2021 Writing Log, Part 6

– I presented a paper titled “Link Is Not Silent: Queer Disability Positivity in Breath of the Wild Fancomics” at this year’s (online) meeting of the Association for Asian Studies. My paper was part of a panel called “Representations of Disability in Japanese Videogames,” and I was honored to have my work included with that of Rachael Hutchinson, Mimi Okabe, and Ben Whaley, all of whom are luminaries in the field. Perhaps it’s weird to say this about a panel at an academic conference, but we had a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the lively discussion during and after the broadcast.

– My review of Yoshiko Okuyama’s monograph Reframing Disability in Manga is up on the Pacific Affairs website (here). This insightful and highly accessible book offers both fascinating case studies and thorough discussions of social and legal contexts. The author’s emphasis on positivity, as well as her candidness regarding her own positionality, provides a nice window into Disability Studies, and the textual format of the book facilitates its accessibility to a diversity of readers, including readers outside the field of Japan Studies. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s interested for a number of reasons, but it would probably be better just to say “please check out my short review” rather than try to summarize them here.

– I published, promoted, and mailed out copies of The Legend of Haiku, a Legend of Zelda fanzine that I’ve been working on editing and formatting for a few months now. This was a huge project, and it was an incredible experience to work with so many talented poets and artists. You can read more about the zine and find links to download a free copy on the blog post I made about it (here).

– I submitted a short story called “Mount Hiei” to Fantasy Magazine. “Mount Hiei” is a story about two young monks apprenticed at Enryaku Temple who discover something awful inside the mountains north of Kyoto, and it’s a Ken Asamatsu style Lovecraftian twist on Japanese folklore very loosely based on the childhood of two characters from the medieval war epic The Tales of the Heike. I think this heterogeny of influence might be a hard sell because it’s a difficult sort of “diversity” to get behind, but I’m still submitting the story to big-name magazines because I’ve been working on it for years and would like to share it with people. It’s actually really good, if I do say so myself.

– I submitted another short story called “Don’t Eat the Fish” to Frost Zone Zine. The zine (which is actually a professionally edited print magazine that’s also published as a digital edition) has a distinct editorial voice that privileges the sort of quiet and literary dark fiction I’m interested in, and I hope this story will be a good fit for the publication.

– I submitted a piece of flash fiction to the online magazine Burnt Breakfast. I really admire the format of Burnt Breakfast, which pairs fiction and poetry with striking images in a way that facilitates appreciation of creative work on social media. I’ve been following them on their Instagram account, and it’s been a lot of fun to get occasional bits of strange and interesting flash fiction in my feed.   

– I submitted an illustration titled “Ruins and Regrowth” to another online magazine called Analogies & Allegories, which is also active on social media. I follow their Instagram account and love their aesthetic, and the “Regrowth” theme of the next issue spoke to me, especially because I wasn’t quite ready to stop exploring this theme after my “Different” comic (posted here) about trauma and recovery. This is the first illustration I’ve formally submitted to a publication that’s not a zine, and I’m a little nervous. Even if I’m rejected, though, the art still exists, and I can still post it on my personal accounts.

– I posted my first listing for original art on Etsy (here). It was an ACEO card with ink and Copic marker fan art of the character Sensei from the dark fantasy manga Girl from the Other Side, which is one of the weirdest and saddest yet most wholesome stories I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. A friend bought it along with a copy of the Legend of Haiku zine, and I’m incredibly grateful for their kindness. This is my first art sale, and it’s a big step forward for me! I’m currently working on two more ACEO cards that I hope to post listings for soon, and I’m curious to see whether there will be any interest.

– Now that I’m taking steps away from a purely academic career, I decided to post an alternative CV in the form of a page called “Creative Work” (here) on this blog. Considering that I only started submitting my stories and comics to various venues about six months ago, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.

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