Three years ago, Atthis Arts published Community of Magic Pens. It is a delightful anthology full of stories about, well, magic pens (for somewhat flexible definitions of “magic” and “pens”). This sale came only a few months after I’d started submitting stories, after I had managed to reset my brain to writing short and, not infrequently, to themed calls.1
To say it was professionally encouraging is something of an understatement. I was enthusiastic about TOC buddies I recognized (and TOC buddies I came to recognize later). Emily is a delight to work with (I hope to be able to yeet something her way in the future but, well, see footnote 1; and in any case, Atthis Arts already seems well-supplied with exciting projects). When I saw the cover art, I was thrilled that it contrasted so well with the (differently striking) cover of XVIII.2
“Shared Space” is the story that qualified me for Associate membership in SFWA under the 2020 rules. I didn’t apply until a few months later, and I listed my story in Little Blue Marble instead. (Since the magazine was a perennial presence in the SFWA Market Report rather than a listed one-off project, I assumed it would be simpler on the administrative end to use the Little Blue Marble sale.) But I know it was this sale—and now you do, too.
2020 was a hell of a year. This project is one of the good things that came out of it.
1. Brains are weird. In 2019, I was complaining that I’d lost the ability to write short things. Since I successfully kicked myself into that mode, I have been unable to make any useful progress on any of the longer work in my head or on my hard drive. I’m not sure if that falls into the category of “writers have to complain about something” or “it would be nice if my brain cooperated with me occasionally.” (Back)
2. Did I think the call for XVIII sounded like fun, and an excellent fit for a not-a-joke story that grew out of a joking comment on Facebook? Yes. Did I really want a story in a book with that cover? Also yes. (Back)
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