2018 has been a year, as evinced by the lack of updates on this site.  A book release, a major move, two major health crisises, two conventions, transitioning our youngest into an adult home.  Yet I'm still here, so I'll call it a win.

Perhaps the biggest news of the year is the release of my short story collection GODFALL & OTHER STORIES from Hydra House Books (available here).  The collection is all Cat Rambo's fault.  She said, "You're at a point in your career where you need to get your name out there.  Send me some of your stories.  Convince me that you have a collection, and I'll help you put it together."

Two weeks later, she agreed to edit the collection and voila!

Godfall Front Cover Final

The collection received a starred-review from Publisher's Weekly.  Four stories are original to the collection and eligible for fiction nominations for 2018:  "The Home For Broken" (listen to it for free here); "Scarecrone"; "Good Boy"; and "Black Widow".  Many of the other stories such as "Ink", "A Troll's Trade", and "Blue", are also available in podcast form.  The collection itself is also award eligible.

Of the new stories, "The Home For Broken" is the most personal, touching on the joys and pains of raising a disabled child.  I wrote it for myself, and am both surprised and humbled that it has resonated with so many readers.

What else?  I am now an Editor at the Drabblecast podcast.  I still listen to podcasts, though I don't write about them as often as I once did.  I am an Associate Editor in charge of author spotlights at NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE.  I have a Patreon where I ask questions, make paper craft cards, and explore what it means to be queer and disabled.  I have slowly begun to write again.  I attended Worldcon in San Diego, saw many wonderful people, and sat with the amazing Escape Artists, Inc., crew for the Hugo ceremony.  I also panicked, panicked more, hid in my room, and almost believed the shadows when they insisted everyone hated me and the world would be better off without me.

What's in store for 2019?  I don't know.  My only hope is that I will be here.  Thanks for reading.

I first visited Omelas as a young teen, joining the processions, listening to the dark eyed youth play his flute.  Ursula K. Le Guin was a marvel, new, exciting, a writer who dared talk about *giggle* gender in THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS and this sad child locked in a broom closet in.  Awwww. . .

I returned to Omelas in ...continue reading At the Gates of Omelas

I have struggled to write this post for weeks, rather months, okay, since January 20, 2017.  Like many sane people, I have difficulty processing much of what has happened in the past 12 months, kind of like processing being hit by a mack truck and dragged for a mile caught in its undercarriage as an afterthought.

The urge to wax poetic about my struggles with depression and suicidal ideation during the Year of Bizarro ...continue reading 2017 – The Good, The Bad, The WTF?

If you need any help, just ask, I said.  I'd love to learn more, I said.

Sure thing, they said.  Hey, we have this story and you'd be terrific, they said.

Sure thing, I said.

Me and my big mouth.

Since then, ...continue reading Brain Weasels Hate Showtunes

2

Early the morning of July 1st, pleasantly overcast and cool, I said good-bye to my husband and sons, had a hearty breakfast, and set off on a grand adventure.

Fuel for the grand adventure.
Fuel for the grand adventure.

My companion on the journey was Captain Rambo, a stalwart woman of keen insights and good cheer so long as ...continue reading That First Breath

News flash.  I love short fiction podcasts.  Shocking, right?

Years ago, through the wonders of the interwebz, I became acquainted with Escape Artists, Inc. (EA to its friends) and we've been best buddies ever since.  EA produces four of my favorite podcasts:  ESCAPE PODPSEUDOPODPODCASTLECAST OF WONDERS.  I fell in love with the short fiction format, the narrators, the hosts, everything.  Since then, I've had the privilege of hearing my own work produced on three of the four shows (*shakes fist at the heavens*  I'll get an acceptance yet, ESCAPE POD!).  You can read my interview with EA owner Alasdair Stuart here.

I recently supported EA's new Patreon campaign to do such things as pay CAST OF WONDERS narrators, offer new non-fiction content, and pay PSEUDOPOD narrators directly from the Patreon campaign itself.  I thought I would ...continue reading PATREON As a Force of Good in the World (or: Why You Should Support Escape Artists, Inc.)

2016 has been a shit year for far too many of us.  We all need good things.  Here are a few of mine.

***

I have more than one Nebula Award eligible story for 2016.  They are, in no particular order: ...continue reading Nebula Nominations, Solstice, and Other Good Things

Brain weasels are jerks.  Their nests clutter your thoughts, and the weasels gnaw on your sense of self worth, your confidence, your belief that you are deserving of common courtesy and respect.  Once a nest of brain weasels gets going, they can keep you up all night with their incessant chittering and it seems like they'll  never stop.

Case in point:

Early in our marriage, hubby and I applied for the Christmas Angel program through Kitsap Community Resources so our boys could have presents under our tiny Christmas shrub (I still have the picture around here somewhere).  For two years, complete strangers gave of themselves to deliver clothes and toys so our children would have something to open on Christmas day.  Hubby and I promised ourselves we would someday pay the generosity forward to another family.

Years passed, our ...continue reading The Giving Tree (or Resistance Is Never Futile)

With the wealth of incredible short fiction podcasts competing for our earspace, the talented voices behind the recordings are the spoken-word heroes.  I recently had the chance to ask Kate Baker of CLARKESWORLD MAGAZINE fame a few questions about narrating, music, self care, and hats.  (And if you're looking for more Kate, check out her interview Carl Slaughter over at File 770.)

 

kate

 

You’ve narrated for many splendiferous venues of the years.  In your opinion, what makes for a good podcastable story (I need to trademark that word).  Dialogue?  Number of characters?  Sparse or verbose prose?  Enough coffee in the morning? ...continue reading LISTEN UP: The Voice Of A World (An Interview With Kate Baker)

The season is upon us, the season of ghosts, haunts, haints, and the delightful chill of dark tales whispered at the dead of night.  Over the last two weeks on Twitter (hint: follow me @WriterOdell) I've shared some of my favorite horror podcast stories to help set the mood and I wanted to add a few more to the list because, let's face it, you can't have enough scary stories.  So, in no particular order: ...continue reading HEAR THAT? HALLOWEEN SPECIAL