Counting ink; eligibility in 2021

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 KoboIndieBound, 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.)

Of small-town matters

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.

(Go Snallys!)

A gleeful note

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.)

Sea and salt take all of you, then.

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.

Chilly weather, and spring coming.

(It’s a little early to be that cheerful about spring, isn’t it? In fact, we’ve got the first serious snowstorm of the year rolling in right now. Nonetheless.)

The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2020 is out, and contains my novelette “Ink, and Breath, and Spring”. Currently, it’s only available electronically; you can get it from Kobo or Amazon. The physical copy is expected in a few months, due to some slowdowns with the… everything. I will mention it here when it’s out. 🙂

I am really proud of this story, which initially appeared in issue 40 of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and genuinely delighted that it has made it into a Year’s Best collection.

Counting ink, 2020

I had two acceptances this year; one for  a reprint of “Ink, and Breath, and Spring” in PodCastle, and one for “The Draw of Empty Spaces” in Cossmass Infinities. I was also asked if I’d like to have “Ink, and Breath, and Spring” in the next The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and I was really pleased with that.

I submitted stories 51 times in 2020, and got 43 rejections (35 were from 2020 submissions, and 8 were from submissions made in 2019). I also withdrew 4 stories (3 from markets I submitted to in 2020, and one I submitted to in 2019).

As of the end of the year, I have 11 stories out, which I am actually really pleased by, especially given The Year That Was.

Alright. On to 2021.

Eligibility in 2020

It’s summer weather again, but the calendar tells me we’re in November, so it’s time for this post again. This year, I published the following works for the first time, all short stories.


“The Smell of Antiseptic”, published in issue 25 of Pulp Literature. Winter 2020. 4185 words. A doctor who is dealing with ghosts, and animal experimentation, and not being able to run away from her own past. (An excerpt may be found online here.)

Reviewed in Amazing Stories’ CLUBHOUSE by R. Graeme Cameron.


Mechanical Connection”, published in issue 1 of Cossmass Infinities. January 2020. 4342 words. A superhero who is more comfortable with machines than with people, navigating friendship and family.

Reviewed in Strange Horizon’s quarterly Short Fiction Treasures by Maria Haskins, and also in Submit Your Stories Sunday by Jennifer Shelby.


The Draw of Empty Spaces”, published in issue 3 of Cossmass Infinities. September 2020. 5111 words. A story of emptiness, salvage, and scars, taking place in a strangely ruined city.

Surrey, again

SiWC is being fantastic and fantastically dense as always. I am going to need a couple of days after it’s all over to digest, but at least I knew to arrange for them.

The online presentations are interesting. I get the sense that they’re going a little faster than usual – I can’t quite keep up with some of the presentations, and need to leave a little bit of space blank to fill in a word or two in my notes later. On the plus side, everything’s recorded and available that way for a month, so there’ll be time to do that. I’m on the fence about the chat – some people use it to comment on what’s going on, some people use it for tangents that I find really distracting – but really, it’s the kind of thing that doesn’t have an in-person equivalent so I suppose I can just set it aside.

Dan Wells did a presentation on psychological horror that is making me want to dig up my notes from Hallier Ephron’s 2018 presentation on things that are creepy. The first is “what if you can’t trust yourself” and the second is “when things might not be okay but you still have room to hope that they are”, and I feel like there’s something to dig into at the intersection. Something about when hope is lying to yourself.

A bit scattered because I’m still waking up; have more thoughts but am going to focus on getting ready to interact with people and learn things.

Pleasant fall

I confess to preferring grey weather, but today is cool and pleasant enough that I am not minding the lack of cloud cover. I raked a lot of the back yard (I have no idea what I’m going to do about getting the violets out; they are absolutely brutally stubborn, and I would like a back yard that is not-them), I went out for a walk, and I’m making progress on both my current sweater and my tsundoku pile.

I’ve got *mumble* revisions on the burner and two stories in progress, so that’s going to be keeping me busy probably until the end of the year. I’m trying to make sure that I clear out time to just be not-productive; it seems to help. (Video games and horror TV, yay; I keep getting recommendations for a couple of things, so I’m bumping them up the list.)

Sent a withdrawal to what I’m pretty sure is a dead market this morning, which is never a particularly cheerful event. Still, I got two stories out today, and am going to be aiming for more.