In January I made my first professional sales, one right after the other, to Asimov’s and Strange Horizons. Both are markets I read regularly and admire.

I have been delaying announcing this for reasons I cannot really account for. Well, yes, I can–I don’t have signed contracts and so part of me doesn’t want to believe it until I have absolute proof that I am not imagining this. But I have learned that sometimes signed contracts are lazy, slow-moving things and really, Teegs, calm yourself.

 

I was given the opportunity to do a little write-up on the Hugo Awards for the Stranger, Seattle’s only newspaper, which you can find here. It is my first piece of paid journalism. That feels kind of special.

A short piece I wrote is up on (gulp) Karen Joy Fowler’s website.

I’ve thought about the described moment many times over, and thought about writing it, but never put it down. It’s one of those feelings you’re introduced to in some youthful incident that, whenever you encounter that emotion again, there you are again in your childhood yard, wearing your favorite sweater and smelling the mud and moss and feeling sick to your stomach.

 

I don’t know why NPR’s Three Minute Fiction has become a thing for me, but I almost always write something for the prompt. I’ve liked what I came up with enough to send it in twice. Well, three times, actually; I just forgot to send this one. But hey: free blog content!

Did you leave a message after our prompt? For Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction, we asked you to submit a short story in the form of a voice mail message. For this contest, the original fiction must be read in about three minutes, no more than 600 words.

Hi. It’s me. Just calling because… well, because because. I’m not really sure what’s going on right now and I wanted to, you know. Hear the sound of your voice. I’m just… home. Wearing my toasty jam-jams and watching the cat freak out. He’s got the crazy eyes like woah right now. And… so, okay, kind of weird, but there was this thing? This noise? I dunno. Well, no, I do know: a tapping sort of noise, like tapping on the window? The window that mister cat-face is all goggle-eyed at right now. Probably a branch, right? Is what I’m thinking. But just in case it’s some creeper or something I wanted to have someone… at hand.

Is that? Jeez! There it is again. Oh jeez oh jeez. Oh gosh. It wouldn’t bother me, like, at all, if the cat wasn’t just totally tripping balls about it. Ha. And I’m such a baby right now that I have just locked myself in the bathroom. Hi. Hello. I am nuts and I am calling you from the bathroom because Zuzu is looking at the window with his crazy catnip-eyes and apparently that’s an awesome reason to call your boyfriend in the middle of the night and leave an endless… voicemail. I just called you my boyfriend. Is that weird? I know we’re not… woah, shit shit shit! Oh god oh god. Oh. Jeez. Okay. Oh god. Oh god.

It was at the bathroom window. So I’m not in the bathroom anymore. Nope. Kitchen. No windows in the kitchen. I’ve never been so happy that I live in a basement. Hooboy. Okay. So… I don’t know why this is freaking me out so bad. I swear I’m not on anything. I’m just… you know, there was that weird storm earlier and it just really freaked me out, and it freaked Zuzu out too, and you know how cats do that awful thing where they look right over your shoulder like there’s a man with an axe. God. He’s been doing that all night. And then like an hour ago he started staring out the window, not just like looking out the window but like he was just glued there, he just can’t look away, and it’s, like, really hard to get his attention and—oh. Oh for god’s sake. I can hear it back in the other room. I’m such a baby. It’s nothing. I, like, don’t even want the cat near the windows. I don’t want to come out of the cave kitchen. Ha!

Probably it’s just hail or something. Or a branch. There are no bushes by my windows, are there? I don’t… No trees. No branches because it’s a basement, right? And branches go up. It’s probably just…

Maybe the neighbors are home. Maybe I’ll… They already think I’m crazy because of that thing with the dead bird in their yard—I told you about that, right? I was doing that found-art thing with bird bones?—so if I came tearing into their house in my pajamas they probably wouldn’t even think it was weird. But I don’t want to go out there.

Oh god. You’re going to think I’m crazy, aren’t you. I can always delete this. The marvels, the wonders, the joys of modern technology. I’m just being a baby. Ha! Oh god. I can hear it in the bathroom too, now, at both windows, oh god oh god why is this freaking me out so bad it’s just a branch, a branch, you’re being stupid it’s a branch. Stop it stop it stop it.

Christ! Oh god jesus—

To delete this message, press one. To save this message, press two. To return this call, press three. For more options, press zero.

A list written, I think, in 2010 and subsequently rejected by McSweeney’s Internet Concern, though who can blame them?

Mrs. Moore lives and writes in a series of cardboard boxes taped together to form a system of caves. She may or may not have a choice selection of college degrees, which may or may not have earned her a temporary job with the U.S. Census bureau and a bad credit score. She does not really remember. These things do not matter in the box-cave.

From the late Cretaceous, Tegan M Moore is a six-ton horned dinosaur with teeth the size of encyclopedia volumes. She is fully prepared to eat you.

Mrs. Moore denied your Facebook friend request. She hopes that you forget and try to add her again, not because she regrets her decision and wants your Facebook-friendship but because it is so nice to feel powerful.

Tegan Moore is actually a big blob of ants standing on each others’ shoulders beneath a trenchcoat, pretending to be human.

TM Moore is totally that crazy lady who puts her cat in a harness and drags him outside to grin moronically while people giggle and point and ask if he likes it while the cat tries desperately to bury himself inside a bush. She doesn’t like how she has enough objective distance to see the horror of this situation and yet does not alter her behavior. The cat doesn’t like it either.