2021 Writing Log, Part Fourteen

– My short story “The Ghost Hunter” was published on the website of Small Leaf Press (here). This is a postapocalyptic soft horror fantasy about quietly standing up to authority and dreaming of daylight in dark times. It’s only about 1,400 words long, and the formatting is clean and comfortable to read, so please consider checking it out if you’d like some ghosts to spice up your holidays.

– I posted a review of the young adult fantasy novel The Cat Who Saved Books on my Japanese book review blog (here). The fantasy elements of the novel are a lot of fun, but what I really appreciate is the author’s satire of the contemporary publishing industry. I was not expecting this book to be so sharp, and I love the moments of adult spite hidden in the family-friendly story about a magical talking cat.

– My review of Lee Lai’s Stone Fruit has been posted on the Women Write About Comics website (here). I will not lie – Stone Fruit is a graphic novel about a lesbian breakup, and it is very fucking grim for the first hundred pages. Still, it somehow manages to be one of the most affirming stories I’ve read in a long time. Not because it’s sweet or sentimental or has an uplifting ending, but because life is very fucking grim sometimes, and that’s okay. What I love about Stone Fruit is that it treats its characters as human beings, not [Stock Asian Lesbian] and [Stock WASP Transwoman]. If these characters are “representation,” they’re just about the shittiest representation you can imagine. And honestly, I appreciate that so much.

– My “Great Outdoors” comic was published in the third issue of Nature Held Me Close, a zine celebrating nature and nonbinary identity. This one-page comic is about finally being able to feel comfortable going outside as a nonbinary person during the pandemic, when people had left the city and streets were overgrown and mostly deserted. I don’t want to suggest that there was anything good about the pandemic, but it was sort of like a low-pressure set of training wheels, in a way. You can download all three issues of the Nature Held Me Close zine (here), and my comic is archived (here).

– My “Tsuboniwa” illustration was published in the 2021 Philly Zine Fest Anthology, which is a cool collection of indie writing, art, and comics. I think the zine is analog-only at the moment, but the event’s website is (here). I archived the illustration and a short artist’s statement (here).

– I contributed a short story and a two-panel joke comic to The History of Light and Shadow, a Legend of Zelda fanzine about Ganondorf. The zine was released in September, so I’m finally able to share my story on AO3 (here) and my comic on Tumblr (here). Both the story and comic are about Ganondorf and Tetra from The Wind Waker. “A horrible older man has to take care of a horrible bratty kid” is one of my favorite character dynamics, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I drew the comic back in November 2019, so the art feels a little awkward to me now, but it was a major leap forward from what I was drawing at the time. I’m grateful to have had an opportunity to polish my style!

– I’m contributing one short story and two pieces of flash fiction to Goddess Reborn, a zine celebrating the female characters in the Legend of Zelda series. I spent the past month editing these three stories while being inspired by the work of my fellow contributors. The zine’s social media accounts have started posting absolutely gorgeous contributor bios, and you can follow along (on Twitter), (on Instagram), and (on Tumblr).

– The Kickstarter for Carpe Noctem: Vampires Through the Ages, an anthology of original art, comics, and fiction about historical vampires around the world, is now… Well, “live” feels like the wrong word, but it’s out in the world being weird and creepy and stylish. The backer campaign lasts until December 11, and you can check out the project and order a copy of the book on Kickstarter (here). Carpe Noctem was fully funded in three days, and four stretch goals have been passed since then. You can check out contributor bios, merch illustrations, and short excerpts on the project’s Twitter account (here). I’m contributing a short story about a Heian-period vampire titled “The Kumo Diary,” and I can’t wait to share it.

Midnight Gathering, a Halloween-themed zine of original art and fiction, has pre-orders open until the end of December (here). Like Carpe Noctem, the zine is already edited and formatted and on-track for its scheduled release in February 2022. You can check out previews of the amazing work included in the zine on its Twitter account (here), which has been updating with beautiful graphics every day this past month. I posted a small preview (here) of my creepy small-town story “Ms. Weaver’s Halloween Candy.” If you’re interested, you can use the code SHADOWS for a $5 discount on the digital zine.

I spent most of November writing, editing, and submitting original fiction. I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good news.

One of my resolutions for the upcoming year is to take a step back from social media and devote my energy and attention to working on larger and more complicated projects that will require more time to complete. I’m therefore going to discontinue this series of writing logs, as well as my creator account on Patreon, and simply announce publications as they become available. Thank you for supporting me! It’s been an incredible year, and I couldn’t have made it this far without the encouragement of everyone cheering me on.