Saturday, January 3, 2015

Winter: Straeon and Arisia

This past December, M. David Blake's Straeon Quarterly debuted from Stupefying Stories.  In it, along with work by Anna Yeatts and Juliette Wade, is my short story, "The Art Teacher."  If you haven't already, please check it out!

I'm grateful the editors took a chance on the piece.  Very curious to see where the publication goes from here.


2014 was a great publishing year.  Looking back, I'm proud and still in shock.  I can only hope 2015 will be even a little bit as fantastic.

For poetry, special thanks to Adrienne Odasso for taking "The Liar's Charm" at Strange Horizons, Elise Matthesen at Apex Magazine for publishing my poem, "Sleep Lives Inside the Bed," and Shweta Narayan and Rose Lemberg at Stone Telling for giving "To the Creature" a lovely home.  To John Benson, thank you for accepting Death Defying Stunts to your wonderful Not One of Us

Also, as previously mentioned, I've begun my monthly New and Noteworthy Short Fiction column at Fantastic Stories with Warren Lapine, Jay O'Connell, and Robert Davis.

You all are fabulous to work with.

This year, I want to keep going and keep pushing forward.  You get nowhere without taking risks.


Arisia 2015 popped up fairly quickly this year, if feels like!  I've been busy with work and my social life at the holidays tends to become all-consuming.  

Below is my schedule, ending with a killer reading line-up with Sonya TaaffeAdrienne Odasso (linked above, too), and myself on Sunday. Very exciting!

The Legend of Korra (Fri, 7pm) Marina 1
The third season of “The Legend of Korra” found the show finally starting to live up to its potential and expectations, with mature storylines and character development. It also saw Nickelodeon removing the show from the air and only streaming it online. We’ll discuss the changes on both fronts in this panel about one of the better and more diverse cartoons on the air.
Juliet Kahn, Donna Martinez, Rubi, James A. Wolf (m)

Speculative Fiction: The Year in Review (Fri, 10pm) Marina 2
What books, short stories, and poetry have we read this year? What trends and patterns have emerged in the genre?
Morgan Crooks, Tegan Mannino (I'm moderating!)

Marvel Cinematic (and TV) Universe, 2015 (Sat, 7pm) Marina 1
In 2014, we saw Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America: The Winter Soldier deal with global corruption, while Guardians of the Galaxy took on Thanos and Ronan. As this panel takes place, we’ll have Agent Carter on TV, with a Netflix Daredevil show hitting in May. We’ll talk about where this increasingly complex and connected universe goes from here, and how things are looking after the last year.
Kevin Cafferty, Ed Fuqua, Elektra Hammond, Shira Lipkin (m), Heather Urbanski

Poetry Reading: Gillian Daniels, Adrienne Odasso, Sonya Taaffe (Sun, 4pm) Bulfinch (3W)

If you can make it to the con this year, I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tell a Stone

In the eleventh issue of Stone Telling, my poem, "To the Creature," is available for consumption. Or, if you prefer, listening. And yes, that's me reading.

Special thanks to Rose Lemberg and Shweta Narayan for publishing an issue of poets not yet featured in their lovely publication. You should read their introduction.

The issue came out on the tail of my second set of reviews for Fantastic Stories. I'm enjoying writing it and hope you've taken a look at the recommendations so far.

November has been nice so far in New England. I decided not to participate in NaNoWriMo but, as one of my writing group friends has dubbed it, ReviYoNoMo (Revise Your Novel Month). Another name: FiYoFuNo (Finish Your Fucking Novel). Which is all to say I'm investing time in editing a longer, more complex work that I hope to one day have ready for widespread reading and poking.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Short Fiction Review Column in Fantastic Stories!

I've started a new column in Warren Lapine's publication, Fantastic Stories, that reviews short fiction I've recently found interesting.  No reprints (mostly; I make the rules), just recently published pieces I think resonate and should be noticed.  This endeavor is a slightly terrifying one to me, but it's a thing I'm strongly invested in. I hope others will check in on it once in a while for recommendations or just to see what's been knocking around my brain.

