Terrible at blogging, but making an attempt…

So, listen:

Yeah, no, I did not blog for a hot minute. Because I figured I had nothing to really talk about. I still don’t think I have anything to talk about. But I figured, you know, let’s write an update post.

Some things have happened since my last blog!

  • I sold short stories to Cossmass Infinites, PodCastle, Air and Nothingness Press, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine, and the Human Monsters anthology from Dark Matter/Night Worms.
  • I sold my first reprint – of Yellow and Pink, the story I won Writers of the Future with – to the Storyteller Series Podcast.
  • I became a first reader for Diabolical Plots.
  • I finally went to the Writers of the Future workshop.
  • I went to my first WorldCon and met some seriously cool people.
  • I went back to Superstars Writing Seminars, and it was just as fantastic as it was the first time.
  • One of my short stories, “Pull” over at PodCastle, got on the 2021 Locus Recommended Reading list.
  • I got accepted into the Odyssey workshop (starting in November of this year).
  • And I became the assistant editor at the Storyteller Series Podcast.

That…sounds like a lot when you list it all out like that. For what it’s worth, my cat cares absolutely nothing for any of this. She’s currently stretched out on my lap, happily shredding my pants while I stretch over her to type this.

Oh, yeah – I also wrote a book! I’m in the middle of querying it at the moment. I’ve gotten a couple of lovely personal rejections, a bunch of forms, and my first partial request so far, for which I’m crossing my fingers. I love this weird little thing. I hope someone else loves it as much as I do.

So what’s the point of this blog post? Well, I felt like a bit of a narcissist listing all those things out. But it’s an update post. These are updates. And beyond that, sometimes you forget, while you’re in the weeds editing this new short story and writing this flash piece and you’re terrified they’re both going to turn out awful (no, that’s not suspiciously specific, why do you say that), how many cool things have been happening to you in the interim.

I’m realizing that the list above is what people are seeing on my social media. On Twitter, on Facebook, wherever, that’s what they see, and I don’t put out much of the interim bits where I’m pulling my hair out because oh my god I’m on draft ten of this story and I still haven’t gotten the worldbuilding right. That’s what everyone else sees, and that’s the stuff I’m forgetting because there is so. Much. Interim. And I can’t escape it.

So maybe the point of this blog post is: go sit down and write up everything you’ve accomplished. My list is from the past two years (wow, yeah, it’s been two years since I wrote a blog post. I’d say I’m sorry, but I haven’t written enough blog posts previously for that to make people angry. Yet). Write all of it out. Not just “I’ve sold X stories.” Write out “I sold stories to A, B, C, D…” and look at it all laid out in front of you. Everything you’ve accomplished – work you’ve finished, places you’ve been – and see how long the list gets. See everything that everyone else sees from you on social media. You might be surprised by how much there is!

I’m going to try to blog a bit more moving forward. If there are things you’d like to see posts about, go shout at me on Twitter (which tends to be where I’m most active). And if you read all the way up through here, thanks for reading!

Superstars Writing Seminar 2020

I had a LOT of people tell me that this was a life-changing seminar, and boy, they weren’t joking.

Superstars isn’t like other girls writing seminars. This is a business-oriented, expert-level seminar for people who are serious about making money in the writing business in any capacity. I was totally clueless about the business of writing when I landed in Denver, but when I left, I felt like I might be able to get a handle on how to market myself and my writing.

So what’s the magic sauce? Well, first of all, all the people I talked to there, panelists, speakers, and attendees alike, were extremely approachable. I ended up talking to multiple terrifyingly successful people completely by accident, and I never would have known if I hadn’t seen them all teaching on panels. All of them were more than happy to talk to attendees before, during, and after their panels, and all were extremely knowledgeable. Someone walked me up to Kevin J. Anderson, who I had only met once, and he remembered me, gave me a hug, and proceeded to engage me in conversation. Eric Flint asked me about my Writers of the Future win when we passed each other in the hall and gave me some encouraging words.

The point is, you’ve got all these crazy talented people who are ridiculously successful in the writing field all gathered in one place to teach you how to navigate the business, and they’re all super nice.

Through people like this, Superstars fosters this environment where it’s easy to feel included and cared for, even when you’re totally overwhelmed by the massive amount of information you’re trying to absorb. And it is truly a massive amount, and there is so much socialization that you feel like you’re ready to explode, and then you go to bed at midnight and realize it’s only day one and you’ve got to be back at announcements at 8:15am. And so many writers are introverted! It seems like it would be easy to get overloaded and not want to participate in barcon, or big group dinners, or just chatting with people you don’t know in the lobby. But everyone else is a writer, too, and many have been attending Superstars for years and are more than happy to take a first timer under their wing. The weirdest part about this was how many people, even by day two, started recognizing me as “that person who won Writers of the Future this year, right?!” Everyone there was just genuinely excited to hear of each other’s successes, and genuinely wanted to listen to each other’s problems.

This seminar was just pure insanity from start to finish, in the best way possible. Craft Day consisted of six hours of classes from two teachers of your choosing, and each following day had 6-8 slots of 45-60 minutes each of pure information blast. Each slot usually had 3-4 different talks to choose from. Couldn’t choose just one? Don’t worry! In all likelihood, they were recording all but one of the sessions you wanted to attend, and you could buy the recordings and attend the sessions that weren’t recorded. Questions after the session ended? There’s a 15-minute break between each session during which no one will be upset at you for walking up to the front to talk to the speaker(s). Want to have a good cry? Go listen to James Artimus Owen’s “Drawing Out the Dragons” presentation. Not much of a crier? You will be when you watch him draw detailed dragons in minutes with a permanent marker while also speaking coherently. I’m convinced it’s a superpower. Want to self-publish? There’s talks for that. Want to trad publish? There’s talks for that too.

There are just too many aspects of Superstars to be able to put down into one blog post without it turning into a novel. But the truth of that seminar for me was that I had decided to go back before Craft Day sessions even started. Superstars is a big hotel full of people who, at the end of the day, are all rooting for you to succeed. Many of them have been where you are and are uniquely poised to understand and help you get to where they are. Is it expensive? Yes. But it was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. If you’re thinking of going and can’t afford it, apply for a scholarship. This is where you need to be if you’re serious about making it as a writer. Go check them out at https://superstarswriting.com/. You won’t regret it.