Counting the Good Things

Well, folks, it looks like Maryland is about to regress to Phase 1 during this Covid Pandemic. I’m going to take a moment to focus on some positives. We can’t choose how we feel, but we can choose our words and our message.

One cool thing that happened this fall was that I was able to modify my yoga teaching by offering GOAT YOGA CLASSES! (Use the white circle to ‘slide’ between photos)

In October my co-parent and I flew down to South Carolina to check on my oldest child and left feeling really impressed at how she was stepping up to the (modified!) college experience. She dropped one class that was too difficult between virtual learning and no opportunity for study groups, but was doing well in all the others. We rode bicycles in a nearby park and took her to Walmart to stock up and then took her out to eat.

I also attended Capclave, a writers’ convention near D.C.. virtually and it was nice to “see” (Zoom) so many familiar faces and talk about books and publishing and to be around other people like me. Major shoutout to the coordinators of Capclave because it ran so smoothly.

Some other positives are that I had a story accepted for DreamForge Magazine Issue #7 (available late 2020). My story, “Monsters Beautiful and Bright,” is a twisted fairy tale about Hansel and Gretel where the house is not made of candy, but has fruit trees when the rest of the world is being taken over by rot. It’s a steampunk Lorax with a “crafty” grandma. I’ve seen the illustration for my story and it is GORGEOUS. I love the details pulled from my words.


I have a story forthcoming (Feburary ’21) in the Crazy8 Press anthology, Thrilling Adventure Yarns 2. I wrote a Western (my first time!) about an angry cowgirl, a wild mustang named Woodrow, a feisty teacher, and mean horse thieves. This project is a Kickstarter. That means that money from preorders is raised BEFORE publishing and the amount of preorders determines how nice the project will be. For example, we’ve reached payment for the authors, but we need $1800 more in preorders to have enough money to include illustrations with each story. If you’re interested in supporting, click here.

Talking to Ann Hanlin, a mustang adopter, and Woodrow (SBF Mustang Eventing)

I know this is a hard time. Believe me. I encourage you to practice gratitude by making a list like I just did. Cut yourself some slack. And read a good book. I’m currently enjoying Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. The cover blurb by Charles Stross reads, “Lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space!”






I had to be convinced to drive down to D.C. for Capclave 2014, by both a member of BSFS and by my husband.  It’s that blend of mothering and writing that burns beneath this entire blog.

And yet, I am so glad I went. After I arrived, the guilt dropped away and I could enjoy the workshops, interviews, and readings. Also, Capclave  –the Washington, DC literary science fiction convention — was my first conference dedicated only to speculative fiction. It was a productive, inviting day of professional development with outstanding guests of honor:  Paolo Bacigalupi , Holly Black , and Genevieve Valentine.  It was also the first time I saw a public hospitality suite.  Very nicely hosted, Washington Science Fiction Association.

I was part of Saturday’s evening reception.  Yes, my name is misspelled.  No, I don’t care. The spelling on the check is right  🙂


BSFS Contest Winners


Tom Doyle (wsfa) and Karlo Yeager (bsfs) prepare to give awards.

Tom Doyle (wsfa) and Karlo Yeager (bsfs) prepare to give awards.

Me accepting the award -- I think I'm doing okay at this point.

Me accepting the award — I think I’m doing okay at this point.

An audience member asked the name of my winning story.  I blanked.

An audience member asked the name of my winning story. I blanked.

I remembered.  "Very Happy and Very Productive."  I am adjusting my shirt -- apparently to show that I'm back in control?

I remembered. “Very Happy and Very Productive.” I am adjusting my shirt — apparently to show that I’m back in control?

It was an altogether lovely experience and gave me a renewed appreciation for the need for writers to gather together to improve craft and be inspired and for those mothers who must travel while their children are young or who work outside the home and are crippled by guilt.  Moms!  You are providing for your children.  Either as a breadwinner or as a model of a happy, passionate human being. Feel free to say this back to me!

To be gone for Saturday, October 13th, I had to miss:

1) my son’s soccer tournament , 2) my three daughters’ soccer games (and reserve babysitter, luckily they were all local) 3) my niece’s senior homecoming, and 4) a restaurant dinner with our niece from Germany who was going home after visiting us for two months.

This answers, I believe, my statement in the previous post that I would sacrifice a chicken to get into a prestigious literary journal.  It’s not chicken blood that’s required.  It’s time.  Blocks of time to work, a sense that writing is a mission not a hobby, even, sometimes, important family time, and the faith that the story, novel, essay needs to be told.  The blending of mother and artist…

Much love,