Anyway, working with Jay O'Connell and Robert Davis has been a lot of fun.  So you see, I've had a super secret vendetta to gab with them more all along.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Readercon 25: A Grand Time

The Messal (1902) John William Waterhouse
This past weekend was my third Readercon. The first year I attended, I elected to commute and felt the full brunt of my decision, the 350 bus running hourly but not reliably between the convention center in Burlington and my home in Somerville. I enjoyed the panels through a haze of sleepiness and annoyance at my own decision.

My second Readercon was a lot better as I grabbed a room with a couple friends.  We enjoyed the panels and wandered each night, haunting the floors for room parties like some very specific ghosts.  The convention was well done but a great deal of tension hung in the air.  In light of the harassment controversy, the entire board had resigned.  This was a new, rebooted con that was wobbly on its legs.

This past Readercon, that new con has solidified.  It has a strong, warm presence without compromising its more academic, literary-driven panels. Rose Fox and Emily Wagner have cultivated a hell of a con.

I met tons of people in real life as opposed to watching them online (ex. Maria Dahvana Headley, an absolute mensch, by the way).  It was also great to talk with friends made at previous conventions and from Clarion, though I regret I didn't have a chance to have in-depth conversations with everyone I wanted to.  I'm told that's kind of how cons like this work.  "There's always next year," is the refrain, but after a long weekend and the resulting crash, that's a source of comfort.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Months That Are Girls' Names

Okay, so March is not technically a name (or at least not a name I'm aware has any popularity outside my imagination), but I'll start there.

Vericon, in size thought not in spirit, is a sliver of a convention.  It's hosted by Harvard University each March.  I heard about it last year but decided to go when I saw the guest list not only had Jo Walton, but also Shira Lipkin, Saladin AhmedGreer GilmanScott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss, M.L. Brennan, and one of my writing workshop cohorts, Max Gladstone.  Elizabeth Bear, my third week Clarion teacher and owner of an exquisite mind, was there, too.

I'm sorry, but those are a hell of a lot of heavy-hitters for a con of this size.  The Harvard campus already feels like it's carefully folded into Cambridge, demurely gated on the outside but expansive when you step foot on its grounds.  This convention is like the meeting of a secret society.  Except it really isn't. While not the most tightly run ship to sail the seas of New England conventions, I'm looking forward to going there again.  It was a unique animal.

In April, I took a one-week trip to Paris. It was a supreme delight, the weather staying firmly in the sixties and the rain sort of gentle and pretty even when it fell on you.  It's the best kind of spring there right now, though my friends and I sneezed a bit because every last tree was in bloom.  Also, there were lots of lines.  Everyone in Europe had also realized the weather was fantastic.

We rented a small apartment together about fifteen minutes away from Notre Dame, ate at bistros, drank kir, and saw some amazing parts of the city.  I saw art and ate a lot. It was a diet that mainly consisted of chocolate, bread, cheese, and ice cream.  My original plan was to turn this blog into a travel journal for that period, but I was a bit distracted.

I came home to find my contributors' copy of Not One of Us #51 in the mail.  It's a great issue, with Mat JoinerSonya Taaffe, and other talented folks.  I'm really pleased to be a part of it.  You can take a look if you're intrigued.

The story I have in there, Death Defying Stunts, was one I originally wrote during my time at Clarion.  It's about a girl, a personification of death, and Houdini.  I revised it multiple times over the past couple years and re-wrote it.  Then I smashed the first and second version together with a new ending. I'm pleased it found a home with John Benson.

This past week, I celebrated my birthday while Strange Horizons was kind enough to post my poem, "The Liar's Charm."  At six months, I think it might have taken, cumulatively, the least amount of time to edit of my published poetry so far.  So, um, I work slowly.

Special thanks to poetry editor A.J. Odasso for accepting this monster into the SH fold.  I'm so glad to be a part of this publication's legacy.  I definitely recommend reading through the archives.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Boskone Follow Up!

February slipped by quickly, as I figured it would.  So here we are, over a month later, and I thought I'd write a little bit about Boskone 2014 and how it all went.  Technically, the most recent con I went to was Vericon, an enormously intimate con which happened at the Harvard campus this past weekend, but I started this post prior to going there!

