Amid the joyous chaos of our second daughter’s birth in April, two conventions (one while pregnant, one while breastfeeding), and a pile of great books, I’m overjoyed to announce that I’ve sold my novella, Le Jardin Animé (1893) to GigaNotoSaurus! It will release January 1, 2020.
Without giving too much away, I hope, it’s about ballet-dancing automata, an aging thornback inventor, and a female Muslim doctor in an isolated Philadelphia mansion in 1893. I’ve referred to it as my mad-scientist gothic.
I have Codex‘s annual novella contest to thank for its existence, and many friends and colleagues there who read and critiqued it across various stages. Several other good friends read it and offered feedback and cheered me on as I sent it into the world for submission. I might never have attempted this without the safety of my writing community. So thank you.
I also sought sensitivity reads once I was pretty sure I was done. I wanted to be sure (or as sure as one can be) that I’d done right by my doctor and one of two POV characters, Zaynab. Their feedback helped me hone what I’d absorbed through research into my best possible characterization of her individual motivations, faith, and world view. Any blind spots are absolutely my own.
I also want to thank Writing the Other for the lessons in craft and in being a good human. In the cacophony of extreme opinions about how writers should navigate diversity, their classes have been a clear voice advocating for thoughtful inclusivity and careful self-examiniation. I highly recommend them to all writers. I hope I have put those lessons to good in this work.
Most of all, I have to thank GigaNotoSarus’s editor, LaShawn M. Wanak, for buying it. I could not be more thrilled.
So stay tuned for a publication announcement first thing next year! And I’ll have doubled-up book reviews coming this week!
Happy 2019 indeed!
How lovely it is to get to start the year off with some good news to share! My beloved witch-queen story from last year’s Sword & Sonnet will run on an upcoming episode of Podcastle! That makes my third sale to an Escape Artists podcast and my first to this fabulous home for fantasy fiction.
It’s been a long time since I’ve properly updated here for a whole host of reasons, most of which center around the fact that I spent two months languishing through morning sickness last summer. Yes, Baby #2 is due in April, and that means a very interesting year ahead indeed for this writer-mom. I’ve got lots of irons in the fire for the year ahead, including another wonderful Boskone (schedule TBA when it’s final!), my thoughts on forthcoming SFF novels and short story collections (and probably a few older ones, too), and who knows what kind of answers for story submissions galore. I’ve been very active on Twitter lately, so check there if you want blow-by-blow updates as the year progresses!
New sale–and not the one I teased in my post last week!
I’m delighted that my fantasy story “El Cantar de la Reina Bruja” will appear in the battle poet anthology Sword & Sonnet. (Click the link; the artwork is phenomenal!)
I’m as excited to read this as I am to be a contributor! I owe a huge thanks to the friends that read and critiqued this before I sent it out and everyone who attended my reading at Boskone and offered kind words (it was out on submission by then).
Expect more details as everything comes together, but the anthology will be available in print and digital later this year.
February ended and March began with a blizzard that knocked my power out for three days. All has been well since then, just busy and harried and I didn’t really have time until this moment to sit down and catch up with myself on this.
The short of it really is that February and March were not the most successful writing-y-the-numbers months I’ve had. Is that okay? Sure. Mostly because what I did do was significant. I put the finishing touches on a few stories and submitted them. I re-wrote the beginning of the new novel I’m working on and reworked the outline to cut a projected 20k out of the book (always a good thing for overwriters like me!). And I sold a reprint! More news there when I get the countersigned contract!
Possibly as important as writing time these months were the hours spent with friends, colleagues, and family. I had plenty of dips and dives (see below), but they were all tempered by getting to return to my extrovert ways here and there. If I can cobble together a year that is both productive and filled with people, it’ll be a good year indeed.
A CAREER BINGO LANDMARK: 100th Rejection
I got my 100th short fiction rejection recently and had a little self-care party in its honor. I think it important to celebrate landmarks like this for lots of reasons. First, it’s a sign that I’ve been submitting, that I’m actively doing the work it takes to be published. But I also think our society could use a little normalizing of struggle. Social media casts a rosy light on so much of our lives that any one of us in a rut might end up feeling like we’re the only one not “living our best life.” I know that kind of living isn’t without hard work, mistakes, ad outright failure, and I think there’s no shame in being honest about the ups and the down of the process. So yeah. One hundred rejections.
WHERE I STRUGGLED
I have a kid in daycare and that means we get every bug that breezes through. A whole week in February to the flu and the intermittent colds have slowed everything down. Oh and the snowstorm and resulting snow days. And February vacation week (no, not “we went on vacation,” just “no school.” And migraines. And needing to adult. I resented a lot of the stops and starts for a while, but really, there was nothing to be done about them besides work through them and after them. And I did. Life’s never going to give me the all-clear-to-write-without-interruptions, so I’ll just keep making the most of what I get. And I’ll be glad for it later!
