2021 Writing Log, Part Twelve

The last time I updated my writing log was in the middle of August. During the past month and a half, I’ve created a great deal of writing that I’m not able to share yet. This is partially because I’ve gotten a lot of rejections recently. This is disheartening, of course, but that’s just how it goes. Thankfully, not every shot I’ve taken has been a miss, and I’m going to be able to share some of what I’ve been working on soon. In the meantime…

– I published a zine called Regrowth based on a comic I drew earlier this year. You can download a digital version from Gumroad (here), and there’s a physical version listed (here) on Etsy that includes a vinyl sticker. I printed this minicomic hoping to debut it at the DC Zinefest, but I was waitlisted. I’m not going to lie, I was really looking forward to the event this year, and I cried when I got the news. Still, I’m really proud of how this zine turned out!

– Speaking of comics, I collaborated with LunaArtGallery on a short Legend of Zelda fancomic! You can check it out (here). I’ve been daydreaming about this comic for more than a year, and it’s wonderful to see it exist in the world, especially as drawn by such a brilliant and talented artist.

– I’m excited to have a story called “Mount Hiei” included in White Enso’s 100 Ghost Stories project. “Mount Hiei” is about two young monks at the end of the Heian Period who discover the horrible secret of what Enryaku Temple’s duty to “protect the nation” entails. (Hint: Lovecraft would be proud.) You can read the story online (here).

– “Sparkle,” a piece of flash fiction that’s exactly fifty words long, was published in the “Dollar Store” issue of Blink Ink. You can read story (here), and you can check out Blink Ink on their website (here). It’s a cool little zine, and it’s not expensive at all to subscribe. A subscription includes a few bonus zines featuring themed microfiction, which is a genre I didn’t know I needed in my life. You’d think fifty-word stories would be a gimmick, but this style of writing is nothing short of amazing.  

– I contributed a short illustrated essay to the first issue of the West Philly Zine titled “How to Board the West Philly Ghost Bus.” Although the piece is structured like an essay, I actually made everything up and thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process. The zine is currently analog-only, but I posted my piece (here). I also contributed an illustrated essay to the second issue of the zine, which is going to be debuting at the Philly Comics Expo this Saturday, October 2.

– I reviewed Misumi Kubo’s linked short story collection So We Look to the Sky on my Japanese fiction book review blog (here). So We Look to the Sky is a raunchy soap opera sex comedy that reviewers have been tripping over themselves to describe as “delicate” and “sensitive” and “pressingly real,” which is wild. I hope those reviewers are okay.

– I reviewed Katriona Chapman’s graphic novel Breakwater (here) for the website Women Write about Comics. This book is genuinely “delicate” and “sensitive” and “pressingly real,” especially in its treatment of mental illness. I don’t spoil the ending in the review, but basically, the thirty-something protagonist ends up friend-dumping a coworker because she doesn’t feel equipped to deal with the behaviors induced by his bipolar disorder. I really respect the artist, because “you can’t save everyone” is a difficult story to tell.  

– I’ve been hard at work on an essay for Return to the Planet, an upcoming zine about the original 1997 release of Final Fantasy VII. One of the many things that’s cool and interesting about this zine is that it’s going to include nonfiction as well as art and fanfic. I got a chance to read through everyone’s first drafts for the first progress report check-in, and the contributors are all brilliant. It’s a lot of pressure to perform at such a high standard, but I’m doing my best! The zine is going to start spotlighting contributors soon, and you can follow along on Twitter (here).

– I wrote one short story and two pieces of flash fiction for Goddess Reborn, an upcoming zine celebrating the female (and nonbinary!) characters in the Legend of Zelda series. I have never wanted to be a part of a zine so badly, and I’m so honored to have been accepted as a contributor. Honestly, I cried an entire fairy fountain of big happy tears when I got the acceptance email. We’re only three weeks in, but the work that everyone has put into this project is awe-inspiring. Although the zine’s social media accounts are currently in a quiet phase as the mod and contributors work hard behind the scenes to get everything set up, you can follow Goddess Reborn on Twitter (here).

– While I was filled with Zelda fandom energy, I wrote two short Legend of Zelda horror stories for Halloween. The first is about the Castle Town Ghost Shop in Ocarina of Time, and the second is about a minor character in Breath of the Wild named Magda, who is affectionately known as Flowerblight Ganon. The Ghost Shop story already has a gorgeous illustration from Frankiesbugs, who is my hands-down favorite Legend of Zelda horror artist, and I hope to have a nice Hollywood horror movie style illustration for the Flowerblight story as well. I’m really looking forward to sharing these two stories closer to Halloween!

– Speaking of Halloween, the original Halloween-themed horror anthology Midnight Gathering is just about ready to open pre-orders. The aesthetic of this zine, which is formatted like a glossy print magazine, is colorful and spooky and everything you ever wanted from Halloween, and I’m really proud of the “creepy old lady” story I contributed. Midnight Gathering showcases an incredible range of up-and-coming talent, from professional writers and artists to college students. The zine has been spotlighting contributors during the past three weeks, and you can follow them on Twitter (here) to check out a few previews and be notified when pre-orders open.  

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