Contrary to how things may appear, I am not dead.

What I am is very tired after getting my ass kicked by 2022. Some major life changes that sapped my energy and mood, but also a lot of great things happening.

My short story, Saturn Devouring His Son, got published on Clarkesworld Issue 186 and you can read it for free here (I love the audio version by the way). Everyone who loves scifi loves Clarkesworld and everything Neil Clarke has done for the genre. There’s prosthetics in there, there’s small town mindsets, and giving your allegiance to a company that will sometimes literally eat you alive to make a profit. I’m increasingly losing my patience with corporatism and how it impacts human lives (including mine and yours) and I think it shows here.

Acceptance was published on OnSpec Magazine Issue 122. I wanted to play with time and the perspective of a person who experiences all of her life simultaneously. Most of all though I wanted to get inside the head of someone who knows something bad is coming, yet is unable to do anything about it. This is a very real feeling I struggle with when looking at climate change trends and the fossil fuel industry posting record profits year after year after year. Generally speaking, we’re fucked, and losing is not something I’m comfortable with. Where do you draw the line and stop fighting? You can buy the issue here.

Spirals is about to be published on Fusion Fragment Issue 17 in June (next month). I love working with Fusion Fragment and Cavan Terrill’s crew, there’s something very exciting about the stories they collect, something very fresh and hungry. Spirals looks into the life of a newly-wed immigrant couple. A lot of things change for them, not least of which the stress causing one of them to turn into a chrysalis and begin a transformation.

There’s work started on a new book that I am very excited about. I get to play with form here to a far greater extent than I did back in The Hush. Hopefully there will be a first draft to discuss with the great folks over at Inspired Quill at around the end of the year.

Last but not least, I am taking part in WriteHive 2023 as a panelist for discussions on experimentation in scifi and criticism. What I’m really excited about though is the panel on AI in publishing. This was a discussion that was both passionate and intellectual (and at times a bit heated). Recording the discussion after 26 hours of no sleep felt surreal but it was truly a pleasure discussing with the super prolific L. Marie Wood, York Campbell of the Welcome to Earth podcast who uses AI in ways that complement creativity (but that don’t act like a crutch), Andy Dibble who probably made the quote of the panel and who taught me quite a few things, and Tim Baughman, an absolutely awesome human being, insightful writer, and masterful moderator. The panels will be published in the second week of June and there will a live discussion that I will take part in.

A few last words. Shit happens and it kills your will to do anything other than exist. I’m lucky to have a very understanding and supportive partner, but treating yourself with kindness is an acquired skill and not one that most people have had a lot of practice with. Treat others as you’d treat yourself. Treat yourself as you’d treat others.

Talk to you soon.

So. The Hush is coming out today.

Later in the evening, I will meet up with my good friends, the amazing poet/writer/actress Sara Rahmeh, the stalwart film director Marianne Hansen, and the writer and businesswoman extraordinaire Marilag Dimatulac for celebratory drinks.

There’s little of me that’s in the mood of celebrating.

I decided to write this book on day 2 of a 3-day silent period. That was the result of an argument I had with my now ex-wife. If you were to ask me what the argument was about, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I only remember us glaring at each other from opposite ends of the bed, not saying a word.

The silence that followed was comfortable. We gave each other space. Or maybe we just didn’t feel like talking to each other. Maybe both. And so I wondered what a world would look like where couples weren’t allowed to talk at all and having the burden of (mis)communication taken from them. What misunderstandings we’d avoid!

As time went on, our communication broke down completely. Needs were not met. Hurt was dismissed. Talking things out led to becoming defensive. And I had enough. So, I stopped communicating. I stopped bringing up things that hurt me and I stewed on them, until it all came out in one bitter wave a few days before I asked for a divorce.

I don’t feel like celebrating. This book is too personal, but then again, every piece of honest fiction is condemned to be too personal.

Ah, well…Live, learn. Or don’t learn and keep repeating the same mistakes.

This book remains a dystopian speculative fiction novel with clifi elements. So, despite the story behind it, it’s still fun to read (as fun as reading dystopian speculative fiction with clifi elements can be). I sincerely hope you enjoy it and, if you take anything from it that may enhance your worldview, please drop me a message.

I’d love to talk with you about it.

Dear friends, good news.

The Hush, my debut novel, got picked up by Inspired Quill for publication aiming for July 2022. Obviously these are exciting news, made doubly so by the fact that Inspired Quill is an indie publisher fighting the good fight. It actively donates to charity and we’re expecting to give some of the proceeds to environmental causes.

I’ll be posting more details as we’ll be getting closer to the date.