2020 into 2021 was a rough year and also challenging professionally. I struggled to find my way as a postdoc and took on all sorts of new challenges at work. I also experimented with new voices in my short stories, which usually got me rejected, but also saw a few things get published.
My favorite of the bunch was “Electric Gnome” — a short story describing a friendship between two guys in Japan who are separated by work, time, and distance as the years carry on. It was picked up by TL;DR Press for their charity anthology called HOPE, available here.
Second, I’m delight to announce that my short story called“How to unravel reality in 7 easy steps” was picked up by Bandit Fiction. It’s a first date story that takes place in Hawaii, where an unlikely couple gets to know each other over drinks. I broke one of the modern rules of short fiction by having the story take place in a bar, but it was a blast to write.
Finally, I had two stories picked up by Ripples in Space. One is a science fiction piece called “The Land Where Demons Tread,” which was inspired by old-school style of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. It’s featured on their audio podcast and it was definitely a humbling experience hearing my writing read out loud, instead of by the voice in my head.
Finally, I also found a home for my story “Happy to Have Us Animals” with Ripples in Space, as one of the stories on their website. It’s a short fiction piece about humans who have blended their genes with animals and been exiled to faraway planets. I hope you enjoy them — or at least one of them, as four stories is a bit of a handful.
Hi everyone! As always, thank you for the birthday wishes and the donations to the National Math and Science Initiative! I cherish all of your friendships and our experiences throughout the years, even the ones where we end up cursing at each other in the end. Thanks for sticking with me through this strange adventure that has led me from Baltimore, to rural Japan, Hawaii, and now Chicago: the city of wind, physics, donuts, coffee, and pizza.As you can imagine, my 37th year on the planet was an unpredictable ride, from the ever-looming challenges of covid to the riots and mass protests just down the street, the election, the canceled weddings and lost year of Burning Man, the missed holidays with family, and even the occasional road trips. My grandma passed away from the virus, but she had an incredibly long and fulfilling life and many grandchildren and I’m grateful I got to know her. Thankfully, the rest of the family managed to stay mostly healthy.At work on MicroBooNE, I became “run coordinator”, which meant being on call 24/7 for months at a time, though luckily things were relatively quiet due to covid-related safe mode operations. Our team at IIT also put out a paper — thanks to massive help from folks at UTA in Texas and my boss who helped get it into shape. Writing wise, I had a couple of stories published, and far more rejected, but that’s all part of the experience; I’m working on a new book and some of you are helping read and edit my previous one, so thanks for your input! Overall I’m grateful for last year and the constant companionship of Gina and Jiffy at the house, and the rest of you via Zoom, facebook, instagram, or random phonecalls. Let’s keep in touch and make 2021 a year to remember for all the right reasons.