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First Publication of 2018

This time last year, I was two days in to my pending submission for “The Call of Uncopyrighted Intellectual Property” for The Cackle of Cthulhu anthology, and dreading January 20th, and starting to worry about finding a wedding venue (because we were 2 months behind on this, according to The Knot! commence panic or at least extreme fretting!) and beginning to think “oh crap, I need to find a wedding dress,” and and and ad nauseam.

I’m still not happy about the results of January 20th (which of course led from the results of November 8th, 2016), and honestly, for much of the United States 2017 was a trash fire. (It’s an ongoing trash fire, really, but I think people, myself among them, are feeling a little more hope with this year.)

But anyway.

I didn’t hold much hope for “Uncopyrighted,” honestly; I’d written it over the course of a week to meet the December 31st deadline, while I was fighting a nasty head cold, and I didn’t have time to get feedback from anyone. I mean, I chuckled and smiled at some parts–when I wrote them. Rereading my last draft where I tried to catch my typos and tweak phrasing, I couldn’t tell if it was funny. Maybe? But maybe not. Probably not.

Telling myself humor is subjective, and that at least Past Me thought it was funny and the editor, Alex Shvartsman, might agree with Past Me, I sent it in.

While on January 2, 2017, this submission was still pending, 7 days from submission on January 7, it was accepted, and I had the contract that same day. Likely the fastest timeline from draft to submission to acceptance I will ever experience. It was a bright spot in a time of stress and busyness.

The importance of humor is often underrated, I think. Disregarded as frivolous and silly when there are more! important! things! going on. But humor and laughter save. They help us find a bit of joy, something worth keeping, something less rotten in what often feels like a broken world intending to crush us.

So, hey. Pick up the anthology in print or ebook. Try Powell’s, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or other fine booksellers near you. Come for Neil Gaiman and Jody Lynn Nye and Ken Liu or any of the other fine authors; stay for me. (I believe mine is the only story about a lawyer confronting Great Old One, so there’s at least a bit of novelty!)

And laugh with us. Maybe it’s not the most important thing in the end, but it’s certainly up there. It’ll help us make it through to the end.

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