My short story, Reflection, is out now in Gingerbread House Literary Magazine. This is a lovely magazine, focusing on fairytale-inspired stories, with stunning art and a lovely sensibility. Please visit and check out some gorgeous art and wonderfully evocative stories.
Reflection was written in one fell swoop at Cherrywood Coffee House in Austin, Texas. I was sitting opposite my writing buddy, Rebecca Schwarz, and the story poured out of me. It has changed somewhat since that first explosion of words, but it remains essentially the same. It was originally titled The Cinderella Gaze, but I think Reflection suits it better.
Is narcissism a drug? And if it is, are we infecting our young people? This makes me sound like such a grumpy curmudgeon, but I can’t help but wonder — we spend so much time, energy, and focus on external appearance, especially of our young women, we are sapping their energy for anything else.
I believe that humans are creatures of ritual — renewal and rebirth, migration and return. We are dependent on the ebb and flow of tides and the circle of the seasons. Even now, when we are largely creatures removed from the need to hunt and forage, when we are no longer dependent upon growing seasons, we crave that sense of marking time. It’s no longer the first and last frosts, or the equinox or the solstice, or the tide and the phases of the moon. When we don’t have that instinct that it’s time to move on to the next hunting ground or to follow the sun south, we make our own rhythms and our own cycles.
Y’all, I just cleaned out my office. The manuscript is complete — well, that was done a while ago, but now, the second draft edits are done. I didn’t take a before picture because I couldn’t even stand to go into the room. It was a landfill. Paper everywhere, books everywhere, music all over the place — it was horrendous. I couldn’t find anything, and there was stuff falling out of shelves and cabinets. But behold! A clear floor. The ritual cleaning of the office is complete. The old project is put to bed, and I have cleared space emotionally, physically, and mentally.
After a pretty decent 2015, stirring things are in the air for 2016. Lots to look forward to, to keep up the momentum. Here’s where I’ve been:
In 2015 I sold one short story “Murder on the Hohman,” forthcoming in the anthology Futuristica)
I sold a nonfiction article for the SFWA Bulletin, forthcoming in February, on writing with a day job
I wrote The End on one novel and finished revisions on another one (inasmuch as revisions are ever really finished)
I wrote four short stories, two of which are out on submission, one sold, and one is waiting to get critiqued by my writers group
I wrote spec chapters for an epic fantasy that I will not abandon — it’s on suspended animation for now
I am in process of writing a science fiction screenplay for an idea I’ve been noodling around with for a while — also in suspended animation but not abandoned
I signed with Agent Jennie of Red Sofa Literary
Here’s where I’m going:
I plan to finish revisions on Book 1 of the Tales of Port Saint Frey and send to my agent (mid-January)
I plan to start revisions on Book 2 of the Tales of Port Saint Frey and send to my agent (Feb-March)
I plan to start Book 3 of the Tales of Port Saint Frey and finish by November or December
I plan to unsuspend the pending works and make headway on those as well
And I plan to write the short stories that make themselves known to me as wanting to be written.
So it’s a big year ahead. And it’s not just writing. I’ve started taking voice lessons and I’m thinking of adding piano lessons to that. I’m going to get back into the saddle in 2016 as well; I am ready to challenge myself again and be a rider (though I’m going to be reasonable about it.) I’m going to watch movies and hear music and be with my friends and work hard at the day job and the writing job, and try as much as possible to be happy.