Among other things, May is National Recommitment Month, and while I don’t make new year’s resolutions, I do want to recommit to my writing, because I feel like I’ve been kinda slumpy in the past couple months (although I’ve written a lot this year and I need to keep reminding myself that).
I’ve wanted to talk a little more about my writing, but I’ve always kept a fairly tight lip on what I’m working on, for reasons. Mostly to do with my own insecurity and resounding feeling of who the fuck is going to want to read that, but also because I often DNF writing projects and I don’t want to talk up something that’s not finished.
I’ve written so many short stories (for me) in the past two years, y’all!
Like…12 or 13?! I can’t count. And I have written 6 so far this year.
While I don’t want to talk (except in generalities) about the stuff I’m subbing/editing, I do want to talk about the three short stories that are pending publication in 2021!
Vasilisa and the Night Witches
Okay, this one is a little cursed.
Let me back it up. I finished this story in 2018, and submitted it to over 12 different publications before lucky number 13 accepted it! Yay! It was scheduled to be published in September 2021, and I was like, ya know, it’s a great magazine, I’m willing to wait two years.
Fast forward to mid-2020. The magazine in question goes under. Yikes. BUT the person in charge has another magazine, and while she’s focusing on shifting her business to indie publications for marginalized authors (specifically Black and queer authors), she decided to wrap up her last few remaining shorts in her other magazine, Selene Quarterly.
There have been a lot of delays because she’s been busy and life and the world (I am not blaming her at all—the past year and some has been absolute shit), but fingers crossed this short story sees the light of day, because I love it (no, totally not biased at all). Of course, if it doesn’t go through here, I’m off to subbing it again, because I want this story into the world (and I’d like to get paid for it). So I’ll know by the end of this month if it’s going to happen, or if I’m going to try elsewhere.
It’s a deiselpunk mash-up of two fairy tale retellings: Vasilisa the Beautiful and The Twelve Dancing Princesses, set on the Eastern Front of WWII. I don’t want to say more on the plot, because uh, the title is a major spoiler, as are the two retellings.
Love and War Aboard the Peregrine Zircon
This one is my sapphic lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers story aboard a magical aircraft carrier.
Magical. Aircraft. Carrier.
Lemme tell you, this was a blast to research, and it’s based heavily upon WWII aircraft carriers. I took a trip to the USS North Carolina (pre-pandemic) and tried to get to the USS Yorktown in Charleston, but the pandemic hit and that scuttled (heh) my plans. But I leaned on some military historian friends, Youtubed the fuck out of shit, Googled the rest, and perused a couple of books that were really fascinating.
I had to think a lot about how magic would influence naval and air warfare. What would elemental mages do during a storm? How would scrying work out? What about concealment and subterfuge on open water? What does power projection and the concept of naval engagement look like? Additionally, my main character has intuition magic, which manifests in symptoms similar to menstrual cramps.
I finished this piece in February 2020, and ended up revising it quite a bit by the time I hit my eighth rejection over the course of almost a year and a half.
Luna Station Quarterly is publishing this baddie June 1st, 2021, so get excited!
The Hidden Language of Flowers
This is another sapphic lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers (sensing a trend?), but this time, set in 1945 Cottage Grove, Oregon, instead of a secondary fantasy world or Russia.
I’ve actually written 4-5 short stories set in Oregon (two historical fantasies, two speculative fictions, and a parody of the Oregon Trail computer game) in the past year, in addition to two historical fantasies (ouch, my heart, as those two were set in 1999 and 2000) I wrote a couple years ago.
I like to write about areas near my hometown, which is a small, rural, blip on the map in Douglas County, Oregon. For the record, Cottage Grove is in Lane County and is not that small.
Anywho, this story is based around two witches (and exes) who run rival flower shops and hurl insults at each other via floral arrangements. There are a bunch of queer Easter Eggs embedded within the dates and the arrangements themselves, and I’m just so excited. It’s basically a love letter to the LGBTQIA+ community and rural Oregon, all in one.
Cursed Dragon Ship is publishing this beauty in their upcoming anthology Misspelled: Magic Gone Awry, in November 2021.
I submitted this one to three places: one was a rejection, one a withdrawal (they allowed simultaneous submissions), and then this approval.
Works in Progress/On Sub
In brief, here are a couple other things I’ve been working on:
- An Oregon Trail video game parody
- An epistolary science fiction short about aquariums, mermaids and sentience
- A secondary fantasy with a nonbinary emperum who just wants to create an empire and be accepted by their family, dammit
- A cyberpunk retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk (this was accepted and will be published sometime in 2022!)
- A post-apocalyptic/climate crisis short of werewolves, wildfires and magic set in Oregon
- A speculative fiction short set in my hometown exploring the different ways you can be lost
- An epistolary fantasy about a group of widows who are very fed up with a war and so Do Something About It
- A historical fantasy featuring Newport, Oregon, haunted lighthouses and cryptids
- A historical fantasy about devil’s bargains along Oregon Hwy 99
I finished That Slow Awakening, which is the sequel to That Distant Dream, and I need to be working on Book Three but that is very slow in happening. I know how it’s all going to end, but I’m still thinking out the details.
I also started writing (and paused, mid-April), a fantasy piece with werewolves and missing princes and a retired mercenary captain set in an enchanted forest.
So I am recommitting to both of these projects, with the intent to finish Book 3 by December (as I promised my editor) and the Werewolf Fantasy by the end of the year.