Once & Future

Charlotte Ashley – Book seller, collector, writer, editor, historian

May 19, 2017

In Which That Escalated Quickly

I’ve said before that I enjoy collaboration. I am not a cabin-in-the-woods writer (unless that cabin has five bedrooms and a huge kitchen, for parties) – I write better with company, with a sounding board, with exchange. I really found my feet as a writer when I joined a local writing group, because even chatting for two hours about writing once a month was enough to open my brain up. I find collaborating energizing.

Which is all very well for me, one of the rare “extroverted writers” of the world, but I worry about my collaborators. Sometimes, I wonder if they regret what they’ve gotten themselves into.

Let me give an example. Let me talk about The Archipelago.

Last year, Andrew Leon Hudson contacted me and asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a Patreon account. By pooling our audiences, multiple authors would reach more readers than just one, he reasoned. And readers, they’d get three stories for the price of one! We’d just have to commit to producing regular material over a long period of time.

Sounds good, right? Sharing, my favourite thing! This should have been an easy ask.

Sure, I replied. But instead of just releasing, you know, ANY OLD WRITING, why don’t we collaborate on the world instead? We could release serial novels in a shared world.

Andrew hesitated, but agreed. He had been burned by a shared world project in the past, but maybe if we were more diligent…

BUT WAIT, I no doubt ploughed right over his concerns. WHAT IF our shared world was COMPETITIVE? People could pick a faction/writer to support, and we could write our stories tactically, like a role playing game!

To his credit, Andrew rose to the occasion, and the Archipelago was born. But our ambition didn’t stop there.

We had soon brainstormed the beginnings of our world and recruited Kurt Hunt to the cause. “This should be easy,” we thought. “A chapter a month, a few thousand words… I can do this in my spare time.”

Ha ha ha.

Then we decided to create a three whole side-plots, for readers who wanted to “declare fealty” to one faction.

Then we decided to properly brand ourselves, and invest in art and design.

Then we decided to allow audience interaction.

Then we decided to launch with a Kickstarter campaign.

Pretty soon, we were committed to at least 5k words of fiction a month, much of it written on the fly, maintaining a Wiki, publishing ebooks, commissioning artists, writing world guides, and more. “Spare time,” indeed.

Bookmarks!

Do I have any regrets?

Absolutely none.

Here’s the thing about Archipelago: every time I mentioned to someone what I was working on, their eyes went wide. Every time I sent a draft to a reader, they returned it covered in exclamation marks. My cousin started writing Archipelago fan-fiction before we had even finalized a chapter.  Something about the world, about the project, just sings to me. I have had more fun writing over the last six months than I had in the preceding two years. I’m buried in it, but happily. There is treasure here.

Today, BlackGate.com are kind enough to host my first Archipelago story, “The Ur-Ring.” This is an introduction to my Nation, Al’Tahj, but also a stand-alone story in its own right. Kurt called it “our banteriest story yet,” and it is, indeed, very banter-y, but also marvelous and mysterious, I hope. You can read it here.

I hope you’ll read along. Starting June 1st, subscribers to our Patreon will receive three Archipelago stories per month. You can subscribe for as little as $1/month! You could also support us at our Kickstarter campaign this month for bonus material and an early chance to have a character, ship or even an island named after you.

Obviously, it serves me entirely to say this story is going to be great, but I’m sincere as well. It’s going to be great. It already is. I am so glad Andrew talked me into it. I hope he and Kurt forgive me for taking them into so much more!

Follow The Archipelago on Twitter and/or Facebook for updates!

May 5, 2017

A Sequel, and Your Chance to Hear It!

I am absolutely thrilled to be able to tell you all that I have sold my sequel to “La Héron” – “The Satyr of Brandenburg” – to F&SF! This will be my 4th F&SF story, but my first sequel, and I’m really excited about it.

Short story writers, we have to get used to killing our darlings. A short story is a brief, stand alone medium. Nobody gets three-story short deals, and selling to the same place more than once is not always easy. You have to make a new case for how awesome your story is every single time you submit. It’s easier to write one and done – close all the loose threads and move on to new characters, new settings, new plots. Because you never know what will happen to it.

But I love La Héron and Alex. I loved them right away, and I knew from the get-go that they had more life in them than one fairy duel. I really, I realized, should have given them a novel right away, but I love the episodic format, meeting up with the same characters every week, or month, or year, for a new adventure. It was a hard sell, but a sell I knew I needed to gun for, because I couldn’t just leave these guys alone. They have adventures to undertake, foes to defeat, and intrigues to uncover.

