Time for my awards eligibility post. 2021 has been the second longest decade of a year since, oh . . . 2020. It started out poorly for me as I struggled to overcome serious depression and mental fatigue from the election and one person’s attempt to overthrow our government. Call it what you will, but I know an attempted coup when I see it, even if it was led by some of the most incompetent jackasses since Nixon recorded his own paranoid delusions and racist diatribes and kept the damned tapes.

But, that aside, I did have some successes this year on the writing scene, and made a few strides that I’m immensely proud of. So, let’s get to it!

∴  FICTION  ∴

On the fiction front, I sort of met my goals. In 2018 I had one story published, and again in 2019. In 2020, I had two stories published. This year, I had three stories published (not including the one listed below I published myself). I would have liked more this year and had several near misses when holds turned into rejections, but steady improvement is great! And I already have a big sale slated for April, 2022, so here’s hoping next year the count of published short story sales continues to rise.

Fishing Over the Bones of the Dragon (Common Bonds: A Speculative Aromantic Anthology) –  This was a long time coming. The acceptance was originally offered in August of 2019, while I was still in Ireland for Worldcon. Slated for release in Spring, 2020, the pandemic had other ideas and it got pushed back. It at last went on sale to the public in January this year, marking my first entry for 2021. If you haven’t picked up this wonderful anthology of aromantic speculative fiction, please go do so. In a small way, it inspired my most recent sale.

“Remember The Washington,” They Said as they Fed the Ugloxi (Clarkesword issue 173, Feb, 2021) – My first sale to Clarkesworld. A big step in my journey and one I’m proud to have reached. There’s some good writing in here, although I know it’s a tough story for some to digest, with a very negative main character.

A Letter to My Wayward Wanderer (self-published blog) – I’m tossing this in with the rest because I very much like this snarky, fantasy, “Dear John” letter, even if I chose to publish it on my own blog. Hey, it’s my eligibility post, I do what I want!

Diamonds are a Space Miner’s Best Friend (Andromeda Spaceways Magazine issue 84, Sep, 2021) – I really loved writing this story. A little bit of humor, a little bit of space mining, a little bit of emotion, and a whole lot of fun. Pick up the issue if you haven’t, ASM is a bright, happy gem in the industry I’m pleased to support.

Shadow of a Doubt (Mirabel Sinclair Mysteries #1, Trollbreath Creations) – Last, but far from least, my first self-published novel! I’m thrilled to have this on the market. It came close to being picked up by an indie publisher, but as they’ve since shut down operations, perhaps it was best that I took that journey alone (with the support of a great many friends, beta readers, editors, cover artists, and more . . . so, not that alone in truth, I couldn’t have done it without them). Not available until December 7th, but if you want a copy for review before then, send me a message using my contact form.

∴  Nonfiction  ∴

This year, I tried some new things, seeing what fit my personality and interests. Blogging will always remain something I do, though I might try out a podcast next year and see how that goes. I like how recordings I’ve done for work turn out, so it might be a good venue for me if I prep my scripts well enough.

Trollbreath Blog – Not nearly enough people read my blog posts for this to get much traction, but hey, I’m proud of the work I do in this arena. Articles on writing, editing, poverty, politics, movie and book reviews. I dabble in a little bit of everything. Maybe some of it resonated with you. Maybe not, but vote for it anyway, you know you want to. Okay, probably not, but I had to try. I am deeply and particularly fond of my post, The Trolley Place, so if nothing else, please read that one and enjoy.

Interview with author Maria Ingrande Mora – My first attempted interview, this one for Interstellar Flight Press. Not sure if I’ll do more of these or not, it didn’t quite feel like a natural fit for me since I tend to struggle with off-the-cuff conversations, but I very much enjoyed our talk.

Honorary Editor, Apex Magazine (issue 125) – I had a great time working with the staff of Apex magazine. I think my biggest contribution here was picking the cover art, which is gorgeous and disconcerting. I did get to read from the slush pile and help pick the finalists, as well as edit some of the work. I’d like to do more work like this in the future. Maybe even start my own webzine. Who knows!

Δ

That’s it for awards eligibility in 2021! I’m happy with the direction the year took, once I got past February and my brain cloud cleared up. I made some sales, stretched myself in new directions, and even managed to move my website hosting without too much difficulty. Here’s hoping for an even better 2022.

(And please pass the Build Back Better legislation, Congress! We desperately need the things included in there to improve lives for working families and help our environment and our country; it’s not all we could have hoped for, but it’s a start).

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