Mermaids, Wizards, and a Confused Manatee

Hello, and Happy December! 2020 has been a long and hard year, and honestly, I’m pretty excited to see the end of it. I saw an article earlier about how getting your hopes up for 2021 is magical thinking and likely to lead to depression, but come on, article. We need something to look forward to, and a new calendar year is as good an arbitrary marker as anything else!

I’m particularly excited because if the Mermaids Monthly Kickstarter funds by the 12th of December (that’s in 10 days!!!), I’ll have twelve months of mermaids to look forward to next year! We’ve got 400 backers so far, and just over $8,000 left to reach our minimum funding goal. That’s also 75% of the way there! To celebrate, we put up our submission guidelines. Our first submission period will be from the 20th of December to the 9th of January, and we’re looking for art, comics, poetry, stories, and non-fiction.

We’ve also been giving away some fun items to random backers, and we have a few more giveaways coming up, so backing early gets you more opportunities to win a little something. So far we’ve given away a mershark drawing I made and two pieces of jewelry made by Hugo Award-nominated artist Meg Frank (who is also my co-captain on this sea venture). Coming up, we’ll have more jewelry and art giveaways. Some of these are things like pearl bracelets! And anyone who backs the project will be automatically entered to win.

Image Description: Me holding up my mershark drawing to show it to someone on FaceTime.

I am not an artist, so drawing a mershark was an interesting challenge. I have so much respect for all the awesome artists we’ll be featuring in the magazine! But for now… I have to figure out how to draw a confused manatee. Oh dear. That’s the next thign Twitter voted that I should try to draw. I’m sure it will be fine and totally easy… no problem…

Finally, something completely unrelated to aquaculture…

The newest episode of Wizard Seeking Wizard is out, and it has the report on the date my wizard Flora Bunnyhop went on! If you can’t quite remember what this is all about, Wizard Seeking Wizard is an audio drama podcast in which wizards submit personal ads and then the audience votes to send some of them on dates. My wizard’s personal ad originally appeared in Episode 2. In Episode 3, you can hear all about how Flora’s rivalry date at the wizard equivalent of a state fair went!

What are you up to this December? What are you looking forward to? What’s keeping you going?

Mershark! Plus how you can score a critique from me!

  
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Hello! Here’s my first podcast episode for November (notably NOT a podcast month challenge time!), in which I’m talking about what I’m up to these days. I mentioned before that I have a new project called Mermaids Monthly. Right now that is Kickstarting, and we’re just over the 25% mark of our funding goal.

I’ve also drawn a silly mershark.

Once our Kickstarter reaches 200 backers (we are currently at 183), I am going to be picking a random winner from those 200, and that person will get this drawing! I will fold it up and mail it in a letter sized envelope anywhere in the world!

Click here to support our Kickstarter!

In other news, I have a critique (that also comes with a video chat) up for your bids in the Romancing the Runoff auction! This is an auction organized by romance writers, and all the proceeds go to the Georgia senate runoff campaigns. What you get: one story critique (up to 10k words), and a video chat with me after I send the critique notes. You can use the video chat to talk about your story or to ask me any questions you have about the craft or business sides of writing. This is something I usually don’t offer, and right now it’s at a very cheap price point of only $53.50. If I were to offer this kind of one-on-one chat and critique for sale, it would definitely be priced way higher!

Click here to bid on my critique!

Finally, I hope you’re staying safe out there! I know that this pandemic is really tough emotionally, and I am sorry for everyone who is missing family and friends right now, especially, if, like me, you live in an area where it’s getting colder and darker every day. I’m being really careful because I definitely don’t want to risk getting or spreading COVID, and I hope you’re being careful as much as you can, too. Even though we think I had it in the spring (and I was sick for literally months), I do know a few people who have had it twice now, so I am not at all considering myself immune.

That’s it for this time! please do check out those links and spreadthe word to anyone you think might be interested!

Announcing Mermaids Monthly!

HELLO!!

For a while now I have been talking about my secret project. Finally, the time has come to unveil it!

Mermaids Monthly is a digital magazine full of sea wonders, and it’s Kickstarting now. We’ve got amazing contributors lined up and if we fund, well make 12 issues in 2021 full of original art, stories, poetry, and more.

Image description: A blue background with Nilah Magruder’s “Hold Your Breath” — the art for our bonus issue cover — showing two people kissing just under the water’s surface. Text alongside the art reads, “You want good things and we want to make them. Mermaids Monthly 2021”

The idea for Mermaids Monthly came from an answer I have given over the years in interviews and on panels about editing. Often people ask if editors really have to reject stories they like, and my answer is yes. This happens for a variety of reasons, but one reason is that an editor has to think about the overall balance of what they're curating. If you're an editor for a non-themed magazine, for instance, you can buy one mermaid story, and that's fine. You can maybe buy two and get away with it. If you buy three? Well, congratulations! You are now That Mermaid Magazine, which is fine if you're Mermaids Monthly, but not so great if you are Strange Horizons.

I'd typically end this explanation with, "I'm not Mermaids Monthly."

But what if I was? For one year?

2020 has been really hard, and I wanted to bring a little frivolity into the world. I always feel like having a team makes things more exciting and fun, and so the first thing I did was ask Meg Frank if they wanted to join me. They’re an amazing artist and marketer, and they’ve signed on as Art and Marketing Director. We’re also working with Lis Hulin Wheeler and Ashley Deng in the roles of Logistics Wizard and Assistant Editor. I’m really excited about the team, the project, all te amazing contribtors we have lined up so far, and all the new work we’ll see in our open submissions periods!

Please check out our Kickstarter! If you back it in the first 48 hours, you’ll get a bonus issue this week—no need to wait for January! Also, in the first 48 hours, you can subscribe for all of 2021 for just $20, which is a big discount off the $35 regular price!

October Podcast Month: On Adaptations and the New Version of Rebecca

  
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I just watched the new version of Rebecca on Netflix, and it got me thinking a lot about adaptations. I personally love them! I love seeing different versions of stories I love. I talk a little about Rebecca in this, but I don’t give away the plot, so if you absolutely don’t want to hear spoilers, this should still be okay.

I do love a creepy gothic house story, though! How about you?

Image description: a creepy gothic mansion (but not the one from Rebecca).

How do you feel about adaptations? Love them? Hate them? Have you watched the new Rebecca? Do you plan to? What about Bly Manor (which is an adaptation of The Turn of the Screw)?

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