Seer of ghosts & weaver of stories

(You are very much not forgotten)

My Readercon 2015 Schedule:
Friday, July 11

11:00 AM G Drift-Compatibile Fictional Characters. Amal El-Mohtar, Victoria Janssen, Nicole Kornher-Stace (leader), A. J. Odasso, Navah Wolfe. The film Pacific Rim created the idea of two people who are "drift-compatible," able to live inside each other's minds and memories without sustaining massive psychic damage. Let's use this as a metaphor to explore our favorite speculative fiction duos—whether they're friends, traveling companions, siblings, or spouses—and talk about what makes those deeply intimate pairings work.

5:30 PM EM Reading: A. J. Odasso. A. J. reads selections of poetry from her newest poetry collection ("The Dishonesty of Dreams," Flipped Eye Publishing, August 2014), as well as some brand-new work.

6:00 PM E Autographs. LJ Cohen, A. J. Odasso.

Saturday, July 12

9:00 AM EM Strange Horizons. Gillian Daniels, A. J. Odasso, Sonya Taaffe. Group reading of Strange Horizons affiliates.

10:00 AM CL Kaffeeklatsch. Jeff Hecht, A. J. Odasso.

1:00 PM F Making SF/F Careers Viable. Sandra Kasturi, Matt Kressel, Bart Leib, A. J. Odasso, Alex Shvartsman (leader). Writing, editing anthologies or magazines, running small presses, creating artwork... these pursuits demand a great deal of investment, and returns are unreliable. Few people can spend weeks writing a story on spec, wait months for a contract and longer for a check, or absorb financial losses for years while trying to make a business profitable. Let's talk frankly about how low pay rates on all fronts affect the demographics of professional SF/F, and what we can do to make SF/F careers more accessible to people with limited tangible and intangible resources.

Sunday, July 13

12:00 PM ENL Fandom and Rebellion. Gemma Files, Catt Kingsgrave, Kate Nepveu (leader), A. J. Odasso, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. ifeelbetterer on Tumblr writes, "No one is more critical of art than fandom. No one is more capable of investigating the nuances of expression than fandom—because it's a vast multitude pooling resources and ideas. Fandom is about correcting the flaws and vices of the original. It's about protest and rebellion, essentially.... Fandom is not worshipping at the alter of canon. Fandom is re-building it because they can do better." Our panel of creators and fans will dig into the notion of when, why, how, and whether fan works and remixes are "better" than the original, especially when they come from a place of protest and challenge.

More poetry errata:
Demon King
* My new poem, "Bone-House," is now live in Liminality, Issue 4.

* I have sold my latest poems ("Red Wire," "Monsters," and "Slipknot") to an as-yet-untitled anthology that's being edited by David Pring-Mill.

Patreon update & poems to look out for:
* I'm at $388/month on Patreon, and my goal by August is to reach $500/month. As promised, I have been posting poem drafts as they become available; these are viewable by Patrons only. I will no longer be posting locked poem drafts to this journal. If you would like access to these drafts, please do consider pledging $1/month.

* I've sold a poem called "Augur Effect" to Spelling the Hours. This means a great deal to me, as the poem deals not only with some courageous women scientists who didn't receive their due, but also with some trauma I'm finally able to discuss without shattering. This is a huge step.

* I'll have a poem called "Transition Metal" coming out in My Dear Watson: Elemental Poetry, a Periodic Table anthology of verse coming out later this year from Beautiful Dragons Press. You may remember their Heavenly Bodies anthology; they produce beautiful books!

* The next issue of Liminality is almost upon us. I have a piece called "Bone-House" that will be appearing in it, which also pleases me very much.

* The Dishonesty of Dreams has been nominated for an Elgin Award in the Collection category. I also had two poems up for Rhyslings (one of which was co-authored with domparisien), so my thanks to anyone who may have voted for these!

Another recent interview, with S.C. Flynn at Scy-Fy:
Candle & Swan
Interview with A.J. Odasso (of Strange Horizons)

I have been interviewed over at Poetry Has Value:
Wherein I talk about Strange Horizons, (hopefully) paying poets what their work is worth, editing poetry, and other related issues.

Please join the staff of Strange Horizons magazine...
Tea in blue
ajodasso welcoming our new poetry editors, Li Chua and MJ Cunniff!

Poetry sale!
I'm pleased to say a brand-new poem, "Bone-House," will be appearing in an upcoming issue of Liminality. I have previously had a poem in this publication, and I have been enjoying its contents so far immensely. Drop by and read both issues to date.

In other news, we are close to reaching a decision on the new SH poetry co-editors. Please watch this space.

