I always hate putting together these more-or-less obligatory “here’s what I wrote/published this year.”
Rarely as much as this time around.
2022 began with me wondering – genuinely wondering, not looking for sympathy/encouragement/validation wondering – if I should continue writing speculative fiction, short or long. What exactly, I asked myself, was I getting out of writing/submitting/publishing these short stories? What was I getting out of going to genre cons, which have so frequently left me in tears? It continued with getting extremely sick in May, and then again in June. July and August were comparatively quiet, and I wrote a few things, asking myself yet again what exactly I was doing.
And then came September. Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida, and my mother informed me that her lower leg/ankle was in tremendous pain, and would require surgery. In late October, I went to stay with her for ten days as her condition, mental and physical, continued to deteriorate day by day. On November 1, I called 911 and had her taken to the hospital. Hurricane Nicole marched into Florida on November 10. On November 23, my mother was discharged to home hospice care. She died on December 6th.
I spent the last week of the year extremely sick with some sort of respiratory thing that was not Covid nor the flu. Whatever it was still lingers, though I can at least breathe now.
In between all of this, I published a few things – not as many as in previous years, but a few – one of which, Verisya, was an unexpected finalist for the Canopus Award.
Footnotes from “Phosphates, Nitrates, and the Lake A Incident: A Review,” in Reckoning, August 2022.
A story about what happens when a lake becomes too polluted to see the monsters hiding beneath it. Based on the very real environmental history of Lake Apopka.
Wallers, in Nightmare, December 2022.
When her mother brings a stranger home, a girl tries to hide in the wallpaper. But he can’t help but notice the way the flowers and leaves are vanishing from the wallpaper pattern…
Messenger, Daily Science Fiction, February 2022, and then again, presumably by accident, July 2022.
I continually find myself fascinated by the minor characters in fairy tales, those who appear for just a moment or two to propel the plot along, and then vanish. This tiny piece is about what might have happened to one of the messengers sent out to find the true name of Rumpelstiltskin.
The Apples, Daily Science Fiction, April 2022
Do we all really believe that the Evil Queen made only one poisoned apple for Snow White? Really?
Verisya, Daily Science Fiction, July 2022.
A story of a world very far away from our own, and a finalist for the 2023 Canopus Award.
“Ursa Major,” in Musings of the Muses, Brigid’s Gate Press, April 2022.
A poem about transformation.
Horsemen, in Mithila Review, August 2022.
Sometimes the apocalypse just needs a bit of a break.
“Green Leaves Against the Wind,” in Our Beautiful Reward, Reckoning, October 2022.
Technically, this poem will be appearing a couple of times in this upcoming year – online in January, and in print a few months later, but its first appearance was in the October ebook, so I am listing it here as a 2022 publication.
“Storm,” in Wizards in Space, Issue 8, December 2022
I’ll be honest: when this issue arrived, on my birthday, December 24, I blinked, and then cried a little. I had completely forgotten about it – everything about it – to the point where I realized I had to check to see what, exactly, I had written.
Turns out that back in May I had written a poem about rain, and robots, and birds, which magically seemed to summarize so much of 2022.
It’s too early to make any predictions for 2023 – but I have a couple of stories coming out in January, and a few more, it seems, later this year. And I still have trees just outside my window, which gives me hope that this year will include, if nothing else, the song and chirps of birds.