I have no idea when “The Satyr of Brandenburg” will hit the shelves, but I will be reading from it this weekend at Ad Astra! This is your chance to get a little preview. I’ll be reading in the Markham B suite tomorrow morning at 10:30am – come for my co-readers, Tonya Liburd & Malon Edwards, and stay for a little taste of the further adventures of La Héron. It will be worth it all around!

May 3, 2017

Ad Astra 2017!

Yay, it’s Con Time! Being pretty Toronto-locked, my convention options are few, but choice. Ad Astra’s our biggie, and so I try to be involved in a big way. I’ll be there all weekend, and in addition to my run of panels and readings, I LOVE MEETING PEOPLE so, seriously, don’t be shy. Let’s hang out!

I’ll also be there with Archipelago bookmarks (which look awwwesoooome) and copies of all my published work for sale. I COME WITH LOOT. Yes I do.

If you need to know where to find me, here is my panel schedule:

Reading, Saturday 10:30am – Markham B

I’m the one on the schedule, but I will be hosting the PHENOMENAL local writers Tonya Liburd & Malon Edwards! Come see 3-for-1. If you’re lucky, I might read from my forthcoming “La Heron” sequel, “The Satyr of Brandenburg.”

Starting Them Young: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Picture Books, Saturday 2:00pm – Newmarket

w/ Brandon Draga, Charlotte Ashley, Deanna Laver, Alisse Lee Goldenberg, Carolyn Charron

Nearly everyone who is a fan of genre will look to things like Narnia, the Hobbit, Redwall, or Ender’s Game as their introduction to SF/F, but how much earlier could one be introduced to such things? How do you define what makes a picture book scif-fi or fantasy? What are some examples, classic or new, that illustrate this?

What is this play of Role of which you speak? Saturday 7:00pm – Newmarket

w/ Brandon Draga, Charlotte Ashley, Deanna Laver, Nicole Lavigne

An introduction to the RPG hobby, with a look at a variety of games for the new player,

Crowdfunding Strategies,  Sunday 10:00am – Newmarket

w/ Thomas Gofton, Charlotte Ashley, Beverly Bambury, Darrell Drake, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Kari Maaren

So you want to fund your film, book, game or invention? Come to this panel and hear the tricks, tips, downfalls and reality of making your next level maneuver in crowdfunding. Learn about the different platforms, styles and methods to help you gain maximum success.

Disrupting the Narrative, Sunday 11:00am – Richmond CD

w/ Rebecca Diem, Charlotte Ashley, Eli K.P. William, Cathy Hird, Vanessa Ricci-Thode, Carolyn Charron

Science fiction and fantasy has the potential to transform our worldview. The inclusion of alternate perspectives and diverse characters help us to re-examine the past, present or future, in our universe or beyond. Inserting new experiences into old narratives shows the limitless potential of stories to inspire us. This panel will look at stories that shake up our perspective, from Steampunk and alternate history to dystopian fantasy.

May 2, 2017

“Sigrid Under the Mountain” is now a Podcast!

It’s new publication day! Are podcasts publications? I’m new enough to this technology that I don’t know the terminology yet – I must be getting old. :/

Sigrid is also old, but, like me, she is too cranky to know it, and wouldn’t care even if she did. I love her, you will love her – I hope you’ll give it a listen.

“Sigrid Under the Mountain” read by Nina Niskanen @ PodCastle.

April 24, 2017

Spring Cleaning!

I love change. You know that thing where you get frustrated with your life, so you cut all your hair off and dye it blue? That’s me, only with everything. Starting a new novel, painting a room, quitting a job or adopting a cat: it doesn’t matter how big or small a change is. The prospect of something new and different is my personal catnip, irresistible.

My desire to shake things up has often been at odds with my sense of responsibility, and one of the greatest lessons I have had to learn as an adult is the value of stability. Before I had kids, I often pictured myself as the sort of mother who would raise her children in a camper-trailer, traveling from place to place and training my children to be circus-performing ninja pickpockets. I cultivated an array of diverse skills from juggling and fiddling to sourdough baking and knitting, thinking I would live by my wits one day at a time, doing something different every day to suit the needs of the moment. I hated the idea of stagnation, of repetition.

I have had to learn differently. Change is exciting, but it is precarious. The greater, more lasting victories in life require harder work, slogging, dreaded repetition. You can’t give up on a thing when it becomes hard or boring. Building a legacy, even if it is just a family, requires roots. I learned to sit still and work.

