My first goal for 2019 has been set!

I have a surprising number of stories coming out soon. 🙂

“Magic and Machinery,” which was originally published last February in the anthology Once Upon a Quest, has been reprinted in the very first edition of Vagabond magazine!

This is a brand new speculative fiction magazine created by Chuck Anderson and Jim LeMay, of Mad Cow Press. I’m excited to be in their inaugural issue, and not just because it’s going to release on my birthday. 🙂 I’ve worked with Chuck and Jim on several other collections, and I really enjoy working with them. I have yet to meet them in person, mostly because of my schedule, but this is officially one of my 2019 goals.

Next up is Urban Western, issue #17 in the Uncollected Anthology. I had a doozy of a time thinking up a story for this one. I write westerns, and I write fantasy, but until now I’d never tried to combine the two. I also was stymied by the “urban” part. I tried to come up with something set in a more contemporary time, thinking that would fit more with the urban fantasy genre, but I couldn’t settle on an idea that I liked. I kept finding myself picturing a scene at a ball or an opera house in the late 1800s which, while set in a city and therefore technically “urban,” didn’t at first seem to fit. Finally I accepted my fate and began writing. I had so much fun with this story! There were a few more surprises. Like in the second or third sentence of the first draft I realized that Diamond Betty, who was supposed to be a side character, was actually a very important character—so important, in fact, that the title of my story is “Diamond Betty.”

I also have stories coming out in two anthologies I’m organizing. Doorway into Faerie is the third volume in the anthology series A Procession of Faeries. I have a few small tasks to do before this is released—I’m shooting for a release date of December 1st, although things get hectic at the various sales channels around this time of year, so I’m not yet sure if that will be the exact date. Things are also very close with Dawn of the Monsters, the first issue in Amazing Monster Tales, a project I’m putting together with DeAnna Knippling. We just need to finalize a few tiny things, and then shazam! Monsters for everyone!

In addition to all that excitement, Stars in the Darkness, the justice-themed anthology I edited last year, is a “friend” of Colorado #ResistanceReads. This is a brand-new group of Colorado authors that “engage with themes relevant to today’s tumultuous political climate, including climate change, the free press, LGBTQ+ rights, #metoo, the refugee crisis, authoritarianism and more. Rather than presenting any one point of view or political persuasion, these books encourage thought and conversation about current events through the medium of story.” (That’s in quotes because it’s taken directly from the group’s website, but it’s so well-put that I wanted to leave the text as-is.) Colorado #ResistanceReads is doing an active fundraiser. From Black Friday through Colorado Gives Day (December 4th), 50% of the profits from sales of each book go to a charity of the author’s choice. Stars in the Darkness is a “friend” and not a participant because the proceeds from that anthology are designated to go to national groups (the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign), not Colorado-specific charities. I’m very excited about the project, and look forward to supporting Colorado #ResistanceReads in future endeavors.

Learnings

I’ve learned lots of things in the past week, most of them related to the historical fantasy story I just wrapped up for Urban Western. For example, I now know way more than I ever thought I would about gas lamps, and I’m very happy that the lights in my house use electricity instead. 🙂 I also may have acquired more new books on Colorado history than perhaps I need. But “need” is a relative term, isn’t it? And this ties in with the next section…

Experiencings

…in my quest to donate books, and therefore reach the point where I can actually see and access the books I own, I’ve created a giant pile of books to give away. Or maybe I should say: books to “give away.” 🙂

I’ve reached a point in my life where my emotional attachment to any book I own and don’t hate (it’s always been easy to give away hated books…) has been outweighed by my desire to actually be able to see and reach books I might actually want to read. I now have a ginormous pile that includes books I read years ago and know I’ll never read again, books I’ve never read and know I never will, and books that belong to my husband which I may or may not be interested in reading. (He’s volunteered to give away all of his books, and even offered to donate space in his office to house my books, but that approach seems a bit risky so I politely declined.) But…then there are the books that I might read someday, maybe, if only I had more free time. And books that I read long ago, and probably won’t re-read, but maybe I would if the stars aligned. And books I haven’t read, but feel that I should read, even though I’m not super excited about doing so.

Of course, every single book falls into the category of “ever since I was little, I dreamed of owning a gazillion books, and of having a giant library.”

My interim solution is an easy one. Since I don’t currently possess boxes to put the books in, I’m unable to take them away to be donated. This means I’m temporarily stuck with a huge pile of what’s probably a few hundred books. 🙂

Readings

I have not yet finished reading Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward, but I did go to my work book club meeting and participated in the discussion about this book. The consensus was that it’s a very good book, but between it and the next book on the list, we all agreed that it would be nice to insert a happy, uplifting book in January. 🙂

I’ve otherwise been too busy to do any reading other than story research, but since I’m walking by a huge pile of books in my house several times each day, reading is very much on my mind…

 
 

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