“A township is in dire peril as a seemingly unkillable beast terrorizes and consumes their citizens. Their only hope might be a tenuous bargain with a dreaded creature of legend.
I really dug the approach to this story, as a fable held the key to a possible savior for the village. Will the party believe the young child who offers it as a solution? Will they risk an alliance with one evil to defeat another? And will things go as planned…?”
I’m tickled that the reviewer called out “Blight” as potential “campaign fodder”–especially since I’m currently working on one of my own as my D&D group crawls toward the end of a six-year campaign. That forest of bone might have to make an appearance…
This week the cover for the upcoming anthology The Sum of Us was revealed! I am delighted to have my story “Things That Creep and Bind” included. The theme of the anthology, as described on the Laksa Media site:
If we believe that we are the protagonists of our lives, then caregivers—our pillars—are ghosts, the bit players, the stock characters, the secondary supports, living lives of quiet trust and toil in the shadows. Summoned to us by the profound magic of great emotional, physical, or psychological need, they play their roles, and when our need diminishes . . .
These are their stories.
The book will be available in September 2017. More information, including the complete Table of Contents, can be found here.
People are starting to ask about the 2017 version of the Word Count Tracker. Truth is, I totally forgot about it until a few days ago. I’ve started working on it and hope to have the link posted here by the end of the week, so check back then!
I don’t think I’ve ever gone into a new year with quite this much uncertainty before. It’s hard to imagine what the world is going to look like a few months from now. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been focusing inward lately, on the things I can control: on home and family; growing, making, and preserving food; trading social media for video chat and hand-written letters; canceling professional travel engagements and planning family trips instead.
And getting back to writing. In 2016 I finished and sold a short story for the first time in three years: “Things That Creep and Bind” will appear in The Sum of Us, edited by Susan Forest and Lucas Law, in mid-2017. I was thinking of my grandparents when I wrote it, about their struggles caring for my mother in her illness. Those memories also brought up things that I learned from them about home-making, frugality, and self-sufficiency under adverse conditions, things that I’m finally learning to apply.
2017 will also see the publication of my first two comics issues:Pet Noir #3, co-written by Pati Nagel and myself, and Pet Noir #4, my first solo script. Both were capably edited by Kymera Press founder Debbie Lynn Smith.
As 2016 grinds to a close, there are still so many things waiting to be created, whether they’re books or stories or comics or gardens or events or any other form of art, craft, or expression. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling that I can’t find it in me to greet the new year joyfully this time, to ring it in with champagne and cheers. So I’ll see it in quietly instead, with hope, creativity, and effort.
Here’s wishing you and yours a safe, healthy, creative and hopeful New Year.
Editors Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Batt are Kickstarting a new anthology of speculative fiction that I am super excited about, Strange California.
“Strange California is 26 tales of strangeness, lavishly illustrated, that will pull you into another world, a world where migrant girls stand up to witches who live in orange groves, where trickster magpies try to steal souls from Russian sisters in the early days of Fort Bragg, where water is both currency and predator, and Gold Rush-era ghosts wander the streets of San Francisco alongside panther ladies.” (From the Kickstarter page.)
If it funds, it will include a story of mine set in Temperance, the fictionalized version of my hometown that originally appeared in Fireside #1, fifty years after the events that established the Temperance Society for Historical Preservation.
We’re about a third of the way to our goal of $14,000, which will pay for the content and production of this lavishly illustrated anthology of West Coast Weird.
And check out this line-up you’ll be making happen:
Autumn Daughetee of Kymera Press did a two-part interview with me for their newsletter, which is now also available on their website. I talk about my influences–both early and late–and how completely stoked I am to be living my dream of writing and editing comics.
A bit has happened since my last post: that’s a British Fantasy Award (Best Anthology: Women Destroy Science Fiction!) and a Hugo Award (Semiprozine: Lightspeed) in that picture, respectively. The BFA actually only arrived a few weeks ago, having been mislaid somewhere on the other side of the Atlantic for a while. It is a very strange feeling, even months later (in the case of the Hugo), to look up and see those there with my name on them. I’m so grateful to all of the people who supported WDSF!, and those who chose to honor it this way.
In other news, I’ve started working for all-women independent comics press Kymera Press as both a writer and editor–I’m editing two titles and writing one. Without hyperbole, this is a dream come true: my original career goal when I started writing was to write comics. I took a detour into short fiction to hone my storytelling skills, and somehow never made it back until now. Comics by nature have a lot of moving parts, and my roles fall right at the start of the pipeline, so it’ll be a little while before the issues I’ve worked on make their way to the masses. I’ll post updates here when I have them!
While the Hugos Administrator will not rule on eligibility before nominations close, two SMOFs* generally considered experts on the subject have told us that they believe WDSF is not eligible in any Hugo category, including Best Related Work.
Individual non-fiction pieces are eligible in Best Related Work, and of course the stories remain eligible in their categories according to length.
And while I do not qualify in any category, Wendy N. Wagner qualifies in Best Editor Short Form for her work as Managing Editor of Lightspeed and the Women Destroy projects.