While the year has seemed alternately creeping like an aged snail and galloping like a drunken horse, I am stopping time for a moment to take a deep breath and celebrate the fact that I have two stories out or coming out this year. I sent out one story last year and unsurprisingly published just that number (not counting reprints). Plus the fact that life is full to bursting and often hard (although I wouldn’t exchange it for anything — I’d just trim bits here and there and try to fit in a hundred years of sleep) makes it very difficult to write. My head is buzzing with ideas between worrying about tax forms, mortgages, tottering piles of student work as yet unmarked with the fearsome red pen, among many other things — ideas, but (in case you haven’t got the point) no time. So if I achieve even a modest success — two stories in one year is pathetic by most standards but a modest success by mine — that is cause to pause and pat myself on the back. Before getting back to mortgages and taxes and student papers describing the physics of a universe not our own.
So one story is up at Lightspeed Magazine, a somewhat strange piece but one close to my heart. I am rather fond of the protagonist. This is my Lightspeed debut and I am glad. I submitted this story on January 1 and it was accepted on January 2, which explains at least in part the name of the magazine.
The other one is an alternate history novelette called A Handful of Rice which is forthcoming in an anthology in the fall edited by the celebrated Ann VanderMeer: Steampunk Revolution. It is a swashbuckling sort of story I think. I really enjoyed writing this.
If —and I dare hope this for about 5 nanoseconds — if I manage to write and submit and publish two more stories this year I will be happy. 4 a year is my record and I am slated to write two more pieces for two other anthologies so I hope the Muse will oblige instead of sulking in a corner and mumbling about lack of time.
Talking of time, it’s up. I mean it’s down, too, and all around, but at the moment it is pointing toward bed and sleep. I am so sleep-deprived that I dream (while awake) of writing a version of Sleeping Beauty in which Beauty wakes up at the kiss, punches Handsome Hero on the snoot for waking her up, and falls happily asleep for a hundred more years.
So if you, a hypothetical person just returned from a long, rambling sojourn somewhere, filled to the brim with sleep as a cloud is with water vapor, if you come babbling at me about how relaxed you are, do not be surprised if I a) punch you in the snoot or b) fall asleep listening to your twaddle.