09/27/16

Transcendent is here!

cover art
Transcendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction has been released into the world! It contains my story “Kin, Painted”, originally in Lackington’s, a gentle thing about queer children growing up in a supportive family, and Our Narrator trying to find a true self and place amongst them. I wrote a bit about it, as well as my gender and ungendered protagonists, here. (Bit funny rereading that; last year feels like only just yesterday, yet also so long ago.)

“Kin, Painted” is the concluding story in Transcendent, and also the inspiration for the cover painted by the outstanding Noel Arthur Heimpel, and I am just all ヽ(゚〇゚)ノ and (⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄) and (ღ˘ᴗ˘ღ) at such an honour.

Here’s the full table of contents! Look at that line-up, damn.

You find it here: Book Depository, Amazon.com, Kindle, Smashwords, and Goodreads.

I’m excited to see what future transgender sff anthologies are like, and what K.M. Szpara edits next!

(And remember to check out Lethe Press’s other books and Patreon!)

06/15/16

Transcendent

My story “Kin, Painted” is going to be reprinted in Transcendent: the Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction! At the link you can see the amazing cover, the TOC, and preorder details (with $5 off at the moment). It’s edited by K.M. Szpara and the cover is by Noel Arthur Heimpel which is personally very exciting for me because Noel’s webcomic Ignition Zero has been one of my favourites for a loooong time and to see my name right there next to their art is *__*!!!

I had to be talked into submitting to Transcendent so, uh, self-reject lesson?

If you can’t wait until September then you can read “Kin, Painted” right here in Lackington’s.

01/27/16

Pronouns, 2015

I’ve started using neutral pronouns: ou (ou/ou/ous/ous/ouself) or they (they/them/their/theirs/themself)! It took me a while to find some that felt right for me and I was discouraged seeing how certain cis people treated and misused neutral pronouns, but if I let people like that hurting people like me stop me doing things then I’d probably still be assuming I was an incredibly broken alloromantic woman so fuck that shit, I’m doing this thing.

Speaking of discouraging matters: 2015 frustrated. In 2014 I made gains, and then I lost them again. Frequent illnesses impacted on my chronic health issues and most of the time it was all I could do to tread water. The last story I completed was in January, the last poem February. It’s incredibly frustrating; previously I had finally started feeling good about my relationship with writing and then it was back to exhaustion and depression and wondering if I’ll ever get that part of my life back. It’s impacted upon other areas of my life, and then there’s rebound impacts and, to be honest, I’m surprised I even managed to survive working full-time. I have hopes for 2016, hopes for better health, for life improvement and getting back to things like writing and seeing friends more often and going on road trips and drawing and playing games and reading more and all that jazz, things that I enjoy and that improve my life. But I had those hopes for 2015 and I saw how that went so maybe I should be hoping just to continue treading water, to not slip under. Or to not slip under as much. Hah…

It wasn’t all bad, of course. I did manage to work full-time, I had a really great week in Melbourne with a good friend, saw my zucchini and made plans to travel in 2016, finally figured out the agender thing, got asked to be a bridesmaid, made some embroidered gifts which people loved, supported friends, had good times, made people laugh, tried new foods, became enraptured with new cartoons and shared them with friends, knew I was loved and appreciated.

I had one story published, “Kin Painted” in Lackington’s, and two republished: “Love Over Glass, Skin Under Glass” in GlitterShip and “Tanith’s Sky” in The Best of Luna Station Quarterly: The First Five Years; and four poems published: “Stone” in Interfictions, “Skin Ashore” in inkscrawl, “Singing Her Body Oceanic” in Liminality, and “The Selkie Before Summer” in Liminality.

Four poems from someone who doesn’t understand 99% of poetry. Whoooops.

Only one of those was written in 2015, and then nothing else but scraps of paragraphs. I repeat: frustrating. Especially since, having figured out the agender thing and having thought about pronouns, that’s something I want to poke more in my fiction, moving away from non-gendered characters and background conceptualisations to characters like me, characters sort of like me, characters less like me. But, alas, the body decreed it was not to be.

In embroidery, I had a good year, I think. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted to because of health reasons and unanticipated projects, but I’ve really liked what I’ve done and I’ve challenged myself. I cross stitched Doctor Who using actual embroidery thread for the first time; my blackwork projects included Avengers, Gardevoir, Ninetales. The last of those I’m especially proud of, that style was uncharted (*sunglasses*) territory for me and it was a lot of trial and error to understand what I was doing. I learned a whole lot and I think I pulled it off! I also made several other patterns, and I nutted out a quicker way of making patterns. I’m currently in the middle of an important gift project and then I’ve got a commission to do, so I think after that I’ll take it easy and stitch some Pokemon blackwork patterns I’ve got waiting for me.

I played a few games too. Gravity Ghost was my favourite, even though it made me cry (it was a stressful week)!

07/30/15

painted skins, ungendered words, agender heart

The latest issue of Lackington’s is online for all to read now! You read my story, “Kin, Painted”, right here and see Likhain’s illustration for it, and there are other great stories and art to see. Ebooks are still available of course, and if you enjoy it then consider a subscription!

This story originated on a postcard in 2009. I was having difficulty getting back into writing back then, and I found that writing flash fiction on postcards meant I couldn’t agonise over words and sentences, what to do next and then after that. So I wrote a lot of them. Most weren’t that great but they were words, characters, plot, concepts that I managed to get out without a Word document driving me to anxiety. Last year I remembered this particular one and wondered if it could make a decent short story. In the postcard the narrator’s arc ended differently. Unique in its own way, but ultimately I prefer the newer version!

photograph

the origins of Kin, Painted

We painted our bodies.
My brother: gold like the ideal sun, rich like all the treasures of the world melted onto his skin. He went to the emperor, to be a measure man. If anyone gave the emperor a gift less amazing than my brother’s skin, it was to be melted down.
My sister: silver like starlight, as bright and glossy like a still lake had dyed her. She went to the …

I wish I could remember to whom I sent the postcard, see if they remember it and see what they think of its descendant.

