Unknown Writer #4897980z has big news!

Yesterday I discovered my Metaphorosis story, Zsezzyn, Who is Not a God, made a list of Must-Read Short Speculative Fiction for June 2020 on Tor.com – seriously, click here, I’m not making this up. I checked it a bunch of times to make sure it was real and – it appears to be?

Now, this probably isn’t a huge deal if you’re famous, but as Unknown Writer #4897980z I – just read my name on Tor.com (whaaaaaaaaat?). This is very encouraging!

Also? Metaphorosis editor B. Morris Allen put some serious work into this story. They had me change the ending, tweak this, tweak that, change Zsezzyn’s name so it stops making that association to readers, and this other thing too. I was challenged, they were patient, and the story is so much better for their hard work and skill.

If you haven’t read the story or you would like to read it again, Zsezzyn, Who is Not a God is available to read or listen to on the Metaphorosis website here.

I’ve mentioned a few times in the life of this blog that in writing nothing happens for a looooooong time and then everything happens at once. In keeping with that, Engen Books decided that the Must-Read list is a good time to announce some news I’m relieved I don’t have to keep under my hat anymore:

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You’ll have to wait a little longer to hear more about this project, but November isn’t too far off.

Thanks for reading, I hope you find some success and something to equally encourage your work today. Keep writing, and please, keep healthy.

December IWSG and the post-NaNoWriMo haze

Hello and welcome to the December edition of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG), place where writers of every persuasion can meet, build community, and encourage each other. Click here to see a full list of the other writers participating in IWSG or maybe join up yourself.

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How was your November? I participated in and won NaNoWriMo on day 30, completing the zero and first draft of my planned novella. Wahoo!

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I’ve written two new stories this month off the cuff, which is my favourite side effect of “quieting the inner editor” for NaNoWriMo – I move out of my own way and just get to the business writing without the doubts. Every year this ability lasts a little longer than the year before, but never quite into spring. Yet.

As for my finished project, it’s resting. I’ll give it some distance before I hit the big edits. The post-NaNoWriMo haze is still upon me, an odd combination of exhaustion and creativity I’d call drunk if I’d had anything to drink. I have another novella I plotted out in early October before my pitch for the one I did write got accepted, so I’ve been reviewing my notes and getting excited about it again. Two short stories which have been simmering on my imagination’s back burner are getting shouty and if I don’t write them soon they’ll never let me rest.

Full speed into December before the holiday slump hits! Did you participate in NaNoWriMo this year? How’d it go? Do you manage to get much writing done in December?

 

IWSG and the power of words

Hello and welcome to the May Day edition of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). On the first Wednesday of every month the IWSG meets to share their goals, insecurities, and writing challenges. If you’d like to join or lurk around to see what’s happening, you can link to the other members here.

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This month’s optional question is “What was an early experience where you learned that writing had power?” For me it was reading Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl in grade school. I read this book four or five times between grade five and twelve. Here was a girl my age(s), who faced a tragic end in a concentration camp when the words ran out, mentioned only in the forward and the echo of the empty pages before I reached the back cover. When I read her words, I felt her essence flutter in the pages. This handful of stories written by an adolescent girl taught me more about empathy then I could have experienced in my privileged childhood. I spent hours staring at the ceiling, contemplating how many other Anne Franks died in those camps. She wasn’t just a character or a distant historical figure, she was my friend. That is a formidable power for a small book to have.

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beaked hazel says “hooray for spring!”

April’s been good to me. The Frye (literary) Festival is in full swing in my hometown of Moncton, NB, I became a fox-winning poet, had a short story accepted for Kaleidotrope in 2021, and I received my contributor copies of Unlocking the Magic. Check out this gorgeous cover:

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My favorite short story writer, A. Merc Rustad (now writing as Merc Fenn Wolfmoor), wrote the story directly before mine in the book, and that makes my imposter syndrome get up and start yelling louder than I’d like. But also… WHAT A THRILL OMG.

In a twist, my favorite novelist retweeted me a few days ago, which was… unexpected.

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that explains all those notifications

See, Neil Gaiman answered a tweet I had tagged him in a few months back, which had a turtling effect on me as an introvert. I put the masterclass away for a few weeks until it felt safe to go back. In writing this new tweet, I didn’t tag him, and so felt comfortable tweeting about how the class was inspiring me. Not shown in the above screenshot is the entire thread, where I finish up by calling Neil a modern-day muse which I meant but probably would never have written had I known he would read it (blush, blush). My inner introvert felt safe with no tags and no hashtags, guessing this tweet would get my usual two or three likes. It was up to 551 this morning. Happily, this time around it didn’t have the same turtling effect on me, though I do think if Mr. Gaiman’s going to keep using my tweets to sell his masterclass he should come over and have spaghetti with my family or something *wink*

I hope April was good to you as well, and I have my fingers crossed that May is going to be gangbusters for all of us insecure writers.

Cheers, and happy writing!

 

 

dystopia rocks

Today a book containing stories from a few friends and critique partners is dropping for pre-orders: Dystopia From the Rock. This is a collection of short dystopian stories from Canadian authors. I reviewed the last From the Rock book, Chillers, a few months ago here. If this one is anything like Chillers, it will be stuffed with quality short stories. Especially the ones my friends wrote *wink* Go check it out!

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cover art by J.J. King

I’m still making my way through Neil Gaiman’s Masterclass. Both of my girls have had birthdays in the past few weeks and I had a few deadlines which slowed my progress. That’s the beauty of an online class, you can schedule it to fit your life.

Something amazing DID happen regarding the class. I heard my writing voice. A non-writer friend recently asked me what a writer’s voice is and after some thought, I told her it’s “the sound of your accent to someone from another country. You can tell when you hear someone else’s accent, but hearing your own is another thing altogether.” When I finished up the voice exercises in Neil’s class, there it was: my voice, sitting right there on the page, clear as spring water.

I did what any modern writer would do. I tweeted about it. And then this happened:

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I didn’t fall off my chair, but I should have, for dramatic effect. Instead, I giggled at random for twenty-four hours.

Happy writing!