I wrote a short story called “Aquarius” in 2015. You can see some of my thoughts on developing the story and its journey in a previous blog post. But what I can say on the story since then is that I’ve thought for a long time that this was one of my best short stories. My mom even liked it, and my mom doesn’t like science fiction.
Evidently, the publishers didn’t agree with my assessment. Or my mom’s. Because I couldn’t seem to find a home for it.
I’ll admit one thing: I’m picky about selling short stories. I don’t like to sell them to unstable markets, so I generally only pitch to publications that offer compensation beyond a free copy. So with that and the fact that the story is on the longer side, maybe the odds just weren’t on my side for selling “Aquarius.”
Or, more likely, I just lack the capacity to be objective about which of my stories are any good.
But right after I sold a story I didn’t think I liked very much to the first place I offered it to, this story sold next. I got an acceptance on September 29, 2022.
Why didn’t I post about it then? Because I didn’t know any terms and there was no communication about the story for along time after that, so I didn’t want to make an announcement and then find out it wasn’t actually going to be a thing. I don’t like to spread news when I don’t really HAVE the news.
But as of today, I did get my contract and the release terms. I can now tell you that after a long streak of years, my (probably) second-queerest short story will finally be published in October 2023.
Aurelia Leo bought the story for their 18th PRIDE anthology. A preliminary preorder page for Kindle is up, and it has a cover.
I was a panelist at A Room of One’s Own’s book panel for the I AM ACE Panel Discussion. This panel, organized by Caide Jackson, featured Cody Daigle-Orians with their new book I AM ACE, along with fellow ace activists Ashabi Owagboriaye and me. We covered some asexuality-related topics and some content-creation-related topics and then took questions from the crowd. Very well attended and a lovely time. You can watch it on replay.
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USA Today published a piece reacting to Paris Hilton describing herself as potentially having been asexual before she got married. The article is called “Paris Hilton thought she was asexual. What we often misunderstand about asexuality.”
This article includes contributions from KJ Cerankowski, me, Catherine Esperanza, and Aubri Lancaster, outlining some misconceptions about asexuality and how trauma and sexual violence are related to the orientation.
I would like to note that one of the quotes from me could, in some interpretations, imply that asexual people who have undergone trauma are not legitimate (because I’m quoted as saying that doesn’t “delegitimize the rest of us”). There is never much space for nuance in these kinds of pieces and that’s not their fault. In my interview I did discuss how important it is to support and make space for asexual people who have a traumatic history and went into detail about the legitimacy of people with that intersection. Anyone, including people with trauma, should be able to access asexuality labels and communities. (As of this writing no one has come out of the woodwork to criticize me for that presentation, but just in case anyone was confused about my position, I do not believe “does not delegitimize the rest of us” is, in isolation, an accurate representation of how I approach this issue.)
I will be making an appearance via Crowdcast at A Room of One’s Own as a panelist with Cody Daigle-Orians and Ashabi Owagboriaye, two other ace activists. Cody’s new book I AM ACE is being celebrated and we will all discuss asexuality, related topics, and activism. We also expect to take questions and comments from participants.
Please join us on March 6, 2023, 7 PM Eastern / 6 PM Central.
You can register here:
Just got word that my short story “Her Experiment” has been accepted to Spoon Knife Volume 7, which involved a submissions call for stories about transition.
I’m pretty surprised. I did something with this story I don’t like to admit: I didn’t let anyone read it before I sent it out. I actually don’t think I’ve EVER done that before–I value the input of readers and I would always advise writers to get at least a few people to help them work the kinks out.
And then it was accepted at the very first place I submitted it. Welp.
(I do not plan to learn from this that it’s better to go without beta readers. Terrible lesson.)
I also was very pessimistic about this story and didn’t like it after I wrote it. Worried that I rushed it and forced it. Worried that it was ugly. Worried that it was too long.
It IS too long. But that’s allowed where I sent it.
Anyway, it’ll be published in Spring 2023. I’ll give information about how to read it at that time.
Here’s my post about writing the story.
I was invited to read Ace and Aro Journeys early and provide a blurb. Please check this book out if you are interested in adding an important new title to your ace and aro library.
Title: Ace and Aro Journeys: A Guide to Embracing Your Asexual or Aromantic Identity
Author: The Ace and Aro Advocacy Project
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Release Date: April 21, 2023
Inclusive and emotionally resonant, Ace and Aro Journeys offers an authentic look at asexual and aromantic identity from every imaginable angle. It’s written by people who have lived these specific trials and triumphs, with relatable examples and quotes from diverse ace- and aro-spectrum people, dispensing wisdom regarding processing negativity as well as celebrating ace/aro joy. Aces and aros will see their identities thoroughly explored and validated beyond the usual token statement of “this exists,” while those who want to learn about us will learn how to conceptualize us as we are, not as people with something missing.
The Invisible Orientation is one of a small number of LGBTQIA+ books honored on a Powell’s bookmark this month in association with its Pride program. 🙂 Thank you to Nicholas Yandell at Powell’s!
Please see these tweets from Nicholas Yandell for other resources:
The LaSallian, a student publication of De La Salle University-Manila, included some quotes from me and other asexual activists/authors in “A look into the spectrum: Affirming asexual narratives.”
This print article includes contributions from KJ Cerankowski, me, and the pseudonymous Violet, discussing asexual people’s exclusion, representation, conflation with disability, and relationships.