Round-up of Things Done in 2019

You may have noticed the streamlined first page. Since posts can be reorganized in blocks, I’ll always be shifting the first page content now for visual symmetry. Posts that vanished have been re-set to drafts. Right now, I want to try to keep this blog not overly personal as I’ve increased visibility and am therefore less comfortable wearing my heart on my sleeve. It’s a difficult lesson to learn because for years, perhaps decades (!) I’ve been wearing my heart on my sleeve online. Anyway. Onward to the reason for this post. Here are the things I have done this year.

Submissions

According to the Submissions Grinder I’ve had:

57 submissions, 4 of which were accepted. There were also 32 form rejections, 20 personal rejections and I have 3 more pending submissions

Publications

  • Short Fiction — Six Short Stories Published at Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, Lackington’s, Diabolical Plots, and Kaleidotrope.
  • Flash/Audio Fiction — One Audio Fiction over at the most excellent Toasted Cake
  • Interactive Fiction/Hypertext — My first solicited IF over at sub-Q

Here are those works in an ordered list:

  1. Colonized Bodies, Desiccated Souls” in Diabolical Plots #54B, August 2019.
  2. War Is a Mazed Garden” in sub-Q Magazine, (August 2019 Issue), 15 August 2019 (Interactive Fiction/Game)
  3. Ulek Mayang, or the Seven Exiled Sisters” in Kaleidotrope (Summer 2019), 1 July 2019.
  4. A Cream-Broker’s Courtship” in Issue #19, “Voyages” (Spring 2019), Lackington’s, April 2019.
  5. Murderbunny’s Magical Moonlight Ride” in Toasted Cake #221, 21 April 2019. (Audio-only)
  6. What Cradles Us But Will Not Set Us Free” in Strange Horizons, 1 April 2019.
  7. Dreams Strung Like Pearls Between War and Peace” in Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue #150, 1 March 2019.
  8. When Sirens Sing of Roses and of Delegated Power” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 272, February 28, 2019.

I also had three reprints in the Clarkesworld annual anthologies, and three academic articles out. As far as kudos for these stories: 2019 has given me so far the best reviews for some of these stories from various venues. The most popular seem to be: “What Cradles Us But Will Not Set Us Free”, “Dreams Strung Like Pearls Between War And Peace”, and “Colonized Bodies, Dessicated Souls”. I am very pleased, and grateful for all of the listings on Suggested/Recommended Lists. Thank you to everyone who reviewed or suggested my stories. <3

2019 Acceptances That Will Be Published in 2020.

  1. “Mise en Abyme and Katabasis: Helen Oyeyemi’s and Tanith Lee’s Re-Imaginings of Snow White” will be published in Marvels & Tales: Journal of Fairytale Studies which is a bucket list academic publication of mine.
  2. “When Hope Is Lost, Touch Remains” will be published in Podcastle.

Novels

I finally completed revisions of Watermyth and will start new queries later this month (January 2020). It took me some months as I was reading more recent fantasy publications and trying to work out what I wanted of the novel and why it really wasn’t ringing true for me. I think I struck the balance after a year and I’m really proud of the work I’ve done. I’m also really happy with Watermyth after years of being frustrated by it. Whatever agents decide, I’m going to hold on to this feeling for as long as I can.

Academic Writing

  1. I worked on about six academic articles in 2019, but only submitted two because it’s worth taking time to ensure things are of high quality. I intend to submit them this year. My January 2019 plan was highly optimistic, I wanted to submit an article a month. But that was before I woke up to reality. I submitted around six articles in 2018 but of those only three were accepted. Conversely, in 2019, I submitted two articles and both of them were accepted, one in the aforementioned bucket list journal. I will likely submit more than two articles this year. My target is at least five especially since I have now put in the work. I am aiming for four articles a year since this is what my uni wants to meet KPI.
  2. Monograph: My monograph really suffered in 2019 because I was pulled in many directions due to articles, research FOR the monograph, and the events I was running. I will be submitting the proposal plus sample chapter in 2020. I say it has been suffering but I actually have three fleshed out chapters for it. I hope this work will not be for naught.
  3. Academic events: My Fairytale Salon Seminar Series was upgraded officially to a conference, with a symposium annex. It was a moderate success with keynotes who are important figures in local literary academia as well as the creative community. From this there will be two academic collections.

Miscellaneous Achievements

  1. Three of my PhD students graduated as Doctors. I may have been only an associate supervisor but I still felt very proud of all of them and the work I put into supervising them.
  2. I was invited to speak at my alma mater as an author. That was really a great feeling.
  3. I received TWO invitations to speak at seminars. The one in Sri Lanka came with a free plane ticket. Sadly I could not go because of university policies (we need to have an average of 4 articles out a year for three years before we are allowed to present at overseas conferences/seminars). However, I will be speaking at an internal Memory Studies seminar in 2020 on my subject area: post-memory in postcolonial Gothic fiction.
  4. I received an invitation to submit an article to a special issue of an academic journal (also my alma mater, dear Universiti Malaya). My abstract’s been accepted and I’m excited to submit the finalized article.
  5. I started learning French in earnest. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come here.
  6. I’ve been studying architecture through architecture books. I’m also really proud of how far I have come here and in my studies on psychogeography, geocriticism, and human geography.
  7. I submitted three grant proposals, one of which was an overseas grant (Wellcome Trust). Three were rejected but one big grant for a big Ministry-related grant was picked up by the uni research body that approved it for a surprise seed grant. I’ve already started work on this folklore and climate change related grant and am very grateful they gave it to me.
  8. I was invited to peer-review for a major Gender Studies academic journal and I couldn’t be more chuffed!
  9. I joined the MLA! I have really been enjoying reading the PMLA issues and it makes me feel more connected to the world of literary scholarship.

Suffice it to say, despite many challenges, 2019 was an extraordinarily successful year for me and I’m starting to feel the pressure to keep up this pace in 2020. But that’s a story for another post!

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