WITH OUR POWERS COMBINED

At some point (last year? Two years ago?) my friend Victoria Feistner suggested writing snowballs together – exchanging emails where one of us would start a story, write a paragraph or so, and send to the other person to add another paragraph or so. It was a low-stakes way to keep us writing and keep us interested in writing. (My major flaw as a writer is that once I know what my story’s ending is going to be, I get bored and stop writing. After all, I already know how it ends. The surprise is gone.)

Victoria and I do not write the same way at all. She/they loves worldbuilding and just sitting that stool down and milking the worldbuilding cow for all it is worth. I, however, just want my characters to talk-talk-talk the whole way through. She/they loves science fiction and time-travel and digging into ancient civilizations; I… do not.

AND YET.

And yet we snowballed a story and she/they polished it up and sent it out and through the magic of ‘huh’ sold SIDE HUSTLE to Typehouse Literary Magazine and it contains every instance of the word ‘poot’ and all of its verbings.

When Victoria showed me the finished story, I could not remember who had written what. (I am assured that every pooting was mine, or at least I was the originator of the primal poot.) Which, considering how different our writing styles are, is pretty darn cool.

…I feel like I should be espousing a moral at this point but all I’ve got is ‘write however you want to write and let the editor sort it out but if you disagree with the editor that is totally fine and also see if you can sneak a poot in there, because it may go unchallenged and that will be very satisfying.’

poot.

Well Checka Checka Me Out

Just signed a contract for my story, “We Was Here,” with Welkin, a new magazine of fantastic literature. I hope that cover art is indeed going to be that spyglass dude on a mountain, because I do love me some classy black and white art. “We Was Here” is similar to “Love Finds a Way” in that they’re both kind of sexual but not in any way that encourages sex.

(The joke Derrick tells is one I heard from a Romanian friend many, many years ago and when I repeated it back to her recently she was HORRIFIED.)

“We Was Here” took 23 rejections (plus a withdrawal due to non-updates), so it does feel a very fitting title. We was here, and now we been seen.

OH ALSO Grace&Victory are open once again to quiet, cosy, NON-MURDERY speculative fiction submissions until December 31 2020. Full details in the link, but the pertinent details are: 500-5000 words, $0.01CAD/word (capped at $30 or 3000 words, so keep that in mind when you’re spinning your yarn), and DON’T DO A MURDER IN YOUR STORIES, GEEZ. Also don’t bring babies or the joy of motherhood into it, I simply do not give a shit (and as I am one of the slush goblins, my shits are worth something). We are looking for low stakes, reasonable resolutions, talking as a way of solving problems, and a sense of quiet satisfaction at the end of the story. It can be sad and give you feels, but seriously. Don’t do a murder. (Or be racist, sexist, ableist, sizeist, etc.) We would LOVE more science fiction.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Woo Makin’ It Official

With the contract signed, I can now say that LOVE FINDS A WAY has found its home with Perpetual Motion Machine’s Dark Moon Digest, huzzah! It’s a tale of carnival workers and genetic manipulation with vaguely giallo undertones. It’s also got very fun dialogue and is overall a jolly good romp. Consider LOVE FINDS A WAY, won’t you? Thank you.

Good News Keeps Dropping

Which is remarkable considering the death by a thousand cuts the rest of my life is going through, but at least in writerly news good things keep happening! https://andromedaspaceways.com (who also published “Long Hot Wait” way back in issue 59) is going to be publishing “(true),” another robowitch story with sassy robots, entitled white women, and side characters who do not care for your shit. Should be dropping at the end of September 2020, however long the rest of this oh-my-god-make-it-stop month is.

(Like seriously, I have some kind of cyst in my literal mouth that I’m waiting to get seen about, we had mouse issues in the apartment, and our fridge just broke down; one of the washing machines didn’t drain properly and our water’s been shut off for an indeterminate amount of time today. I don’t know who I pissed off. Oh and it’s a long weekend here, so anything that CAN be fixed is unlikely to actually GET fixed until next week at the earliest. My cyst (which resembles something like a tusk and something like a frog,) has, despite being a cyst in my literal actual mouth, somehow never cracked Top Priority status. It’s been there for three weeks and shit kept happening. MORE than mice and fridges shit.)

Anyway I think a lot about the ‘scream inside your heart’ meme these days.

Pandemic Brain Has Caught Up With Me

I hardly need to remind you that the COVID-19 pandemic is still well underway and I’m mildly surprised that it’s taken this long for my brain to fizzle out. As promised, this website is poorly maintained and sporadically updated at the best of times, and as these are Not Best Times, the simple keeping up with announcements is kinda shoddy.

