It’s summer! Which means it’s time for a rousing game of ‘what’s been happening in J’s world?’
First off, I sold a story to a really exciting anthology. Fit For The Gods is a collection of diverse and inclusive retellings of Greek myths, edited by Jenn Northington and S. Zainab Williams, to be published by Vintage/Knopf. I know there were a LOT of submissions for the open call, so I was utterly thrilled that my modern-day Brazilian version of Circe and Odysseus was selected! Go here to read more about this project and to see the full list of authors.
The new fantasy anthology by the authors of DISTAFF is still in the works. It’s been rough getting moving, as COVID brought one disaster after another to our team. But I have hopes that this will be our year, and I can’t wait to share my story of fae seduction and addiction to wild magic with everyone!
Moving away from short stories, I’ve been working on something new for a while. It gave me some trouble as I searched for the right voice and angle, but it’s finally clicked, and I think this is THE version that will move forward. It doesn’t have a title yet, but I’m really excited about my sci-fantasy tale of ghost hunters, set in Brazil several decades into the future.
In other news, my team and I wrapped up the 2022 virtual New England SCBWI conference, and feedback has been mostly positive. There were some truly great workshops and presentations, and you can click here to read my post-conference post. This marks the end of my tenure as conference director — what was supposed to last two years lasted three, due to COVID, and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed it, though I’m also happy to pass on the role to next year’s directors. I’m not stepping fully away from our fabulous regional team, however, as I’ve taken on the job of gathering and organizing Member News for our quarterly NESCBWI newsletter.
As for other organization updates, I decided to join the British Fantasy Society, after taking part and thoroughly enjoying one of their online events earlier this year. I also took the plunge and applied to the SFWA, recently renamed the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer’s Association, and am now a full member.
I’m still avoiding large gatherings and am not planning to go to any in-person conferences or conventions in 2022. For next year, I plan to attend at least BOSKONE in February and NESCBWI in late April/early May, both of which will hopefully be in-person. I would really like to attend a horror convention, too, to connect with some of my horror community friends in person, so let’s see if I can make that happen…
On a personal level, we travelled to Austin, Texas in June to visit family, and had a wonderful few days. What a great city! We spent a day in neighboring Wimberley, too, and came home in love with the local landscape.
July brought our Big Family Trip: after four years (due to the pandemic), we finally returned home to visit our families and friends in Brazil. We managed to fit in a visit to the Iguaçu Falls, and to the beach, too! Leaving was, as always, bitter-sweet — we love our life in the USA but part of our hearts will always remain in São Paulo.
Now we’re home, with September all too close. This year we see our youngest off to college, so that makes both of them gone. Fingers crossed that it will all go smoothly!
Also, I turned fifty in April, and have been slowly working on completing my ‘50 for 50’ project — a list of fifty things I want to accomplish before my next birthday. Some are small and free, like the letter I wrote to my younger self or the walk I plan to take on that trail that I haven’t explored yet. Others require time and/or money, like the brand-new tattoo I got yesterday! And some of the things on my list are shared experiences, like the back painting my youngest did for me or the family visit to a local Renaissance Faire… It’s been a fun project, and I may just repeat this next year too, though perhaps on a smaller scale!
Anyway, that’s it for updates, and I hope you have lots of lovely creative and personal plans of your own to carry you through to the end of the year, no matter how big or small!