Category Archives: Uncategorized

My 2016 award-eligible stuff and things

swordandstar_1200x1800hrAs I said in the post previous to this one, there frankly wasn’t a lot. But there was some. Here it is.

Short stories

Novel

I’m happy to provide copies of stuff to voters. Just let me know.

Happy OcTOBLERfest-Halloween – with fungi!

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I’m really happy that I was able to take part in this month-long extravaganza celebrating one of my very favorite writers – and also someone who’s become a friend and a major emotional support during some difficult times. I frankly don’t think she gets nearly as much recognition as she deserves, so this is quite simply great.

When I decided I wanted to spotlight a particular story, initially I had no idea at all which to pick; there are a lot (lookit). But one popped into my head a few minutes later, a particular one that’s stayed with me because it’s quite simply one of the most evocatively strange things I’ve ever read.

I’m talking about “New Feet Within My Garden Go”, which was originally published in Innsmouth Press’s anthology Fungi and was reprinted in the August 2015 issue of Apex Magazine. I shared that particular ToC, which is how I stumbled on it. And I read it and I was like.

What.

(in a good way)

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Podcasts what I love

So once again it’s been a while. THINGS. Things happening. Including a new job – and being a sociologist TAing for a law class is interesting, let me tell you.

Anyway, something else I’ve been doing a lot lately is listening to podcasts. They’re honestly a lot of what’s helping me hold my shit together. I threw a list of recommendations together for my Tumblr blog, and I think it makes sense to post it here as well.

Without further ado (broken into the three primary genres I’m currently into):

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Old story makes new cool appearance!

Ohhhhhhh my God it’s been A Month.

cw_116_700News is piling up and I’ll try to convey some of it soon. For now, want to note that my short story “A Heap of Broken Images” is reprinted in this month’s issue of Clarkesworld, which is neat because a) Clarkesworld, and b) it’s one of my faves of my own stuff.

I do not know if this is dishonor or a fulfilling of my raising. I am pulled between what I have been taught and what I have been taught; again I think I could fall to pieces, and then I think that maybe I have always been in pieces, broken apart from myself, and so there is no more damage to be done.

I look into the flowing black water and I think of empty eyes and outstretched hands reaching up from those depths and beckoning me. There were many bodies that were swept away by the river in the growing-season flood that year and many were never found. They are all still there in the life of the river. There are other people strolling, idling along the bank in the cool of the evening; I could call, Don’t you see them? Don’t you hear? How can we deny our own spilled blood, whatever price has been paid?

My mouth is full of ghosts. I place my hand against it and hold them in until they are silent again, and the ones in the water fall silent as well.

I am in pieces but I am alive. Tell me how this is a reasonable thing.

I wrote it after thinking a lot about genocide and guilt and memory. I don’t recall exactly why I was thinking so much about those things, but I know that’s where the story came from.

By the way, fun fact that’s also possibly useful: This story got a bunch of rejections (including Clarkesworld, actually) until a slightly tweaked version of it ended up in We See a Different Frontier. After which it ended up in The Year’s Best Science Fiction 31.

So don’t give up on stories, basically. At least some of the time.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

image by Rob Wanenchak

image by Rob Wanenchak

People love you. You need them. You can’t live without them. They help you. But in the end the only person who can make you well is you. – I’ll Be Yours For a Song

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but what kicked me into it now was two things. The death of David Bowie turned out to be a big one, and it was primarily sparked by what people were saying regarding what he personally meant to them: That he stood for the idea that it was okay to be weird and awkward and vulnerable, that outcasts have worth and value. That if you love what you do, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. And so many of my friends – and acquaintances/colleagues/whatever – are creative people and also people who have felt weird and ill-fitting for most of their lives.

Though I think a huge majority of people feel that way. I think some people are just better at faking that they don’t.

And the other thing was this post by Chuck Wendig on self-care for writers, specifically the part regarding shame.

I want to write about shame more some other time, because it’s something that I’ve been struggling with on a number of levels, and it’s been enormously difficult. But what I’ve especially been wanting to talk about is vulnerability, and being open, and not pretending to be okay.

Which I think too many of us feel like we have to do.

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thoughts on The Big Space Movie

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Yeah, hi. So you know how I consistently do that thing where I say I’m going to write here more? And then I don’t? And then primarily I pop in to deliver news bits and I pop out again and I don’t reappear for a couple weeks at least?

Really not gonna do that anymore.

This used to be at least semi-personal as well as professional. Then for a variety of reasons I moved a lot of stuff onto Tumblr. But Tumblr is, uh, not a good place for me professionally. It’s my place where I get to be and pretty much always am at my least professional. I need to come back here a bit, and I think I might be able to do that by making this more personal than it’s been. Not everything needs to be about books or whatever short story I have out there this month.

(I HAVE A SHORT STORY IN STRANGE HORIZONS THIS MONTH. JUST BY THE WAY)

(THERE’S COOL ART IF YOU LIKE COOL ART. WHICH I DO)

Anyway, I saw Star Wars last Thursday night, like apparently literally everyone else I know except the people who already saw it. My spoiler-free review is that it’s good and you should see it (and if possible see it in laser-projected 3D IMAX, which we did because we’re fortunate to live near the Udvar-Hazy annex of the Air & Space Museum which you really must visit if you never have, they have an SR-71 and the Discovery space shuttle among like a hundred billion other things).

My spoilertastic thoughts are under the cut.

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Life and seconds – slowly working up the courage.

Here’s a mini-confession (and it annoys me that it feels like a confession at all, because I don’t think it should): I’ve been writing a lot of fanfiction this past year.

Like. A lot. A frankly embarrassing amount. Or anyway, I am embarrassed by it.

It’s been a rough year. This stuff has become incredibly important to me, so I want to write about it here on my writing site, but I’m very nervous, so I’m still trying to get myself together enough to do it without being convinced that everyone will conclude that I’m unprofessional for putting so much time and effort into this when I could have been writing things for which I could be paid, and they will never speak to me again and never publish my things anymore and shun me at cons.

This is silly – I hope – but I still feel that way.

However, how I tend to manage things like this is to close my eyes and jump. So soon I’ll probably go ahead and do it, and damn the consequences. The shunning and whatnot.

In the meantime, here’s a piece of the most important one, because I was just rereading it. Because.

He measured his life in weeks.

That was wrong. We divide our lives up in all kinds of ways – decades, years, months and weeks and days, and there are those few of us fortunate enough to look back and count one full century – and each incremental measurement is a form of perception, a way of knowing, but the truth is that lives are lived and should therefore be measured in seconds.

Seconds are all it takes for everything to change.

Seconds to meet someone, to speak to them. Seconds to start down a road you don’t even realize is there, seconds to get into something and have no idea what you’re getting into. Seconds to hear a voice, touch someone’s hair, skin; seconds to inhale and breathe them in. Seconds to break something open, something you’ll never be able to close. Seconds to see something and never see anything the same way again.

Seconds to look at someone and see only them, and never want to see anyone else for the rest of your life.

There’s a story – not this one, but you may know it. Death is in that story, and one day, accompanied by her brother, she does her work. Makes her rounds. She visits people, she takes their hands and leads them away, and one man gets philosophical about everything. He looks around and says that he had quite a run, didn’t he? Fifteen thousand years, in fact. That’s pretty good.

Death tells him that he got what everyone gets. He got a lifetime.

We only get one of those, and it’s wild. And it’s so precious.

Because it’s seconds long.