Two virtual events coming up

If you’d like to connect with me online, you’ll have two opportunities over the next few weeks. 

First up, on July 18th, I’ll be co-teaching a workshop for writers on Creating Non-Human Characters.  Elizabeth Beechwood and I will be covering how to delve into animal and object characters to make them resonate with readers.  We’ll incorporate discussion, writing exercises, and lots of examples.  Whether you have a particular character in mind or you want to learn a new technique, we’d love to have you join us. 

Later on, I’ll be participating in this year’s Worldcon as a panelist.  This online con will take place July 29th through August 2nd (New Zealand time, so dates may vary depending on your time zone), with tons of programming to check out.  More information on my schedule to come!

Free ebook on Amazon today

After Dinner Conversation is offering the ebook of my story “Venom in the Cloud Forest” for free today and tomorrow, as well as “Two-Percenters” by CJ Erick

I completed the first draft of “Venom in the Cloud Forest” about a decade ago, well before it found its original home in the Guardbridge Books anthology Myriad Lands Vol. 2: Beyond the Edge.  At the time when I wrote it, social media was prevalent, but the landscape looked somewhat different than it does today, and “fake news” was less of a household term although it’s been a longtime issue along with historical negationism.  

I’m simultaneously pleased and dismayed that my story continues to be relevant.

“Venom in the Cloud Forest” reprint with discussion questions

Mark your calendars!  I’ve got two pieces of good news to share. 

First, my story “Venom in the Cloud Forest” is available now through After Dinner Conversation, complete with a set of discussion questions based on the ideas in the story.  I love how After Dinner Conversation encourages readers to engage with story concepts after you reach The End.  I hope you enjoy their discussion questions, and feel free to share any of your thoughts and conclusions with me if you’d like through my Contact page. 

This Thursday and Friday, you’ll be able to download the ebook for free on Amazon!  

The second piece of news is that the upcoming July 18th workshop, Creating Non-Human Characters, which I’ll be co-teaching with Elizabeth Beechwood, will officially be online via Zoom.  If geography was a potential barrier for you to attend, it no longer should be!  I hope you can join us.

Finally attended the Nebulas—virtually

Congratulations to tonight’s Nebula Award winners, and a special shout-out to A. T. Greenblatt for her beautiful winning short story, “Give the Family My Love.”  Indeed, congrats to all the finalists.  I’ve been enjoying the virtual Nebula Conference this weekend, as well as Flights of Foundry earlier this month.  Looking forward to Worldcon online this summer.

SFWA blog post and a related upcoming workshop

I’m honored to have another article published on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) official blog, “Not-so-still Life:  Writing from an Inanimate Object’s Point of View.”  I hope the topic stirs your creativity and provides a mental break from the current state of things.

If you’d like to take a deeper dive into this topic, my fellow author Elizabeth Beechwood and I are offering a workshop, Creating Non-Human Characters, on July 18th.  We’ll cover characterization for not only inanimate objects but also animals and more.  It’ll tentatively be held on the Oregon coast at the Hoffman Center for the Arts as part of their Manzanita Writers’ Series—or else as a virtual workshop depending on how things progress; we’re staying flexible.  Please check the Hoffman Center for the Arts website for more information.

Publication announcement: “Desert Locks”

I’m thrilled to announce that you can find my latest story, “Desert Locks,” at GigaNotoSaurus.  This one deals with masks and longing for connection (something I think we can all relate to during this pandemic), set in a desert land where magic courses through everyone’s hair.

In honor of the role that hair plays in it, I decided to let mine air dry for a change.  I was overdue for a trim even before the shutdown.

natural hair
My natural hair

Reading material for your quarantine pleasure, or at least escapism

I hope you’re all taking care of yourselves through the COVID-19 pandemic.  Please stay home, and order some books online from an independent bookstore like Powell’s.com.  I’ve got a big ol’ order submitted, and it’ll be like Christmas when it arrives!

Powell's pillar of signatures
Me a couple years ago at Powell’s City of Books, in awe of their pillar covered with signatures of famous science fiction and fantasy writers

If you’re looking for some immediately available reading material, may I point you to a few of my own stories you can read online right now?

And with it being National Poetry Month and all, here are a couple of my poems:

Illustration – “Exchange” / “A Coral Study”

As I prepare to hunker down this weekend with my family, I wanted to share something positive.  My artist friend Sambaran Chatterjee has done another lovely illustration for me!  This time he’s drawn Mario Reyes from my story “Exchange” / “A Coral Study.”

Exchange - illustration by Sambaran Chatterjee
“Exchange” / “A Coral Study” illustration by Sambaran Chatterjee

As I’ve said before, I’m not a visual artist in the least, so I’m in awe of both the overall picture and the striking details.  Thanks, Sambaran! You can check out more of his awesome work at his website.

I did once see an octopus, a very small one, while snorkeling in the Galápagos Islands, where my character Mario is from.  The biodiversity there, the endemic species, their lack of fear around humans, made it one of the most magical places I’ve ever been.

Publication announcement: Two-sentence horror stories

I have a trio of bite-size stories in the new anthology Nano Nightmares, available now in paperback and ebook.  Every story in this horror anthology is self-contained and designed to chill, haunt, alarm, or otherwise unsettle.  In only two sentences.

If I’m not mistaken, the concept of two-sentence horror stories has even inspired a TV series.  See for yourself the variety of scares a couple sentences can hold by picking up a copy of Nano Nightmares.