Capclave Approaches

It’s almost time for another Capclave literary convention! This year, I’ll be attending as a guest, participating in two panels and leading an interactive workshop on crafting micro fiction. This will be my third Capclave (I think) and my first as an attendee! I’m pretty stinking’ excited if I do say so myself.

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My schedule:

  • Saturday 12-2 Micro Fiction Workshop (there’s a limit of 15 participants so if you’re interested, be sure and sign up soon!)
  • Saturday 2-3 The Care and Feeding of Critique Groups
  • Sunday 11-12 Feeding Off of Fairy Tales

I’m pretty excited about being a proper guest at a convention that focuses on something that I really care about. I’ve also had a wonderful time at my past Capclaves and hope to continue to take part in this great, small convention in the future. Here’s to reading and writing and meeting people and talking about books!

 

 

Speaking of Stuff

Remember that move I just went through? I know I do. Unfortunately, I’m about to go through ANOTHER ONE in November. I’ll be taking some of the furniture items with me (divorce is no fun and I don’t recommend it) but not all of it, blessedly. All the same, I’ll be moving from Virginia back into Maryland, where I’m happier anyway.

Can we invent the Star Trek transporter technology very, very soon? That would help immensely. It would surely save on movers and packers!

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It turns out that trying to “shop” for a new rental/apartment more than three months in advance doesn’t really work. Property management just doesn’t work that far ahead. So I feel like I’m sitting on my hands, knowing that I need to find a place but not quite being able to do anything about it. It’s torture for a To Do List maker like myself; the item “find new place” is just sitting there, mocking me.

It’s also highly strange to live in a place for such a short time. There’s really no sense in me investing any time or money into this townhouse since I’ll just be moving out in a few months’ time. I’d like to hang curtains to cut some of the natural light out (thanks, chronic migraine) but it just seems like a pointless exercise. I honestly might just nail a blanket over the windows at this point!

Speaking of migraine, that thing’s been keeping me out of work for over a month now. It’s misery about one-third of my waking hours and then when it’s not world-endingly awful, I just have a terrible headache 24/7. Doctors’ suggestions and treatments aren’t working and I might go insane.

To wrap up: I do not recommend getting divorced (it is expensive) and I do not recommend getting a migraine for something like 55 days now (it is miserable). Just don’t do it. Don’t do the thing.

 

Wizards in Space

I’ve recently been published! Bloom and Fade, my post-apocalyptic western short story, has found a home among the stars in Wizards in Space volume 01. Please support this fantastic magazine (seriously, issue 01 is full of some incredible talent from all walks of fandom) by buying a copy here.

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I’ve absolutely got to give a shout-out to my favorite piece, Like Knights of Old by Eileen Gonzalez. And I’m not a poetry girl but Bodies in the Sky by Evelyn Deshane haunts me in the most beautiful way.

Experiences vs Stuff

As my last post addressed, we just moved to a new place a few weeks ago. And, with moving, comes the realization that you own a lot of stuff. Maybe too much stuff. Me? I’m just on the cusp of too much (I craft and sew and we seamstresses are notorious packrats). I’m not terribly sentimental most of the time, though, so throwing out things that I won’t ever use again isn’t terribly hard for me.

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For me, the feeling of owning too much stuff that weighs you down (and speaking of weighing you down, can we talk about how books weigh?) does rub me the wrong way. I used to think of myself as nomadic but, lately, I just keep acquiring things. Lots of things.

There’s a sort of movement going around, with plenty of articles and blog posts to go with it, that experiences are more important than stuff. And while I don’t disagree on principle with the idea that doing can be better and more interesting than owning, I can’t help but feel that the idea of experiences > things is pretty classist (not to mention ableist – but that’s another rant for another day). Some of us simply can’t afford to eat at fancy restaurants, take amazing vacations, or see films and plays.

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So don’t let people make you feel bad if you prefer stuff. Or if you prefer experiences. Aren’t they both perfectly fine? And isn’t what makes you happy more important than fighting about the value of doing vs. having?

