A couple of days ago, I think I figured out why I never see any of my own work as “dark”. To me, something is dark if it develops in a chilling and unexpected, or a disturbing and surprising, way.
My own work usually isn’t unexpected or surprising to me. Therefore, it doesn’t register as dark. The implied body horror, the deaths, the strange alterations of self, the loss – that’s not dark, that’s what’s expected. (Not that these things inherently make a work dark, but they can, and they’re examples of what I’ve seen people point to.)
And yes, I have the same issue with a lot of horror – there’s very little of it that I parse as “dark”, simply because it’s horror, and that’s what I came for. It can be gruesome, chilling, heartwrenching, startling, dour, or dire – but because I’m going in expecting and hoping for that, it isn’t usually unexpected or surprising.
Aside from that, there’s been a lot going on, but a lot of it’s also been fairly personal and is in progress, so I’m going to settle for saying that I think things are improving.
My story “Mechanical Connection” is out now in the inaugural issue of Cossmass Infinities, which is available from a plethora of sources here. (Seriously, I count four even if you lump all the Amazons together.) I got my copy this morning, and it’s a pretty fantastic issue; I hope you enjoy my contribution, the story of a superhero who is more comfortable with machines than people.
My story “The Smell of Antiseptic” is available now in issue 25 of Pulp Literature; the print and ebook copies can be purchased here, although the ebooks don’t unlock until January 1. It’s my story about ghosts and animal experimentation, inspired by some documents I ran across a reference to several jobs back.
(The prices are in Canadian, by the way, in case it makes a difference.)
Cossmass Infinities is a new SF&F magazine that’s launching on January 1, 2020, and I am really pleased to be able to say that they’ve accepted one of my stories. “Mechanical Connection” will be appearing in their inaugural issue; you can check out their site here.
My story “Ink, and Breath, and Spring” is available now in issue 40 of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. It’s available in print or ebook format, and you can read my tale of a dead body found in a rather odd library alongside a beautiful collection of other works.
I am honestly very pleased that this story has found a home (and what a home). I hope you like it.
I have recovered from April! Unfortunately, we’re over halfway through May, so.
The combination of “fiscal year end” and “end of term” was interesting. I really enjoyed the chance to teach, and from the (safely anonymized) student comments I didn’t do too badly? I’d like to do it again (although as a part-time professor, I won’t get the chance until winter).
I’m currently looking for stories to recommend for a slightly updated version of the course. I’m largely trying to keep it to prose, and looking to the Hugos and Nebulas as a filter, but it’s still going to be a bit of work.
I went to TCAF this weekend past! It was honestly fantastic, and I had a great time. Came back with a few more books than I was expecting, but it was a great weekend, and the trip each way gave me a lot of time to read. I’m hoping to get some reviews up.
On a personal note, I just handed in my comments on the page proofs of a story that should be coming out later this year, and I’m generally feeling pleased with that.
Barrelling on at high speed towards winter, now. Hallowe’en was nice, if quiet; we resorted to putting a jack o’lantern out on the front porch and a small sign asking people to follow the honour system, and then refilling the candy bowl regularly.
I’m working on NaNoWriMo, but rather than aiming for thousands of words, I’m aiming for hours of editing. It’s going pretty well so far; I’ve revised one story, and done the first half of my revisions on another.
(The first story I revised, I’ve also come up with an idea for another change to it that I think will make it stronger, so it’s not exactly done yet. I’m just figuring out how to make the change I want without completely altering the tone.)
If you ever find a good crit group, by the way, treasure them for they are absolute gold. Sometimes you genuinely do not see what is wrong with a story and then three people very gently tell you that you appear to have started a 21-page story on page 9.
Also, the Kickstarter for After the War kicks off on Monday, and I’ll be sharing my story “Interview with Cortesa Singh” then! Hoping you enjoy it.
First off, you may note that my avatar has changed; it is currently an illustration by Claudia Cangini in the vein of the After The War RPG, which will be debuting on KickStarter in a few weeks–on November 12–at which point I’ll be able to share the story I wrote for it.
October was a one-convention, one-conference, one-vacation month in the middle of crunch time, which means the time off was lovely but also extremely dense. Coming back to work has been a bit of a shock, but I think I’m catching up on things again.
A final note: I went to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference and would love to go again; I have not taken notes like that since university, and I feel like my brain is still digesting quite a bit. It was lovely to see people (I finally met Cat Rambo in person!), it struck me as an incredibly well-planned conference, and there was karaoke.
First, I’m very pleased to announce that the Kickstarter for After the War will be launching on November 12, and I’ll be able to share my story “Interview with Cortesa Singh” then! I’ve had a chance to read some of the other stories that will be published, as well, and I think it’s a really fantastic collection in a great setting.
Second, it’s been a bit. We’ve been getting into crunch time, and last weekend was mostly spent recovering, and this weekend I was planning to post an update but we lost power for nearly thirty hours (along with much of the city), so plans were kind of knocked for a loop.
I really do want to give a huge shout-out to the Journalling for Creativity with Fran Wilde class that Cat Rambo orchestrated; it was fantastically helpful in terms of a way to get some things organized, and I’ve managed to figure out a couple of sticking points as a result. I’d really recommend it if you get the chance (and please remember that Cat Rambo’s classes have three scholarships each).
(Finally, I’m done with my rabies vaccines. So that’s nice.)