Life, Writing

A (late) life & writerly recap of September 2021 – November 2022

It’s been a while since I sent out a newsletter, and this life & writerly recap is Very Late, but if you’re here and if you’re reading this, I am very grateful. Thank you. ❤

  • If you want to hear from me on a more regular basis, you can support me on Patreon and get access to content there. I publish a list of weekly short fiction picks, and (though I’m running behind right now), I also write short stories that are published exclusively on Patreon.
  • This year, I started an interview series called Behind the Zines. The interviews are available to Patreon supporters first, and are then published on my review & roundup blog Maria’s Reading. My latest interview was with the awesome Marguerite Kenner and Alasdair Stuart (co-owners and publishers at Escape Artists).
  • You can also get future writerly recaps as a newsletter: subscribe here.
  • I am moderating a panel at AugurCon at the end of November! It’s an online event, and the panel is called “Horrific Imaginations: Mastering Fear & Tension”. I will have an awesome group of panelists: A.C. Wise, Suzan Palumbo, and David Demchuk.

The life recap: grief and new beginnings

Our dog, Jake, passed away shockingly and suddenly in September. He was 9 years old and the best dog anyone could ever ask for in this world or any other. Jake was seemingly healthy and happy, the same as always when he left the house for his usual evening walk with my husband one night. On that walk, Jake’s legs suddenly gave out and he died right there and then on the sidewalk. There was no warning, nothing. He was here and then he was gone and my heart was, and remains, broken.

Jake was born on a farm in Chilliwack outside Vancouver and he came to us when he was 8 weeks old. He grew up to be a beautiful, gentle, intelligent, and remarkable dog who loved walks in the woods, swimming, barking at the mail carrier, eating meat, rolling in smelly things, and getting belly rubs. He was the best dog, and he made everything better just by being here. He was big and he was beautiful and he was so smart and so kind and so good. I am grateful to have known him, and I will grieve him for the rest of my life.

After his death, the house felt wrong and empty. I couldn’t stand his absence. I couldn’t stand being without a dog, and neither could the rest of the family. So now there is a new boy, Henry. He is still a puppy, fluffy and full of beans, a mutt (just like Jake), and he is sleeping under my desk as I write this.

“Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love. They depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart.”

-Erica Jong

New stories in the wild

My latest roundups & reviews

News, mentions & upcoming publications

  • I have a short story forthcoming in Lightspeed, and a creative non-fiction story forthcoming in Nightmare. They will appear at some future date in those magazines.
  • My short story collection Six Dreams About the Train made the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2021.
  • I was interviewed by the wonderful Myna Chang for Unchartered Magazine: read the interview.
  • I did an in-depth interview / conversation with the amazing Ray Nayler (check out his new novel) about my story “Deepster Punks”. Definitely one of the highlights of this year for me! It’s part of his excellent “Better Dreaming – Conversations in Science Fiction” interview series. Read the conversation.

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