I wrote nonfiction column #PurpleSF for Clarkesworld Magazine and my short story “The Ghosteater” appeared in Thirteen: Tales of Transformation, edited by Mark Teppo. The story involves a traveler, Dr. Fantomas, and his companion, who are asked to investigate a haunted restaurant, and it takes place in Tabat.
I lounged about the house eating bonbons in February. Well, not really. But I didn’t get anything published.
My flash fiction “Bit Player” appeared in Daily Science Fiction, after I wrote it during one of my Flash Fiction Workshops. I went to Emerald City Comicon and had my first book release party there, plus sold it at the Wordfire booth, meeting all sorts of delightful people in the process.
The cruelest month was also the busiest month, with the official launch of my first fantasy novel, Beasts of Tabat, the first volume of a fantasy quartet set in the world in which I have placed multiple stories.
I also had stories appear in Airships and Automatons (“Memphis Barbecue”), Beneath Ceaseless Skies (a novelette set in Tabat and related to Beasts of Tabat, “Primaflora’s Journey“), Daily Science Fiction (another story produced in one of my classes, “You Have Always Lived in the Castle“).
“The Subtler Art,” a story set in relatively new locale Serendib, appeared in Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues, featuring retired assassin The Dark and her spouse the wizard-alchemist Tericatus in a game of marital oneupmanship. Also appearing that month was The Haunted Snail, a flash piece (yup, written during one of my classes) in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, and two Patreon stories, a horror piece titled “Reality Storage” and a story set in the same world as the Blackguards piece, “The Owlkit, the Candymaker, the Beekeeper, and the Brewer”.
And Ad Astra: the SFWA 50th Anniversary Cookbook, which I co-edited with Fran Wilde, appeared, and was a thing of joy and wonder, mostly due to Fran’s effort, as well as those of Sean Wallace. I will remind you all that the cookbook is eligible for a nomination for Best Related Work when Hugo nominations come around, mainly because I love that little book and think it deserves a nod.
Patreon story 2611, a horror story set in the apartment complex we have been trying to move out of for several years, appeared. I wrote this last year while we were living in a horrible temporary apartment and trying to get everything packed up and ready to go; most of the events are based in reality.
I went on retreat down to southern California and got some work done on Beasts’ sequel, Hearts of Tabat. “California Ghosts” appeared on my blog for Patreon as I switched the campaign over to publicly viewable.
Steampunk story “Snakes on a Train” appeared on my blog as part of the Patreon campaign. During the same month I attended Sasquan in Spokane, which was a lot of fun, and read “The Owlkit, the Candymaker, the Beekeeper, and the Brewer” there.
Talking in the Night, a literary flash piece appeared on my blog for the Patreon campaign. At the same time, “Marvelous Contrivances of the Heart” appeared in Recycled Pulp, edited by John Helfers. That story owes much to the old Twilight Zone episodes and I hope it manages to evocatively tell the story of an unlikely artist and the consequences of the pieces he creates.
And we moved into Seattle proper, or rather West Seattle, which is AWESOME, and involves an apartment with multiple great writing spaces, including a kitchen table that looks out towards the sound and the mountains.
My first on-demand class, Literary Techniques for Speculative Fiction Writers, went up. I took 1500 words of notes for the live workshop, which is based on one I developed for Clarion West and which is one of my most popular classes, and ended up expanding them to 15,000, so I think counting this as a non-fiction publication is quite valid. I still need to go back and reformat and clean this one up somewhat since I’ve learned so much about formatting and setup since then; that’s on the list for January.
At the end of the month, flash piece “As the Crow Flies, So Does the Road” appeared in Grendel Song, newly revived by Paul Jessup.
I put up steampunk story, “Laurel Finch, Laurel Finch, Where Do You Wander?” on my website as part of the Patreon campaign. Also “Reflections from Mirror World 57,” a story made up of superhero flash pieces for Outliers.
Two more on-demand classes went up, the Character Building Workshop and Reading to an Audience. As I worked on the former, my ideas about how to shape these classes continued to refine themselves; I’m looking forward to using a lot of what I learned in doing these in classes for 2016.
One piece of past experience that’s been useful in assembling them is a stint of work I did writing study guides for college textbooks, for a range of classes that included economics, retail marketing, and terrorism. I used the software’s capacity to create mini-quizzes with the Character Building Workshop, in a way that led to my only complaint, someone who thought the quizzes were silly.
They are silly — mainly because they’re intended as an amusing interlude that nonetheless gives you a chance to review the core concepts of the material just presented. I’d be curious to hear other takes on them from people who’ve looked at the classes. Should I cut those?
December publications included my take on Mrs. Claus in “He Knows When You’re Awake” for Jenn Brozek’s Naughty or Nice holiday anthology, and forthcoming “Dark Shadows on the Earth”.
I also finished up with another nonfiction essay for Clarkesworld Magazine, this time On Reading the Classics and an essay on what I hope for SFWA in 2016 for this blog.
I hope to have one last writing class, Moving from Idea to Draft, done by the end of the year and am working on that, but these classes tend to get more complicated as I write them and this is no exception.
Stories coming out in 2016 include “Red in Tooth and Cog” in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (booyah, that is a longtime goal and I am still so tickled to have hit it; “The Mermaid Club,” a conspiracy tale about underground feminists, co-written with Mike Resnick; science fantasy, “Haunted,” co-written with Bud Sparhawk; “Call and Answer, Plant and Harvest,” set in the same city as the owlkit and Blackguards stories, which will appear in in Beneath Ceaseless Skies; “Tongues of Moon Toad” in The Bestiary; Preferences in Chasing Shadows (edited by David Brin) and The Threadbare Magician in Genius Loci, among others.
Status of Current Projects
I need to finish up Hearts of Tabat, and that book was the main casualty of a year whose events included cancer on one side of the family, dementia on another, and a death among my favorite in-laws. I have about 115k words on it and need to make them all make sense and flow nicely into each other. I know the main action of the two books after that. I have some other stuff I’d like to write.
Collaborations coming up include a couple with Rachel Swirsky, one with David Boop, a stroy with Emily Skaftun and Randy henderson that we need to finish up, and one with Tod McCoy.
Upcoming on-demand classes include Creating an Online Presence for Writers, Flash Fiction, Revising and Rewriting, Linguistics for Speculative Fiction Writers with Juliette Wade, Creating Your E-book with Tod McCoy and quite a bit more. And there’s another round of live workshops coming up in January-March.
Books coming out include:
- Neither Here Nor There, another two-sided collection, this time with a focus on fantasy (Hydra House)
- Hearts of Tabat (Wordfire Press) and (maybe) Exiles of Tabat
- Creating an Online Presence for Writers, 2nd edition
Some Overall Stats:
Stories published in 2015: 33, including flash pieces
Novels published: 1
Nonfiction books published: 1
Number of on-demand classes published: 4
Large writers organizations on which I served on the board: 1
Number of books read: bunches and bunches
Number of blog posts written: I will fill in this number when I have more time.
Happy holidays to all my readers. I hope your end of the year ruminations leave you feeling happy with what you’ve brought to the world over the last twelve months, and that you’re moving forward into productivity and joy in 2016.