Keffy

everything i do is so fucking amazing that sparks are going to shoot out of your eyes

Tag: short stories

What I did in 2015 & eligibility & some books I liked

AAAH, how is it already 15 days into 2016???? If I don’t write this now, I’ll end up putting it off until it’s already 2017. D:

 

Anyway. I spent way, way waaaaaay more of 2015 being sick (hospital, and later pneumonia from a DIFFERENT illness), maneuvering un/underemployment, applying for graduate schools, interviewing for graduate schools, traveling to the east coast and back, moving across the country, and somewhere in the middle of all that, running a successful Kickstarter and starting a magazine (GlitterShip).

Speaking of which, I still owe a LOT of Kickstarter rewards, so, that’s on my “OH NO OH NO DON’T HATE ME” GET IT DONE list for 2016.

I did not have as much fiction out this year as I would have liked, so my “here’s what I wrote that is eligible for you to consider for whatever” is just this:

 

“Singing Wings” in Fireside Issue 27, September 2015. Flash fiction.

“And Never Mind the Watching Ones”  Uncanny Issue 6, Sept/Oct 2015. Novelette.

 

So if you’re inclined to recommend these to others, thanks! If not, please recommend and nominate the works you DID like. (Although, I admit to not feeling much like there’s a point, since undoubtedly the s/r pup organizers will show up to shit all over everything again. Gee, thanks.

 

EDITED TO CLARIFY:

According to the Hugo Award rules, GlitterShip is NOT eligible as a semiprozine because it is eligible as a fancast.

So, if you enjoyed GlitterShip last year and wish to nominate it for Hugos, it is eligible as a fancast.

I am also eligible as best editor short form, but let’s be honest, there are a TON of other editors eligible. Do go look up who is editing your favorite magazines and anthologies!

GlitterShip is a podcast and a magazine. It’s probably eligible for something, somewhere. I know there are Parsec awards that have to do with podcasts specifically, but I haven’t followed those very closely.

 

My reading has mostly been subsumed in reading Tiptree recommendations, and in terms of THAT award you just have to wait until we’re all done with it in March and then the whole jury will let you know.

 

However, here’s a list of 2015 books that I personally enjoyed, and should not be considered an endorsement for anything other than “here are some books from last year that you might like.”

It’s a mix of YA, adult, fantasy, science fiction, collections, comics.

 

Radiance – Catherynne M. Valente

Signal to Noise – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Red Girls – Kazuki Sakuraba

Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley

Aurora – Kim Stanley Robinson

I Am Princess X – Cherie Priest

Shadowshaper – Daniel José Older

The Fifth Season – N. K. Jemison

Falling in Love with Hominids – Nalo Hopkinson

Three Songs for Roxy – Caren Gussoff

Cherry Crow Children – Deborah Kalin

The Only Ones -Carola Dibbell

Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho

Planetfall – Emma Newman

The Beyond Anthology: Queer Science Fiction / Fantasy Comics ed. by Sfé R. Monster & Taneka Stotts.

What I did this year… as far as I remember.

Well, I had a few short stories come out this year, and I went to some conventions. I’m still more-or-less employed, still more-or-less carrying my Clarion debt, and still haven’t gone surgeon hunting because a) not enough money b) the plan was to lose weight first… welp.

I managed to acquire more books than I read, again. (Which was less of a financial burden than it sounds due to how many of them were purchased on sale/clearance/given to me.) I should probably cull the shelves. Even if I wanted to read all these (not always true anymore) I think I have at least 10 years worth of books unread.

I had a few short stories come out. I’m listing them here because even though it’s a pathetically small number, it’s more than I managed last year, so there’s that.

“Mice” in Fireside (August 2013).
“Gazing into the Carnauba Wax Eyes of the Future” in What Fates Impose (Sept 2013).
“HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!!” in Lightspeed (Oct 2013). [Link]
“This is a Ghost Story” in Apex (Nov 2013). [Link]

Of these, I’m still astonished that Ghost story and Robot Army sold in the first place. Ghost Story, for one, contains poetry. LOOK I NEVER THOUGHT I COULD WRITE POETRY? (maybe I can’t) SO IT’S STILL WEIRD TO ME THAT I EVEN DID. I’m still overly proud of the story, though, so I don’t know. Go read it or whatever.

