“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!

“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!

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!

Beyond The Trenches We Lie is now up at Escape Pod!

This creepy little science fiction story is now up for your reading and/or listening pleasure here.

Most of the time, when people ask me where I get my ideas from I can’t give them a good answer. Story seeds just sort of appear, usually when it’s most inconvenient. But in this case, “Trenches” was born from a Codex story competition in which you received a setting from another contestant and had to base your story around that scene.

Mine came from the talented James Beamon, who gave me this setting:

Your scene is a trench, the foremost of an interlaced network of trenches. Wooden beams line the sides of the rough hewn trench to keep the earthen walls from collapse. Unmarked crates are in this trench, their contents as yet unknown. On top of the crates are personal effects: a straight razor, a ragged picture, a tin cup, a mirror, batteries. Behind this trench are the other trenches in the network, also rough and crudely dug. In front of this trench, topside, is a lush field of emerald green grass. A small brook babbles its crystal water some few scant yards ahead in that grass field and in the distance a copse of trees stands unmolested and inviting. It is far from no man’s land; it is every man’s land.

Now I know nothing about trench warfare or the military and I didn’t have time to do research because, you know, hard deadlines. So I told my characters to start making things up – until I figured something out. Except, turns out that once a narrator starts lying, they don’t want to stop.

The song that I played on loop while I wrote and edited this story was Speed The Collapse by Metric.

Anyway, hope you enjoy!

And It’s Live! Voices in Solitude at Daily Science Fiction

Yay! Daily Science Fiction has emailed Voices in Solitude out to subscribers today! This is my second time appearing at DSF and being a long time reader of the magazine, I’m thrilled.

For those of you who aren’t subscribed to DSF you can find the story posted here.

If you want to know which song was my soundtrack as I wrote this story, you can find it here.

Apologizes for my lack of response on social media today. I’m currently traveling abroad and my email is being less than helpful. Also, I’m relying on WiFi. Also, I’m having too much fun wandering around the city to bother checking my devices regularly.

Regardless, hope you enjoyed the story!

Update: Story Sale to Escape Pod!

UPDATE 3/7/15: “Voices in Solitude is schedule to come out one March 31st, 2015 at DSF and “Beyond the Trenches We Lie” is scheduled for May 2015!

I’m excited to announce that my story “Beyond the Trenches We Lie” is going to be published by Escape Pod magazine. This was my winning story from the Codex contest Setting the Stage back in 2013. The goal of this particular contest was to write a story based on the scene given to you by another contestant. So, special thanks to James Beamon for giving me such an awesome setting to work from and to all my beta readers and fellow Codexians who believed in this crazy story even when I didn’t.

I don’t have a date of publication yet for this piece or for “Voices in Solitude” which got picked up by Daily Science Fiction in December. But when I do, I’ll be sure to post an update.

 

Story Link Love #3

Wow, I’m terrible at remembering to post here. Regardless, I promised to post a few links to stories I’ve read and really enjoyed recently, It’s a short, incomplete, erratic list; a handful of picks from some of my favorite magazines which I don’t read with enough consistency.

They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain by Rachael Acks

The Mercy of Theseus by Rachael K. Jones

Five Stages of Grief After the Alien Invasion by Caroline M. Yoachim

Resurrection Points by Usman T. Malik

The One They Took Before by Kelly Sandoval

I probably should have warned you that most of these are quite sad and/or terrifying. So it goes.

In other news, I recently sold a story to DSF called “Voices in Solitude”.  No publication date scheduled yet, but this is my third  SFWA qualifying sale! Will post more details when I have them!