Monday, August 10, 2020

Wicked Women, Bobbie, and Her Father

I'm so, so happy The Dark Magazine has published another of my short stories for publication, Bobbie and Her Father! This one means a lot to me. It's about family, growing up with a difficult body, and trying to be the best person you can when there are holes in your knowledge of what "good" looks like. Charles Payseur writes in his lovely review, "The result is visceral, an exploration of how these acts, these violences [...] come in cycles."

I'm very proud of it.

Because I guess I'm a horror writer now, I have another story coming out later this year in an anthology of female horror writers, Wicked Women! The table of contents is available here and includes special guests Jane Yolen and Hillary Monahan. I'm grateful to Scott T. Goudward and Trisha J. Wooldridge at New England Horror Writers Press for their hard work in curating and editing the collection.  

I'll, of course, be linking the hell out of it when it's available.

***

Lock down continues. I live in Massachusetts where the virus isn't as bad as many parts of the U.S., but I don't expect to return to the office or to eat in restaurants again until some time after the vaccine is available. The federal government, by the way, is just awful.

As I wrote in March, I'm journaling, reading, and jogging. The last I'm doing about five times a week for a minimum of three miles each time I'm out. I've added some weight training, too, though this is essentially cardio again. I've fallen off of yoga and meditation for the last few weeks and wonder if I should start again.

I really value the time I've spent with my roommates as well as the outings we've done and the movies we've watched together. 

Over on Twitter, I've spent a lot of time writing about the books and movies (lots of horror) I've been consuming. 

Down at my Patreon, I've been posting excerpts from the new novel I've been working on as well as some art. Shout out to Saint Gibson at Holy Roots Tarot for being a new backer! After a few days, many of my posts become public, so I recommend checking it out even if you don't want to send me dollars and cents. 

As a last thank you, I want to send a shout out to Judith Huang for performing her Ballad of Bloody Brigid at CoNZealand!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Wiscon, The Nebulas, and the Ballad of Bloody Brigid!

So, I can yell about my short story sales now! In August, The Dark will be publishing another of my short horror fantasy stories, "Bobbie and Her Father."
Some time next year, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet will publish their second piece with me (and my first short story with them), "King Moon's Tithe to Hell."
May was some kind of month, let me tell you. 
***
This past weekend, I attended my first Wiscon in a way I didn't imagine doing so a year ago: virtually. It was deeply fun.
The chaos of the discord server that served as the main socialization page had the same taste as a convention: tons of strangers, united by specific, common interests, all competing to talk to each other. Once I figured out how to mute and mark channels as read, it was much easier, though the overwhelming energy was absolutely still in the air.

There were less panels than I expected, but what was there felt very tight and well done. My favorite pieces of programming included Benjamin Rosenbaum's lecture, "Doctor Who as the Wandering Jew," THE NOT HUGO AWARD-WINNING BUT VERY IMPORTANT NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL, and Renaming the Otherwise Award. The last addressed some questions I had regarding the name change of what was formerly called the Tiptree Award in a thoughtful, nuanced way.
I had so much fun, I went ahead and registered for the virtual Nebula Conference. It was much more business-oriented and intimidating than Wiscon, but still enormously social (through Zoom breakout rooms, mostly) and full of amazing programming. My favorites included Finances for Traditionally Published Novelists, Publish SFF Romance: Pick a Seat, Not a Side, the rescue cat livestream, and The 55th Nebula Awards.
Wiscon also gave me the chance to meet fellow writer, Judith Huang, whose debut novel, Sofia and The Utopia Machine, has been added to my to-read list. We chatted a little and she was kind enough to read my story in The Dark, Brigid Was Hung By Her Hair from the Second Story Window. Then, to my shock and joy, she wrote me a ballad based on it! 
With her permission, it's my absolute pleasure to share it with you.

The Ballad of Bloody Brigid

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Times Being What They Are

In early May, my great uncle, Jay Sherman Daniels, passed from COVID-19 after a quick, terrible illness. I continue to be shocked that the pandemic has touched my family.

My uncle was a kind, sociable mensch. He was in his nineties and living in an assisted living situation when he contracted the virus. It's heartbreaking that, due to the nature of the coronavirus, my cousins, his children, couldn't be there with him when he passed. My gratitude to the nurses who were there.

Please keep each other safe. If you need to go out, please do, but take precautions to protect the people you know (and the people they know). We're in for a strange year and the shadow of this pandemic may loom large after that.

***

My 32nd birthday was also this month. After throwing parties in my house for my 30th and 31st birthdays, at the beginning of the year, I was ready for a quieter birthday. I didn't realize it would be this quiet. I appreciated being able to take a day off of work (from home) and to chat with friends over Jackbox and family over various chat apps. It felt almost normal.