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! also inspired a kickstarted anthology which over-funded.

I have four reprints on deck for some time next year. Two of these are foreign rights sales (French and Polish), one is HELP FUND… for the Kickstarted anthology and the other is a reprint that was accepted back in March, but Stuff occurred, so I’m still waiting for the okay to announce that one.

I did turn in a short comic proposal this year. I don’t feel super hopeful about it, mostly because I know they can only buy 10-ish out of the 220 open call proposals that came in. This is not very many, and I suspect there are people in that pile with much more impressive comics/writing/art credits.

I’ve finally figured out what I needed to make a webcomic concept I’ve been playing with for years interesting enough to start drawing it, though I’m holding off right now because a) I need to draw dogs, dogs, dogs, more dogs, and dogs and b) I need to figure out what layout works best: page? strip? individual panels? WHAT. So I don’t know when that will go live, since after I figure that out I have to work up a reasonable backlog before I start posting. See also: things I learned about webcomics by doing it all wrong the first time.

What if I just want to draw hands for other artists.

I went back to freelance writing for one job, which I promptly worked my ass off to finish in five days and then got stiffed by the customer, who disappeared from the face of the planet, although the text I wrote for him is being happily used on some fucking website. This kind of killed what little I AM GOING TO MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO GET TOP SURGERY momentum I had because I don’t have the time or energy to do stuff for assholes for free. It’s probably time for another batch of angry emails, but I hate writing emails and to be honest, I feel demoralized enough to just pretend that it didn’t happen. Oh my god, do I ever fucking hate chasing people down for payment.

To be honest, my overwhelming feeling regarding the last year is wondering why I even bothered. The number of open calls that I wanted to write stories for but couldn’t finish because I was having trouble creating my way out of a paper bag is too high to mention. (And I’m fucking ashamed). I feel even more strongly like whatever YAY NEW WRITER promise I might have pretended to have a few years ago is fully gone and squandered. Which is all stuff I probably shouldn’t even say, so when nobody wants fiction from me, it’s really my own fault. Surprise! I still suck.

I’ve got messy half-drafts of three short stories, and am still fucking around with the vampire book that people tell me not to call a vampire book, but I think I’m at about 10 completely separate reasons as to why it’s Never Going To Sell, so whatever. Gay. Vampires. One of the characters smokes. Right now 0.3% of the words in the rewrite are “fuck.” It may or may not be YA. Etc. No, but seriously, more people should totally go LOLSNORT TWILIGHTTHHHHNNNNNGGGG at me because that’s fucking clever. Good job, nobody else has ever thought to compare any and all mentions of vampires to Twilight, you must be a god-damned genius.

That said, this year I did watch about 3 minutes of one of the Twilight movies because it contained Vampire Baseball, which was just as awesomely stupid as I expected, up to and including the fact that apparently vampires don’t know the difference between the hand signals for “safe” and “out.” (“WHOO~! OUT!” he screams, gesturing “safe” with his stupid vampire arms.)

I have been watching some newer TV shows. I wanted to like Sleepy Hollow, but it was too stupid and not interesting enough to hold my attention. I think I made it one or two episodes past the massively awful Magical Indian episode.

Almost Human tried to be good, and I do love Karl Urban, but cops cops cops all shows are about cops if the show isn’t about cops why even bother cops cops cops cops cops. This also applies to Sleepy Hollow, which would have been 99% less stupid if the protagonist hadn’t been a cop. Seriously, if she’d had literally any other job, it would have been a much better show.

I am still watching Dracula, also known as Crackula, because it’s incomprehensible nonsense but it’s entertaining incomprehensible nonsense. Sure, Van Helsing is a mad scientist who brought Dracula back to life so that together they can perfect green, wireless energy and destroy British big oil. Or… whatever is going on. I don’t know. I admit that I have trouble telling all the random British dudes apart. So far their sideburns are my best bet. Plus, it’s not about cops. Is it the only TV show on all of TV that’s not about cops? I think so.

