New Year, New U(SA)

2021. You have already worn out your welcome.

I hoped to write this post with the optimism of a new year spread out before me—before all of us—but that is now forever overshadowed by the unconscionable, premeditated actions of January 6th; the cascade of failures that preceded them; and the sheer amount of work it will take to claw back our country from the brink. The fact that such a reckoning was inevitable thanks to our craven and in some cases treasonous lawmakers makes it hurt no less. There is no normal to return to. Only the work and a promise we must all make to never let us fall so far again. I hope we are up to the challenge.

My writing has certainly been affected by the last few months, and while I had gained some momentum at the end of last year, I now fear sliding back into days crippled by anxiety and anger that my fellow Americans could be so callous with our collective future. But as I alluded to in a previous post, I’m still here. I’m still writing, even if it’s more of a struggle now than it ever was. That has to count. It must count. And it is up to me to make it so.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though it does feel weird to say that. End of last year I had the opportunity to share all the books and video games that got me through 2020 for Fantasy Book Critic as well as a couple I’m looking forward to this year. Check out the post for my recs in case we need a survival guide for 2021 as well!

I also had the opportunity to do a panel with SF/F giant and SFWA grandmaster Connie Willis celebrating her latest Christmas story “Take a Look at the Five and Ten” published in the Nov/Dec issue of Asimov’s as well as from Subterranean Press. Following her reading, we had a fantastic conversation featuring Willis, her daughter Cordelia, fellow writer Jamie Krakover, as well as Albuquerque-area fans Craig Chrissinger, Jessica Coyle, and Mandy Self. Hope you check it out!

In the meantime, stay healthy, stay strong, and keep an eye on the horizon.

Bubonicon 2020

Bubonicon – New Mexico’s science fiction and fantasy convention – is going virtual this year!

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And it all goes down this Saturday:  – .

You’ll be able to follow along via the Bubonicon website with links to panels on Facebook and YouTube. Day of, there will be information how to attend the live sessions with signup/passwords on the Bubonicon website if you want to be able to ask the panelists questions. Everything is free of charge, and the panels will be available online after the event as well if you don’t want to attend live.

I’ve already recorded a Writing 101 panel where I moderated Connie Willis, Walter Jon Williams, Keith R.A. DeCandido, and Susan R. Matthews, and it was a great discussion on how to get started writing your story idea.

This Saturday at 12:30pm, I’ll be participating in a live session with Rebecca Roanhorse, Reese Hogan, Keith R.A. Decandido, and Chaz Kemp where we’ll be talking Gods and Mythology.

It sounds like the rest of the panels will be announced the day of, so be sure to keep an eye on the Bubonicon website. Hope to “see” you there!

Happy New Year to Me!

Welcome to 2020, and already, we’re off to a great start.

I spent New Year’s day basking in the news that my story “Sing! And Remember” made Tangent Online’s 2019 Recommended Reading List. This is my first appearance on the list, and I’m so happy this story earned their notice. I talked a bit about how important the story was to me in my year-end round-up, and this just underscores all the complicated emotions that come from seeing your work in print: elation and accomplishment, yes, but also that prickly sensation of having your inner life on display for others. But to have my work noticed amongst all the other stories published in professional SF/F magazines in 2019 makes all that angst worth it.

Be sure to check out all the wonderful stories that Tangent Online recognized.

To celebrate, DreamForge Magazine, who originally published “Sing! And Remember”, is making it available to read FREE online along with the other stories they published that were recognized by Tangent’s 2019 recap.

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They are also extending their Writers & Friends $5 subscription discount to everyone until 1/15/20, so please check this great magazine out if you haven’t already!

Wishing you and yours a very happy 2020!

2019 Year In Review

This year. Wow. I am not sorry to see 2019 go. It’s been a quiet year overall for me, in part because of an unexpected death in the family. Additionally, I had my very first run-in with pneumonia, and it packed a punch. I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t affected by the tenor of politics, the lies that go unchallenged every day, the brink it feels we’re perched on and have been for awhile now. My brain can be a noisy place, and this year it was too often deafening.

But it wasn’t all bad—not by a long shot. My book baby Implanted got some award recognition which was so gratifying see now that its one-year anniversary has come and gone. I finished another novel project I’m excited about that I’ve been chipping away at for the last two years, and I’m plugging away on a new one that I not only love but love the challenge of writing it as well. There are also other ideas (of course!) percolating in my hind brain that I can’t wait to get to too. You can’t have the highs without the lows, and while this feels a little bit like a trough for me at the moment, I’m really looking forward to next year and what it might bring.

So, without further ado, the year’s highlights:

Award love for Implanted:

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New Short Story:

“Sing! And Remember” was published in the inaugural “Founders Issue” of DreamForge Magazine and illustrated by the Hugo-award winning illustrator Elizabeth Leggett.

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I talked about the story here and here on the blog, but it is a story that means a lot to me, and I’m so grateful it’s out in the world thanks to the passionate team behind DreamForge magazine.

#Authorlife Appearances:

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  • I attended the Nebulas, Armadillocon, Bubonicon, and MileHighCon and got to see old friends and new as well as participate on my share of panels.
  • I also participated the Williamson Lectureship, held each year in Portales, NM, on Eastern New Mexico University’s campus, and it was great to see my book in the library there!

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Wishing everyone a fitting end to 2019. Onward to 2020!

MileHiCon 2019!

This weekend you’ll find me up in Denver for MileHiCon, which is celebrating its 50th(!) year and has a smashing line-up of author/artist guests. You can find me on the panels below, in the halls, or at the bar, if you want to say hi.

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Friday, 3pm — Writing SF&F Futures that Hold Up

Predicting and extrapolating is hard, and many books, stories, and movies have a short shelf-life before they seem very out-of date. Are there ways to slow that effect down?

Friday, 6pm — Self-Editing vs Hiring

When it comes to polishing up your work, the options vary. Our panelists will discuss the pros and cons of self-editing versus hiring a professional.

Saturday, 4pm — Mass Autographing

Saturday, 7pm — Writing Good Sex Scenes

We’ve all snickered at a sex scene now and then. Our panelists tackle how to do it (writing!) with aplomb.

Hope to see you there!