2014: updates and lessons learned on the journey

I have been rather quiet online as I’m going through a seasonal dip. It sometimes feels like I have to wrap what little energy I have around myself in order to make it through the day. My apologies for the radio silence.

2014 has been one of my most challenging years. I am thankful for those I’ve come to know this year. For true friends, for kadkadua, for comrades who walk beside me. I would not have been able to make it through without the presence of these dear ones.

I’ve started work on a new group of columns for Strange Horizons, the first of which was published a little while ago. Anyone interested in reading it can find it here. I also took part in the Smugglivus celebration over at The Booksmugglers. This is my look at 2014 and some of why I’m excited about 2015. I see movements towards nurture and positive change and that always heartens me.

I believe in a principle that recognizes how people who write and create art embrace vulnerability. I also believe that hardening ourselves is not the solution. I believe that it is to us to create the environment in which we want to create and if we create environments that support and nurture the vulnerable, we are allowing the creation of mindful work–we enable visionary and emergent work as we remember that the writer writes from a place of vulnerability.

This doesn’t mean that there is no room for criticism or dissent. I believe that criticism and dissent are vital to living and dynamic art. I also believe that it’s possible to practice criticism and dissent in a spirit that protects what is vulnerable.

I have learned so much about my work and about myself as a writer in this past year.

The stories I’ve written are part of the journey I undertake towards becoming the kind of writer I want to be. To write from a deep place, from a place that recognizes the effects of history but also chooses to envision a place where we are not shackled or tied down by that history–to be liberated in every sense of the word and to become a person who inhabits a world of my own making–we create our own histories and it is to us to decide what kind of record we wish to leave behind.

I am thankful for teachers and guides whose works and whose spirits have accompanied me throughout this year. I am grateful for the work of Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, Leny Strobel, Barbara Jane Reyes, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Gloria Anzualda–there are so many that I cannot name them all in this one post.

I am still in the process of learning and reaching for more understanding and more knowledge. I do not know everything, but I am grateful for fellow travelers who open my eyes to the realities that I don’t see–I am grateful to you who teach me understanding and love and what it means to be a citizen of the world.

Here’s to a 2015 and the vision of a future that is home to all of us.

updates again

On the Book Blog, we posted our Author Interview with Kari Sperring. If you have time, do drop by and read. 

I’m looking at the final proofs of my story for The End of the Road: an anthology of Original Fiction edited by Jonathan Oliver. It’s interesting how not looking at a story for a long time will change the way you look at it when you read it again. I’m hoping people will enjoy reading all the stories in this anthology. 

The anthology will be coming out in November, but I’ve heard that we’re doing a sneak preview of it at World Fantasy Convention. I may post more about that later. 

I’ll also be on this panel at WFC together with Cheryl Morgan: 

“The Next Generation” We’re All Bloggers Now (Cambridge)
 
Being a columnist or a critic used to be a skill, combining knowledge and the ability to write with insightful observations. These days it seems that everybody has an opinion and evolving technology has given us numerous platforms through which to make our views known. Have we degraded the true art of criticism to a point where it has lost all value?

I’m not sure exactly what the point of the panel is, but I do know what I’m going to be arguing for. It certainly promises to be interesting, and if not, we can always turn it into a drinking game or all stand up and migrate to the bar. Which, I’ve heard, is where you really want to be during a World Fantasy Con. 

This will be my first World Fantasy Convention, so I’m quite excited. I’m looking forward to seeing friends, I wouldn’t otherwise get to see, to catching up with women I’ve admired from a distance, and if any of my Clarion West instructors are there, I may grab up my courage and say hello. 

I’m rushing off again, but I hope everyone is having a good day.