step behind where the story wanted to go.

But I caught up. I found it. (It’s now about 5k words.)

I think I went through a half dozen songs too as I was writing this. Took me a while to find the right one, to find the “sound” of the story. Finally discovered “Laredo” by Kenneth Pattengale and after that, everything started falling into place.

Anyway, enough rambling. Hope you enjoy the story!