Writing Round-up and Eligibility Post for 2018

It’s that time of year again! Old snow, down coats, tenderly nascent blooming new year’s hopes which will inevitably be both fulfilled and disappointed… and year-end “here is what I wrote this year” posts.

This is both a list of my recent work, and also a list of my pieces that are eligible for the various awards like the Hugo and the Nebula.

I’m really glad to be writing more again. I mean, for one thing I’m writing at least twelve pieces of poetry and/or flash fiction a year, because of Patreon. (Obligatory plug: You can get one new piece of my work each month for $1!) Some of my work has been noveling, and some isn’t out yet, so it’s not all visible in this list– but I am really happy to enjoy prose again.

This year, I’ve been thinking a lot, and writing a lot, about disability. I feel like my interests right now are moving into this really internal, psychological place.

Here’s what I’ve written that is eligible this year:

Short Story:
“Birthday Girl” (2,800 words) in Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, Sept 2018.
A bipolar woman attends her niece’s birthday party a year after her sister cut off contact.

Read the story here.

Bella and her sister stood awhile in silence, toeing the dirt. Her sister crossed her arms over her chest. She kept trying to smile, but awkwardness wiped it from her face.

Bella’s sister spoke first. You didn’t make her sick.

Bella snapped back. You’re the one who said I did.


“Seven Months Out and Two to Go” with Trace Yulie (8,400 words) in Asimov’s, Feb 2018.
A pregnant rancher mourning the loss of her husband has an alien encounter.

The story is not online, but Trace and I did a Q&A about our collaboration here.

“Red, what are you doing out here in the dark? How did you get out? Is the calf in trouble? Get back to the barn so I can look at you.”
Big Red turned toward her, and impossibly, her silhouette morphed and bloated. Legs absorbed into a huge, gelatinous ovoid taller than Kate. Light pulsed within its mucus-like, translucent flesh, rippling and glaring and burning.
“Home,” said a voice, or perhaps voices. The strange, distorted sound was an uncanny chorus. Kate’s heart drummed in response.


I’ve also been posting short stories, flash fiction, and poetry on Patreon. Anyone who pledges $1 a month gets new words every month and access to all the previous content. The stories I’ve posted in 2018 include:

“When I Sit on the Fish Tank” Parts One and Two: A cat and her obsession.

Love Is Hot and Brief”: The star-crossed romance of coffee and cup.

The Diary of a Woman Outside Time”: Life, fragmented.

The Stubborn Granny”: Sometimes the Grimm fairy tales are too grim. A rewritten tale.

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2 Responses to Writing Round-up and Eligibility Post for 2018

  1. 1
    dragon_snap says:

    Hello Mandolin,

    I am a very faithful reader of Alas! — since spring 2009, which means it’s been a daily companion for almost a decade, and over a third of my life (!!!) — but I haven’t commented in a while. (I contribute to both your and Amp’s Patreons though, in thanks for the many ways I have been – and am – enriched by everyone’s writing and drawing here.)

    Anyway, I have emerged from my lurkdom to say thank you for the link to your story, “Birthday Girl”. I read it and cried and felt seen and cared for. It made me think of the big dichotomy in my friend groups — the people who also have mental health conditions who understand where I’m coming from and what’s going on with me, but who I sometimes try to avoid burdening further with struggles because they have so many of their own — and the people who have emotional and intellectual energy to spare, but who generally find it hard to relate. I also enjoyed reading your interview in the issue about the story.

  2. 2
    Ampersand says:

    Hi, Dragon Snap! Mandolin hasn’t seen your comment yet, but thanks for supporting my Patreon- and for reading “Alas” all this time! This is your first comment in almost two years. :-) I really enjoyed your comments back in the day. Hope all’s going well for you. :-)