On reading, restaurants, & road work
My new job is treating me well, but, for these first few weeks, that hasn't always been the case with my commute. Tuesday, yesterday, and today are the first three days I've managed to make my preferred start-time, which are minor victories. I've missed working in an academic museum environment, although the commute is still substantially long enough on each end of the day that, by the time I get home in the evening, I'm too tired to write and ready to crash by 11pm. I expect this will change somewhat when the weather warms up again; I react quite badly to both ends of the spectrum, extreme cold and extreme heat, and the fallout is usually that my energy levels and my capacity for social interaction outside the context of my work-day plummet. If I have been giving distant, tetchy answers to text messages and similar, please know that it's entirely down to the fact that my professional life (at the museum, at the magazine, etc.) is demanding a lot more of me than usual under the pressure-cooker circumstances created by the weather.

I'm reading more than I've had the time to do in ages. I spent January on the most recent Vampire Chronicles, believe it or not; I first read Interview With the Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned when I was in 6th or 7th grade. My parents' first reaction on catching me with one of these was wary disapproval; by several years later and several more books from said series under my proverbial belt, my mother started outright buying them for me as birthday and holiday gifts each time a new one came out. I was a more casual reader after The Tale of the Body Thief, which I didn't care for as much as the core opening trilogy; the middle stretch was boring, and Merrick made me mad enough to walk away for a while. I read Blood and Gold, although only in the sense that I reserved it for bored-stuck-in-airport type reading and never actually finished it (oops). After that, I just didn't think about the series for years. I recently found out by way of idle conversation that there were three I hadn't read; on finding a blurb re: Prince Lestat, I had something of a giggle-fit and wondered if I ought to read Blackwood Farm, Blood Canticle, and PL as an exercise in MST3K-ing whatever I may find in them. To my surprise, Blackwood Farm was a ghost story with some merit (as many of you know, I love ghost stories), although Lestat's part in it made me roll my eyes as hard as I've always done when he's around (he felt weirdly out of character even for all that he's mercurial to begin with). It took an incredible amount of willpower just to get through BC; I've never read any of the Mayfair Witches content, and that bleeding heavily into the vampires' storyline did nothing to interest me in it. PL pleased me more than I thought it would, but only in the sense that the huge ensemble cast aspect was back (as well as a storytelling style reminiscent of QotD; it's by and far the strongest novel in the series, and I swear I'm happier just pretending this was a trilogy with a perfect ending note). Louis got the last word, and, while that didn't win me over wholesale, it certainly undid some of the unnecessary damage he'd sustained several novels back. Many of you also know I have intense issues with character-torture that does nothing to further plot or teach me anything new about, well, the characters involved. Hurt the ones I hold dear without sound narrative cause to do so, and I will have it in for you until such time as you fix what went wrong. And if you don't fix it, if I'm mad enough, sometimes I'll even fix it myself.

February's reading consists of Hild, by Nicola Griffith. So far, I'm loving it, but it's something of a slow, dense path. I'll reserve commentary and judgment for when I'm finished.

I decided on Tuesday that the way to combat this weather is to start trying all of the extremely nice restaurants in Boston that I've been putting off for months. On Mardi Gras evening, I dined alone at Craigie On Main, and the food was to die for (please see my tweets on the subject). Tonight, I have a reservation at Giulia, and I'm not going alone.

2015 Rhysling Award nominations close in two hours!
My poem called "Queen of Cups" has been nominated in the Short Poem category; for a poem that was written two years ago and then took a year to find a home, this is not a shoddy achievement to say the least. Also, "The Memory-Thief," which Dominik Parisien and I wrote together, has been nominated in the Long Poem category. I would like to thank the person (or people) who put them forward! Please note that nominations must now be made via web form instead of via email.

Update on the Strange Horizons new-poetry-editors selection process: as of today, unsuccessful candidates have been notified, and interview questions have been sent out to short-listed candidates. We thank all applicants for their patience.

I feel as if I've fallen behind on my New Year's resolution to blog here more often. The December Blogging Meme seemed to help for a while, but the truth is that I'm a lot more trapped in my head than I used to be. I don't know if the events of 2011 - 2013 are predominantly to blame (lack of trust re: sharing information in comparison to previous years), or whether it's simply the sheer exhaustion that this perpetual-blizzard situation has brought with it. I have not been on time for work any day in the past two weeks of being at my new job; fortunately, nobody else has been on time, either, so it's something of a moot point. However, two hours of waiting in subzero temperatures for two different types of transit each morning that work has been declared as still open, not knowing which one will show up in order to get you there, and then waiting for over an hour each evening in the same conditions, takes its toll. I'm worn, run ragged, and I wish I could learn to just accept that I have no control over MBTA train cancellations (it seems to me that at least two out of every four trains is canceled, and my morning train is usually one of them) or the MIT/Wellesley Exchange Bus running perpetually 30 to 45 minutes behind (or just not showing up at all in the case of the 8am bus), but—well, it's not in my nature. I don't know how many more weeks things will be like this, and I hope my nerves can take it.

Triptych poem in Barking Sycamores | Neurodivergent Lit:
All thorns & no grace
Plague Year

(Spring 2015, Issue #4, shiny. Be sure to check it out!)