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POINT OF VIEW: What Went Right in 2020

2020 - pixabay

Make no mistake. 2020 was a dumpster fire inside a clusterfuck inside a horror film.

And yet, some good things still happened for the LGBTQ community. Switzerland and Northern Ireland finally got marriage equality. Trans, gender fluid and non-binary representation in entertainment got a big boost. More jurisdictions banned conversion therapy. And the Commander in Thief got kicked to the curb. Wikipedia has a great list of many of 2020’s LGBTQ advances here.

Personally, a lot happened for me and my writing career too. 🙂

In January, I started submitting Dropnauts, the follow-up to the Liminal Sky: Ariadne Cycle trilogy – to agents for consideration. By the end of the year, I had sent queries to more than 140 agents – none of whom bought it, alas.

In February, I qualified to bump up to full membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), based on my sales of The Stark Divide. This has been a lifelong dream of mine, kindled when I first read Asimiov and Clark and McCaffrey in the late 70’s.

My first two short stories in a national spec fic magazine were published – Across the Transom and Eventide – both of which were purchased by the late, great Mike Resnick and appeared in Galaxy’s Edge.

In April, I self-published another story, Chinatown, the first short I wrote for my attempt to “break in” to SFWA. Although it didn’t make it into a magazine, it’s now available to my readers through our press, Other Worlds Ink (OWI).

In May, I requested back the rights for my six sci-fi novels, and in June I got them. Over the next six months, I released them under the Other Worlds Ink banner, with new covers and forewords.

In July, OWI released Innovation, the sixth Queer Sci Fi flash fiction contest anthology – which looks like it will be the best-selling one yet.

I also self-published another short story in July – Eventide (one of the ones that appeared in Galaxy’s Edge earlier in the year).

And we launched the new Liminal Fiction website (LimFic.com) too – a spec fic directory which has already reached almost 200 author members in its first few months.

In September, we closed submissions on our first short story (non-flash-fiction) anthology, Fix the World, which resulted in 65 submissions. It’s a hopeful look at humankind’s future with 12 fantastic stories, and will be releases in April 2021 to allow time for reviews.

Also in September, I wrapped up my next novel – set in the same world as The Last Run. Tentatively titled A Plague of Earth and Fire, I submitted it to Pitch Wars, and while it wasn’t chosen, I did get some great feedback from one of the mentors. This one just came back from the editor, and I hope to start submitting it to agents by February 2021.

In October, while I was waiting for Pitch Wars to wrap, I wrote four new shorts – Ping, High Seven, What the Rain Brings, and Prolepsis. All four are now out on the spec fic magazine circuit.

In November, I dusted off an old, never-published short called Firedrake, cleaned it up, and submitted it too.

In December, I released Wonderland – my post-zombie apocalypse gay Christmas romance – as a stand-alone for the first time, and it’s done really well! It was originally published as part of the Mischief Corner Books holiday anthology This Wish Tonight, and it’s great to see it out in the world again.

I also wrote a new short this month – The Last Human Heart – and buffed up one I wrote in a hurry earlier in the year titled Pareidolia.

Finally, I pulled Dropnauts from the agent circuit, and just finished prepping it for release in May under Other Worlds Ink – with a long lead time to allow for submission to the trade magazines for possible review. I’m really excited about this one – it tells the story of what happened back on Earth after the generation ship Ariadne/Forever departed.

So whew – that’s a lot! When you’re in the middle of it, it’s such a blur, but some good friends recently reminded me how important it is to stop and count my wins every once and a while, and the end of 2020 seemed like the perfect time to do it..

I’m proud of everything I accomplished, and hope 2021 (in addition to being less of a dumpster fire than this year) helps me build on those accomplishments.

What’s on my list for the new year? You’ll have to wait for next week’s column to see!

To my writer friends, what did you accomplish in 2020 that you’re proud of?

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