This isn’t always good either. Sometimes, especially if staying put doesn’t come naturally to you, you can fail to see the point at which it is normal, and not compulsive, to give up on a thing. Change isn’t always just for thrillseekers. Sometimes it is the necessary next step.

This winter, I broke with my partner of 14 years, the father of my children. Subsequently, I realized I was not going to be able to make ends meet, going forward, by staying in the same bookstore I have worked in for 15 years. Big changes are coming.

The Short Game

I have been writing short stories for four years now. This spring, I sold the last of my unsold short stories – yep, I emptied the trunk. I am beyond thrilled with my success as a short story writer, but in light of my new work and financial situation, I know I will have less time and energy to dedicate to it.

No, I am not giving up writing. Au contraire, I have my sights on bigger projects than ever. Next month, I will be launching Archipelago, a shared-world, interactive serial swashbuckling novel. May 1st, we will launch both a Kickstarter campaign and a Patreon page through which you will be able to sample and support this endeavor.

It is so good, you guys. I say this is an utterly non-self-promotional voice… we’ve written something fantastic here, and I am so excited to share it with you. Watch this space for more.

My short work will continue to appear over the next year or so. Last month, I spoiled the TOC of Sum of Us from Laksa Media, including my story, “Orang Tua Adventure Home Academy.” I now have this book in my hot little hands and it looks GREAT. That should be coming in September.

In June, “A Fine Balance” will turn up once again in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017 ed. Rich Horton. Watch for a selfie of that one too, possibly of me drooling on it, because YEAR’S BEST, GUYS!

I am pleased to tell you about two new sales as well!

My breakup revenge fantasy ecopunk scifi story, “She Falls,” will appear in Upper Rubber Boot’s forthcoming anthology Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good. URB will be facilitating pre-orders via a Kickstarter in May, so release details will come then.

Then, one of my personal favourite stories, “Gog and Magog,” will appear in Kaleidotrope in 2018. “Gog and Magog” takes place in 12th century Georgia under the reign of Queen Tamar, told from the POV of an illiterate prostitute in the style of a medieval (Byzantine?) chronicle. And it is hilarious.

I will also suggest that there might be a sequel to “La Heron” on the horizon. *mysterious whistling*

But then what?

With Archipelago consuming most of my writing time and resume-writing taking up the rest, I am going to leave off short fiction for a while.

But then what?

Well, I don’t know. I have the world ahead of me. I am looking for a new job (writers, publishing people, leads appreciated) and wondering if I can – or should – keep my house. I’m meeting new people and trying new things. I’m thinking about school again. I’m letting myself get excited about potential.

It’s spring, and change is here. It’s hard not to love it.

April 3, 2017

Aurora Nominations are Open!

Happy April, everyone. Apparently it is spring in the warmer places of the world. In Canada, spring doesn’t reliably arrive until May and we don’t have fresh produce until mid-June, so I could say something pithy about rebirth and growth and sunshine here except I’m not really feeling it. April is the month where you die of starvation lying in a sunny, plush, green field because winter took too long finding the door.

But I’ll tell you what keeps this writer from starving in April’s glory, and that is AWARDS SEASON. The Hugos and the Nebulas are off to the printers, but the Canadian awards are just thawing off. The nomination period for the Prix Aurora Awards opened last Friday, and let me tell you, I am severely interested in earning your nomination.

Here’s how that works:

To nominate people and works for the Aurora Award, you need to be a member of the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association. Membership is $10/yr (Canadian play money dollars) and gives you the right to nominate and vote for the awards, as well as other CSFFA business. Additionally, you get the Aurora nominees packet, which traditionally includes a great pile of really amazing work, so that book is more than work the price of admission alone.

Once you are a member, you can nominate! You have until May 7th, 2017 to fill out your ballot.

I am eligible in the short story category, as ever, but if you have a look at the eligibility lists, you’ll see a lot of familiar, excellent names on there. You can nominate things NOT on those lists as well. The list is just a handy reminder! The full eligibility criteria can be found here.

I have three stories on the eligibility list (La Clochemar, More Heat Than Light, and A Fine Balance), but I encourage you to nominate one in particular: “A Fine Balance” from the Nov/Dec 2016 F&SF. Why? First of all, this is my favourite of last year’s stories. Secondly, it can currently be read for free in Event Horizon 2017, the anthology of Campbell-eligible writers, making it the easiest to access of my stories. Lastly, this story has received some of my best reviews of the year, and has been selected for inclusion in Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017, which I think is a pretty great endorsement.

