Exactly a year after the last time, I’m joining the The Disagreement again for their third anniversary. I’ll be reading a brand new piece about extinct megafauna alongside Erin Swan, Elizabeth Clark Wessel, and Ron Kolm.
The Disagreement presents: “It’s like being told you’re obsolete.”
Wednesday, January 13th
I’ve been invited to read “Antarctica”
for The Disagreement
, a curated reading series here in New York. I’ll be reading alongside some other great writers – Alexandra Kleeman, Rumaan Alam, and Marianne Mckey – on the theme of denial.
The Disagreement presents: “I kept telling myself you’re ok; you’re not that bad.”
Tuesday, January 13th
I give a reading about once every five years, but I’m told I’m pretty okay at it. If you’d like to hear a pretty okay reading about lonely research stations, I hope you’ll come by.
Right now the weather forecast predicts ice pellets.
Remember that Antarctica story I was working on? It was picked up by Hobart, and you can now read it here. It’s one of the longer pieces I’ve written lately, but you can probably still read it in under half an hour.
Hobart is a journal I have like liked ever since I spent hours at an old internship reading back issues and looking for authors to solicit. I’m really happy to be a part of it.
I have a very short story in the latest issue of Corium. It’s called “Werewolf”.
I finally sent out that Antarctica story. It’s one of the longer things I’ve worked on lately. I am crossing my fingers and toes that it finds a home.
Sometimes in my job I spend a lot of time playing with numbers and listening to music in a haunted mansion. I bought a notebook and started writing longhand again. I have more space in my life to write than I did when I was juggling three jobs, but I’m still learning how to carve out time for myself. I keep taking on freelance projects and side jobs. I spend some nights and weekends writing things for some people and teaching things to other people. It’s difficult to unlearn the perma-hustle.
In between work and work and running around Brooklyn, I’ve been thinking about comic books. I started listening to Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men on my way to and from work. The X-Men are one of my favorite superhero teams of all time, and I am a sucker for completely bonkers continuity. Comics are a huge influence on how I think about fiction, and I am itching to write some superhero fiction after I get done with the tiny haunted house piece I’m working on.
Dear reader, let me tell you about some excellent happenings.
First and foremost, Unstuck #3 is out in the world and available for purchase. It is an absolutely killer issue full of weird fiction, nonfiction, interviews, and poetry. I’m really excited to see so many returning contributors in this issue, as well as brand new names. There’s one story in particular that really grabbed me when I was reading submissions last year, and I’m super happy that it made it all the way into print.
I’ve got a very short story forthcoming in Corium. It’s a little bit about lycanthropes and a lot about the anxiety of hereditary illnesses. Corium is a journal I’ve long admired. I’m looking forward to being part of one their future issues.
Also, I got myself a full-time job doing something I actually want to do. I started this week. I like it a lot. I don’t talk a lot about my working life in this space, though I did write that one semi-satirical piece about job applications for The Billfold. I’ve been cobbling together temp jobs, contract jobs, and part-time work for the last four years. I think that working one job, as opposed to working 2-4 jobs, is going to leave me with a lot more space in my life to do the things I enjoy doing. I am looking forward to dental insurance and writing on my lunch break.
I spend a lot of time thinking about video game narrative. So as soon as I found out that I would be writing regularly for the Unstuck blog, I knew that I wanted to interview the person who made A Dark Room. That person is Michael Townsend, and you can read our conversation here. The interview is spoiler-free, but I still recommend playing through the game before reading the interview. It’s a great game for a wintery day.
I am snowed in today, so I’m going to spend the afternoon reading for Interfictions, which is open for submissions for the next few days. Later, I’ll send out some of my own work. Later still? Well, probably some video games. I’m working my way through Closure right and thinking about light instead of narrative.
Sometimes I stand in front of words and make wild-eyed faces while visiting friends take my picture.
Sometimes I write words down.
I signed on to be a staff writer for Unstuck’s shiny new blog. My first assignment was “art”, so I wrote about my experience going to Kaiju Big Battel with my apartment’s resident wrestling expert. If giant monster wrestling and narratology are things you like, you may enjoy reading “Real People in Fake Monster Costumes”.
I’ll be writing about a different topic once a month. Non-fiction isn’t something I feel super comfortable with. That’s one of the many reasons this blog tends to languish for months at a time. I do, however, love deadlines. I think this will be a nice way to dragging me away from my comfort zone while getting me to actually write about all those neat things I’ve been meaning to write about.
I started running last week. I am still running this week, so hopefully I will be running next week as well.
I am 25. I ran as a kid, but only in the context of games. I hated running for running’s sake. Like a lot of bookish kids, I was asthmatic.
I outgrew my asthma. So when a friend asked me to go running with her last week, I shrugged and put on my sneakers.
It’s weird, having a body that is in some ways more functional than the one I had as a child. I still associate running with the feeling of my lungs being squeezed in an enormous fist. This time, though, my legs moved and kept moving. My lungs took in air and sent oxygen to my blood. Everything worked.
I ran for half a mile before I had to stop. I am not good at running. But as I get older, I find that I am more likely to take on activities that I am not good at.
So, a few months ago I began working my way through Learn Python The Hard Way. I’m interested in the internet of/with things. I’m interested in reading and writing electronic text. It’s about time that I actually start learning how to make the things I want to make. I’m hoping to get a practice project or two up here soon.
I think that writing has made me braver and more stubborn. I know that you have to work at something to get better at it. I am used to the idea that valuable things are often difficult.
Right now I am writing and sending things out. I will let you know if anything finds a home.
In the meantime, I’ll keep working.
Interfictions, a digital anthology of interstitial arts, is open to submissions from now until July 31st. I’m one of the people reading these submissions, so I’d be much obliged if you’d send some great stuff directly to my eyeballs. Our Submittable page and guidelines are here.
To get a feel for the sort of liminal things we’re looking for, check out the inaugural issue.
It’s that time again. I’m participating in this year’s Clarion West Write-a-thon. The Write-a-thon runs for six weeks: June 23rd through August 3rd. My goal this year is the same modest goal I had last year: complete and polish a story. Maybe two, if I press my nose to the grindstone. In the spirit of Clarion West, I’m working on something science fictional. My secondary goal is to form some better writing habits. I’m going to try to work for an hour a day, five days a week. By the end of the six weeks, hopefully I’ll have made working on my own projects a solid part of my workweek.
I’ll be posting here about my progress and process.
You can sponsor me, if you like. Proceeds benefit the Clarion Foundation.