I’m a Professional!

I get to announce that I have a story forthcoming from Galaxy’s Edge Magazine! As of yet I do not know what issue it will be in or when it will be published. I will definitely be linking to it when it comes out.

The story in question, Cat Lady, was written during my time at Viable Paradise, though it’s been revised a few times since. It’s my first professional sale and I shed a few tears when I opened the acceptance email. If you’re curious about what qualifies a market as pro, semipro, or token the SFWA has a guide here. The gist of it is it depends on how much the market pays, how long they’ve been publishing, and how big of a readership they have.

I have been submitting my stories to pro markets since 2015 and have racked up over a 100 rejections split between 7 stories. Cat Lady was rejected 17 times before Galaxy’s Edge accepted it. That is about average from my understanding. There were several times I felt I was so close to making a pro sale and other times when it seemed like the impossible dream. This doesn’t mean that I won’t get any more rejections, in fact I’ve gotten 3 in time the since. But it’s one more hurtle cleared. I get to call myself a professional. Even if never sell another story I will always have one professional credit to my name. I’m tempted to order a little pin or plaque to remind myself of that, but I think having the issue in my hands will be enough.

In other news, in a few short weeks I’ll be attending 4th Street Fantasy Convention for the second time. A few of my favorite people in the world will also be there and I can’t wait to see them all again. And celebrate the hurdles they’ve cleared since we last saw each other.

Finally, here we have another Fraggle. For such simple designs they really are hard to capture in 2D.

You Can Listen to My Story on Gallery of Curiosities

This week my story Seeded was published by Gallery of Curiosities. GoC is an audio market, which is a first for me. I love the reader they chose and am very pleased with the final product. This is one of my stranger stories but I think it reflects my sense of humor pretty well. It is the second of two stories in the episode.

You can click through below to reach the episode’s credit page and download.

https://gallerycurious.com/2018/02/12/ep-54-honeyed-tongue-by-deborah-l-davitt-seeded-by-susan-taitel/

Or listen directly here.

The Year in Books 2017

Happy New Year, everybody! I can’t say I’m sorry to see the back of 2017. Natural disasters and human disasters seemed to be the theme. Nevertheless we persisted; we made it to 2018! (except those who didn’t).

Before I get to my book statistics I’ll share a few writing highlights. I wrote at least three new stories and majorly revised several more.

Here is a screenshot of my submission stats from 2017.

I doubled my story submissions from 2016 and received nearly 6 times as many personal rejections. (Personal rejections are gold when you’re in the submission trenches.) This is a tangible reminder that I’m making progress.

My story Wandering Eye was published on the Lorelei Signal in January of last year. I recently sold another story that should be going live in the next few months. I’ll post a link here when it does.

Over the last year I’ve become a part of a critique group of local authors. We’ve been meeting once a month. The advice I’ve gotten from Marcia, Anika, Jennie, and Tim has been invaluable and my writing continues to improve. It’s also a great motivator to have something written in time for our meetings.

I’m still in touch with most of my classmates from Viable Paradise 2016 and connect with them nearly every day. It is an incredibly supportive community. They’ve been doing great over the last year too. Several have made pro sales, signed with agents, and attended incredible workshops. I’m thrilled and grateful for my little writing family.

I entered Podcastle’s Flash Fiction contest and made the top ten out of 200 stories. I think I ultimately placed 5th.

In June I attended 4th Street Fantasy, a very small local fantasy convention with such guests as Holly Black, Elizabeth Bear, John Chu, and Max Gladstone. It’s limited to only about 250 attendees and socializing is encouraged but not mandatory. Which suits me perfectly. It also attracts a lot of Viable Paradise graduates and ended up being a mini reunion for VP20, with 16 of our class of 24 in attendence.

In September I ran a meeting of MinSpec where we did Sherwood Smith’s 2-Page exercise. It was huge success and we’ll be doing it again this spring.

 

On to the books part of the Year in Books!

Every year since 2010 I’ve kept a running list of the books I’ve read over the course of the year. It functions sort of as a diary of my reading habits.

By the Numbers

Grand total: 103 books read

67 print

36 audiobooks

5 ebooks

52 comics and graphic novels (not including singles issues read month to month)

22 borrowed from the library

17 borrowed from friends

11 short story collections or novellas

Favorites!

Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Seanan McGuire

Room – Emma Donoghue

The Wee Free Men and A Hat Full of Sky – Terry Pratchett

O Human Star Volumes 1 and 2 – Blue Delliquanti

The Girl Who Drank the Moon – Kelly Barnhill

The Refrigerator Monologues – Catherynne M. Valente

Lots of favorites this year!

Favorite Author stats

Neil Gaiman 4

Gail Simone 3

David Mack 2

Charlie Jane Anders 1

Holly Black 2

Carrie Fisher 1

Seanan McGuire 2

Rainbow Rowell 1

John Scalzi 2

Terry Pratchett 2

George R.R. Martin 1

Marissa Meyer 1

Kelly Barnhill 1

Ursula Vernon 2

Catherynne M. Valente 1

Connie Willis 1

Nnedi Okorafor 2

So that was 2017 in books.

Here is the current state of of my to read shelves.

I hope that by next year the piles in front of the shelves will have been read. But that would mean I stopped adding to them and that is not as easy as it sounds.

 

A few other highlights from 2017.

I saw Hamilton in Chicago!

All the Hugo Award fiction categories were won by women!

Hidden Figures! Wonder Woman! Thor Ragnarok! The Last Jedi!

Brienne and Arya’s sparring match!

Black Panther and the Thirteenth Doctor to look forward to!

Extreme weirdness on tv in the form of Legion, American Gods, and Twin Peaks the Return.

The Big Sick! Ladybird! Master of None! The Good Place! Steven Universe!

The Women’s March! Trumpcare defeated! Roy Moore defeated! Resisters everywhere!

A Song of Ice and Data Plans Part 1: Love Westerosi Style

I wrote a GOT parody.

SPOILER WARNING for Game of Thrones through season 7 finale. Please do not yell at me if you get spoiled.

 

Ready?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could not resist.

Unfortunately, the format makes it impossible to edit any errors, but hey that’s texts for you.

There will be a part 2.

The Textile Strikes Back

Lace Stormtroopers part 2.

Before I get to the second batch of lace troopers I wanted to share a picture of my niece wearing the storm trooper hat I made her.

This was one of the troopers from the first batch.

With the second batch I did things mostly the same way as laid out in the first post. The key differences were that the lace was not a stretch fabric, the template I used was larger, and I went with the updated helmet design from the Force Awakens.

I used this picture as my template. This design ended up being much less complex to recreate in fabric than the original.

First step was to cut out a basic helmet shape from the lace for the base. Then sewed a square of black fabric to the base. I used some black velvet I had in my scrap pile. Then on top of that, I sewed on three lace pieces that created the updated helmet look. Finally, I sewed on a visor and lens details using thin black knit. The result being these.

Not bad but it needed something extra. So I decided that these weren’t just any lace troopers, these were going to bloody handprint Finn style Lace troopers. And I just so happened to have bought a starter pack of embroidery floss from target for a different project, with a nice bold red thread. So I decided to embroider the handprint on to the lace.

One small problem. I didn’t know how to embroider. So several tries and Youtube and Pinterest searches later, I had accomplished this.

That is a chain stitch, which I now knew how to do. But that wasn’t good enough. The bloody fingerprints had to be solid red. So a brief tutorial on the satin stitch, several more tries, and at least two more trips to Target to buy multiples of the same starter kit, because I kept running out of the thread and needed the same thickness and shade of red. (Which incidentally meant I ended up with about seven times of all the other colors in the kit. And what I ended up doing with them is another post entirely.) But at the end of the day, I had these.

Two bloody-handed lace troopers and/or abstract roosters, ready to be applied to the item of my choice.

I chose throw pillows. I used a blanket stitch (also learned off of youtube) to sew them on. On my first attempt even with it pinned in place it bunched up went all crooked. So I tore up the stitches, ordered a set of embroidery hoops from Amazon, and two days later tried again with the hoops, with better results. Although one still ended up a little tilted.

And there you go!

 

Again, if anyone out there decides to create their own lace stormtroopers, or  sith lords, or Mandalorians etc. please share the pictures.