But wait, there’s more! The Auroras have a “Best Related Work” category that I invite you to look closely at as well. Canada has become a producer of a large number of really stellar short fiction anthologies thanks to the efforts of places like ChiZine, Exile Editions, Laksa Media, and EDGE, and this is the category where those books get their due. My selfish favourite this year is Exile’s Clockwork Canada, ed. Dominik Parisien. I would be proud as anything to see this book on the ballot.

That’s me. What have you read and loved in Canadian SFF this year? Join the CSFFA and let us all know. Writers eat praise and this might just keep us going until the strawberries show up in June.

 

March 14, 2017

Sum of Us TOC Announcement!

I have been waiting months to tell you about this one, you guys. Yes, I have another short story coming out in, yes, another nifty anthology. But lest you should think these are becoming routine, let me correct you. There’s is nothing routine about a project like this. I have been fired up about it since Lucas Law asked me to contribute.

Sum of Us is an anthology of stories about the complexities of caregiving, explored through the lens of speculative fiction. That sounds specific, I realize, but it is something that is more fundamental than that: care, connections, community, responsibility for the sum of a people, rather than just the self…. these are things that inform all stories – or should – and I was really invested in exploring it.

I came up with my story immediately, inspired by my father’s attitude towards his own end of life (when it should come, which is hopefully not for ages and ages.) The elders in my life have been curmudgeons and grumps to a man, the sort of people who don’t want to be cared for and who stubbornly intend to raise hell until the moment they (presumably) spontaneously combust, leaving nothing to bury. These are people who, in my opinion, have a lot of energy to harness for grand adventures.

“Orang Tua Adventure Home Academy” is the story of one such curmudgeon who turns up on a beach in Penang, intending to vanish into the jungle, and winds up being pressed into some 17th century hydrodynamic engineering. This story wrote itself. I had so munch fun, and love my characters to pieces.

When I got the final TOC this week, my heart nearly exploded. I am in fantastic company. I genuinely can’t wait to see how this batch of geniuses engage our empathy. Check it out:

Foreword, Lucas K. Law
Introduction, Dominik Parisien
The Dunschemin Retirement Home for Repentant Supervillains, Ian Creasey
Bottleneck, A.M. Dellamonica
Mother Azalea’s Sad Home for Forgotten Adults, James Van Pelt
Things that Creep and Bind, Christie Yant
The Gift, Bev Geddes
The Gatekeeper, Juliet Marillier
The Healer’s Touch, Colleen Anderson
The Crystal Harvester, Brenda Cooper
The Burdens We Bear, Hayden Trenholm
A Mother’s Milk, Heather Osborne
The Mother’s Keepers, Edward Willett
The Oracle and the Warlord, Karina Sumner-Smith
The Beautiful Gears of Dying, Sandra Kasturi
The Gardener, Amanda Sun
Number One Draft Pick, Claire Humphrey
Orang Tua Adventure Home Academy, Charlotte Ashley
Sunshine of Your Love,- Nisi Shawl
Good-bye is that Time between Now and Forever, Matt Moore
Ambassador to the Meek, Alex Shvartsman
Gone Flying, Liz Westbrook-Trenholm
Am I Not a Proud Outlier?, Kate Story
Blinders, Tyler Keevil
Dreams as Fragile as Glass, Caroline M. Yoachim
Afterword, Susan Forest

Anyway, Sum of Us is due out on September 8th, 2017. You can pre-order the book directly from the publisher, Laksa Media. The official launch will be at When Worlds Collide in Calgary, AB in August. I won’t be there (unless someone wants to fly me out there, ha ha ha) but I’ll be at various Ontario launch parties. Watch for it!

March 13, 2017

Event Horizon 2017 – A Free Campbellian Anthology

I blogged earlier this month about the Campbell Award, offering a suggestion or two for who you might want to nominate for it (including me). My list was short n’ sweet, being mostly stellar and very high-profile writers who have shot out into the field like a bundle of fireworks, but it was far from comprehensive. There are dozens of writers who have done some absolutely heartbreaking work in the last two years. Choosing a ballot of 5 is tough work.

But Jake Kerr and Shirtsleeve Press managed to pull of a miracle. Over the course of about a week, they have pulled together Event Horizon 2017: An Anthology of Authors Eligible for the John W. Campbell Award. This free anthology includes the work of over 75 authors eligible for the Campbell award – some 400,000 words of fiction, some of which is being offered for free for the first time.

