New Tie-in Story Coming out in Sovereigns Anthology

I hadn’t planned to have another blog post up on the site quite so soon? (At least not one unrelated to Anathema.) But then Nisaba Press announced the Sovereigns of the Blue Rose anthology on the Green Ronin site, with a view of its table of contents. So, you know, I can’t not share that I have a Queen Larai story in the book.

Alongside, oh, a host of thoroughly excellent authors… :D

You can find the announcement and the full ToC at the link above. Said announcement also means I’ve updated the Bibliography page here on the site. Which leaves just one more piece on there I can’t currently claim the provenance of — until that project goes public anyway.

I’ll update the release date for Sovereigns on the Bibliography page once that’s public as well. And then when it comes out I expect you all to read what promises to be a decidedly excellent collection. :p

And for my part? Yay for more forthcoming fiction!

Not least of all because it feels like I spend a lot more of my time these days editing than writing my own work. Which … eh … for the most part it’s a living. (Like, a marginal one given publishing’s rates, and Anathema‘s more than just a living, sure.) But the fiction’s where my heart lies.

So, you know.

Every piece is a cause for celebration. :)

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Anathema IndieGoGo Down to 6 DAYS Left & Other Procedural Notes

The Anthema staff are calmer than they appear in your rear view mirror. Please ignore that high-pitched screaming you hear in the background.

Well. That month went far faster than expected. Not least of all because of all the work on the Anathema fundraising. But also largely because of freelancing work, and looking for more freelancing work. (I could still do with more thanks, click here if interested in hiring me for some editing/copywriting/ghostwriting).

A lot of what I wanted to do this month on the blog has been pushed back to next month because of the aforementioned things. And I always know how much time the Anathema fundraising is going to eat out of the month we run it for, and budget accordingly, and it still takes way more time than one ever expects.

Said fundraising is, thankfully, slowly drawing to a close. Which is both great for my mental health and time management, and also kind of vaguely sucks right now because we’re — as I type this — sitting at 49%. Which, yeah, if you can pitch something in or shove someone our way who might also like/love/want to support what we do, that would be immensely appreciated! (The campaign runs through October 3rd after a late start this month because: public holidays.)

At this point, we’re counting in contributors from all sources — be it the website’s Donate page, purchasing issues or subscriptions through our website Store, pitching in to the Ko-fi, or helping directly through the IndieGoGo. We can’t adjust the total on the IGG to account for other contribution sources as it turns out, so we’ll be noting an adjusted tally up on the IGG once done. But right now, we need to get the funds there higher so we can fund our issues for Year 4.

Also we would love it if more people picked up some of the swag packs. We’re looking forward to working on finalized designs for those, and it’s the first year we’ve been able to offer them, so please help yourself to one. :)

Now if you’ll all excuse me, I need to go panic about the end of month deadilnes I’m working to, and also do some CCA grant application prep.

For those of you who also need the reminder (I recalled the deadline a week ago, so no judgement), the next Canada Council for the Arts Research and Creation grant deadline is October 2nd.

If you don’t have a profile on the CCA’s application system, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to set one up in time to apply for this period. (They can take up to 30 days to get confirmed, and only after that can you file an application.) But the Research and Creation grant comes up (I think still) twice a year at this point. So start a profile asap for next time around. :)

And with that, I’m out. There’ll be more non-Anathema content on the website next month, once things settle down.

Look after yourselves in the meantime!

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Anathema’s Year 4 Fundraiser is Live!

It’s true, the Year 4 fundraiser for Anathema is now live in the world! And in the spirit of saving time and consistency, I’m mostly just going to repeat what I said on Twitter earlier about this. Because now that the fundraiser is live what even is time to spend on other things? :p

🎉 🎉 🎉

We’re looking to raise $3,500 CAD to fund our next three issues. Come grab subscriptions, an assortment of physical books, and a small range of critiques before they’re gone!

Find the campaign here:

There’s also a couple stretch goals in the works: funding another issue so we can (finally) be ahead of the game. Also a chance at raising our Fiction/Non-Fiction rates up to $150 per piece.

We would absolutely fucking LOVE to hit that last one, but first we need to cover 2020’s costs. 

I and the other editors will be online over the course of the month talking about the fundraiser (only occasionally being frantic about hitting that goal). But aside from donating/contributing/picking up perks, the single most important thing you can do to help us reach goal is spread the word. No, really:

Fundraising campaigns live and die by engagement, and we’re a small mag. Bigger than others, smaller than many. Our readership grows annually, topping out last year at 8k, and currently on track to hit ~11-12k by year’s end. But our reach only extends so far. That’s where you can help.

Every single RT, share, ecstatic shout of joy, and loosed carrier pigeon about Anathema’s fundraising efforts help more people know that A) we exist, and B) that we want to keep paying our amazing contributors. And, you know, raise our rates. 

So, wanna help? Give us a boost!

Contributing is also good. We’re absolutely on board for people pitching in funds. But do what you can do, spread the word, and read the ever-loving shit out of the mag.

