2012: The Year of Dragons and Saucy Dresses

This year was a roller coaster, the way it was for many of my friends–full of wonders and dragons, heartbreak, and ridiculously fabulous adventures.

Saucy dress #1

Saucy dress #1

I started out 2012 really in December of 2011. I had just received word that two of my stories where going to get published: “A Coffin Story” and “Mereá.” I loved the coffin piece more because, well, it’s about coffins, and it was so strange and irreverent and something of a speculative kind of memoir. The Mereá piece was just plain strange, but turns out that it did quite well, eventually making it onto Lois Tilton’s  2012 Reviews in Review. I sent out a few more short stories that got published, including Evangelical Wonderland and Come to the Table,” (“fictions” which are more truth than lie). I also started writing articles on the most delicious art for Weird Fiction Review, run by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer.

But rather than quench the hunger for adventure burning inside me, it only strengthened it. So I shot off to  NYC for Armory Arts week, went dancing three nights in a row, saw cool art, made new friends, and decided to move there within a year.

That’s a big decision.

me 2012

Saucy dress #2

Not one to make such big decisions lightly, I visited NYC as much as possible, staying at least 10 days each time and living in different parts of the city to see what neighborhoods I liked. Among the many events I attended were a Mermaid Party, KGB Fantastic Fiction Readings, an immersive play (Speakeasy Dollhouse), and a Swing Dance party (most times wearing a very saucy dress. Saucy dresses, I find, help when going on an adventure). I also researched a ton of art and visited many a gallery and museum. I hung out with DJ Spooky and decided that I was going to get him to speak at CU sometime during the year. Meanwhile, I was revising my epic fantasy novel, Elementarí Rising and sending it out to publishers, as well as attending conferences such as ICFA and Readercon.

The fall became a turning point as I was up for reappointment regarding my University of Colorado position. Rather than apply for reappointment, I turned in my resignation letter. It felt like it was the right thing to do, despite not having a job lined up, not knowing where I was going to live, or any other kind of specific detail that would add some amount of logic or reason.

And then, five days after that, we lost the amazing poet Malinda Markham. She had come to be one of my best friends, my ally in the fight against the black dog, and was one of the most talented writers I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. The weeks after that were rather a blur, full of dragons and black dogs and all other sorts of nasty creatures, as you can imagine. I regained some equilabrium with another trip to NYC in late September to give a lecture on the grotesque in art at William Paterson University (you can see some of the groovilicious art I teach in the video below). It ended with the Dumbo Arts Festival, and the most wondrous dance party inside powerHouse books (can you tell that I like to dance a lot when I get the opportunity?).

I came back from NYC to an offer by Pink Narcissus Press to publish the novel in the summer of 2013. I just saw a draft of the cover art, and will be posting it on Facebook later this week! The year ended with the Dangerous Tea, where 11 cultural creative women gathered to share their works in progress and talk about all manner of art, writing, science, and the imagination.

And now I have a rather exciting year coming up, with an interview with Neil Gaiman coming out in Origin Magazine, a short story about the blob to appear in Gargoyle #60 this summer, as well as the novel (and some more poetry appearing as well). And sometime in July, I’ll make the move to NYC.  There will be more dragons to face, I’m sure, and still a job to get. But oh hell, what an adventure this is!

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