This includes my short story “A Fine Balance,” which can otherwise only be read on the paper pages of the Nov/Dec 2016 F&SF and the forthcoming Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2017.

Event Horizon will only be available for a limited time. This link will disappear on July 15, 2017. But that is plenty of time to give it a skim and pick your Campbell nominees! You can nominate for the Campbell Award (and the other Hugo Awards) up until March 17th, 2017.

You have nothing to lose! Download the book for a tonne of great reading and an introduction to your next favourite authors. Enjoy!

March 2, 2017

In Which I Am Eligible for the Campbell Award

It’s awards season!

I have been keeping an eye on the award eligibility posts of others in my field, and I think I have the hang of what is expected.  Modesty is the name of the game, fellow Earthlings, and I am nothing if not modest.  Everyone tells me how modest I am. I’m also the most humble. Ask anyone.

I don’t deserve any awards, I’m pretty sure. Personally, I hate my work. Everyone does. The cool people, anyway. Everyone else’s writing is better than mine, probably; if there is even such a thing as quality in art, which there isn’t. Awards are just excuses for fancy parties and circle jerks. Nobody likes those. If I was nominated for any awards, I would refuse them; at first anyway, until you FORCED me to accept them.

On my honour, I have stood impassively in my bubble of authenticity, merely breathing art for its own sake. If any of it happened to make it out into the wider world, I promise that was only an accident, or maybe the unavoidable march of its genius. They published it, not me. I donated my fee to puppies. I never even read it, myself. Oh, you read it? Well, there’s no accounting for taste.

*record scratch*

*struggles not to laugh*

Okay, okay. OKAY.

There is exactly one reason I started writing: because I love my writing. I wanted to read particular stories told in a particular way, so I wrote them myself. I knew just how to craft each character and just how to turn each scene because I needed them to be like that for my own satisfaction, for my own enjoyment. It has been the greatest joy of the last two years to discover that the stories I write resonate not just with me, but with other people – a lot of other people.

My first story to appear in a major publication was “La Héron” in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in early 2015. This story went on to be nominated for both the Aurora Award and the Sunburst Award, and was picked up for podcasting by PodCastle last summer. This was a pretty great start, but 2016 beat that start by a mile.

First, I had my second F&SF appearance with my Quebec Revolution novelette, “More Heat Than Light,” in May 2016.

In June, “La Clochemar” appeared in Clockwork Canada ed. Dominik Parisien, garnering some fantastic reviews.

In August, “La Héron” went up at PodCastle.

In September, Haralambi Markov featured me in his Tor.com column, “Innumerable Voices.”

In October, I undertook a musical collaboration, writing and performing “Distant Skies” with the Junction Trio.

Then, in November, the publication of “A Fine Balance” marked my 3rd appearance in F&SF. Soon after, I placed the story in Rich Horton’s forthcoming Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2017.

In between I sold reprints, did readings, talked at conventions, gave workshops, and joined writer’s groups. I wrote more, sold more, and took on more challenges than ever before. I kicked ass and took names. Not bad for my second year as a professional writer.

My stories are eligible for a variety of awards this year, but what has made me most proud over the last couple of years is not any one story, but the trajectory of my career in general. I decided I wanted to be a writer, and I am doing it. Not only that, I’m doing it well.  I could not be happier with my progress so far, nor could I be more excited about what the future has in store for me.

That’s why the award I am shilling for today is the John W. Campbell Award.

The Campbell Award is a companion of the Hugo Awards, awarded to the ” best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of the two previous years.” I am in my 2nd and last year of eligibility for the Campbell. I would appreciate your nomination.

To nominate for the Campbell (as well as the other Hugos!) you must be a member of the 2016, 2017, or 2018 WorldCon. If you were a supporting member of any of these conventions, you will have received your nomination link! If you join WorldCon 2017 (to be held in Helsinki, Finland) now, you will be eligible to vote for the awards, but not nominate. They will close to nominations on March 18th, 2017.

I hope you will consider me.

And me? Well, okay, *I* am pretty great, but I get to nominate 5 people! Here’s your bonus today – my Campbell ballot. Aside from myself, I will be nominating:

Kelly Robson

Roshani Chokshi

Cassandra Khaw

Tamara Vardomskaya

Cheers, everyone!

December 29, 2016

Packing 2016 Away, Remembering

I had a good 2016.