Because we are so fucking proud of our issues and our amazing contributors, all. Just … SO FUCKING PROUD.


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Anathema Issue 8 is Live!

It seems to have been quite a while since I last did an Anathema issue release update on this blog, so it’s high time to bring that back! :D

Issue 8 is officially out in the world today, with a plethora of beautiful and powerful stories, poetry, and non-fiction, and some absolutely fucking gorgeous cover art from Jade Zhang (a small piece of said cover is cropped above).

You can find the issue free to read here.

Or if you want to support the mag you can buy an ebook of Issue 8 here.

And, hey, if you’re feeling generous, you can always pick up a subscription to the mag. :)

Those last two options are how we pay contributors and keep the Anathema website running, so doing so is always appreciated. But whether you’re reading it online or via ebook, we (my co-editors and I) think you should absolutely be following the magazine.

“But what’s in this issue?” you ask.

So much goodness, friends. So much.

Issue 8 has stories from Ian Muneshwar (“Still Water”), Jon Mayo (“A House With a Home”), Brandann R. Hill-Mann (“Soul Sisters”), and S. J. Fujimoto (“A Patch of Night”), alongside poetry from Joyce Chng (“Pendant”) and A.Z. Louise (“Seventeen Days”), and rounds out with non-fiction from Adefolami Ademola (“A Half-Formed Thing”).

We’ve also in this issue applied a couple of content warnings. Please do heed them.

So what the hell are you still doing here? Go read the issue! :D

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Cleaning House (in Advance of Getting Back to Blogging)

*cracks shoulders and settles in*

This blog has always been on again/off again consistent, but generally I like to put something up every couple of weeks or so. That schedule fell apart last year, and then harder still this year.

There was a lot I planned to put up/write since the start of this year — a post about my own writing/sales over the last couple years, a recommended reading list for 2018 work, and a whole host of reviews. All of which are still things I plan to do, but when I break down what I need to work on during a year, paid (or with potential to pay) work always comes first, so the blog is usually the thing that falls by the wayside.

And 2019 has been a year of a lot of work, paid and unpaid, on various fronts. So far in 2019 I:

  • Wrote a 30k tie-in novella to be published later this year.
  • Am writing another 30k novella to follow up on the other.
  • Finally finished a novel that’s been coming together in bits and pieces over the last few years while I wrote other novels in far shorter time. This one is a fair bit more complicated than a lot of other novels I’ve written, and you may have an inkling of why if you’ve read any of the Titan and Serpent stories published so far — which are components of said novel.
  • Wrote several shorter tie-in pieces for as-yet-unannounced projects (listing for some of which are up on the Bibliography page and I’ll update those/post about them once those projects are announced).
  • Did some non-profit/corporate freelance earlier in the first quarter of the year.
  • Put together (with my co-editors) Anathema‘s seventh issue.
  • Am currently putting together (with my co-editors) Anathema‘s eighth issue for release in August.
  • Proofed/edited … uh … a lot of books?

Honestly, that last point has been what takes up the majority of my time. I don’t remember exactly how many books I edited this year alone, though I was running some numbers when the year hit the halfway mark, and by that point I’d edited 116 (118? I can’t recall off the top of my head) titles in some capacity over the last two years and change. 96 of those alone were proofs for Harlequin before I walked away from freelancing for them. Partly because of burnout on turnaround, and partly because a lot of those proofs were also ending up sensitivity reads and wow was I not getting paid enough for that.

I have … thoughts … on this front that NDAs with a couple of publishers mean I can’t talk about directly. But other thoughts aside, whatever you think the general rates are for proofing in the industry, I guarantee you they’re not as good as you’re imagining — with exceptions, because there are multiple publishers who pay extremely well for external editing services. Though at this point, I’ve been getting significantly better rates working on TTRPG edits.

Publishing is an amazing industry to work in — not counting those (many) moments in which you want to set fire to it because of the white supremacy that undergirds so much of it — but honest to god I wish publishing made it easier to make a living doing this. (The eternal gripe from all those of us who work in the field, on all sides of it.)

2019 has been a year of watching a great many people online talk (rightly) about how we need to decouple the work we love from how we make our living — in part if not in whole. Not least of all because it makes it impossible to enjoy the thing you create because it is now an imperative rather than fulfilling.

It’s not exactly revolutionary to note that as creators, we have to fill the well in order to draw from it. And we cannot do so if we never give ourselves time to replenish our resources. But so many of us forget…

For my own part, I’ve been doing far less reading because for so long reading has been specifically paid work for me, and I’ve lost my capacity to enjoy it in casual terms because I’m constantly finding myself asking “But how can I monetize this?” (Yay for burnout and living in a capitalist hellscape.)

Part of the answer for me has been turning back to games as a way of interacting or engaging with storytelling — a necessary shift in framework and medium — both as a player and a creator. I’ve always preferred storytelling and narrative in gaming, so a lot of what I’ve been engaging with has been focused on visual/text/longform storytelling over other aspects of gaming. And I may yet end up talking about some of the things I’ve been playing as part of the blogging I hope to get back to.