I sold a couple stories this month, as well, as if this weren't enough of a strange year! I'm excited about that. Details for those will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Speculative Boston Rides Again

Courtesy of  Speculative Boston and WGBH, here's a video of me discussing fiction with eminent authors, Nina MacLaughlin, Sonya Taaffe, and C.S.E. Cooney at Trident Booksellers.


It was a lovely evening. I know Sonya and Claire separately from genre conventions and Boston gatherings. They are luminous, wonderful people to know. I met Nina for the first time that day and she was a wonderful addition to the readings and the discussion. I was also happy to be a part of a full house with a deeply engaged, thoughtful audience.

Maybe the shelter-in-place/quarantine is getting to me, but this night was SO GOOD. I'm so pleased Andrea Martinez Corbin continues to give me the opportunity to host some fine, talented people.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Quarantine Reading & Dealing

Sarah Smith, a fellow Boston Area writer in CSFW, started a series of weekday teatime readings over Zoom. She has taken some of the readings and put them up on her YouTube channel. Please check her channel for more readings!

I showed up there on Thursday and read two poems. The first is "Persephone Kidnaps Him," published in Liminality Magazine in 2017, and the second is "The Blue Fairy Wakes Her," which is unpublished.


In the coming weeks, I'm sure there will be more readings and projects over digital platforms. The precautions taken to slow the spread of the corona virus have proved both anxiety inducing and fascinating. I mourn the loss of seeing more people in person, but I'm in a time right now where I'm financially secure, can easily work from home, and can give a little extra to The Greater Boston Food Bank as well as The Greater Cleveland Food Bank (hometown, represent). I hope you'll consider giving to similar places.


I intend to keep my anxiety over the quarantine to a minimum.

I'm engaging in guided meditations, journaling, reading, jogging (almost) every day, and, being that I'm a white hipster lady from the U.S., of COURSE I'm doing Yoga with Adriene, the best cult ever.

Perhaps most helpful of all have been the friends I've been able to text, stream, and chat with over the past few days.

Also, the fact I have a lot of free time and accessories for dress-up certainly helps, too. Here, I dress for the job I want, which is being an eccentric recluse whose husband died under mysterious circumstances.

In all seriousness, keeping physical interaction to a minimum and not going out in public sick is absolutely necessary. I hope, wherever you are, you're able to do similarly.

Take care of yourselves and stay safe, all.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Boskone 57!

What are you doing during Boskone 2020? Hopefully coming by to say hello!

FEBRUARY 14-16, 2020

GUEST OF HONOR: Kim Stanley Robinson
YOUNG ADULT FICTION GUEST: Holly Black
OFFICIAL ARTIST: Eric Wilkerson
MUSICAL GUEST: Cheshire Moon
HAL CLEMENT SCIENCE SPEAKER: Jon Singer
NESFA PRESS GUEST: Jim Burns
(I'm not hyperventilating over the guest list, what are you talking about, don't make accusations at me.)

Here's my schedule for the convention! Any and all changes will be made here.

From Anime to Live Action
Marina 4, Friday, Feb 14 04:00 PM to 04:50 PM (50 minutes)

There's a long history of anime titles being reimagined as live-action films. With the increased availability of CGI technology, this trend has recently picked up considerably. How well do the remakes of iconic anime features such as Attack on Titan, Battle Angel Alita, Dragonball, Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, etc., represent their originals? Do they work as stand-alones? Where do they fail to meet expectations, or surpass the original? How well can live actors dramatize anime toons — especially the nonhuman characters?


Living With Disability in a Speculative World
Marina 2, Friday Feb 14 07:00 PM to 07:50 PM (50 minutes)

Navigating the real world, even with all our modern amenities, is still no easy thing. But imagine yourself trying to escape a djinn in the desert, pickaxing rocks in an alien mining colony, or slaving at the hearth in an elven lord's kitchen — all while disabled. The body is as frail as it is strong, and disabilities change the way a person is seen by and interacts with others in their environment. Our panelists talk candidly about disabilities (seen and unseen) and their effect physically, socially, and psychologically within various speculative story worlds.


Great LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction
Marina 3, Sunday, Feb 16 11:00 AM to 11:50 AM (50 minutes)

Let’s consider some vivid examples — from Le Guin’s Estraven and Kushner’s Richard St Vier to TV’s Captain Jack, Carey’s Phedra, and Muir’s Gideon. Looking at these and other portraits: Who feels the most real? Who are our favorites? Is progress measured by how much their sexuality/gender is a character detail, not a big deal? What are we (still) waiting for?


Audiobooks for Kids and Teens
Griffin, Sunday, Feb 16 02:00 PM to 02:50 PM (50 minutes)

Audiobooks are a great way to experience fiction. Let’s talk about how they change the dynamic between younger readers and books. How can they be used to inspire reluctant readers? Are there any downsides? What are some “must-hear” audiobooks for kids and teens? And which narrators are especially good at creating engaging narrative voices and compelling atmospheres beyond the page?