I’ve got a new story out: “Last Ocean Tide Lost in Sand” is available in Capricious #11! It features an aromantic family, a depressed spaceship and a magical fox all seeking a better life on a planet that’s un-terraforming into contagious, deadly sand. Every person is non-binary, there’s multiple sets of neopronouns, and it’s sort of Space Australia!
The kernel of this story is about a decade old and I was only able to finally figure out how to tie it all together in early 2018 when seeing Sword & Sonnet, so it’s really nice not only to have actually written it, but to have it published as well!
There is also an interview with me in this issue. I talk a bit about “Last Ocean Tide Lost in Sand” and a bit about some weird Australian animals.
Additionally, next month Sharp & Sugar Tooth is being released and you’ll find my short “Red, from the Heartwood” in it! There’s also an aromantic, non-binary family… but none of the other things! It’s set in modern day Perth and features arospec questioning, vegetarian cannibalism, polyamory with both a queerplatonic relationship and a romantic one, and weird apple stuff.
I meant to do a 2018 summary but I ended up too busy in December because I got top surgery!!! It went well and I’m really happy! Dealt with a lot of anxiety about Am I Queer Enough and Do I Deserve This and Can I Afford This, but the recovery so far has had some rough spots I have not for one single second regretted it. (Also I went back to full-time hours halfway through last year and that’s been a rough adjustment…)
“Kin, Painted” has been reprinted and podcasted at PodCastle! It’s narrated by Julia Rios. If you’ve had a hankering to listen to a story about an aroace middle child of a queer-normative and supportive family trying to find out how to fit into the world and how or whether to paint, well now you’re in luck! Hooray!
It is so wonderful to me that so many people like this quiet little story.
The Kickstarter for Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good and Sharp & Sugar Tooth: Women Up To No Good (edited by Joanne Merriam and Octavia Cade respectively) has relaunched! My arospec love story “Red, from the Heartwood” appears in Sharp & Sugar Tooth and features a non-binary arospec dryad, who bakes desserts with apples plucked from her own body, juggling her long-term queerplatonic relationship and her new romantic relationship with a woman who’s having a little bit of difficulty with the idea of relationship anarchy. It’s got body horror and good food and weird food and questioning arospec wonderings about romance and puns and getting to know your girlfriend and aroace metamour over Star Trek and, don’t worry, the queerplatonic relationship is still strong and happy at the end of the story. You can read the opening of it here! Please have a look at the line-up and the other sneak peeks, Sharp & Sugar Tooth is looking pretty mouth-wateringly good.
The latest episode of GlitterShip contains a new poem from me, “Cucumber”! It’s about a queerplatonic sword & sorcery adventuring couple fighting against the idea of “just friends”, and it’s a spiritual sequel to Zucchini.
New story: Issue 9 of Capricious, The Gender Diverse Pronouns Issue, is available now in ebook and paperback! It contains my story “Walking the Wall of Papered Peaces”, featuring a (sex-repulsed demiro ace) cis clockmaker engaged to a (allo) non-binary plumber, both of whom end up on a weird quasi-magical quest to find a wall made of origami animals because of communication problems in their relationship. I have some things to talk about regarding this story, but that’ll come in a later post. As you might expect, the other stories in this issue feature gender diverse pronouns and a lot of non-binary characters! Please check it out, and thank you to everyone who supported its fundraising and who has talked about it!
New poem: earlier this month my poem “Penelope’s body looming” was accepted by Strange Horizons! It’s inspired by Greek myth and my gender journey, and it’s the first poem I’ve written in two years so that’s very exciting.
New calendar: well this is a bit late now but at the start of this year I was convinced by some friends to make a calendar of my bird photos for them, and I did so, and now you can buy this bird calendar if you’d like! The individual photos are also available as prints and cards. I have been told I’ll be making another calendar for next year, which I’ll hopefully get organised before next January… :p
New page: I’ve added a wallpaper page to this site! It currently has a few 1920×1080 wallpapers of my wildlife photography (at present, black cockatoos and other native Australian birds) and I’ll be adding more birds to it soon as well as some bees and architecture and flowers. All the wallpapers are and will be free to download. If there’s any specific bird (or other) photos I’ve posted on Twitter that you’d love as a wallpaper, let me know and I’ll prioritise that!
New focus: the last few months I’ve been grappling with an issue that took up a lot of mental energy and time. An issue I started thinking about in 2016 but put off because of the toxic job/unemployment situation. An issue I have, as of this week, partially resolved in that I booked a date for top surgery.
I had a short Twitter thread on this topic several months ago and have finally been able to expand on my thoughts!
I’ve been interested in attraction magic for a long while. Succubi, love spells, seduction magic, manipulation, enthralling—all that kind of stuff. I’m interested in thinking about how they would work, or how they would not work, on acespec and arospec characters. So whenever I see a piece of fiction where attraction magic and asexuality/aromanticism coexist I’m always excited to see how the author’s chosen to think about this intersection. And so far… So far I’ve always been disappointed. There’s just “this asexual (usually also aromantic) character is not affected, that’s it”.
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.
And I did an author spotlight over at Pack of Aces where I talk about my published acearo characters and how much better my writing life is since I discovered the terminology that described me:
When I was a teen I tried to write characters who were like me. This was before I’d heard of asexuality or aromanticism. All of the characters were broken, like I obviously was, and they were all eventually fixed like I was told I would be. (Perhaps “they were all broken, and they were all eventually broken in” is better phrasing?) They should have been happy endings: the character admitted they were in love, sex was usually implied, hooray, the character is fixed. But they were all off. Stockholm syndrome was common, overbearing and wearing down of wills was common, power imbalance was common. The characters did not choose to fall in love, they didn’t really fall in love; they were pulled into love and sex and held there with a grip that only at a glance looked like a romantic holding of hands. Messed. Up. (But that’s what I thought I saw in books and films and TV, that’s what I thought was the only path for me. There were many stories which horrified me, which people insisted were romantic. He loved her, so it was all right. She ends up saying she loves him, so it was forgiven.)
There was a month dedicated to these author spotlight interviews with various acespec creators and you can check them all out here!