A Year Without Twitter

Last year, I stopped using Twitter, quite by accident: I was too busy planning and preparing my house for a large party. By the time the cleanup was over, I’d been without Twitter a week–but I didn’t even notice for several more that I’d stopped.

When I did notice, I thought I should try to extend my break for a year. I think Twitter has been a terrible company with horrible politics and, as much as I liked connecting with my friends and making new ones, I thought the pace and tenor of the Twitter discourse was unhealthy, as was my own clandestine quest to entertain and amuse my followers. I wondered if I’d been letting the Magic Smoke out, taking energy away from what should have been going into my writing. I figured, after a year I could take stock and see if my break should continue.

Now, there have been automated posts in that time. (This post will generate an automated Tweet, unless that broke and I didn’t notice.) And I’ve used DMs to communicate with a few people where that’s their preference. I’ve even read posts or threads that someone has pointed out via IM or linked to from elsewhere. But I’ve stayed away from the scroll, stayed away from manual posting.

How has it been?

Pretty good, actually. I don’t miss the scroll as much as I thought I would. I do miss sharing pictures I think others will enjoy (I continue to take pictures of snails in my neighborhood), and I still sometimes find myself thinking in 140-character chunks. Less so recently, which is nice.

I haven’t written more. A lot less, actually, but I don’t feel it necessarily has a lot to do with my Twitter break. (It might, though!) My idea file continues to grow faster than my actually-written file. My compulsive phon-poking has merely moved away from Twitterific to other apps, but that’s not terribly disappointing, even if it should be.

It’s true that I’ve felt out of the loop more than one time, but I’m cultivating my JOMO and I’m still angry enough at the terrible politics that Twitter amplifies that I’m staying off for now. I miss it, but less than I thought I would.

Two Hour Transport Anthology, and a Party

Two Hour Transport anthology cover

The number one best thing about being a writer in Seattle, especially a speculative fiction author, is the writing community.

There’s Hugo House, which serves all writers with courses, workshops, talks, readings, and more. (Their new home is amazing, too. One of the most beautiful writing-specific places I’ve seen.) If Hugo House was the only place for writers to go in Seattle, this would be a great city for writers.

But of course there’s also Clarion West. Even if you don’t have the time to invest in the six-week workshop, or even one of the one-day workshops they run, Clarion West brings readings to Seattle, participates in Norwescon, and more. As an alum, this is without a doubt my “home base” writing community.

On top of that, however, there’s Two Hour Transport. For several years now, this combination of invited readers and speculative fiction open mic has been running monthly. I can’t always attend, but when I can’t, I inevitably feel as though I’m missing out on something great.

At long last, Two Hour Transport has put together an anthology of writing from its participants. Yes, I’m in there. (My story is “Real Selfies,” which previously appeared in Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology.) But so are many other wonderful writers I know and see regularly. I’d put more specifics here, but I haven’t seen the table of contents yet, though I think my friend Keyan Bowes and CW ’16 classmate Mitchell Shanklin are both included.

We’re also having a launch party for the book! It’ll be from 4 to 6 pm on June 15th at Cafe Racer. Come join us, hear some excerpts, and bring a book to get it signed! (The anthology is print-on-demand, so you should buy in advance and bring the book to the party.)

Good Things to Come: Norwescon and Story Sale

I’m pleased to announce that I will once be attending Norwescon 42 (April 18-21) as a pro. In addition to a reading, I’ll be on a number of panels, including “The Terror of the Haunted House,” “What’s Happening in Social Horror?” “Good Omens: Another Look at the Book,” and many more. Seriously: I’m on eleven panels plus my reading.

If you’re interested in my full schedule, you can check it out in the Norwescon Guidebook.

In addition to attending Norwescon, I’m now able to announce that I sold a piece of flash fiction to Galaxy’s Edge. It will be my second appearance there. I’ve no idea when the story will be published; watch this space for more details!

New Story at Toasted Cake

toasted-cake-logo-100My story “The Chex Gambit” is now up at Tina Connolly‘s most excellent Toasted Cake podcast. It takes a little over eleven minutes to listen.

This is my first publication via Podcast, and it was such a blast to hear someone else reading something I wrote. It’s not exactly the way I would’ve read it, but that’s the point, isn’t it? Tina does a great job, and then says things that make me sound smarter than I actually am.

Maxx Destruktinator, the story’s protagonist, is named after my friend Maxx, aka DJ Maxx Destrukt. I originally used her name as a placeholder for my supervillain, but grew attached to it, and asked permission to keep it. Thanks, Maxx!

Upcoming Appearances: Norwescon (Seatac) next week, Auntie’s Books (Spokane) in April

Next weekend is Norwescon, the annual Seattle/Tacoma convention that my family has attended for the last couple of years. It’s one of the larger regional conventions, so I’m told, and it’s crowded but a lot of fun.

This year is different: I’m there as a professional, and will be on a number of panels. I’m especially interested in people attending my reading on Saturday night from 5:30 to 6 in Cascade 4. Expect a giveaway–or two!–some candy, and more.

My full Norwescon schedule is below. If you can’t attend any of the panels, you can also find me at the Fairwood Writers’ social, the Clarion West social, and around. Stop me and say hi!


On Saturday, April 14th, I’ll be joining other Writers of the Future winners at Auntie’s Books in Spokane for a 7 pm reading and signing. If you’re in that neck of the woods, I hope to see you there.


Here’s where I’ll be at Norwescon:
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New Story, and Awards Eligibility

My story, The Leviathans Have Fled the Sea, was published today over at Diabolical Plots. I’m super-excited to have my steampunk airship whaler mermaid story online, where everyone can read it. Please have a look!

“The Leviathans Have Fled the Sea” is eligible for short story awards in all the usual categories. I did have one other story published this year, a 1350 word horror story called “Fly Swatter,” over at DarkFuse, which has since shut down. If you’re nominating for awards, and that seems like the kind of thing you might want to look at, drop me a line and I’ll send you a copy.

Story Sale: Fly Swatter (DarkFuse)

darkfuse-fly-swatter-promo-imageI’m pleased to announce that my short story “Fly Swatter” will appear in DarkFuse Magazine on March 3rd. This is a nasty little flash fiction horror tale, clocking in at about 1350 words.

It’s also the first story I’ve published that originated in “Weekend Warrior,” an annual flash fiction contest at Codex, an online writers’ community. Thanks to Vylar Kaftan for her work running the contest, and to all my fellow contest participants who offered their feedback.

2016 Awards Eligibility Post

Inspired by my Clarion West classmate S. Qiouyi Lu, I figured I should probably throw my hat in the ring for 2016 awards eligibility. I haven’t accomplished as much as S this year, so my post will be correspondingly shorter.

Like S., I’m also in my first year of eligibility for the John W Campbell award for best new writer. That said, if I was you, I’d vote for S., not me. In fact, I’d actively encourage you to consider S. Qiouyi Lu for best new writer.

I saw two stories published this year which are up for consideration in the short story category for both the Nebulas and Hugos, and possibly for other awards as well.

“The Star Tree,” a 4200 word science fiction short story, appeared in Writers of the Future, volume 32. It took first place in the fourth quarter of the competition. It’s the story of a boy who’s lost his mother, and of a trading-card game where children can trade entire lost planets.

“Real Selfies,” a 2900 word contemporary fantasy story, appeared in Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology. In the story, a camera app has the power to take photographs of your darkest fears.

If you’re reading for these or other awards, please drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you review copies of one or both stories.