If you’re not yet a member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) but have been considering joining, now is the time! Not only is it a great organization, if you’re a member you can send us your beautiful dark verse! This year I’m one of the judges for the HWA’s annual poetry showcase, along with Colleen Anderson, Timothy P. Flynn, Eugen Bacon, and this year’s showcase editor, Angela Yuriko Smith. We’re celebrating a decade with this one. Looking forward to seeing what you all come up with. Submissions for the Poetry Showcase Volume X will open in April.
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Back from the 2023 AWP Conference
I’m back from AWP’s annual conference, held this year in Seattle. I got to meet some of my favorite living writers, including Naomi Shihab Nye, Jeannine Hall Gailey, Christopher Coake, and Brenda Peynado. I met many other writers whose work I’m excited to check out.
I also got to meet up with NaBeela Washington, editor of Lucky Jefferson and my collaborator on the Discover Beaverton anthology, and I got to catch up with one of my professors from my undergrad days and reminisce about my first rejection and acceptance letters (which I still keep to remind myself how far I’ve come).
I enjoyed some downtime at Pike Place Market. I didn’t make it to the Space Needle this time around, but if, fingers crossed, Worldcon 2025 ends up in Seattle, that’ll definitely be on my list. As close as Seattle and Portland are, relatively speaking, I don’t get up to that area very often.
Once I’ve settled back in, I’ll share a couple pieces of news, one fiction related and one poetry related.
Calling all Beaverton creatives!
I can finally share that I will be the Guest Editor for Lucky Jefferson for their upcoming anthology, Discover Beaverton, all about my hometown of Beaverton, Oregon! Local writers and artists, the call for submissions is open now through the end of April. I can’t wait to see how you celebrate our community with your art. Please visit the Lucky Jefferson website for additional details.
A sea creature poem reprinted
The Hyacinth Review has reprinted my poem “The Ichthyocentaur Beyond Marginalia,” which originally appeared in Honeyguide Literary Magazine. I always enjoy seeing what art The Hyacinth Review pairs with its pieces, and this time it’s an image of a sculpture of Silenus hitching a ride on one of the titular creatures. Similar to my fascination with sphinxes, I love the mix of human and animal parts that make up the ichthyocentaur. I’m sure there’s an analogy for writing in there somewhere.
My misadventures in a snowstorm
Call it snowpocalypse. Call it snowmaggedon. Call it what you want, this past Wednesday was the worst winter storm to hit Portland since 1943, and I got caught in it big-time. Portlanders can’t drive in the snow, even if it’s a light dusting—which this wasn’t, it was an onslaught that immobilized the entire metro region. I hate driving even in perfectly good conditions, but I had to buckle down and channel some Mad Max combat driving. Okay, more like inching along up various bridges and slanty streets while trying not to get hit by large vehicles spinning out around me.
Things worked out fine for me overall, but my heart goes out to everyone who ended up in precarious situations, and I’m so incredibly grateful for all the good Samaritans out there who offered to help total strangers. My family helped me through the ordeal, even from afar. Once they knew I was safe, they all said I should write a story about my experience. I just might someday. It’s still too raw right now.
“Pumpkin Ash and Cypress Knees” is a Rhysling Award nominee
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA) has posted the longlist of Rhysling Award nominees, and my poem “Pumpkin Ash and Cypress Knees” made the list! This poem was published in Boudin by The McNeese Review in their special Halloween issue, It Came from the Swamp. To whoever out there nominated my poem, I really appreciate the honor!
I’ve also sold a story to LatineLit, due out later this year, and I’ve been invited to speak at an upcoming chapter meeting of the Willamette Writers. More info. to come.
A couple more updates
Ah, more news to share! Before I fall behind even further. First up, Night to Dawn has reprinted my story “Hell-ium Balloon” from Last Girls Club. The editor of Night to Dawn, Barbara Custer, is a huge fan of balloons. I was delighted to be able to send her my horror story about one!
Also, Strange Elf Press has kicked off a Kickstarter campaign for Anterior Skies, an upcoming anthology that will include one of my poems. If you enjoy weird and cosmic short stories and poetry, I hope you’ll check it out.
I’m looking forward to attending the 2023 AWP Conference next month in Seattle. There are so many panels I want to go to, too many, some at the same time! It’s a good problem to have, I suppose. Other than that, I’m trying to finish up a stubborn new story draft, make some edits on the previous story I’d completed, and plan a poem or two for a potential chapbook manuscript.
Preorder the New Cosmologies chapbooks now
It’s official, Sword & Kettle Press’s campaign is live on Indiegogo for the New Cosmologies series of mini-chapbooks! You can read about the whole lineup, with works by 11 different authors representing mythologies from all around the world. There are different bundles available. I hope you’ll consider supporting us, whether by contributing to the fundraiser or helping spread the word.
The Inca Weaver’s Tales will be my debut chapbook. None of these poems have appeared anywhere else before. I’m so excited!
An honor for “Song of the Balsa Wood Bird”
This month Tor.com put out a list of “Must Read Short Speculative Fiction: 12 Works You May Have Missed in 2022,” and my story “Song of the Balsa Wood Bird” from Fireside Magazine was included! I’m so grateful to Aigner Loren Wilson, the Fireside guest editor who helped bring my story to readers.
Please check out the other eleven stories on the list! There’s so much amazing short fiction out there, and this is a great way to get a strong sampling, with one story from each month.
“Until It Has Your Reflection” published in Nightmare Magazine
My horror story “Until It Has Your Reflection” is available to read online at Nightmare Magazine. Many thanks to the top-notch team at Nightmare for helping get my story polished up and shared with readers in visual and audio forms! I’m especially grateful to Wendy N. Wagner, Melissa Hofelich, Xander Odell, and Justine Eyre.
There’s also an author interview where I talk about how the story originated, and a few other tidbits about its journey to get here. Check it out for a discussion of body horror, identity, and how I really feel about this blog.