Movies: Catching Fire was as good as the first movie in the series and was exactly what I wanted it to be. Byzantium (MORE VAMPIRES) was an awesome movie, if you like moody vampires staring off into space and being moody and then killing some dudes. Which I do. I rented a bunch of things that were mostly terrible, so I won’t talk about those. I also actually enjoyed Gatsby for the costumes and:

-Although the movie overall seemed to be trying to recreate the feeling of reading Fitzgerald in a 10th grade English class. HERE, LET ME PICK OUT THE THEMES AND PUT THE TEXT UP ON SCREEN FOR YOU.

In 2014, I’ll turn 30, so I’ll close out my 20s without having accomplished much of anything and with nobody to blame but myself for it. So that’s fun, I guess.

In short: wah, I want 2014 to be better, but I feel like I’ve run out of “try” and I’m honestly not sure what to do now. I feel terribly cut off if I turn off social media, but I get stressed out when I leave it on. (It feels like Twitter consists of nothing anymore except for Important Hashtags that end up getting trolled and notices that friends of friends have succumbed to suicide.) I feel like I only have two emotions anymore, despair and anger. So, there’s that. I’d say “here’s to 2014 being better” but to be honest, everything I hated about 2013 was under my own control, and I have no idea what to do anymore. New Year’s is typically the only holiday I give a shit about anymore, and today I’d like to just pretend it isn’t happening.

What am I looking forward to in 2014? Right now, nothing.

This is a Ghost Story published.

Well, okay, so it’s been out for almost 2 weeks now, but excruciating lateness is about what you should expect from me in the blog arena.

“This is a Ghost Story” is in the November issue of Apex Magazine, so go read it. The rest of the issue is also pretty awesome, with stories by Vajra Chandrasekera, Bogi Takács and Jim Hines. Plus poetry from actual poets Rose Lemberg and Alexandra Seidel.

I feel like since this is a blog, I should have more to say about the story, but I can’t think of any introduction to it that wouldn’t seem utterly ridiculous, completely depressing, or a horrific combination of the two. I wrote it. Lynne bought it. Apex published it, and now it’s there.

It’s the first thing I’ve ever published that had poetry in it, for better or worse, so there’s that.

If you enjoy it, please consider reviewing the story or the issue wherever you write reviews. Or comment or something. Actually, you can also review it if you don’t like the story, because, whatever. I actually enjoy reading my negative reviews because there’s something perverse deep in my mind.

It’s also available in audio (read by Lynne), for the Apex podcast.

In other story-related news, the HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! kickstarter funded, so that anthology will eventually be unleashed to continue the complete destruction of the entire literary world.

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! (no, seriously)

Well, kind of.

FIRST, another one: HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! is out in Lightspeed Magazine and you can read it with your eyeballs.

SECOND, that story is ALSO going to be reprinted in an anthology. Which is why I’m plugging another Kickstarter. I KNOW. I KNOW, okay. I KNOW.

HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! and Other Improbable Kickstarters.

I hope you like the story, aaaaand I hope that the Kickstarter funds gloriously so all those awesome people listed on the page for it get paid. Also, so that then I can read the ALL the stuff.

But now I think I’m going to go back to bed, because this is all so very meta.

Enjoy the story!

STUFF that is GOING ON.

It always occurs to me after the fact that I could put things on my blog (which, unlike Twitter, has object permanence. ha. ha.)

About 2 weeks ago I got an acceptance from Lightspeed for “HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!!” which is about what it sounds like. It should be out in October.

When I went to add it to the forthcoming section on this site, I realized that I have exactly as many professional rate acceptances slated to come out this year as I have ever had previously. Welp.

