Curious Fictions

I want to let you know about an opportunity I’m thinking about over at the Curious Fictions platform, on my personal author space. Click the link, then click “Posts” and you’ll see that I’m thinking about expanding my presence there, and I’m asking for thoughts on what readers there would like to see.

If you want to join the readership at Curious Fictions, I’d be glad to see you. Even if you don’t, do check out the site–there are some amazing authors there, posting some awesome work.

Advertisements
Posted in blogging, Curious Fictions | Tagged ,

“Cold Currents” gets a Review

Locus Magazine short fiction reviewer Karen Burnham took a look at the January edition of Abyss & Apex Magazine, wherein my flash fiction story, “Cold Currents,” is published. I’m really pleased to say it was one of three stories that stood out enough for her to review. (It’s in the print edition on pg 40)

The highlight of the review states my story is “an intense piece of flash fiction” and that “The rapidly evolving sensations from [the narrator’s] POV make good use of the short format.”

As you can guess, this delights me. I’m also pleased to pass along kudos to this edition’s other two authors and stories favorably reviewed here: “Exactly What You Need” by Brandon Crilly, and “Adrift” by Wayne Martin. Go give them a read!

Posted in review, Writing | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Definitely Spring!

Yes, I know the calendar told us that the first day of spring has just passed, but I’ve been seeing so much spring around here lately, and it’s awesome, so I’m gonna share!

The plum tree is covered in gumball-sized fruits of dull, celery green, and the new blueberry bushes are awash with clusters of greenish fruit, as well. The earliest loquats are now ripe, with more changing from greenish-yellow to golden orange every day. In the veggie garden, while the recent cooler weather has not been to my sulking tomatoes’ liking, the carrots and onions are thriving!

We’ve spotted our first hummingbirds, out at the purple-flowering sage in the front, and within an hour I had both hummingbird feeders out (I haven’t spotted any takers, yet, despite the chill temps early in the mornings). And Cedar Waxwings are swarming the holly tree outside my dining room window (and every berry-holding tree in the neighborhood honestly), swallowing down every ripe berry they can coax off the branches, fueling their trips further northwards.

And finally, how about the bigger wildlife?

Let’s start with Dasher. He adores sleeping in the sunbeams, as you know. I move soft bed out into the lanai and he takes a toy (or four) out with him, a security blanket to hold in his mouth as he dozes contentedly. Here’s his toy-of-choice yesterday:

Yes, he chose to wrestle that gator into submission, and looked quite comfortable holding it helpless in his so-powerful jaws! (snort, snert!)

And then, my sister (visiting from Ohio) and I went out to Payne’s Prairie to check out the scene. There was the owl, visible high in the live oak near the entrance, and even a fluffy chic, just as big as the parent but still incapable of flight, near the very top, basking in a sunbeam! (too high up; my pics turned out terrible–use your imagination???)

We proceeded to the boardwalk, where we were met with this:

Click to em-biggen any of these photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s right–a momma gator and her brood. At first, it looked like only 3, then 5. Then we managed to count 7, then 12–and then we saw more underneath the boardwalk, and some on the other side… In short, I have no idea how many baby gators were there. But momma knew. A wading bird came near and she moved, threatening it until it flew off, looking for a cheaper meal. And we heard the babies give their little beeping cries now and again. While I’d been hoping to see some gators, I never expected this! And never this close!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were other treasures too–an anhinga, sunbathing so close we could almost touch it. And loads of snakes of various stripes: garter snakes, water moccasins, brown water snakes. Rails and moorhens and egrets and herons and red-winged mockingbirds and…yeah, we went back to stare some more at the baby gators. They were the stars of the day.

Looking out at Payne’s Prairie from a small rise.

Not headless, but looking below it into the water! See the orange beak near the top of the tail, to the left?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Spring!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Magic of the Everyday, Nature, the dog | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

2019 Nebula Nominees

Congratulations to the latest Nebula Award nominees. Since I’m a member of SFWA now, I was able to nominate, and it’s a real thrill to see some of my nominees on this list. Congrats to all!

2018 Nebula Award Finalists

 

Novel

The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)

The Poppy War, R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)

Blackfish City, Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)

Spinning Silver, Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)

Witchmark, C.L. Polk (Tor.com Publishing)

Trail of Lightning, Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

 

Novella

Fire Ant, Jonathan P. Brazee (Semper Fi)

The Black God’s Drums, P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)

The Tea Master and the Detective, Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)

Alice Payne Arrives, Kate Heartfield (Tor.com Publishing)

Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)

Artificial Condition, Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)

 

Novelette

The Only Harmless Great Thing, Brooke Bolander (Tor.com Publishing)

“The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections”, Tina Connolly (Tor.com 7/11/18)

“An Agent of Utopia”, Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)

“The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births”, José Pablo Iriarte (Lightspeed 1/18)

“The Rule of Three”, Lawrence M. Schoen (Future Science Fiction Digest 12/18)

“Messenger”, Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and R.R. Virdi (Expanding Universe, Volume 4)

 

Short Story

“Interview for the End of the World”, Rhett C. Bruno (Bridge Across the Stars)

“The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington”, Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside 2/18)

“Going Dark”, Richard Fox (Backblast Area Clear)

“And Yet”, A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 3-4/18)

“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies”, Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/6/18)

“The Court Magician”, Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 1/18)

 

Game Writing

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Charlie Brooker (House of Tomorrow & Netflix)

