What I’m Working On: Autumn 2018

Hey guys! I know I just did one of these updates last month, but Autumn starts on September 22nd this year, so I’m going to go ahead and give you the fall writing slate. I also wanted to let everyone know that I’m planning a series of blog posts about HOW I get so much writing done, because that seems to be what a lot of you are curious about. I’m excited to share my secrets with you — as soon as I can organize them into neat little posts!


  • NEW! History 100 Essay
    A historical essay about the scientists who aided in the creation of the atom bomb, and the emotional and psychological effects it had on them when the United States government decided to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Due: October 2018
  • “SETI@home”
    A 1-2k word personal essay about my late grandpa and a nostalgia-driven look at the SETI@home project. SETI stands for “Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.” It’s the program Jodie Foster was working on in the 1997 movie Contact. The SETI@home project was a small offshoot of SETI, developed in 1999 as a way for everyday people to donate their CPUs, or computer processing cycles, to help process radio signals from space. UPDATE: I’ve completed my interview with Dr. David Anderson (computer programmer) and have an email interview with Dr. Eric Korpela (SETI astronomer) currently ongoing. Goes on submission: September 2019
  • “Space Circus”
    Sci-fi novelette, still in development but I’m shooting for something around 30k words. It was inspired by several classes at Storymakers 2018, especially those taught by Sarah M. EdenDan Wells, and Charlie Holmberg. During the conference I doodled a picture of a girl in a space suit and imagined what her story might be, and I decided she was going to run away and join the space circus. UPDATE: I’ve decided to make this my NaNoWriMo project and will be drafting it this November. Goes on submission: undetermined


  • NEW!The King Beneath the Mountain”
    A ballad about a king asleep in a mountain, as told by the witch who put him there. It’s a love story. Goes on submission: November 2018
  • Clarion West Application
    Clarion West is a six-week writing workshop taught by six authors and/or editors. My favorite short story author, Amal El-Mohtar, is going to be one of the instructors. Only 18 people get into the program every year. Admission is based on a 30-page writing sample and a personal essay. For my 30 pages, I’m planning on submitting the first three chapters of my Island Book, plus a synopsis. Those have already been drafted and are in the revision process, but I have yet to start on my personal essay. Applications open in December 2018 and close in March of 2019, but I want to give it my best so I’m working on it now. Goes on submission: December 2019
  • “The Island Book”
    Historical fantasy novel about 100k words. This is the first installment in a series of books about two families struggling for control of a fictional island. Magical beings and speculative science get involved. Chaos ensues. UPDATE: I’m on schedule to get the first draft done by May 2019. Goes on submission: July 2021


  • “Honeybee”
    Sci-fi short story I’d like to be about 5k-7k words. My original draft was 5k, but the premise is kind of far out and so many of my beta readers had so many questions, I decided to let myself wax verbose on the second draft and answer all the questions. This resulted in the story swelling to 9k (almost twice the length of the first draft). I figured I could review how the additional 4k felt and shave it down if needed. Adding more narration and more backstory, as well as changing the starting point, made the whole thing feel like the first chapter to a Young Adult dystopian novel instead of a sci-fi short. It was so far from what I wanted, I considered shelving the whole project. But I talked to my critique partner Kris, and she helped me create a vision for draft number three, where I could refocus and hone in on the story I most wanted to tell. So that’s what I’m currently doing. UPDATE: On schedule! Undergoing copy-edits. Goes on submission: September 2018
  • “Submarine”
    Sci-fi/fantasy short story around 10k words. When looking for ideas, I often begin with my resources. My husband and brother-in-law both worked on submarines for three years, and I simply couldn’t pass up the spec fic opportunities. The story deals with the ethics of nuclear war, toxic masculinity in the military, and mermaids. After writing a complete draft of this story I’ve decided to go in an entirely different direction with the style. So…I’m rewriting the whole thing. Goes on submission: February 2019


  • “ALIENS!”
    Sci-fi short story about 5k words. This project was inspired by my years in Japan, one very interesting SCUBA instructor, and memories of my grandpa introducing me to various SETI programs. The whole story is essentially a conversation–hopefully an interesting one. On submission since: January 2018
  • “Satellite”
    Sci-fi flash fiction about 650 words long. The concept behind this story is so niche I have no idea if it will ever get published. That said, I think it may be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. I’ve recruited help from my husband and my best friend from high school to help me with some of the technical stuff. They’ve been geeking out about it, which is absolutely thrilling to me. I brought the story to my library writing group and had one person understand it completely, one person understand the gist of it, and three people who couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I asked the group if there was a way to balance the story so it could be understood by a wider audience. The group unanimously advised me to ignore the wider audience, commit to the idea, and charge ahead with it. On submission since: May 2018
  • Storymakers Classes
    I’ve pitched two classes to teach at the Storymakers 2019 writing conference! One is about how to commission an artist (I’ve both hired artists and been hired as an artist, so I feel pretty qualified for this one). The other class is about how to deconstruct strong visual icons in popular/classic media, and how authors can use this knowledge to create their own icons. I feel less qualified to teach a class on writing craftsmanship, just because I’m not yet published, but I’m very passionate about the topic and my background as an artist has given me some unique insight. I’ll know if my classes have been accepted in November, and Storymakers 2019 is in May. UPDATE: I ended up pitching two more classes, one on structuring chapters and dialogue, and one on Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. On submission since: August 2018
  • NEW! “Robot Overlords”
    I meet with a local writing group that likes to issue out weekly prompts, and I used to never do them because I wanted to focus on my novel and shorts. When I was in highschool though, I really enjoyed writing poetry, and I’ve started writing poems for the group prompts. I liked one of my poems so much I polished it up and submitted it to a magazine. It’s a science fiction poem about a girl who lives in a post-apocalyptic world run by robots, and it chronicles seven very important seconds of her life. On submission since: September 2018

Thanks for coming on this journey with me.