The other stuff coming out this year:
“Mice” should be in Fireside Year 2 (Issue 1, which I think is slated for August now.)
“Gazing into the Carnauba Wax Eyes of the Future” – later this year, in the Kickstarted What Fates Impose anthology.
“This is a Ghost Story” – Apex, also later this year… maybe November? December? It’s not officially set, though, so I’m pulling months out of my ass, here. : )

Oh, if you’ve been wondering how it’s going, the Waterloo Productions film of “The Ghost of a Girl Who Never Lived” is still in production, though it’s been pushed back so that they have time to finish the Jay Lake documentaries. (Which is super important, so I’m glad that they’re getting those done.)

I’ve also been planning it for a while, but I’m finally starting to seriously eyeball my drafting table and cast longing glances over my dusty-ass art supplies, so we’ll see if I can get my shit together enough to do something with those. I’ll probably come up with some sort of half-comic half-prose monstrosity that nobody will publish. Yay! \ô\ ~ /ô/ ~ \ô/ ~ \ô\ ~ \ô/ (That’s me, dancing. See the hat?)

This weekend, I’ll be in Portland for Cascade Writers, where I’ll be on some panels and talking about stuff like whether or not short story editors care about your cover letter and if there are enough stories with queer characters in them. (No, and THERE CAN NEVER BE ENOUGH.)

Yet Another Write-a-Thon Update

Hey!

So, I finally finished a second short story draft, with what… a week and a half to go?

(No, you can’t read it yet, it’s terrible. No, you don’t want to, trust me.)

Basically, if I’m going to do this thing, I’m going to have to suck it up and finish drafts of all these miserable and abandoned stories — and do that WHILE taking the first two weeks of a super-condensed organic chemistry class.

Yes, because pacing myself was apparently too difficult of a concept. Whoops! But, I’m still going to make it, because a) it’s for Clarion and b) at this point, I’m so fucking tired of having no finished fiction that I don’t even care if these are terrible. I DO NOT CARE. That’s what rewrites are for!

ANYWAY. Besides the update, I have a reward for people who have donated!

If you have sponsored or pledged $15 $10 or more to my write-a-thon drive (or if you choose to do so before August 5) I will mail you a signed perfect bound dead-tree edition of the PDF I made last year. It contains four of my short stories: Advertising at the End of the World, Machine Washable, Bone Dice, and Daha’s Son. And illustrations! The PDF copy is available online, but I don’t sell the print version, so this is going to be a veeeery limited print run.

I’m on the wrong computer right now, so I can’t find the cover image complete with terrible font choice, so here’s the full image I used for the cover (I drew it in December 2010.)

 

And, either way, here’s the PDF (I kept forgetting to put it back up after I switched my site around:

four-stories

Thanks, everybody!

 

 

ETA: If you already sponsored for $10 or more, I’ll be in touch with you on August 5 or 6. Also, if you don’t want another book (I totally understand), then I won’t send you anything. 🙂

One down… five to go?

AGH. I somehow always manage to forget that summer = BUSY. Usually this is because everything that I’ve promised to be involved with happens in the summer. You would think that I’d figure this pattern out at some point, but no.

So, what is up with the Write-a-Thon? I’ve written every day (although I missed clicking the button once or twice, oops). And, though I’m woefully behind, I have finally finished A Draft of A Short Story that turned out to be not so entirely Short — and really I would have been better off if I’d just said HAY GUYS IT IS NOVELLA.

Except, I didn’t, and instead I spent the time trying to cram a great big huge story down to a short story length. In the end, I have 6,666 words (yes, that many exactly) of a draft-nobody-else-gets-to-read. This is, incidentally, why I didn’t write a bunch of updates. I kept getting embarrassed after the end of week one that I hadn’t finished a short story yet.

But now I have! Even though I had real writer’s block as opposed to my usual problem, which is that I’m moping because I intensely dislike everything I write. I fixed that by writing on the Link light rail which is a surprisingly good place for me to write. I would do that every evening, but I’m worried the light rail people will freak out if I go to the airport and back for no reason except that I want to sit on the train.

So far I’ve raised $124 and I have $132 in pledges (which means I need to write faster.)

The little bar is turning GREEEEEEN.

This story is going to need a lot more work before I can send it out, sadly, if I get that far. But, the path to publication is littered with the eviscerated bodies of failed projects, so whatever.

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