And now I’m going to talk about being agender and writing ungendered and the stories and poems that I’ve had published this winter.

I have always been confused about gender. Society and presentation and theory, sure, but that’s all outside your skin. What was inside? How does gender inside people work? How does gender inside me work? Spoilers: it doesn’t. Earlier this year I had a series of epiphanic thoughts and was able to push through the “I don’t know I don’t know” that had always stopped me from progressing past “gender wh?” in the past. I mulled over it for a while, and it’s the only thing concerning gender inside my skin that’s made sense to me: I’m agender. Non gendered, rather than neutrois or androgynous. Gender is just not a thing that I have.

Yep, I’m a triple A. Aromantic, asexual, agender. My orientations and identity all default to “nope”. For the record, she/her pronouns are still fine, and I’m femme. UPDATE: I now use ou/ou or them/they pronouns.

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07/16/15

sky and kin

My story “Tanith’s Sky” is one of 50 reprinted in The Best of Luna Station Quarterly: The First Five Years! This anthology’s only in paper form but you can still read “Tanith’s Sky” online here. It’s about what happens after the world’s been saved, it’s about grief and non-romantic love and maths and astrology and gender.

And I’m in the new issue of Lackington’s with “Kin, Painted”, which is illustrated by Likhain! It’s about finding a way to be happy in yourself, in your family and in your life, it’s about paint and non-romantic love and romantic love and compromise and being different amongst the different and quite a lot of paint. In a couple weeks the issue will be online for free but if you can’t wait there’s the (very recommendable) ebook and subscriptions available!

11/11/14

More Embers than Feathers Filled the Firmament

My consonance-based story “More Embers than Feathers Filled the Firmament” is online for everyone to read in Lackington’s issue 4! With stunning art by Kat Weaver! *___* There is some beautiful prose in this issue, as there has been in the previous issues! I’m so happy to be part of such a luscious endeavour.

(A-and it got such a nice review at Clavis Aurea, bwee!)

One note for the curious: “carnivore demon ducks” refers to the extinct Bullockornis planei, nicknamed the “Demon duck of doom”, the 2.5 metre tall carnivorous duck. There’s a collection of them at Kings Park.

I wrote a bit about the journey of “More Embers” earlier, and there’s the very short genesis of the birds’ war if you would like some more weirdy birdy words.

I don’t know anything about wagtails outside of Australia (didn’t even knew they existed until a few months ago!) but it’s difficult to imagine life without willie wagtails. They’re tiny, adorable, inquisitive and utterly fierce. They’ll attack any kookaburras, magpies (also wow non-Australian magpies are weird, I don’t know how youse cope), crows, falcons, eagles that get too close to their nests. And they’ll follow you around the garden as you weed, hopping about and wagging back and forth.

09/5/14

Zenith’s Wake

Zenith’s Wake is up at Mirror Dance! At 9,400 words it’s the longest completed thing I’ve written since I was a teenager, and probably the first time I’ve had to use maths to work out how quickly a plot should be progressing.

It is about death, grief and disaster relief; stress, relationships, love and homesickness; magic, logistics and uncertain futures.

Some minor notes: Ithikana is a Brisbane-analogue and Istapor is a Singapore-analogue; Australia really does have stinging trees.

08/11/14

Heiresses of Russ 2014

Heiresses of Russ 2014: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction is out! And it contains my romance “Love Over Glass, Skin Under Glass” (published in Aurealis last year)! I’m stunned and delighted to be part of this series.

My favourite in it so far is “Her Infinite Variety” by Sacchi Green. It’s such a beautiful and taut story.

Goodreads; paperback: Book Depository; Amazon; ebook: Kindle; Smashwords.

06/2/14

The Secret at Long Canyon

The Secret at Long Canyon
prompt-based, sword & sorcery, nakama; 2011; 950 words

digital picture

To say that they had let their guard down was an understatement even larger than the danger they currently faced. They had been carefree — their chatter verging on celebratory — and even Imoguin had sipped some of Swikae’s whisky.

Imoguin would not wake up now. Swikae clutched at the mage lying on her lap, relieved that at least she still breathed.
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12/2/13

Tanith’s Sky

My story “Tanith’s Sky” is up at Luna Station Quarterly! It deals with grief, love, maths, gender and the end of the world. I’m fond of it and it contains some very personal bits of my heart, and I’m so glad to see it out in the world. Wouldn’t have been possible without R, who inspired it, and Alex, dottie and Zoe! I hope people enjoy it!

Grief is a hell of a thing. Some of Ash’s experiences in going through the grieving process are mine; my mother died a few years ago, suddenly, too young, with no chance to say goodbye. I can’t remember if I set out to write about the grieving process–R’s prompt certainly didn’t mention it–and I don’t know if I’d say it was a cathartic story, but it was so natural to write and I’ve ended up sharing more than I ever have before. It’s a strange sort of time, never sure how appropriate or awkward it’d be to say something like I heard the front door open and I knew it was her, knew it, until I remembered, until I realised what I’d forgotten to your friends.

And once again I’ve written about a couple with not-quite-aligning views on their relationship. Of course all relationships must have compromises and those sorts of things, but I find especially interesting those with dissimilar sexual and romantic inclinations.