October 2020

Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year! I figured sharing a couple of pictures of my creepy corn would be a good way to start off this post. Can you imagine peeling back the husk and seeing this staring back at you? Yes, that is real corn I’ve grown in my very own garden. No, no meteors have recently fallen here from space, nor was my garden formerly a burial ground. It’s just. Weird. Corn. And no, it wasn’t advertised as looking like this. It was just supposed to be . . . pretty.

And, of course, I WILL be planting it again next year, lol.

I am currently behind on everything that I could possibly be behind on, including posting this blog! I haven’t worked on any of my stories . . . no writing, no editing, no subbing. Part of it is from being busy (home projects, school, etc.), and part of it is from enjoying these last days of decent weather before winter sets in and turns this place into an arctic wasteland again. Writing has been sacrificed in the name of squeezing every last bit of joy from summer/fall that we can!

I’m hoping to catch up on a few things here in the next couple of weeks, but if the weather holds, I’m not going to waste it!

And in case you were curious, I ended up not having to serve jury duty, so that didn’t slow me down. I answered my hundred page questionnaire (okay, maybe not a HUNDRED, but it sure seemed like it) honestly, and I think it ended up causing me to be disqualified. I’m sure there are a hundred opinions/beliefs I hold that make me unsuitable for jury service in North Dakota. They probably never even got past the section on “how do you feel about police and government authority” before they stamped it with a big ol’ “Hell, naw!”

I am still marveling at the miracle that is Zoom. I know, I know, there have been lots of problems with it, but you have to admit it’s still pretty amazing. I used it several times to attend class while we camped. I use it to have “office hours” with my professor. And our local writer’s conference is happening every Thursday on Zoom. Attending class is, unsurprisingly, better via Zoom. It means I don’t have to trek the mile round trip across campus in forty below weather.

What *is* surprising is that attending the writer’s conference via Zoom is amazing, too. Instead of sitting in a crowded auditorium in an uncomfortable folding chair and listening to the panels and readings, I can sit in my writing room at home, in my comfy chair, with a glass of wine in my hand and my dogs curled up on my feet. BLISS!

And, since I’m not discouraged by the weather or by the difficulty in finding parking, I’m finding that I am attending even more events this time! I know having the conference by Zoom isn’t the same as having it in-person, but I’d be thrilled if at least some of the events continued to be offered through Zoom even after the pandemic is just a bad memory.

The only thing I’ve not fallen behind on is my reading (listening, if you want to get technical). So, here’s my #500Stories500Nights list for September.

  • 1: “It’s a Parallel Universe and Everyone Expresses Themselves Through Martial Arts,” by Luke Tarassenko (Daily Science Fiction, 8-21-20)
  • 2: “Badass Moms in the Zombie Apocalypse,” by Rae Carson (Uncanny 32A)
  • 3: “Notes From the Assistant’s Intern,” by Bryan Miller (Drabblecast 430)
  • 4: “So Much Cooking,” by Naomi Kritzer (Cast of Wonders 418)
  • 5: “The Squaw,” by Bram Stoker (Nocturnal Transmissions 71)
  • 6: “The Modern Woman’s Guide to Navigating Your Transformation Into an Eldritch Horror of the Deep,” by Caroline Diorio (Daily Science Fiction, 9-1-20)
  • 7: “The Silver of Our Glory, The Orange of Our Rage,” by Jared Oliver Adams (Cossmass Infinities, 8-23-2020)
  • 8: “Emptying the Bunkhouse,” by Vincent H. O’Neil (Bourbon Penn 20)
  • 9: “Outside of Omaha,” by Ray Nayler (Nightmare Magazine podcast, 9-9-20
  • 10: “Your Rover is Here,” by LP Kindred (LeVar Burton Reads, 8-17-20)
  • 11: “The Mappist,” by Barry Lopez (Selected Shorts, 8-27-20)
  • 12: “The Little Mermaid of Innsmouth,” by Caroline M Yoachim (Drabblecast 370)
  • 13: “Toilet Gnomes at War,” by Beth Cato (Overcast 133)
  • 14: “The Lizard and the Rat,” by Andrew Dana Hudson (Starship Sofa 642)
  • 15: “Room for Rent,” by Richie Narvaez (LeVar Burton Reads, 8-31-20)
  • 16: “Bad Latch,” by Curtis Sittenfield (Selected Shorts, 9-10-20)
  • 17: “Metal Like Blood in the Dark,” by T. Kingfisher (Uncanny 36A)
  • 18: “Illimitable Dominion,” by Kim Newman (Tales to Terrify 25)
  • 19: “Where You’ll Find Me,” by Ann Beattie (The New Yorker: Fiction podcast, 3-1-20)
  • 20: “I’m Not Robert,” by A. T. Sayre (Starship Sofa 629)
  • 21: “Hellion,” by Julia Elliott (Selected Shorts podcast, 9-3-20)
  • 22: “Maybe the Stars,” by Samantha Henderson (Drabblecast Drabbleclassics, 8-26-20)
  • 23: “Cloud Nine,” by Ryan Harville (Nocturnal Transmissions 47)
  • 24: “Out with the Old,” by Lindsey Goddard (Wicked Library 808)
  • 25: Excerpt from Missionaries, by Phil Klay (Storybound S2 Ep 10)
  • 26: “The Sand Banks, 1861,” by David Wright Falade (The New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice, 8-25-20)
  • 27: “Enlightenment,” by Douglas Smith (StarShipSofa 630)
  • 28: “Ancient Rome,” by Kyle McCarthy (Selected Shorts, 9-17-20)
  • 29: “The Full Moon Group,” by Dianne M. Williams (Drabblecast 422)
  • 30: “The Last PoMatic,” by Amanda Helms (Cast of Wonders 419)

Get out and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year (but wear a mask and practice social distancing, of course)! Until next month!