Award eligible stories: Man Made Monsters and Me & My Monster

This is an update to a previous post. My friend, Rebecca Roanhorse recently reminded people to post about what works were eligible for awards, saying, “Don’t self reject!” Award eligible work by Rebecca Roanhorse I had to write and ask her what it meant, what to do. I joined Worldcon in time to nominate the work of others for a Hugo. I’m keeping a running list of those. Cat Rambo keeps up with much in her blog.

In this spirit I am sharing the two pieces I had published last year. Kweli Journal is the fabulous online presence of Laura Pegram’s hard work and love. It’s a good place to be. They published Man Made Monsters in early November. Kweli nominated this story for a Pushcart.

“Man Made Monsters” is the Frankenstein baby I thought about for two years before I sat down one night and gave it life in the wee hours. When I was done, it was exactly what I wanted. A month later it wasn’t. Tommy Orange read it and loved it. But he saw the same lack I saw. He gave me permission to kill and resurrect it. Laura Pegram saw the places where I was afraid, poked them, and encouraged me to do to my creation what needed doing. Limbs were chopped off and replaced. The proper eye colors were set and named.

I’m happy with it again. It’s set in Cherokee Nation in 1856.

Another piece published in 2018 is “Me & My Monster.” It’s the story of a girl and a goatboy and summer love. It exists next to a lot of great work, including creative work by Tommy Orange, Heid Erdrich, and Tiffany Midge. Transmotion is a great academic publication centered on the work of Vine Deloria, but exploring contemporary Indigenous literature. They do great work over there. Thanks, Dr. Theo Van Alst.

Here’s a link to that piece: Me & My Monster

Both stories are part of a literary speculative fiction collection I’m working on.

Happy reading.

Submission Trackers

I try to reinvent as few wheels as possible. So, when I started to create a submission tracker this morning, because I can not remember what story I sent to a certain press in August, I hit the internet.

I found this link that took me to the webpage of writer Matt Bell. He created a tracker on Google docs. I downloaded it and had trouble with the function that automatically tabulates how long ago you submitted a piece. Not sure what I did wrong, so I downloaded it again, opened it as a Microsoft Excel document, and voila. Never do math again! YES. (I did leave the two samples at the top of the list in case I ever needed to recopy the function.)

So, here’s the link. Submission Tracker by Matt Bell

I have to say Matt’s Reading Logs made me hyper jealous. And I’m curious about the book Wolf Parts because, uh, Fairy Tales and Wolves. So many books, so little time not at my day job.

Happy submitting! And may the Road to Acceptance rush to meet you.

And here’s some Public Art from the exhibit at Burnett Plaza in Fort Worth. Suits the premise of Matt’s book, Wolf Parts. Loop is only up until October 28, 2018. Loop

What the World Needs Now is Eden Robinson

Recently, I listened to Eden Robinson’s Son of a Trickster, the first book in her Trickster Trilogy. It is wonderful and funny and dark and beautiful and interesting and moving. I have heard Eden Robinson read before. She is hilarious. We stood and line at lunch at IAIA and laughed, a lot. There are so many authors who I would much rather hear read their own books. Eden is one of them, though the reader for Son of a Trickster is fabulous. I just love listening to Eden.

So, it was with great joy I was able to almost immediately read the sequel to this book, doing so with the voice of Eden Robinson in my head.

Trickster Drift is such a great ride.


Books by Eden Robinson on Amazon

Dr. Theo Van Alst Writes a Book

Dr. Theo Van Alst is cool and smart and ready to fight if he has to. I like this about him and his writing. Sacred Smokes is confidently unapologetic. It smokes in the apartment. It doesn’t do the dishes. Native Lakota kid Theo survives in Chicago and Chicago survives in Dr. Van Alst. Theo has a distinctive voice and you can hear a bit of it in Theodore Van Alst – Reading Fall 2016  where he reads some of “Push It,” a story included towards the end of Sacred Smokes. What I enjoy is how different his work is from a lot of the work I read by native writers. Theo’s work is just Indians being Indians in the world.

My introduction to Theo’s work was in the Summer of 2016, a Fall craft talk in the Low Rez program at IAIA. Craft TalkNo More Navajo Joes.”

Theo is funny.

He is also a supporter of other Indian writers. I doubt anyone has done more to spread the gospel of the greatness of writer Dr. Stephen Graham Jones. Check out “The Faster Redder Road” for a few bites. (Website or Twitter @SGJ72).

