My Virtual August

I decided to say no to all in-person conventions this year to keep our household risk as low as possible (which I’m feeling even better about now because of the Delta variant—good job, past me!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t see me this convention season!

First up, you can hear me read at the Strong Women, Strange Worlds panel on August 19th! This is a series celebrating the work of women and other authors with underrepresented gender identities.

I’ll be reading an excerpt from my award-nominated debut novel Implanted and be giving away a copy to one lucky participant. You can pre-register at EventBrite, and in the meantime, you can take a look at the previous readings in this series. Hopefully you’ll find a new favorite author!

Then, I’ll be participating in my local convention, Bubonicon, and their virtual programming for 2021, on Friday, August 20th.

Now Virtual!

I’ll be moderating the panel “Mash-ups: the How and Why of Genre Blending” which will be airing live at 8pm mountain time on the Bubonicon Facebook page (it will also be posted to their YouTube page as well). I’ll be joined by Melinda Snodgrass, Carrie Vaughn, Reese Hogan, and Marguerite Reed. It should be a fantastic conversation!

MASH-UPS: THE HOW & WHY OF GENRE BLENDING —  Readers, authors and curators sometimes struggle to classify a work. Is it fantasy? Science fiction? Paranormal? Maybe all of the above? Panelists discuss the benefits and tricks of genre blending.

I’ll also be recording a excerpt from John Lymington’s Froomb! along with a number of other Bubonicon guests. It should be a blast (and a blast from the 1965 past)!

Vintage copy of Froomb!

So keep your eyes peeled on the Bubonicon website for that and other events that weekend!

Coming Soon: Best of DreamForge Magazine Antho

Happy to announce my story “Sing! And Remember” will be included in Worlds of Light and Darkness: The Best of DreamForge and Space and Time Magazines (Volume 1), edited by Angela Yuriko-Smith and Scot Noel, and published by Uproar Books.

Includes my fantasy short story “Sing! And Remember”!

This story is one of my recent favorites, and in addition to being published in the inaugural issue of DreamForge Magazine, it was also included on Tangent’s Recommended Reading List for 2019.

I’m grateful I’ll be sharing a TOC with some of my wonderful writing colleagues, including Jane Lindskold, John Jos Miller, and Sarena Ulibarri, and all the other contributors who write stories of hope and connection and bright futures. Plus, just look at that cover!

You can check out the announcement at DreamForge’s site or pre-order the book directly from Uproar. It releases May 2021!

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.

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!

Harley 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!

Bubonicon 2020 Recap!

This past weekend was the very first virtual Bubonicon, and I was thrilled to take part in two panels.

First up, I had the pleasure of moderating the Writing 101 panel with Bubonicon Guest of Honor Keith R.A. DeCandido and SF/F luminaries Susan R. Matthews, Walter Jon Williams, Connie Willis. It was a great conversation about how to get started writing your story idea:

 

I also got to participate in the Mythology and Gods in Fiction panel moderated by Rebecca Roanhorse alongside Reese Hogan and Bubonicon Guests Keith R.A. DeCandido and Chaz Kemp. It was a really enjoyable discussion:

The rest of the day of panels can be found on the convention’s YouTube page.