That was not a well-parsed sentence, but we’re all doing the best we can right now.

In any case I think I’m able to announce by now that I’m going to be in AM Ink Publishing’s Unburied anthology, slated to come out in summer 2021. This is a very exciting one for me, as this story (“Open Up and Let Me In”) has been kicking around since 2014, racking up 30 submissions over 6 years, resulting in 28 rejections, two withdrawals, three short-listings resulting in rejections, two acceptances (one that amounted to nothing as the pub closed down before publication) and some VERY mixed reviews!

So it’s pretty darn great that it’s found a landing pad at last, especially since AM Ink is so… oh my gosh, so professional, they’re been a goddamn delight so far, laying out expectations and timelines and requirements, heck dang.

One of which being they need a bio written up by next week and I am terrible at writing lengthy bios so I’ve been putting it off and in fact am in the midst of doing it right now, as I’m writing up this post instead, so I am blaming this flibbertigibbet rambling on the pandemic instead of my deep distaste for writing bios that have any personal information about me whatsoever.

lol no actually I just hate writing informative bios.

Anyhoo buy yourself a copy of A Quiet Afternoon available via Grace&Victory, it’s really good and it’s been out for a month and a half already, oopsie.

And it looks like I need (“need”) to go do a grocery run with the bf so that bio’s gonna wait juuust a li’l longer.

A Lot to Process

First of all, Black lives matter, and so do trans lives, and so do Black trans lives.

Second of all, why yes nothing indeed has happened on this website since October 2019. I simply didn’t get any acceptances to announce.

Then, on June 7 2020, I did get an acceptance! OMG! From Esskaye Books’ SCARE ME anthology! I haven’t had a lot of my horror sell in recent years, so that was very cool and I’m very happy about that! So I signed the contract and got PAID the NEXT DAY, WHICH IS AMAZING, IF THAT WASN’T OBVIOUS FROM MY SHOUTING!

While still reeling from those sweet Great Britain Pounds in my paypal, I then found out that one of my short stories has been longlisted for a Sunburst award! Sure! (For those unclear on what that means, being longlisted is the participant trophy. There’s still the shortlist, which is like the longlist but shorter, and then comes the award. I think? Maybe there’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd places? I don’t know, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in school, which is the last time awards have come up in my life.)

And NOW, at long last, and I should have mentioned this earlier probably, but Grace&Victory Publications is set to come out with our new anthology, A Quiet Afternoon, on July 1! I should have mentioned this earlier because when I say ‘our’ new anthology, I kind of mean it? In a way? Grace&Victory is a micropress run by Grace Seybold and Victoria Feistner (and yes, we’re all friends) and for AQA I got to be the slush reader. (Again, for those who don’t know, a slush reader is the one who reads all the stories and figures out what might be a good fit and what gets booted out. When you’re addressing your submissions to Dear Editor, you’re probably getting a slush reader and not an editor on the first go. Circumstances vary! Don’t worry about it.) And then, as tasks got divvied up between Grace and Victoria (and Liane Tsui, another friend and editor for AQA), occasionally little jobs came up – writing an exciting marketing blurb, or figuring out the order the stories should go in (the Table of Contents, or ToC), or writing the foreword. So I got to step into the role of copyeditor, which was kind of fun! I hadn’t written stories for a couple months, so being able to write SOMEthing was nice (especially something that was sure to get an acceptance!… still needed editing, though. Which is just how it goes).

So! One new contract signed with Esskaye Books! A longlist for an award! And an anthology I helped with is coming out soon! After only eight months, I’m back in the publishing game!

I do not know if I’m going for an optimistic or pessimistic tone! Feel free to choose the one you need at the moment!

I Did Say I Peaked Very Early This Year

But as always seems to happen, autumn is My Time To Shine Like The Wacky Star I Am, because in the space of roughly a month I got an acceptance and publication with the cool folks at The Quilliad! We had a lovely night of readings at Toronto’s Tranzac Club. Funnily enough, I had read once before at the Tranzac, and it was a story about children and death, and the first time I read for The Quilliad three years ago it was a story about… children and death. It will surprise no one to hear that one of my stories published this year with them is likewise about, ahem, children and death (SO SHARP, SO SHARP). However, because no one likes to be typecast, I sent and they also accepted my Victorian Yuletide ghost story, OF, AND WITH.

(Also it was a costumes-if-you-like party and I went as an updated version of Number 2 from the old show The Prisoner and of course no one got it but let’s face it, that was really a costume for Laura, not the world. My button came out splendidly and it meant not looking completely bizarre at the sushi restaurant beforehand.)

Anyway Halloween is great and autumn is great and The Quilliad is great and everything’s great!