Updates, Sales, a This Patchwork Flesh Reminder, and Some Talk About The Humanity of Monsters

This month has been pretty much ridiculous in terms of deadlines, scheduling, and being head down in an awful lot of projects.

Consequently, I’ve had no real chance to talk about much on the blog. I still need to post some promised material following the Clarion West fundraiser, along with getting some other things done around here.

But as I’ve got final edit confirmation on my poem, “No Fixed Points in Space,” from the market that it sold to, I now feel comfortable announcing that that piece will appear in issue 11 of Stone Telling. Which makes me very happy as I’m inordinately fond of the market, and they run work from poets whose work I absolutely adore, so I’m looking forward to seeing who I get to share space with there.

But one of the main reasons I sat down to write this entry actually has to do with This Patchwork Flesh. Given everything else I’ve been trying to get done this month, I haven’t had a chance to talk publicly about the anthology, and offer people feedback and advice on what’s going on there. Part of that is just due to the anthology’s open call falling during, at least in part, the same period as my attending Clarion West. That was always going to affect my ability to devote as much time as I wanted to gearing up for the anthology, I just hadn’t realized quite how much that would be the case.

Anyway, we’re about five days away from the submissions window on that closing. Seen a fair amount of variety in terms of what’s coming in, and a spread of nationalities in the submissions queue. But, as ever, I could do with more Canadian submissions. No real requirements as to length right now; we’ll see how everything fits together as it goes. Still working my way through what’s in the pile, and I want to thank everyone who has submitted thus far. My responses for this one have been going out very slowly, and it’s a good thing I’m going to be able to take September to do part of that as there’s no way I’d manage that by the end of August.

The timing on that is further complicated by the fact that in addition to everything else I’m doing I’m currently working on some final round confirmations of involvement and a lot of contract back and forth for the reprint anthology I’ve been putting together in bits and pieces over the last couple of years.

Some of you have heard me talk about that project, in person mostly, and a little bit online. But given that most of the preparatory work on that is nearing completion, I feel I can start talking about it slightly more.

The short version is this: The Humanity of Monsters is an all reprint anthology that will be released through ChiZine Publications in November 2015. The lineup is absolutely stellar, international, includes a fair number of PoC authors, a hell of a lot of women, and roams all over the place in terms of genre. (Will put up the full ToC once everything is in place.) The anthology is focused around humane monsters, monstrous humans, and the interstices where those states meet and blur, pulling from stories that refuse simple definition.

It’s going to be ever so much fun :)

And I will talk about it further once everything is more firmly nailed down.

In the meantime, I need to dive back into the things I momentarily set aside to write this post. And I’ll catch up with everyone again when I’ve got a touch more time.

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Clarion West Fundraiser Follow-Ups

End stage (post-Clarion West) updates re the fundraising campaign. Just posting directly from the campaign update here:

For those still following along with the campaign page, as well as any other channels I’m talking about this on:

I’m now back from Clarion West (fucking amazing experience, by the way, and you are all more ridiculously awesome than I can properly state for having helped me get there), and I’m working on making sure I’ve got proper records about who I need to contact, and what’s been promised all round.

That’s going well so far, just slowly, as I settle back in to work and other obligations now that I’ve returned to Toronto.

Should be getting around to contacting everyone in the next few days.

In the meantime, holy fuck, man. Clarion West. There will be a ton of talking to come about that, much of it done via blogs, but that was so absolutely worth it. So a HUGE round of thanks to everyone who helped with this campaign, in whatever respect (spreading the word, direct donations, or just general support). I’m wary of the term “life-changing” in regard to things like this. But, uh, yeah, it was:

A change in headspace, a chance to sort a lot of personal shit out and make some long overdue decisions, as well as encountering some decidedly unexpected developments while there. So, you know, it’s a hell of a thing.

And I will end, for now, on this note: If you’re on the fence about applying for Clarion/Clarion West, apply. The experience is not for everyone, and it’s totally dependent on a lot of factors cohesing in just the right fashion (class, instructors, being at the right place/time in your life to get the most out of it), but it’s an extraordinarily strange and wonderful thing when it comes off right. And if you have the opportunity to experience it, you owe it to yourself to do so.