The Road to Canterbury, Kate Heartfield  (Choice of Games)

God of War, Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, Cory Barlog, Orion Walker, and Adam Dolin (Santa Monica Studio/Sony/Interactive Entertainment)

Rent-A-Vice, Natalia Theodoridou (Choice of Games)

The Martian Job, M. Darusha Wehm (Choice of Games)

 

The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy”, Written by: Megan Amram

Black Panther, Written by: Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole

A Quiet Place, Screenplay by: John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Screenplay by: Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman

Dirty Computer, Written by: Janelle Monáe and Chuck Lightning

Sorry to Bother You, Written by: Boots Riley

 

The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult
Science Fiction or Fantasy Book

Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan)

Aru Shah and the End of Time, Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents)

A Light in the Dark, A.K. DuBoff (BDL)

Tess of the Road, Rachel Hartman (Random House)

Dread Nation, Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)

Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword, Henry Lien (Henry Holt)

Posted in Writing

ugh

my right thumb was stung by ground hornets on monday as i tore out the spent broccoli, and now my entire hand is swollen and gross. just got meds yesterday from the doc, and while they’re helping, they also make me a bit snoozy. and typing is still haaaarrd.

so, while i recover, have a quick picture of the wee little plums forming on the plum tree:

Posted in Nature, Personal Life | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Spring Changes

This week, the sandhill cranes have been gathering into great flocks that swirl up the late morning thermals into the higher altitudes, their melancholy voices calling and overlapping into a overwhelming, bittersweet chorus as they begin their long journeys northwards. Yesterday morning, the far end of the alley, where the trees are thickest, was overrun with robins. Hundreds of them, chirping and calling and catching every bug they could find before they, too, flew off in loose groups of tens and twenties for their northern mating grounds.

My windows are open all night, and local strawberries are in at the farmers’ market. On the afternoon dog walk, we seek out the shady path instead of the sunny one. And the plum tree has burst into fluffy white bloom, promising another bumper crop come summer. Even the wee new blueberry bushes are in blossom!

Plum tree in blossom

It’s official, then. Spring is here. The groundhog was right. Despite the snow and ice still plaguing the north, the birds are flying spring up to you.

Spring is a season of change. Of renewal and rebirth. And in that light, I have some news of a wonderful change in my life: I have been accepted as an Active Member of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America! This has been a goal of mine for a very long time, and I’m thrilled to be able to join this organization, and to nominate and vote on the Nebula Awards!

Posted in goals, Magic of the Everyday, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Story Release Day for “Cold Currents”

Happy New Year!

For me, 2019 is immediately looking up, because today my short story, Cold Currents, is available at Abyss & Apex Magazine. It’s very short, but very special to me. Let me tell you why.

Over on Codex, where I’m a member, there are a number of flash-fiction writing contests each year where contestants are given prompts and have a short amount of time to write a new tale. This story started here, with the prompt being “Interview an older generation relative and write a story around something you learn from them.” Well, at first I thought that prompt was out for me, since all my older relatives are gone. My siblings and I are now the eldest of our tribe.

But then I remembered that my sister had, just two weeks before, sent me a clipping she’d found from an old newspaper. It turns out that our maternal grandfather, a fireman in Toledo, Ohio, had jumped into the river to save a potential suicide’s life. I’d never known this about him–none of us had. Grandpa had died when I was just three.

Now I really wished I could talk with him and find out why he’d done this. The clipping had plagued me, so I decided to write this story using that clipping as my “interview.”

I changed a whole lot, of course. My grandfather’s background was German, but his name was Arthur, not Otto. And as far as I know, no one in my family has committed suicide, thankfully, although there is a streak of depression running through us.

This story is also special because it marks my first “repeat performance,” and at a market I love. A definite Writer’s Career Bingo square, if not two.

So there you have it. A chance bumping together of a story prompt and an unexpected, yellowed newspaper clipping about my grandfather’s young days on the fire squad brings about my first repeat sale to a market.

Here’s hoping the year only goes up from here. Wishing you hope, health, and happiness in 2019.

Posted in publication, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

December Travels

The Spousal Unit and I celebrated a Significant Anniversary this year, so we celebrated by taking a Significant Trip. We chose to return to Nürnberg, Germany (where we lived for a couple years) to visit the annual Christmas Market, or Christkindlesmarkt (which we haven’t seen for nearly 20 years!!!!!!).

The view from our window on a rare, blue-skied moment.

It was a magnificent trip! We stayed at a VRBO just inside the Altstadt walls, close to the tower gate that we entered when we lived there. It was quiet and peaceful, and close to everything, including mass transit. Perfect! Here’s a view from our window.

The market was everything we recalled: nice and fun and filled with delights during the week, and a crazed mass of wall-to-wall people on Saturday night. Honestly, even wearing a winter coat, some of those folks I skooched by now know me really well. But the food was good, the glühwein warming and yummy, and the sound of the bells ringing out from each church a sheer delight. We brought home gifts both for ourselves and our friends, but the best thing we brought home was memories–both reawakened old ones, and new ones from this trip.

Here are a few pics from our adventures.  

 

 

 

It was amazing how many things had changed. But it was also reassuring how much had remained the same. And as with every good trip, I’m glad we went, I’m gladder to be home again, and yet I can’t wait to return.

Nürnberg holds a tiny piece of my heart, forever.

Posted in Magic of the Everyday, Personal Life, Travel | Tagged , , | 1 Comment