Moving House

It’s okay. I’m literally moving house. Not, like, blog business or anything. The kind of moving with a truck and boxes and stress and self-loathing and everything.

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Friday, July 8th (yes, I know I missed this post by about a week – something went wrong in my queue!) is the big day with the dudes and the truck and the furniture and all of that good stuff. We’re also having a small crew come and help us pack the night before because between my husband’s job, my job, and my chronic pain/fatigue, there just isn’t enough time or energy between us to get the job done in so little time.

Why so little time? Because out landlord gave us verbal notice that we had to be out asap at the beginning of June because she wants to sell the place that we’ve been renting. We don’t want to buy this townhouse, so off we go! Our written notice technically gives us until the end of July but we are trying to be nice tenants and we’re getting out as soon as we’re able – our place wouldn’t be available until the 8th, so the 8th it was.

There’s nothing like packing and moving (which I’ve done now five times in eight years – ugh) to make you realize how much stuff you have. When I first moved down to this area from Philadelphia, I had a pretty minimal amount of possessions. The necessities like clothes and toiletries, plus a crappy laptop and a few kitchen extras like my KitchenAid stand mixer (which is crucial to my happiness) were all I really felt like I needed. But I traveled light at that point!

Sometime around moving in with my then-fiance, I started to just… have more stuff. More clothes for my office job, more fabric for my sewing hobby, more makeup and toiletries – the stuff just slowly crept in. And now, every time we move again, a part of me tries to nest a little more by adding stuff to the hoard: books, fabric, clothing, cookware, etc. It just piles up.

I’ve always felt like a bit of a nomad and all of the moving hasn’t bothered me much until this particular relocation. We’re only moving about fifteen minutes away from our current place, so it’s not a big deal distance-wise. But it’s still too much stuff to just get a friend with a truck and some pizzas and make it work. We’re a little too old and grumpy for that, anyway. Maybe I’m finally at that age in my life where I want to know what’s mine and where I can hang my hat long-term.

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I’d like to think we will buy or keep renting this new place as long as there are no glaring problems with it. Buying is a long-term plan that we’re not really dealing with right now, but it might be nice to think of myself as settled down somewhere by the time I’m 40 (so we’ve got about 8 years to get these ducks all in a row).

Don’t we all just want some place that we can call our own?

 

The Universe Has a Sense of Humor

It’s true. It’s true! All it took to get my writing career some momentum was me taking a “real” job. I’ve got two pieces of good news to share!

My short story, tentatively titled “The Untold Story of Pizza Rat,” will appear in the forthcoming anthology, Ghosts on Drugs. That anthology, to my knowledge is still expecting submissions, by the way! I will, of course, post more information when I know it. For now, enjoy a picture of a cute little rat dude eating some popcorn (it’s relevant, I swear).

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Another short story was sold as a reprint to the exciting new project: Wizards in Space Literary Magazine. The post-apocalyptic showdown Bloom and Fade will appear in their inaugural issue which I have been told will hit digital “shelves” sometime in July 2016. Again, more details as those become available.

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BANG.

And the best/strangest part of all of this? These two pieces of news came in two days, one right after another. Can you see why I thought maybe the universe was pulling my leg? That’s a whole lot of good news all at once and, these days, who on earth is actually used to that much optimism? Not me. But maybe I should try.

Flash Fiction: Blue

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She moved through the water like a mermaid. Ron fell in love with her the first time he saw her even though he moved through the water like a drunk octopus.
She dove for a living, taking surveys of fish populations for some government agency or another. Ron had always been terrified of two things: the deep sea and deep space.
Claire came home one day and found a set of tanks and some diving equipment that wasn’t hers.
“I’ve been taking lessons on the side,” Ron confessed. “We can go together now.”
“Together?”
“Together.”
Claire sighed. “Please don’t. The sea is my space. My world. My blue home. It’s private.”
Ron said nothing. The next day, an ad appeared on Craigslist:
Diving gear, tank, mask etc. Brand new. Free. Please just take it.