*ducks, waits for fruit to stop flying*

I did, though. I can’t be cagey about it. I’ve been collegially glum when appropriate this year, but I have to agree with Chris Kutarna, who, when speaking on CBC’s The Current this month, pointed out that periods of great disruption are going to have jolts and shakes in all directions, but we have to retain some perspective or we are at risk of becoming fatalistic. “This is a deeply contested moment,” he said, and that rang true with me. Nobody has won anything. This is not the end of history.

Picture of M used entirely without her permission.

For my little family, this is barely the beginning. My kids, Maggie & Oonagh, are now 8 and 5 years old, respectively. We are into real people territory, complete with opinions, tastes, hobbies, activities, and drama. Maggie reads non-stop, spending all her pocket money on books (benefit #1 of having a bookseller mother: any book you can find an ISBN for, at a discount.) She has become, additionally, a constant library-user. When she started finding typos in her books, she enthusiastically wondered whether perhaps this was a career path: she could read books for a living and find any errors before they go to print! Yes, Maggie discovered editing. I’ve tried to interest her in doing some guest-posts for me, or some YouTube reviews, but alas, she is – well, not shy, I should say, because she is in no way afraid to approach people in real life. But she is private. She doesn’t want her photo online, let alone her words or video. “It’s creepy,” she tells me. Well!

Oonagh learned to read this year as well, though she prefers graphic novels. More energetic by far than her sister, she prefers active games with elaborate props and settings. The stories she tells are delightful, if a little – shall we say, misleading? Her teachers are under several misconceptions about Oonagh’s home life due to her storytelling. We lucked into a teacher this year who is absolutely understanding, however; open-minded when corrected and very keen to encourage her storytelling. “Maybe she will be a writer!” she enthused at parent-teacher interview time. My partner and I both groaned. “Can’t you make her be a doctor?” I was joking, sort of.

The very best thing about kids growing older is that they loosen their grip on you. I went out more this year than I have in the previous ten years, and I’ve been able to take on projects I never could have before. In addition to publishing three new short stories (and two reprints), this year I wrote and performed a story accompanied by the incredible Junction Trio – “Distant Skies.” I learned about lighting and microphones, about the technical limitations of theremin(s?) and the rehearsal habits of professional musicians. I learned I really enjoy stage work, and I plan to do more in the future.

And there was more! I went to Ad Astra, launched Clockwork Canada twice, and read to a crowded room at SFContario. I hosted a really lovely music + writing workshop as part of the House Culture Festival. I went out to a book launch or drinks with writers at least once a month. I felt nourished, supported, and part of something that’s moving in a good direction.

It was also a year for professional firsts. I was nominated for both the Sunburst and Aurora Awards. The same story was listed on both the Nebula recommended reading and Locus recommended reading lists. I sold a story to my very-first Best Of anthology. I had my very first magazine cover. I had my very first Podcast story. I became eligible for full SFWA membership.

By the numbers? I submitted 17 stories (!) 32 times. 14 of these submissions were reprint submissions, which was my biggest push this year.  I sold 2 reprints and another 9 are still under consideration. That only means 3 reprint rejections, but who is counting?

Of the 8 unpublished stories that I submitted the remaining 18 times, 2 were sold – both on their first submission. The remaining 6 poor stories are mostly ones I have had in circulation for three years now. You’d think I’d take the hint, but no. What would I submit, if not these poor, neglected babies?

New writing, maybe? This year, I wrote approximately 54,000 words of new fiction, half of which went into a novel that is now on hold. I did finish 3 new stories, though; two novelettes and a short. I wrote mountains of non-fiction, worldbuilding, and plans. I didn’t track the latter this year, but I can say with certainty that I wrote something almost every day this year, even if it wasn’t publishable word count.

2017 is already prepped to be exciting. I have two publications on the horizon – one in Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Fantasy & Science Fiction 2017 and another soon-to-be-announced work that I am particularly fond of.

We are looking for new venues for more revised, polished performances of  “Distant Skies.” And we enjoyed the process so much that violinist Ivana Popovic and I have plans to do more music/science fiction collaborations in the future under the name Theiamania. 

I am half way through a novella-length alt-history murder mystery, set in the same world as “La Héron.” The main character is a banker with a preference for flings with ogres, and I love her.

And, last but not least, I have a serial in progress. The details will have to be terrible secret at the moment, but suffice to say this project is going to be big, fun, exciting, amazing, and so, so good.

You guys. 2017. It’s gonna be great.

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