GMing a TTRPG campaign has also been a way to get back into a creative mindset after hitting burnout hard this year. Partly, I think, because of the collaborative process that is building a campaign and having people engage in and explore and better the world you are building through their interactions with it. That sense of play and engagement is highly invigorating. Especially when playing with slightly different narrative format (for me) by approaching building that campaign as a couple of seasons of content broken down like a TV series, with respective beats and narrative arcs.

It also helps, it turns out, to have a player base largely comprised of other creatives/writers/artists. It’s a very different experience from past GMing I’ve done — especially since I haven’t GMed in years and I’m a much better storyteller now than I was when I was last doing this.

Sure, technically, it’s taken time away from … um … other things I’m supposed to be doing. But you know what’s fucking great? Giving yourself permission to sit down and just create without thinking about how or where you’re going to sell it. Whether what you’re making is just for you, and/or for other people who want to be part of the story you’re all building together.

It’s fantastic to just be able to fill the well, even while drawing some of that water as needed.

And on that note I’m out for now. And hopefully back in a few weeks to get this blog back on track again.

In the meantime, all of you be well, and may you find whatever gives you joy. :)

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New Sale & What’s Coming in 2019

Now that the contract’s signed, I can announce that I’ve sold a Mutants & Masterminds novella, Idol Pursuits, to Nisaba Press as part of their tie-in fiction line. I don’t have a release date beyond autumn yet, but will update that on the Bibliography page once I do.

This novella also ties into my other Mutants & Masterminds story, “Kill Me Baby, One More Time”, coming out later this year. And though that story is technically set earlier chronologically, it doesn’t technically matter what order you read them in. Because you’re reading both, right? Good. :)

So what’s Idol Pursuits about? As per the condensed pitch:

Idol Pursuits is a queer, women-centric Maltese Falcon, in the style of Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., as directed by early Guy Ritchie (if he wasn’t a misogynist jackass).

Trust me, that pitch is a lot less messy than the original one I wrote before completing that novella and getting to step back and look at the whole thing in perspective. :D

Most of my published output this year is going to be tie-in fiction at this point. Including a third contracted piece I’m not talking about yet until that project’s further along which I think might end up coming out in 2019? Not sure yet. But it’s shaping up to be a fun year…

Stick around for more updates as they land.

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2018 Award Eligibility Post

Here we are, nearly at the end of the year that felt like it would never fucking finish. And yet, it manages to feel over all too soon as well.

Or maybe the latter’s just because I agreed to do far too many things before the calendar rolls over into January. This is also possible. :)

Nevertheless. Some housekeeping before the meat of the post:

I find myself not having put together a Year in Writing post for 2017 as yet, so I’m just going to roll that into the one for 2018 (which will be out early next year — hopefully in January, but I mean who really knows at this point…).

The eligibility post for Anathema will be going up on the magazine’s blog in January, rather than cross-posted here as I’ve done on occasion. Because the focus there over the next few days is getting Issue 6 out the door while it’s still actually, you know, December.

“Until There is Only Hunger” was reprinted in Lost Souls this year, but I’m only noting the two original stories I had out in 2018 for award eligibility.

And now, on to things published in 2018 and some excerpts! :D

And at its Heart, Such Depths
(June 2018, Augur 1.2; Short Story, 5,500 Words)

Siva has been so long under the mountain, so long tracing tunnels ascending and descending, she can no longer tell where earth meets sky, nor what lies above and what below. Or if the world beyond the rock walls and chalcedony-ridden veins still exists.


Sometimes Siva thinks of Meghan. Sometimes of her parents. Sometimes the walls retreat a little. But not enough. Never enough.

She is drowning in stale air laced with her own exhalations.

And when she sleeps, she dreams memories of the outside world.

“In That Fire, All the Voices of Your Dead”
(November 2018, Nisaba Journal Issue 1; Short Story, 4,500 Words,)

They remove her chains just before they toss her from the back of the wagon. The dust of her impact followed shortly after by the thud of her bundled cloak.

“Good riddance, witch,” yells the guardswoman who threw her. The dust hasn’t even settled before the crack of a whip drives the horses on and the wagon turns to make the long ride back to the sheer walls of the capital city of Leogarth.

Atla rises, cracks her back, and gathers up her cloak. It won’t be much use until night; right now it’s just extra weight. But at least she’s got one, and her own clothes – though they’re still filthy from her stay in the Church of the Pure Light’s dungeons. Her skin sallow from so long without light, the glimpse of it shocking to her.

That they chose to exile her isn’t surprising. That the burned ghost from her cell came with her is.

A quieter year for stories from me, but things I’m proud to have out in the world, so it balances out. :)

There’s some work of mine already planned to come out in 2019, and a few more I’m either working on or waiting to get confirmation on/can’t announce yet. We’ll see what next year brings for those. But at this point it looks like a good year coming if you want to read new things from me. And hopefully it’s shaping up to be a good year likewise for all of you as well.

There’ll be more to come (on this and other fronts) in the next few days. Until then, may the end of 2018 find you and yours well!

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