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.”
New stories in the wild
- “The Morthouse” in The Deadlands #12. Read the issue or subscribe / Read the story online.
- “The Parlor” in The Bureau Dispatch Volume 02: Dispatch. Read.
- “A Blank Space Where She Ought to Be” in LampLight volume 10, issue 1. Buy it.
- “One Thing” in Martian: the Magazine of Science Fiction Drabbles. Read it.
New stories on my Patreon – if you support me there, you can find all the stories under the tag “patreon exclusive)”
- “Maya’s Harp”
- “The Long-Haired Australian”
- “Jackie’s Bottle”
- “Alice, at the Bar”
- “The Song Without the Words”
- “Waiting for Ben”
- “Five Skinsuits for Ylva”
Reprinted stories in the wild
- “The Brightest Lights of Heaven” in Weird Horror Short Stories (Flame Tree Publishing). Buy it. (First published in Fireside.)
- “And You Shall Sing to Me a Deeper Song” at StarShipSofa (narrated by Summer Brooks). Listen. (Originally published in Interzone #280.)
- “Tony Roomba’s Last Day On Earth” at Escape Pod (narrated by Roderick Aust). Listen. (Originally published in Diabolical Plots.)
- “Down to Nilflhel Deep” at Podcastle (narrated by Eleanor R. Wood). Listen. (First published in Kaleidotrope.)
- “Sunlit Surface, Depths Below” in Mermaids Monthly. Read it. (First published on The Word Count Podcast”
Non-fiction in the wild
- “10 Hands-On Tips For Writing Flash Fiction” at the SFWA Blog. Read it.
My latest roundups & reviews
- My monthly short fiction roundups are at Maria’s Reading.
- Read my book reviews at Maria’s Reading.
- The audio versions of my monthly roundups are available on YouTube!
- My quarterly Short Fiction Treasures roundups are at Strange Horizons.
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.