This convention felt a lot more relaxed compared to last year.  This turned out to be a nice, low-key affair.  I caught up with a number of authors both in and outside the area and generally was a lot less rushed than at Arisia 2014, a con which sold out on Saturday.

The first panel I attended was The Art of Writing Young Adult Fiction.  The panel was a pretty formidable one, rounded out with Strange Horizons editor Julia Rios and long-time writer, Jane Yolen.  My favorite takeaway in my notes was that, "A teen is not a characteristic" but an individual in another frame of life.  Also, I adored Yolen's story of how she accidentally traumatized her kids with a viewing of The Wizard of Oz.

Why You Want to Go to Florence is probably the least genre-related panel I've ever been to at a convention but it was still a lot of fun.  Jo Walton and Ada Palmer related anecdotes, both historical and tourist-ical, about the Italian city.  It reminded me of my own brief visit there on my high school Europe trip.  And now I want to save up to go back, a fact which makes me wonder whether or not Walton and Palmer are secret agents from the Florence Tourist Board.

Exploring the Whedonverse was the first panel I was on for this convention and I thought it went enormously well.  The audience was enthusiastic but not hesitant about criticizing Joss Whedon's past work. It was moderated by Stephen P. Kelner and I had the pleasure of being in the company of Dana Cameron, Nancy Holder, and Erin Underwood.


I saw Killer Plagues, a cheerfully grim little panel.  Seanan McGuire is, by the way, my tapeworm hero.  It was a nice mix of scientific inquiry and gory anecdotes.

The kaffeeklatsch with Jane Yolen was enlightening and I wish I had taken more notes with this one!  It was also just plain fun.

The Cinematic Landscapes panel I did with Bob Eggleton, Greg Manchess,  and Frank Wu was quiet.  I liked the conversation I moderated, but we all sort of wandered back and forth over the topic.  Lots of trivia about old films and a ringing endorsement for The Lego Movie (which I've since seen and can confirm is a real treat).

Fun With Seriously Silly Poses was a panel I was very nervous about.  It was an informal "posing" challenge in which I projected (cheesecake/beefcake) pulp novel covers on a screen and panelists John Chu, Mur Lafferty, Jennifer Pelland, E. C. Ambrose, and surprise special guest, Max Gladstone, attempted to mimic the poses.  They were all game.  I was so pleased.  The audience was sizeable, too, and were all too happy to provide extra props (a cane, a stuffed dragon) and extra bodies.  We had a lot of fun with gender swapping the covers, as well, which pointed out just how awkward some of the female-oriented poses could be.


On Sunday morning, I caught the Theodora Goss-moderated panel, A Literary Wonderland, which, like the panel she moderated the night before, The Enduring Power of Fairytales, explored modern folklore, Alice in Wonderland, and the stories people tell their children and themselves. Lots of lovely stuff here.

Bob Devney, who's an absolute sweetheart, moderated Against a Dark Background: Looking Back at Iain M. Banks.  I was on that panel echoing the sadness of Banks' sudden death this past year and enduring quality of his works.

Who's in the Attic, What's in the Basement, and I Don't Know Is Under the Bed was the last panel I was on for the convention.  I moderated it, but our discussion of horror tropes in contemporary film and literature was lost to the sleepy haze of the convention's last few hours.  It was nice, but I wish we had had more time to delve into monsters and the things that terrify contemporary audiences.

All these panels were sandwiched in between meal outings and drinks with friends and con-goers.  I also got to catch up with one of my Clarion teachers, Elizabeth Bear, which, as always, was an absolute delight.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Apex Rides the Hurt

Earlier this week, the 57th issue of Apex Magazine featuring my poem, Sleep Lives Inside the Bed, dropped.  The "top billing," if you can call it that (and I wouldn't), is due to nothing but the luck of having a last name starting with a letter early in the alphabet.  Mine is the shortest piece in there.

I love Karla Oritz's cover art.  Wonderfully creepy but beautiful.  Looking at her blog, a number of her pieces fit that to a T.  I definitely recommend checking her site out.

And the magazine, if you haven't already.  It's rad.