Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 in Stories

It's that writerly tradition: the year-end post!  I don't always make one, but I usually wish I had.  This year I received the gift of an unexpected day off from work and I'm going to make the most of it!

2017 short fiction from me, which I hope you'll kindly consider when making your award nominations:

"Wooden Boxes Lined with the Tongues of Doves", Beneath Ceaseless Skies: a bleak and difficult start to the year, even more than usual for my work. This story doesn't make it easy for the reader.

"Dinners in Wartime", Liminal: this one's also quite bleak, inspired by the suicide of someone I cared about. Trigger warning, friends; I don't know if this story's emotional payload will hit you the way it hit me to write, but please take care of yourselves. 

"Yellowcat", Grain Magazine: not actually available to read online so you'll have to trust me on how fantastic it is!

"Le lundi de la matraque (Nightstick Monday)", Strange Horizons: Immortal screwup Gus Hillyard returns in this story of a violent moment in Canadian history. Gus is always willing to take up someone else's fight, and not always able to tease out who's right or how far to go.

"Number One Draft Pick", The Sum of Us: this anthology focuses on caregiving, and my story features a service dog, her handler, and a hockey player dealing with a seizure disorder.  It's the first time I've written about hockey, and it brought me a lot of joy, ending my year of stories on a high note.

2017 fiction recommendations from others, collecting basically everything I have liked this year and a whole bunch more.  It wasn't a great reading year for me so I defer to two wonderful folks who have read more widely:

A.C. Wise recommends novels and novellas and short fiction 

Maria Haskins: 2017 suggested reading list

2017 successes for Spells of Blood and Kin, which I'm noting here because although this year was tough in some ways, boy did it contain some high points!
Spells of Blood and Kin won the Sunburst, and appeared in the CBC's holiday gift guide

And finally, a plug for a new thing I added to my life in 2017: Shelter Movers, a nonprofit organization which helps people leave abusive relationships without losing their belongings.  I resolved after last year's US election that some of my work in the world needed to be direct, one-to-one assistance of vulnerable people (in addition to the donations I already make, and the constant work of keeping my writing conscious and empathetic).  And boy does this fit the bill.  I'm proud of what we do there.

Wishing all the readers and writers out there a wonderful 2018!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Still riding that win...

Yes, that's me, accepting my Sunburst Award from chair Rebecca Simkin (who is wonderful even apart from the fact that she has just handed me a medal and a cheque).  I am, once again, so thrilled to be honoured this way.  The other works and writers who have been recognized with this award are beyond amazing!

Since I believe in celebrating wins when we get'em, I wore my medal all night at the bar.  (I may or may not have worn it to bed.)

This win is a very happy ending for Spells of Blood and KinIt's not totally an ending, of course--it remains in print and on sale in stores--but unless there's a movie deal or something (hi, producers! You're all reading this, right?) it will take a back seat to newer works.  Some of those newer works will also be written by me (uh, not right away, but watch this space).

I won't be a debut novelist next time around.  I'll be a grizzled veteran (not a should see how much grey hair I have now).  I can't wait.

2017 has treated a lot of us roughly, I have to say, but I'm coming out of it with this little sun in my pocket.  It's so much more than I expected, and I'm taking it as a sign for how much more the future has in store.  2018: I'm on the horizon, and I'm climbing up.