Humbling experiences

A wonderful thing: when you finish reading a poem intended to be funny, and the whole room bursts out into loud, genuine laughter.

At my writers’ group meeting today I read that poem I edited yesterday (it’s about a demon bus driver… in a way). It was intended to be a funny piece – but oh, the reaction was just so awesome! I always feel humbled if I see my writing actually affecting people. It’s magic – those people are laughing/crying/moved by something I wrote! Laughter is especially amazing to provoke, because I find it a challenge to write something laugh-out-loud funny. I think I’m a pretty funny person (EGO-STROKING ALERT), and I enjoy inserting subtle humour into things, but getting the full LOL reaction is much harder to achieve.

Making people feel with my writing is humbling and wonderful.

Of course, I like it when they cry, too. *evil grin*

‘Bitter Mnemosyne’ available online!

Tonight, after my work day followed by two hours of volunteer work for a folk music organisation whose board I’m in, I’ve been doing poetry stuff. Submitted a few poems; edited a poem from February that I came across in my notebook; decided to read that and another short poem at tomorrow’s writers’ group meeting. This is one of the reasons I like writing my poems’ first drafts mainly by hand – by riffling through my notebook, I sometimes come across stuff I’ve totally forgotten but which is worth editing and sending off into the wide world.

In my poetry-related meanderings on the interwebs, I discovered that Issue 25 of Niteblade has got enough funding, so now the whole issue is free to read online. Read my poem ‘Bitter Mnemosyne’ in full here!

Also, I tinkered around with my publications page (with valuable input from a friend), trying to figure out ways to present the information logically and consistently. Yes, I really need to get back into academia…

Strange Horizons 2013 Fund Drive

So! It’s September, and that means it’s time for Strange Horizons’ annual fund drive. I’m posting to signal-boost this thing, because people, with just a few dollars (or as much as you like!), you can help one of the best SFF magazines keep operating.

From this Strange Horizons blog post:

Strange Horizons is — all together now! — a non-profit, volunteer-run, donor-funded organisation, which means that we depend on this month to raise enough money to keep going for another year.

Here is a link to the main page of the Strange Horizons 2013 Fund Drive. Check it out for more info on how it all works! Everyone who donates will be entered into a prize draw – and there are all sorts of awesome prizes.

With the help of your donation, SH will have the opportunity to keep publishing some of the best SFF around.

I’ve been a huge fan of SH long before I got published in it. It’s the zine I read most consistently, because it consistently has great stories and poems, and other interesting content. I love a lot of other zines as well – the more the merrier, too! – but so many of my recent favourites have been published in SH. Also, it’s been lovely to be published in SH: everyone I’ve corresponded with on the editorial staff has been a pleasure to work with.

I really want SH to keep on keeping on, so go ahead, read it (I’ve recced a lot of SH stories and poems, for instance; or check out my Wolf Daughter ;) )- and decide if you want to help the magazine keep going, too.

Poetry sale: Interfictions

I’m extremely happy to announce that my piece ‘Orthography: A Personal History’ will be published in Interfictions.

It’s really exciting to be part of a new, intriguing publication like Interfictions. And I’m so pleased my piece found a home! I call it a poetry sale, although really – true to the spirit of Interfictions – ‘Orthography: A Personal History’ is a mixture of things. It consists of poetic prose and verse “lectures”. It deals with palaeography, orthography, multilingualism, language history, and (surprise!) my personal history.

It’s the most personal piece I’ve submitted so far, delving into my childhood history through writing and my relationship with my two languages, Finnish and English. Fictionalised, of course, but still: me, my deepest self. It’s scary and exhilarating to think that other people will read such a thing.


Oh – in my previous post I totally forgot to say that you should definitely read all the other poems in the current issue of Through the Gate as well as mine! The other poems are by Bogi Takács, Rose Lemberg, Mari Ness and Sonya Taaffe, and they’re gorgeous pieces every one of them.

I’m incredibly happy to be part of an issue with such talented writers. I’ve enjoyed and admired the work of all four of these people for quite a while, so it’s rather amazing to be in such company in this issue of Through the Gate.

Two things: Through the Gate and Niteblade

My two forthcoming poems have now forthcome!

‘Boat-husk’ is available now in issue 4 of Through the Gate. Read it here.

‘Boat-husk’ is part of my worldbuilding-through-writing experiment: before I start to write a novel set in this forest world, I’m writing poems and short(ish) stories set in it, to get a feel for the thing and build the world up little by little. At some point I will have to sit down and do some more structured worldbuilding, but for now, this experimental approach is working. And it’s fun!

The poem was first inspired by something I actually saw at the start of May, though. Real world leads to fantasy-world; so it goes.


The second publication is my poem ‘Bitter Mnemosyne’ in issue 25 of Niteblade, “Alice Underground”. The poem is inspired by Greek mythology, which I was excited by as a child and for which I still harbour a fondness. It includes impossible demands set by a lover; Persephone and Hades; and rivers of the underworld.

Now, this is how Niteblade works: for each issue, at first, there will only be teasers of the pieces included. When the magazine reaches its sales/donation goal for the issue, the pieces will thereafter be online for everyone to see.

So! I highly recommend going forth and buying issue 25 in .pdf, .mobi or .epub. It’s only $2.99 – totally affordable! – and you get 104 pages of sf/f/horror fiction and poetry. And my poem in full! The teaser for ‘Bitter Mnemosyne’ is here, but I’d much rather people read the whole piece. :)

I’ll post here when the issue is free for everyone to read, but in order for that to happen soon, do consider getting yourself a copy of the issue!