That thing, when you take a moment to reflect on a challenging 12 months, then realize something amazing. While I had to deal with complications from my disability and other tough situations during the last 12 months, other stuff happened as well. Awesome stuff. So, it’s with delight that I get to announce that 2018 was a great year!
I got published in two anthologies!
My urban-fantasy-sci-fi mashup, A Night at the Rabbit Hole, starring a non-binary Alice and their crush Bunni, was not only published in Alice Unbound: Beyond Wonderland (Colleen Anderson, Exile Editions), but it also appeared in Exile Literary Quarterly. That was the first short story I’ve ever sold!
My Monster CripLit story (btw, that so should be a genre) was included in what I affectionately nicknamed the Frankenthology known as We Shall Be Monsters (Derek Newman-Stille, Renaissance). My Frances Elizabeth, or Frank E., is the first disabled protagonist I’ve ever written. It was so great that Derek invited marginalized folks to share our monstery stories. This collection of Frankentales is inspired by Mary Shelley’s 1818 version of Frankenstein.
Fun fact: I’d never read Frankenstein before I decided to write for this anthology, and now I am a colossal fan of it.
I finished a prequel and it got accepted for publication!
That was the biggest surprise for me. After having trouble taking on larger writing projects last year, NaNoWriMo 2017 helped me begin The Stealth Lovers, the origin story of fan faves Xax and Viv from Life in the ’Cosm. CampNaNo 2018 motivated me to finish the first draft of the book. A few efficient beta readers and sensitivity editors later, I had a submittable manuscript. I sent it to Renaissance in July and they accepted it in October. So, The Stealth Lovers will be a reality in late autumn of 2019.
I’m pretending to a big-shot anthology editor!
The incomparable Renaissance press also accepted my proposal to edit an anthology where all the main characters identify as disabled, Deaf, blind, neurodiverse, Spoonie, and/or who manage mental illness. Nathan Fréchette also recommended I join forces with sensitivity editor Talia C. Johnson on the project. (Talia and I are quirky best friends known informally as Pinky and The Brain. What the heck was Nathan thinking???) In late September 2018, Brain and I published the call for submissions for Nothing Without Us. And the deadline is January 31, 2019, so there’s still time to submit to us! Some terrific stories are hanging out in our Considering folder. Can’t wait to see it published next year.
My freelance editing job is still a thing!
This year I got to see the publication of Life and Lemonade (Jamieson Wolf), A Desert Song (Amy M. Young),, Skylark (S.M. Carrière), and Moonshadow’s Guardian (Dianna Gunn). It’s always great to see books come to life and know I had a wee hand in it! I also had the pleasure of editing some stories that are not yet published but will be awesome. I’m looking at you, Robin Elizabeth, Jamieson Wolf, and Jennifer Carole Lewis!
The Spoonie Author Network got real!
We had some really honest posts this year about what life is like as a Spoonie, featured in the series Spoon Stealers. And Derek Newman-Stille did a great series called Disability Tropes 101, which is great resource material for what tropes to avoid when writing disabled characters. Read more on the Spoonie Authors Network website!
I got into Twitter writing chats!
Holy crap, they are so much fun. I’ve met such wonderful authors in these chats and have had some great laughs, too. I really recommend #WeeknightWriters (Thursdays at 7 p.m.), #StoryDam (Thursdays at 8 p.m.), and on Sundays there are a bunch with #WritersPatch (1:00 p.m.), #JustAddTea (noon), #HappyWritingChat (1:00 p.m.), and #StoryCrafter (3 p.m.). All of these are listed in Eastern Standard Time (EST).
I ate a plethora of delicious desserts!
I must have, right? Sounds like me.
Anyway, I have a lot to be grateful for in my alphabet-arranging career. The fact that it’s even a career for me at all is a huge blessing. And I’m surrounded by the most supportive people in the world, I’m sure of it.
So, there you have it. The negatives were trying this year, but the positives were so fantastic, they win it for me!
Looking forward to seeing what next year brings!
Cait Gordon is the author of Life in the ’Cosm (Renaissance) and The Stealth Lovers (Renaissance 2019). When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She’s also teamed up with co-editor Talia C. Johnson on the Nothing Without Us anthology (call for submissions are ongoing until January 31, 2019.)