Strange Religion Anthology Released!

I’m happy to announce I have a story reprinted in the latest volume of tdotspec‘s series Strange Concepts: Big Ideas Explored through Speculative Fiction. tdotspec is a Canadian publisher of speculative fiction and were great to work with. Strange Religion: Speculative Fiction of Spirituality, Belief, & Practice is now available on Amazon in print and ebook for your reading pleasure.

My story “The Life that Comes After” was originally published in the now-defunct The Ginger Collect magazine, and I’m glad the story has found another home in this anthology. In some ways the story is very personal, in others not so much, but it means a lot to have it included in this anthology. To get a sense of the vibe of this story, you can check out my inspiration board on Pinterest.

Here are the other contributors, and I’m looking forward to reading them all:

  • “Al-Muftiyah,” by Jibril Stevenson
  • “Samsara,” by J. A. Legg
  • “Shattered Vessels,” by Robert B. Finegold and Kary English
  • “The Gods Also Duel,” by Andrew Majors
  • “Father Jake’s Teen Demon Prevention Lesson,” by Brenna Harvey
  • “They Smile,” by Nicki Vardon
  • “Jizo Rides the Bus,” by Karl Dandenell
  • “Irwin and Roskwin Make a Discovery of Universal Importance,” by Terryl M. Asla
  • “The Rebbetzin Speaks,” by Daniel M. Kimmel
  • “The Devil is a Shape in the Brain,” by Joachim Glage
  • “The Man Who Misused His Manhood,” by Chukwu Sunday Abel
  • “Bio-Mass,” by Mike Adamson
  • “Deep Play,” by Andy Dibble
  • “The Life That Comes After,” by Lauren C. Teffeau
  • “Fate and Other Variables,” by Alex Shvartsman
  • “The Other War on Terror,” by Michael H. Hanson
  • “Dying Rivers and Broken Hearts,” by Gabriella Buba
  • “*lr*d,” by Doug Hawley
  • “The Fireflies of Todaji,” by Russell Hemmell
  • “Before the Evolution Comes the Smoke,” by Terri Bruce

Be sure to check it out, and happy reading!

Reprint-palooza!

I’ve been plugging away on various projects while sending others out into the universe with the hopes that one day there will be an answer back. This is normal writerly grind stuff, but it is always gratifying when past stories, ones that have been polished and deemed publishable, get to shine once more.

Today you can catch my short story “No Regrets on Fourth Street” over at The Dread Machine, a newish online community celebrating horror and cyberpunk.

I hope you’ll take a look and check out all the other amazing stories that have been collected there. May they fill you with dread and turn you into a subscriber.

That’s not the only reprint of mine that’s been given new life. In case you missed it, my heroic fantasy short story “Sing! And Remember” was collected in Worlds of Light and Darkness: The Best of DreamForge and Space and Time Magazines. That anthology was released in May, and ALA Booklist said, “The combining of stories that have been printed by these two publications is genius. The collection spans all iterations of each of the genres and shows off some fantastic fiction in the process.” You can purchase it directly from Uproar Books or the vender of your choice.

Features my story “Sing! And Remember”

You’ll also be able to catch my story “The Life That Comes After” in Strange Religion, a successful Kickstarter-funded anthology from tDotSpec. That will be coming out sometime next April, and I’ll be posting more about that when we get closer to the pub date. But I’m excited that such a personal story of mine was selected for inclusion in the anthology.

Features my story “The Life that Comes After”

(I also have another reprint story sale I hope I can announce soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!)

Finally, I was able to have my essay “How to Build a Solarpunk City” reprinted on the Climate Fiction Writer’s League website earlier this year, so be sure to check out my recommended resources for how to build a better future!

Introducing the Winner of LERA’S 2020 The Writer Contest

2020 has been quite a ride as well as an affront to science and the social contract.

But one thing that came as a surprise pleasure was my work as a final judge in my local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter’s annual contest The Writer. Every year, LERA (the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors) invites authors to send in the first 5,000 words of their manuscript. Any romantic subgenre, any heat level. After entries are scored in the initial round, final judges select which of the top-scoring finalists they’d liked to mentor in anticipation of revising the contest entry for the final round. I selected Hartley Gray to work with, and I’m so pleased to announce that she has gone on to win LERA’s 2020 The Writer contest!

