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! (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!



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.)

Well Isn’t This a Nice Way to Start a Gregorian Calendar

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.


Like Cheese and Wine, Publishing Takes Time

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!”