Also, Theo knows his way around a photograph. Check out his instagram: or the Website of Theodore Van Alst I also follow Theo on Twitter @TVAyyyy

Dr. Theo Van Alst is an Associate Professor and Director of Indigenous Nations Studies at Portland State University. Theo is of Lakota descent. He is an editor of Transmotion, a very cool online journal that is “inspired by the work of Gerald Vizenor. Transmotion will publish new scholarship focused on theoretical, experimental, postmodernist, and avant-garde writing produced by Native American and First Nations authors, as well as book reviews on relevant work in Indigenous Studies, and new creative work that seeks to push boundaries.” (Full disclosure, I have a short piece in the current issue.) Theo has done a whole lot of cool stuff. Sacred Smokes is a good start if you want to check out who Dr. Van Alst is…

Rebecca Roanhorse, Writer Most Awesome


Rebecca Roanhorse and me catching up in Santa Fe.

I was able to first meet the writer Rebecca Roanhorse at KWELI-The Color of Children’s Literature in April. She was on at least one panel.

If you don’t know her writing here’s a sample: Welcome to Your Authentic Indigenous Experience This piece is soooo good. This is the kind of piece I read to people and forward like crazy. She’s off to the NEBULAS this weekend which is awesome. She’s going to be on some cool panels: Deconlonizing SFF, The Joys and Hazards of #Ownvoices, The Evolution of a Writer.

Rebecca is a supersmart woman with an interesting origin story. But that’s not mine to tell. Check out her work. Also, make sure to ask your local library system to order the work of the Indigenous writers you want to see on your shelves.

KWELI, The 3rd Annual Color of Children’s Literature Conference

lion head

New York Public Library, Judith

In early April I attended Kweli’s 3rd Annual Children’s Literature Conference.  KWELI is the creation of Laura Pegram. Laura has suffered as an artist in isolation. This experience led her to create KWELI-an online community for those writers of color working alone.

Laura has also made it part of her work to create an online community for Indigenous writers. She has created a platform that amplifies our voices and brings us together. Fifteen Native writers from the North American continent showed up. Traci Sorrell (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) and Rebecca Roanhorse (Ohkay Owingeh /African American) participated on panels, as well. Julie Flett (Cree/Metis) skyped in.

Rebecca’s book is available for pre-order here: Trail of Lightning

Traci’s book for pre-order here: We Are Grateful

Marcie’s book, out now, a great (Adult) mystery, here: Murder on the Red River

Art Coulson: The Creator’s Game

Julie Flett: Julie has several books so just do a search. This is one that lists her as an author. Several of her books are in Cree. Black Bear (Colors in Cree)


KWELI group

Back row: Brian Young, Art Coulson, Kevin Maillard, Joseph Bruchac, Rebecca Roanhorse, Alia Jones Front row: Andrea Henry, Cheryl Savageau, Skyler Kuczaboski, Yvonne W Dennis, Marcie Rendon, Carole Lindstrom, Anna-Celestrya Carr, and Traci McClellan-Sorell Julie Flett was there via Skype to talk about her books. And Kim Rogers is there, too!

Kim Rogers

Me & Kim Rogers

I’m looking forward to going to KWELI in April 2019.


Listening to Stories

I am a student in the Low Residency program at The Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.

The Low Rez program is amazing. I have had several kind and amazing writing teachers. I’ll go more into that in a later post.

My mentor this semester is Tommy Orange. His debut novel, There There, will come out form Alfred A. Knopf on June 5, 2018. You should pre-order it from your local independent bookstore now.

In our brief time working together, I have learned so much from Tommy. Lessons that are making my writing better.

One of his suggestions was to listen to a Podcast made by The New Yorker. I’ve listened to some great fiction on this podcast. I love being read to. Some of the most fun bits are when writers choose a story by another author, talk about it, and then you get to hear the story. The craft of writing is on the dissection table. But it’s fun.

Tommy was featured on the podcast recently. I have heard Tommy read before and he never disappoints. Tommy Orange reads “The State” from his forthcoming novel, There There.


Go do stuff

Sadly, a certain amount of benign neglect makes for an interesting life. Feel stupid having bought my family this book when l went to school and left them alone for 9 days in a cabin in the woods. You know. On a mountain. With no phone. No electric.

It would have felt irresponsible to say, let them run wild and take a nap. But honestly, that’s why kids in the 70s had a great time, when they didn’t go missing…

So, all this is to say, go do stuff.

Writers Read

above/top: Cover of 4 Kids Walk into a Bank.

Directly above: quote adapted from Scorsese’s Mean Streets, ” You don’t make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it in the home. The rest is bullshit and you know it.”

4 Kids Walk into a Bank was unputdownable. My only complaint is the publisher should have included a Cracker Jack box with a magnifying glass prize so you can read one character’s word bubbles because they are font size 3 or something.

This book is pretty much what the cover says it is, “a torrid tale of child crime.” Think Scorsese directing 11 year olds foiling, then planning a Bank heist.

I can’t take credit for finding this on my own. Stephen Graham Jones over at is a writer who consumes a lot of cool things. And then he writes a lot of cool things. I don’t think he sleeps.

Order it at your favorite comic book store or book store or wherever you like to buy stuff.