My 2013 in stories

Tomorrow I turn 37.

Today I toasted a friend at her wake. She died on New Year’s Day, after a long life of adventure and scholarship and laughter, and she was one of my many teachers.

So today I am looking ahead and looking behind, and noticing moments.

This past year was a transitional one for me, personally and professionally. My little boy amazed me every day. A great newspaper with a long history put me on its masthead (gulp). And I made my first fiction sales at professional rates.

I became a member of two writing groups: Codex and the East Block Irregulars. I went to two conventions: Ad Astra and Can-Con. I learned a great deal.

My pro sales have made me eligible for the John W. Campbell award for best new writer, so if you are nominating for that, please consider me, and the amazing group of writers who are also eligible.

And please consider my 2013 stories if you are nominating for the Auroras or for other awards.

The first story I had published in 2013 was “A Pair of Ragged Claws“, a weird tale set in Ottawa in the 1990s, about an undergraduate music fan who becomes obsessed with giant, intelligent Scorpions. That was in Black Treacle in April. I read this aloud at Midsummer Night’s Scream in August.

In May, my story “Word for Word” appeared in Waylines, beneath a terrific illustration. This one is a Pandora’s Box story about typewriters and regrets.

In August, my story “For Sale by Owner” appeared in Daily Science Fiction. It got great feedback, and is the first sale I’ve made to a SFWA-qualifying market. This one is one of my favourites of the year. I read it at Can-Con in October, which was my first reading at a convention (if you don’t count anthology launches).

My other favourite is “Six Aspects of Cath Baduma”, which appeared in Postscripts to Darkness 4. War goddesses and childbirth and religion and death! I had a great time reading this one at ChiSeries in October.

I closed out the year in a somewhat unexpected way: my first children’s story, “The Dentist’s Apprentice,” appeared in Spellbound. It’s about giants, bigotry, wisdom and ambition, and I’m rather fond of it.

Oh, and I self-published a story this year, too: The Knave of Lilies, illustrated by the talented Kathryn Finter, whom I met through the friend who died last week.

I have a couple of stories coming out soon to kick off 2014, and a novel to sell, and a new novel in the works (first draft at nearly 14,000 words as of today…). I’m excited to see what this year will bring.

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