BY THE NUMBERS
- Words written: 29.805/200,000 (chugging along)
- New works (goal: 12 new shorter works submitted in 2018):
- Started: 7
- Drafted: 6
- Revised: 3
- Submitted: 3
- Books read: 12/30 (see above)
I’m very excited to announce that my flash story “Phalium arium ssp. anams” sold to Cast of Wonders, the excellent YA fiction podcast!
I wrote this one after the Viable Paradise reunion in October and must again thank Leigh Wallace/Leigh Five for her excellent illustration, shown here, as well as all who offered feedback on the story when it was done. Your encouragement meant a lot!
One thing quite important to the story of this sale is its main character: I named her after my grandmother-in-law who passed just last week. I will be forever grateful that I read it to her myself. Another character is named for both her husband and my mother’s uncle, both of whom had passed long before I’d written the story. By doing this, I feel as though I had a chance to memorialize two long-lived, deeply loving Irish-American couples in one fell swoop, and I hope that both families smile when they get to listen and read.
I don’t yet know when this one will air, but you bet I’ll make sure you know about it.
And Gram and Grampa Flynn, Aunt Shirley, and Uncle Mike: if you get internet access in heaven, know we love you.
You may have heard this before because I shouted it from rooftops when I signed the contract, but I have enough details that it deserves a short post. ‘The Moon, the Sun, and the Truth” will appear in Shimmer‘s Issue 38, which releases in July 2017!
I started writing this story in a friend’s hotel room mid-Arisia 2017 as part of the Codex Weekend Warrior flash contest. After comments came through, it was clear the story needed more space. I gave it another pass or two, and it shaped up into something worthy of the badgery-shimmery-goodness of this amazing magazine. It’s roots are lodged in what I saw as a notable moment in journalism, but the story is set in a wilder sort of West than once was.
I could not be more proud or excited! Can’t wait to share it with you this summer!
This month’s round-up is the perfect example of why I need these. I had some big wins early on, but a slow week has gotten me into a funk. So let’s review the month and scare off some brain-weasels, shall we?
- STORY SALE: I will write a whole post for this when I know for sure when it will publish, but I sold “The Moon, The Sun, and the Truth” to Shimmer (yes SHIMMER, #squee) this month! I couldn’t be more proud of this little former-flash future-Western-dystopia that I wrote for the Codex Weekend Warrior flash contest in January. If you were at my Boskone reading in February, you heard it. Expect to see it later this year.
- Words Written: 17,211 (YTD: 74,713 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
- Works Complete: 1 novel! #Brains is done and with a few readers! (YTD: 3 | 2017 Goal: 10)
- Submissions to Paying Markets: 5 (YTD: 27)
- Books Read: 0 — but only because I beta-read two novels for friends (YTD: 7 | 2017 Goal: 30)
- 2 rejections (both forms) and 1 SALE
- Of my 7 active submissions, 4 have been bumped from slush/are in editors’ hold piles
- Did I mention that I finished #Brains? I’m quite happy with the result, draft though it is.
- My critique for Botanizer was amazing. Revising has been slow–partly because revising is slow and partly because life.
- Days I’ve written this month: 13/31
- Days written since the inauguration: 47/69
- Longest streak: 31 days
Still wanting to get a short written, revised, and submitted by the end of April, but I’ll be tackling a novella mid-Botanizer revisions so…we’ll see?
Yes, you read that right. I sold a story.
“Taking Care of Business” (née “Twice Nightly”) will appear in the forthcoming steampunk anthology Swords & Steam Short Stories (Sept 2016), part of Flame Tree Publishing’s Gothic Fantasy series. I wrote it during Viable Paradise XVIII (2014) and did not honestly think I had it in me until it was on the page. It will be my first professional fiction publication.
Many of you have read or heard about this particular short story, and your support has been elemental in getting me to rewrite, revise, and resubmit this. For that I thank you. Particular thanks goes to Peter Archer, whose Facebook comment birthed this curiosity in my head and who has been a great friend on this road.
For those who don’t know anything about this story, well, I won’t spoil the fun. I’ll just say that an American favorite winds up in the wrong time, in the wrong London neighborhood, with the wrong crowd. It’s gritty and dark and fun. And if you need a taste of it, just listen to the Jekyll & Hyde Original Broadway Cast Recording. I know I did!
Expect more here as the gears get moving! (All puns intended.)