Later, all :)

And with that, I’m back out. More updates as they occur :)

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Another Vaguely Stub-Like Update (Covering a Bunch of Things)

Am back from Clarion West. Many posts forthcoming on said topic, including promised excerpts. Also, still in the process of deciding what and how I talk about re that experience. It was glorious, brutal, and otherwise bears talking about.

But, for the time being, I’m trying to organize everything I owe people now I’m back, and catch up on e-mails. Blogging will be at a minimum, while I deal with what’s looking to be a very busy month.

In the meantime, everyone should absolutely keep sending in their stories for This Patchwork Flesh. (Deadline is August 31st.) I don’t have a post around the antho prepared right now, though I may get a chance to write one before the month is out. Usual advice re the book: write shorter, tighter, leaner.

Oh, also, I’m going to be jointly running (with Leah Bobet) a grant writing workshop out of Bakka Phoenix Books come Sunday, September 7th. The workshop will run from 1-3, and the details are forthcoming, as will be the link to the signup page (likely going to be through TicketLeap again, but Leah and I are working out the logistics for the moment). Hope to see a number of you there, since it promises to be immensely fun, and the workshop should give people enough time to prep their Canada Arts Council grant applications for October with everything they take away from the experience.

Also, in short story news, Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse is now out and available to purchase. Said anthology, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, contains my story “Jenny of the Long Gauge.” It’s quite an interesting book, with a fair amount of variety to it. And it contains the work of a number of friends, so it’s definitely worth looking into. And I’ve had word of another anthology I’ve got a story in moving toward production shortly, so I’ll talk about that once things are firmed up.

Otherwise, hope everyone is doing well. And, yes, I’m available for contacting. For whatever reason. Responses may not come at lightning speed, but I’m here and looking after things again. And if anyone wants to catch up on what the hell is going on with me now that I’m back, I’m being fairly active on Facebook right now. So that’s an option. Otherwise, sit tight, and I’ll see you all again shortly :)

[Edited to Add:] WordPress informs me that it’s three years ago now that I set up this blog. So, I guess I should go seeking birthday cake to celebrate on the blog’s behalf? (Clearly, this is exactly what that means.) Which is fine because I like cake. But then I also like pie. So many decisions….

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The Briefest of Brief Updates (Re CW and Anthologies)

So, re the (now successful) Clarion West fundraiser and the excerpts to be posted following meeting that goal, I may have misjudged how that would interact with the scheduling here at Clarion West.

I’m more or less swamped with things, so I think I’m going to end up pushing back posting the excerpts until I get home. (In the first couple of days of August. And I suspect that will fall right before I have to start in on the critiques rewards from the fundraisers – for which I will be getting in contact with everyone owed one; and again I’ll be doing so once I’m back from Clarion West.) Not exactly how I wanted to handle posting up the excerpts, but it’s looking more and more unavoidable at the moment.

Whereas having only having had a chance to glance at the submissions in the slush pile for This Patchwork Flesh thus far is exactly what I was expecting :)

Re that: Still too many non-Canadian subs on balance, so looking forward to seeing the Canadian sub numbers tick up down the road (they’re already doing so, just slowly). I’d also like to be doing detailed submissions updates for that book, or something close to what I was doing with the updates for Start a Revolution, but there just isn’t time enough for that yet. Should be able to start looking into things again and talking about them more ably in August. (So, basically, everything, ever, is happening in August….)

In the meantime, I will simply remind everyone that the final deadline for This Patchwork Flesh is August 31st.

I will also take a moment to note that I’m seeing a lot of US-based submissions, and that if you’re a non-Canadian submitting something for This Patchwork Flesh right now, you need to be writing tight and short to compete. This is generally true for an anthology call, but I’m looking at what I’ve got on hold right now, and how that fills out the book, and tighter, more compact pieces from non-Canadians are going to fare far better right now. I just don’t have the space to run more than a couple of stories from non-Canadian writers, given the content restrictions under which the book is being produced.

If anyone is stuck on what to do, I can’t offer you direct advice because I want to see as wide a range of things as possible, but I can point you in the direction of this post (http://michaelmatheson.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/this-patchwork-flesh-two-weeks-until-the-reading-period-opens/) wherein I discuss the thematic and tonal representations of horror that I’m more likely to be drawn to in the slush pile, largely based in personal preference. And I will stress, right behind that, that my own preferences are only a portion of what will make up the final shape of the anthology, and that excellence of writing, regardless of tone or nature, is always what carries a story farthest with me.

