It’s that time of year again! Was 2021 somehow more absurd than 2020 for anyone else? I’ve had new, good things: two Hugo nominations, ran my first Nebula Conference and didn’t break anything or get fired, started working with Lambda Literary, adopted two extremely photogenic kittens, started on my Electric Mayhem sleeve… But also I can’t tell what day it is half the time and feel vaguely dehydrated whenever I think about the concept of free time. Maybe that’s just 35.
I’ve been disappointed with my writing output this year. Granted it has more to do with the amount of time I’ve allotted to it in the midst of my community projects, but I’m disappointed all the same. It’s been hard to shake the global/national horrors of the last two years, in which I coped by developing new projects that might spark joy for the people I observed needing it. I’ve entered applications for a number of grants designed to assist with writing or buying time to write, but I’ve been denied three times so far, all of the rejections personalized and attached to invitations to do more community work. A curious phenomenon. So having to contend with the idea that my labor on others’ behalf is both of more value and worthy of more encouragement than the art I create, has done my head in a bit. I’ll just have to take the next year to center my art on my own. With that in mind, I hope this list becomes longer in 2022 than it has been the past two years, and I hope you were able to enjoy at some point what I did manage to put out.
It’s been quite a year for my Patreon offerings, as the two pieces I published this year were first featured in some form there. I have no true trunked stories yet! Publishing is often a matter of timing.
To the (very short) list!
FROM WITCH TO QUEEN AND GOD
A vignette for her character in my current duology project, this is an origin story for Ursla, the witch who steps into the seas to fill the void the old gods left behind. Mermaids Monthly published it in January 2021 and made it their cover piece with stunning illustration by the incomparable Nilah Magruder.
WHERE TO READ
Mermaids Monthly #1 (Free)
Far be it from her to give a damn, but if she wanted to become more than a witch, more than the sea queen, she needed the reverence of Men. Becoming a deity was a question of politics. So she would see them freed and they would have her and no other god to thank for it.
DIZZY IN THE WEEDS
A piece from my San Guin universe, this Dizzy Carter story is part of Neon Hemlock’s “Unfettered Hexes: Queer Tales of Insatiable Darkness” collection. If you’d like to queer up your various ballots, you can do so from this single, hefty volume.
Short Story, 6967 words
(Unfettered Hexes would be eligible for Best Anthology/Collected Works and wherever one might celebrate the gay things)
WHERE TO READ
The Colorman himself was a dapper telephone pole of a man, almost impossibly tall and attractively dark with impeccable taste in tailoring. He was most often seen publicly in the form of massive technicolor graffiti murals styled by devoted disciples known casually as Krylon Kids. The murals served as gateways throughout San Guin, staged in places where he needed eyes or where the kids needed either access or an escape route.
FIYAHCON 2020 was eligible for the Best Related Work category of the Hugo Awards. Some people…did not like that, so we’ll see if FIYAHCON 2021 remains eligible for next year. We had over 1,000 registrants, and the event on Airmeet was truly something special. We’re not sure if or when we’re returning for reasons stated in my Retrospective, so feel free to nominate what may be The Last FIYAHCON—or any of its components, really—for whatever applies.
FIYAH Literary Magazine
2022 will be FIYAH’s sixth year of existence, and marks the first year I will not be Art Director. That title has gone to Chris Ivey, who is in the process of killing it for our 2022 covers. I’m still around, though, composing the issues, Project Managing all of the projects in need of management, and other founderly things.
In 2021, we published 18 shorts and 9 poems, as well as 4 essays edited by our new Nonfiction Editors, and four new artists. In a dream scenario, we have also partnered with LeVar Burton to create the first ever contest for his LeVar Burton Reads podcast. We are heading into 2022 with a new Grants Series and enough subscribers that I don’t have to generate an aggressive subscription drive to insist people give us more money. That’s the good stuff. For more of all the things we’re doing, check out fiyahlitmag.com.