Sunday recs: Recent faves

Here’s some stories I’ve read and really enjoyed these past few days:

Forestspirit, Forestspirit by Bogi Takács (in Clarkesworld) – a great SF piece, and superyay for nonbinary character and nonviolence!

The Cure by Malinda Lo (in the new issue of Interfictions) – feat. a great atmosphere and creepy (based on history) hysteria cures.

Grandmother-nai-Leylit’s Cloth of Winds by Rose Lemberg (in Beneath Ceaseless Skies) – oh this one made me especially happy. Rose Lemberg’s writing is utterly gorgeous, and I am soooo into hopeful fantasy stories. Also, the novelette form is excellent for more intricate worldbuilding and really getting into a story; Rose uses it to great effect here.

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Interfictions Online Indiegogo campaign

Just noticed that the wonderful Interfictions Online (to be more precise, the Interstitial Arts Foundation) is running a fundraiser.

There’s still time to donate to enable the worthy stretch goals – the campaign page is here. Go forth and donate if you can, to help contribute to fascinating art and writing that live in the boundaries of genre and form &c.!

Sunday recs: My favourites from Interfictions #2

So, there was a lot of awesome stuff in Issue #2 of Interfictions (my Orthography: A Personal History is in some great company!). Here are three pieces that especially struck me:

My Language, My Voice by Alexandra Seidel really resonates with me. Lovely so have such a bilingual exploration in Interfictions. My own piece had snippets of the sort, but Seidel approaches it from a different viewpoint. A familiar one. OK, so in creative writing I am mostly rather monolingually English, but when it comes to everyday being, it’s two languages in tandem all the time. (I should do a post on bilingualism at some point, actually.)

Peel by Maria Romasco-Moore is a great example of what you can do with poetry comics. It’s a form I’d love to explore properly at some point.

The Mechanism of Moving Forward by Nikki Alfar is historical fiction that feels like speculative fiction. Beautifully written, this story felt like perfectly brewed sencha drunk from a blue-patterned cup.

Interfictions #2 is out! Including my most personal piece so far…

This wasn’t intended to be a two-post day, but I just checked the Interfictions webpage and noticed that Issue #2 is up!

Thus, I am extremely proud and happy to say that you can now read my piece ‘Orthography: A Personal History’ here.

You can also listen to me read it – God, it was terrifying to do a reading of this poem, but I managed it, and hopefully did not entirely mangle the piece.

Why was it terrifying? Well, even submitting the whole piece in the first place was terrifying. As I mentioned in this post, it’s the most personal piece I’ve submitted and had accepted so far. To have it online now is both exhilarating and nerve-wracking.

What the hell, I’ll just quote myself:

‘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.

The fictional cover is so much thinner in this piece than in most of my others. Did I mention this is terrifying? But that’s part of what writing is about: having the guts to put your soul out there for others to see.

So, dear readers. Go forth and read a piece of my soul.

(And read the rest of the issue too! It looks amazing. I am in love with this magazine.)

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.

Sunday recs: Kate Elliott and an assortment

Number one rec today – something I’ve mentioned before, too – is Kate Elliott’s amazing Spiritwalker Trilogy. I’ve had the flu – a-bloody-gain – and have been gobbling down books. I just reread the first two instalments of Elliott’s trilogy, Cold Magic and Cold Fire, and cannot wait for the last one (Cold Steel) to come out (June 25th!). Seriously, I haven’t enjoyed a reread this much in ages. Elliott describes the books as “an Afro-Celtic post-Roman icepunk Regency fantasy adventure with airships, Phoenician spies, the intelligent descendents of troodons, and a dash of steampunk whose gas lamps can be easily doused by the touch of a powerful cold mage”. It’s an amazing, wild ride. The setting and characters are incredibly delicious. I really admire Kate Elliott as a writer, and she blogs most enjoyably too!

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As to recs of a shorter sort, here is a random sweetshop assortment of online fiction I’ve read and enjoyed recently (yes, I was on a Strange Horizons binge):

The Lucia Bird by Ryan Simco, from Strange Horizons. Oh wow. I have a soft spot for stories involving awesome grandfathers, so this science fantasy totally got to me.

The Last Sophia by C.S.E. Cooney, from SH. An intriguing fairy story, excellent narrator. Gentry babes! Lush imagery! Nineteenth-century diction! Strange but awesome.

Hear the Enemy, My Daughter by Kenneth Schneyer, also from SH. This was a pretty upsetting story, for me, but very cool use of language/linguistics in SF. I do so appreciate linguist protagonists!

The Thing Under the Drawing Room by Jedediah Berry, from the inaugural issue of Interfictions Online. This is a weird and wonderful tale. I really enjoyed the writing style, and the whole story was just delightful! A barbarian hero in a sprawling Gothic complex of a house, in a competition involving being possessed by the spirit of an old god. Brilliant stuff.

Sunday recs: Interfictions &c.

I haven’t read through the entire inaugural issue yet, but the new online journal Interfictions: A Journal of Interstitial Arts is already a delight. I’m hugely fond of the spaces between/amidst genres, styles, fiction/nonfiction, types of art – so Interfictions makes me feel all fuzzy inside. :) Such a weird, delicious mixture of texts (and pictures and sound, even!).

In the vein of artistic interdisciplinarity, here’s something I recently enjoyed from Strange Horizons: an experimental, intertextual, weird, and rather awesome piece. Book of Vole (Excerpts), by Jane Tolmie and Perry Rath.

Also from SH, a strange and oddly intriguing story about maths: A to Z Theory by Toh EnJoe.

That’s my recs for tonight! I’m off to eat some pie now. Mmm, berries.

On finishing

I just finished a poem I’ve been working on for the past month – at least, I think I finished it, because you never know. I might want to tweak it. I might get brilliant comments from someone that make me want to change it.

But soon it’ll have to be ready, because I mean to submit it to Interfictions tomorrow. HA.

It was wonderful to work on it today – to write, and to have written. I’ve been writing very, very little during the past couple of weeks, because I’ve been suffering from a nasty prolonged flu that flared into an ear infection last week. I’m on antibiotics now, though, and feeling much better. Fingers crossed that the flu doesn’t sneak up on me again. I’ve had enough of being sick and not getting to go to dance class, thanks very much!

But, poetry! Words again! Feels good. And feels especially good to have pretty much finished a long poem project – possibly my longest ever so far, and with my self, my soul, my history crafted into it. No matter if I never get it published anywhere; for me, this was an important thing to write.