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!
YOU KNOW Y’ALL WANNA BE PART OF THE ROBOWITCH GANG
About a month back in the ol’ Twitterverse, Apparition Lit did a check-in with their previous authors to see what we were all up to. Well, sez’d I, I have a story about a robowitch coming out in April. Turns out, another author was working on her own story about a robot witch. HAVE I STARTED A TREND? Is my contribution to the literary world coining the term ‘robowitch’ and creating a genre based specifically around robots who are also witches? Who can say. But it tickled me immensely. And the brief discussion afterward about how wacky it was that two robowitches show up on the same day spurred me to sit down and write the first draft of yet another robowitch story in one day (okay, one day writing 500 words, took a day off, and then wrote the last 3000 the day after that. Three days is still not bad, I think).
So, feast your eyes and computation circuits on Augur Magazine’s ROOTS AND SHOOTS! You can read a sample of it for free, but trust me, you’ll want to buy the whole thing. (Also there’s a sestina called “Control, Alt, Delete” by S. Matthiesen Avilés in there and I do love me a sestina.)
Another title just dropped from the good people at Bards and Sages Quarterly! Continuing the werewolf trend, Wherefore Wolf? brings you a mismatched pair of warrior and mage who just want to start their new jobs in the capital, when GOSH DARN IT there’s a werewolf attack that threatens their partnership and very lives! It’s funnier than it sounds. I think it was funny.
I don’t tend to enjoy making noises about the holidays, but this is pretty sweet: My latest short story publication, With a Grain of Salt, got first billing on Aether and Ichor’s newly updated website‘s Solstice: 1 issue, bright and smack early on January 1st!
(Side note: the editors and I were shooting emails back and forth a couple weeks prior, polishing off last edits, sorting out payment, and NEITHER ONE of us so much as MENTIONED that this was happening on Christmas Day and I loved that SO MUCH.)
I just remembered I have another story coming out in January 2019 (more werewolves! ALL THE WEREWOLVES)! That brings this year’s total for published/accepted up to 7, which is BANANA DAIQUIRIS.
BANANA DAIQUIRIS ALL AROUND!
This has been a pretty surprising year, because I’ve gotten six (6? 6!) short story acceptances/publications so far! There’s been a bumper crop of weird Westerns with Long Dry Waste and Shift Work, and in the next six months (maybe! Publishing!) there’ll be:
- A robo-witch making magic out of dried beans and welded metal;
- A mercenary who trusts her nose for money a little too much;
- A poem about wolves in human clothing;
- A reprint of MOVEMENT!
I am excited about all of these for their own unique reasons. The robo-witch story uses a very odd experimental writing style (at least, it was an odd style for me to use, probably some sci-fi nerd has already done it to death but it’s experimental for meee); the mercenary story had racked up 20 rejections before finding a home; the poem is my first stand-alone poem I have ever written for publication and it got accepted first try, hot damn; and Movement will be my first-ever reprint! Because writing is my occasional hobby-job instead of full-time pay-the-bills job, I don’t tend to reflect on it that much, but this year has certainly been some kind of milestone. To paraphrase the movie Mrs. Bennett, “Just think! Two Sterling Acton stories published and four others just tottering on the brink!”
If my legacy is to be talking snakes and down-on-their-luck werewolf cowboys, then I am 100% okay with this fate, because come the end of April there will be ANOTHER STERLING ACTON AND THE TALKING SNAKE STORY brought to you by the folks at Apparition Lit! Hungry and with a head cold, Acton and the snake come to the home of a strange old man and his rat problem. A big rat problem. Or maybe just a big… rat? At the very least, the problem is sizeable.
As if that weren’t enough, I’ve also received the ARC for Embers, a Journal of Luminous Things (talk about your year+ of silence, amirite? PUBLISHING, BABY) so, not to belabor it or anything, but what I sold them is the very first Sterling Acton story I wrote, so if you do not like werewolf cowboys, I am very sorry that this is the news you’re coming back to after all this time.