Haven’t been able to write in here for a bit now. School’s back in session for fall, and I’ve been valiantly running to keep up with it, and, at times, ahead of the pack. It slows down my abilities to do a number of other things, for sure, so I have to make decisions. Shall I work on my rewrite of the novel draft I just finished? Or shall I blog? Novel revision wins every time. Priorities, priorities.
I’ve got a number of irons in the fire, though, other than doing revisions to the novel. I’m working on a proposal for an anthology that I won’t say anything about at the moment, but am looking forward to putting this book together if me and my cohort editor can pull it off and sell it. It’s a lark of a book idea, really, playful and fun, and I need more playful and fun projects. So, perfect. More later if we can make it develop.
Otherwise, I’ve placed a number of writings in various venues coming up this fall and spring. Some creative nonfiction pieces as well as fiction. This fall, for example, I’ve got four nonfiction vignettes appearing, all in relation to the Mahoning Valley and Youngstown, Ohio. Pieces that focus on place, sometimes poetically, sometimes philosophically, sometimes prosaically, but always “trying” something out. They are as follows:
“Mahoning Valley Blues” New Haven Review, November 2010
“The Feral Houses of Youngstown, Ohio” New Haven Review, November 2010
“In a Forgotten Valley” New Haven Review, November, 2010
“The B&O, Crossroads of Time and Space” Muse, December 2010
Likewise, in spring, another piece in this series will appear in Little Ohio, an anthology focusing on Ohio childhood, edited by Robert Miltner for Pudding House Press. That piece is called, “All the Cows I’ve Ever Known Call Me Home Tonight”. Fancy, right?
Two stories will appear this spring, 2011. One is “Gap Year” in the vampire anthology, Teeth, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. I never ever thought I’d write a vampire story, but I’m still really pleased by this one. Please do pick the book up and give it a read when it comes out in April. Of course I’ll remind you then as well.
The other story is “We Do Not Come in Peace” which will appear in Welcome to Bordertown, edited by Holly Black and Ellen Kushner. I believe this is also scheduled to release this coming spring. Bordertown is where a series of stories and novels beginning in the 80s take place, a town literally on the border of the world as we know it and the fae realm of fairy tales. In many ways it’s the place where urban fantasy as a particular subgenre was born. I was really honored to be invited to write for this anthology, and to become a part of that fictional city’s history.
I’ve also recently sold a short story, “Smoke City”, to Asimov’s. I’m not sure when it’s scheduled to appear in print, but it’s my second story for Asimov’s. The first time I sold a story there, my inner thirteen year old threw a party. This second time, I’m still excited, but this story is much different from much of my other writing, and I’m looking forward, from a more mature perspective, and from a writer’s perspective, to see what others make of it. As with others, I’ll post here to let you know when it’s available, as I do hope you’ll give it a read through.
I was also recently recognized as a winner of one of the Mahoning Valley 40 under 40 awards, which are given to forty people under the age of forty each year who are “chosen for their impact in their professions and their commitment to public service” each year. It’s nice to be recognized in such a way.
I will probably think of things I forgot to mention in this update soon after I post it. But alas, this is what I’ve been able to recall for now.
Not much else exciting going on in my life, really. Working at teaching, working at writing, working at settling in for the autumn and winter. Today as I write this it’s two in the afternoon but outside it looks a bit like six o’clock in the evening, the sky tending toward gray and rainy. The neighborhood is entirely quiet, which strikes me as odd, because all summer long Sundays have been when I can hear my neighbors on their back or front porches or patios, talking with friends and family, grilling, etc. Now there’s a real hush to the place, as everyone’s begun to withdraw to the house. I will keep my fingers crossed that we’ll manage to get a few more warm weekends before autumn settles in for good. And then, of course, I’ll be happy to admire the changes in the leaves and whatnot. I’m easy to please in that way, or at least I’ve learned how to be easily pleased in that way. There is a strange consolation in nature. Perhaps it is only strange being so removed from it as we are in general. In any case, I’m going to turn my face toward the window now, and think of other things.