And … I have now taken far more time away from everything else I need to get done than intended :)

Also, if any of you saw the accidentally posted in-progress version of this post that went up a few minutes ago (Hello little accidentally struck “Publish” button, and how are you today?) you should feel totally free to ignore that half-written post in favour of this one :p

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Clarion West Fundraising Update – Goal Met!

Holy fuck! Clarion West fundraising goal met!

I cannot currently process this, and I have workshop things to do, so I will tackle this when coherent again. In the meantime, I owe a huge fucking thank you to everyone who helped with this, so consider this the preliminary “You are all ridiculously awesome” speech.

If delivered in a fragment.

Anyway, if anyone wants to look at the “Goal Met. I has incoherence. But this is awesome” post up on the actual fundraising campaign page, you can do that here.

So awesome :D

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Canada Day and Clarion West!

So, I meant to post this yesterday, but I’m doing all kinds of things via Clarion West at the moment, and rushing to get stuff done. So, in order to share the interesting things going on (and also wish everyone a slightly belated Canada Day) I’m just going to cross post my update from the “To Clarion West 2014! And Victory!” fundraising campaign from yesterday.

A bit of a confluence with this week’s update. It’s the first of July, so I get to post this on Canada Day!

Which I am spending in Seattle? So, um, feeling slightly strange about that at the moment. But whatever, I’ll just slip some maple syrup into everyone else’s dinner here at Clarion West and I’m sure that’ll meet my cultural obligation to spread the Canadian love. And be appropriately patriotic and what have you.

I wonder if I know anyone who can quick ship some beavers or some moose down here … ?

(If the tone isn’t already telling you, I’m a little loopy at this point. Hello Clarion West scheduling.)

Anyway, still trying to finish off the monetary goal for this fundraiser, so there is that. And if you have the opportunity to donate, or to spread the word, then please do so and so on and so forth.

But *much* more importantly to what I want to talk about at this particular moment is this:

Back in April, at Ad Astra (a Canadian convention), Derek Newman-Stille and I sat down to do an interview on LGBT/QUILTBAG fiction, the spec fic industry (especially Canadian spec fic) and my own work. Derek held onto that interview until we were into Pride celebration territory, and now that we are that interview’s gone live. It’s surprising packed with useful information, and it’s the relaxed, sweary, true-to-life version of me (accept no substitutes) partaking of the interview process.

You can find that interview online here: http://dereknewmanstille.ca/media/20140406_michael_matheson.mp3

And by sharing that I’m basically making listening to me talk about spec fic for 45 minutes your Canada Day gift.

Come on, admit it, I got you an awesome present :D

So, you know, a fairly meaty spec fic interview in that mix (which was immensely fun to do, and has quite a fair amount of information on spec fic, LGBT/QUILTBAG material, and more, so more than a little useful for them as wants it), and a general well wishing on Canada Day.

And this is the point where I say, “Why look, there’s just under $300 to go on that fundraiser. You should totally help spread the word (or if you’re in a position to chip in, then by all means) so we can hit that final goal and I can shut up about this.” :D

Also, when we hit the final goal of that fundraiser, I’m going to post at least one more (quite raw, admittedly) excerpt from the really short novel-in-progress. So there’s that to look forward to too.

In the meantime, a belated Happy Canada Day to all :)

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A While I’m at Clarion West Update: Re Review Copies/Correspondence

Hey all,

Just popping in in the midst of other things because I completely forgot to note this before I headed off for Clarion West:

If anyone is planning to send me review copies of things (I have several reviews already piled up to do when I get back, so if there’s something you want me to review it’ll go into queue), please don’t send them to my address for the next little while, since I’m not there to collect them.

Please send all review copies (and, really, all physical correspondence) to the following address for the time being:

Michael Matheson
c/o The Merril Collection, Toronto Public Library
239 College Street, 3rd floor, Toronto, ON, Canada
M5T 1R5

If anyone needs to get in touch with me immediately, use e-mail. Thanks much :)

Michael

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