It has been a less than stellar time recently, but I do appreciate both the people who check in and the ones who create stories that I can wrap my brain in.
(In other news, I can now drive a car without a driving chaperone in the front seat! This saves me considerably less time than I thought it would, but at least I am struggling with getting things done in more places.)
Can’t believe January’s nearly over; can’t believe that January of 2023 is nearly over.
(I was comparing this date to various fictional settings. We are twenty-five and a half years past the first (mentioned) Judgement Day, Rache Bartmoss died last year… the Fallout timeline is still ticking along, I suppose.)
I’m trying to write more this year than last. I think going back to the office some days is actually helping; when the same physical space is one where you both handle work and try to put together fiction, it is a bit hard to switch gears sometimes.
I feel like everyone I know is tired; I am very lucky that many of the people I know who are tired are also very kind.
“After Midnight, in a Dead Woman’s Shoes” is out in the Summer 2022 issue of Kaleidotrope; you can find it here. It is the story of a murdered woman trying to find out who killed her.
I wrote and submitted some back when I was a teenager (I have a signed rejection letter from Ann Kennedy for something I sent to The Silver Web), but I took a break for quite a while. When I started up again, this story was the first one I finished and started sending out.
I am so very, very pleased to be able to share it with you. I hope you like it.
I am extremely pleased to say that I will have a reprint in the forthcoming Noir Fire anthology from Futurefire.net Publishing! It’s coming out shortly, and I have to say, the book already looks absolutely gorgeous. You can see the cover reveal here; more details soon.
It’s very nearly 2022. I was surprised to realize I hadn’t done this yet; I know that I saw discussion of eligibility posts, and remember signal-boosting a few, but somehow I didn’t quite make the connection. In any case: this year, I published the following works for the first time, both short stories.
“Mudpaws and the Tall Thing”, published in Alternative Deathiness (on Amazon in print and Kindle). November 2021. 1181 words.
“Small-Town Spirit”, published in issue 97 of Fireside Magazine. November 2021. 1976 words.
Reviewed in November’s Quick Sip Reviews by Charles Payseur, and also in Maria Haskin’s SFFH Short Fiction Roundup for November 2021.
I was also very pleased to have two reprints come out this year. “Ink, and Breath, and Spring” was selected for The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2020 (available at Kobo, IndieBound, and Amazon). Additionally, “The Gannet Girl” was published in episode 690 of PodCastle with an amazing narrator.
Finally, both “Mechanical Connection” and “The Draw of Empty Spaces” appeared in the Cossmass Infinities – The First Year collection.
(And for the annual recap: this year had 3 acceptances (plus 2 for stories submitted last year), 20 submissions, and 13 rejections (plus 8 for stories submitted last year). 4 stories are currently out, plus 1 submitted last year. This is significantly down from previous years, and I have accepted that, because good lord there’s a lot going on.)
I will be honest, the last two months have been rougher than I realized. I thought it was fine, and then I realized that it had actually been two months, and I counted up some of the things that had happened (both in terms of personal stress and in terms of what had gone unremarked-on here).
There has been a lot, and I have fallen behind.
In terms of positive things which I would like to acknowledge (distinct from writing; I will do a separate post for that later today); I work for a wonderful place of employment for my day job, I repainted the bathroom and replaced failing fixtures, and my favourite cat seems to be getting better.
I am sad I have not gotten out more this year, but I am very happy that the place I have to stay is as good as it is.
My story “Small-Town Spirit” is available now from Fireside Magazine! There is an amazing cover illustration from Steffi Walthall, and I am just smit. It’s a short little story, about… well, about a nice little town. Honest. (I’m terrible at summaries.)
I am very pleased with this one, and would like to thank Chelle Parker for the editing; it really helped me fine-tune a couple of points in the text and I love the end result. I hope you like it.
A lot going on, but I was genuinely shocked to realize I hadn’t mentioned this earlier, and I want to share: my story “Small-Town Spirit” was accepted by Fireside Magazine! It will be appearing in issue 97; you can wait until it’s released online, or subscribe by Hallowe’en to get the ebook.
(I really cannot say enough good things about the latter option! There will be stories in this issue from John Wiswell and Ursula Vernon and Sydnee Thompson, and a poem from Virginia Mohlere. Seriously.)
Well, I am pleased that I can log in to my site’s dashboard again, and I have just successfully downloaded a fresh and complete backup. (I am bravely resisting the urge to print it all out for extra safekeeping, because that would get a little weird.)
In other news, I have dug up the weeds in the back yard (so basically, I have dug up the entire back yard, hopefully there will be space for grass now). It took me seven and a half hours over two days. I did enjoy the exercise, and I’ve been sleeping well, but I wish there was more time in the day.
(On the second day, I was bitten by blackflies. I have never been bitten by blackflies before, and I have to say I do not recommend it. My mental image of them has always been as being like houseflies, so when they were landing on me I thought they were gnats or fruit flies and didn’t worry about it. And then the bleeding started.)
In other news, not much. I am striding bravely forward towards the end of the year and the season of rain and spice, fortified by antihistamines and coffee.
My short story “The Gannet Girl” is out at Podcastle, read by Kaitlyn Zivanovich, and can be heard (or read) here. I absolutely love this reading.
(This work initially appeared in issue 102 of On Spec Magazine.)
I hope you enjoy this story of gannets, and loneliness, and the place where the sea meets the sky.