Her entry “A Simple Plan” is a delightfully fluffy F/F contemporary romcom, and was just the thing to get me out of a rut from quarantine and QAnon conspiracies. As we got into the swing of our weekly mentoring sessions, we discovered we had a lot of similar values and goals from the writing life as well, so that was another unexpected pleasure from this experience. I never had to question that I was giving her the right advice because her writing priorities were already very much like my own. It also helped reinforce some of the things I have been lax on doing for myself as well, reenergizing me and what I want to accomplish with my own writing. All this to say, I initially feared the contest mentoring experience would be just another demand on my time in an already-draining pandemic year, but thankfully I found quite the opposite!

Hartley is a fantastic writer, and I’m certain we’ll see more of her as she continues on her writing journey! Be sure to check out her website or visit her on Instagram!

Pandem(ic)onium

What is there to say at this point?

We were warned. We were given numerous explanations what the novel coronavirus could do. Nevertheless, our country has persisted in harmful policies and inconsistent measures that have set us back months if not years and decades in the fight not just against the pandemic but our standing in the free world.

It’s a lot to deal with on a day-to-day basis, and I’m very grateful my family has remained so far healthy and secure in these difficult times. But I’m not immune to the psychic toll of the upheaval on so many intersecting fronts, calling into question countless aspects of American life. Writing has been hard, with good days and many bad. I have to remind myself of something I said in an interview once:

“To be a writer—knowing the odds and the time it takes to build a career after getting a foot in the door—you have to be both persistent and audacious. Sometimes that means being persistently audacious and audaciously persistent as well. You have to keep going when it gets hard. And the audacious part is to always believe your words will matter, regardless of how long it takes to get them out there.”

So that’s where I’m at. I’m writing (if not as robustly as before), but it’s hard with so many things in flux. If the new ideas I have percolating are any indication, my capacity to be audacious remains undaunted even if my persistence has waned in the face of so much uncertainty.

firecomputergliphy

But tomorrow is another day. Let’s meet it together.

Happenings: Implanted Launch (and Beyond)

Yikes! It’s almost July, which means it’s almost August, which means Implanted will be a real book in just over a month!

Implanted-glitch (faster)

I’ve been head down, hard at work on promotion and maybe a sekrit project or two, but exciting things are happening for the book launch, and this post is your one-stop-shop for all the appearances, readings, signings, and whatnot in the lead-up to the launch and beyond….

(I’ll be updating this post with the latest information and/or changes as we go forward.)

 

July 18-20            RWA Nationals in Denver, Colorado

I’m not on any programming, but will be there to learn and network with other writers who like to blend science fiction and fantasy with romance. Email or @ on twitter if you’d like to meet up.

August 2            UK Release of Implanted (!)

August 3-5            ArmadilloCon in Austin, Texas

I’ll be one of the instructors for Friday’s Writing Workshop. The rest of the programming is TBD

August 7            US Release of Implanted (!!)

August 10            Reading and Q&A at the Albuquerque Science Fiction Society

I’ll be reading from Implanted and taking questions in a special preview prior to the official local launch party at Page1 (below).

August 16-19            Worldcon in San Jose, California

You’ll find me at Angry Robot related programming throughout the weekend. Email or @ on twitter if you’d like to meet up.

August 24-26            Bubonicon in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tentative programming includes:

Friday 6:30 pm – 55 Minutes with Lauren C. Teffeau

Saturday 11am – Victor Milán Memorial

Saturday 2pm – New Mexico as an Alien World: The Appeal of the Southwest [panel]

Sunday 2:30pm – Embarrassing Beginnings: Hidden Starts [panel]

September 6            Reddit/Fantasy Ask Me Anything – RESCHEDULED FOR SEPT 18!

All your burning questions about Implanted, me, or (just about) anything else answered! More details to come.

September 8            Reading and Signing at the Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Series

Hosted by J. L. Forrest at BookBar in Denver, Colorado, I’ll be joined by the amazing and award-winning author Rebecca Roanhorse where we’ll talk about Implanted, the awesome Trail of Lightning, and more. RSVP now!

September 15            Reading and Signing at Page1 Books Albuquerque, New Mexico

This will be the official local launch of Implanted at the beloved independent bookstore Page1, Albuquerque’s number one stop for all things genre. I’ll also be joined by Rebecca Roanhorse who’ll be celebrating the release of Trail of Lightning. It will be fun with festivities to follow.

October 7            Reading and Signing at Bookworks Albuquerque, New Mexico

Rebecca Roanhorse and I are teaming up again for another joint-event, this time at ABQ’s other much-loved independent bookstore, Bookworks. Join us for an exciting book talk along the bosque.

October 19-21            MileHiCon in Denver, Colorado

Programming TBD

That’s all for me. Stay tuned!

(PS… Have you preorded Implanted yet?)