Writing Year in Review 2022

From the Author

Welcome to my year in review! What a year it was. Here’s a quick summary of some of the writing highlights from my year.

January 2022

Lost a friend and mentor, David Farland.

Attended his funeral and visited with friends to remember and celebrate everything Dave did for the community.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 4
• Works Complete: 6
• Submissions: 0

February 2022

I honestly can’t recall what I did in February. I am certain there was mourning and trying to figure out where to go next.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 4
• Works Complete: 0
• Submissions: 0

March 2022

Set myself a goal to submit the total of stories submitted in all previous years plus one: 35.

Completed my ongoing goal by submitting to Writers of the Future contest.

Ran the postponed Fyrelite.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 5
• Works Complete: 1
• Submissions: 1

April 2022

Headed to Los Angeles to see and report on the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Gala event.

The event was amazing as always and this year’s winners promise to bring marvelous creations.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 4
• Works Complete: 1
• Submissions: 11

May 2022

This period was lost to recovering from COVID.

There was probably time spent trying to figure out how I would make the goal I set in March.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 4
• Works Complete: 0
• Submissions: 7

June 2022

Celebrated the 8th anniversary of my flash fiction blog with the continuing story of Erieri!

Completed my ongoing goal by submitting to Writers of the Future contest.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 6
• Works Complete: 1
• Submissions: 11

July 2022

Completed my submission goal for the year with half a year to spare! (Opps. Good oops.)

Set a new goal of doubling the number submitted.

Completed my ongoing goal by submitting to Writers of the Future contest.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 4
• Works Complete: 4
• Submissions: 6

August 2022

There might have been other submission goals between the two biggest ones.

This month I kept working on those a beating a couple quickly.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 5
• Works Complete: 2
• Submissions: 10

September 2022

Caught up with writing friends passing through Salt Lake City for the FanX event.

Dinner away from the event provided for easier conversation.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 4
• Works Complete: 4
• Submissions: 9

October 2022

Completed the extend submission goal by submitting my 70th story for the year.

Ran Fyrelite Fall.

Began the mad dash to finish planning Fyrecon and prep for NaNoWriMo.

Accomplishments Summery
• Flash Fiction Posts: 4
• Works Complete: 1
• Submissions: 16

November 2022

Ran Fyrecon reconnecting with friends around the world!

Won NaNoWriMo for the first time in 5 years.

Joined Project Wildfyre and began tracking my monthly words written for it.

Accomplishments Summery
• Words Written: 51,249
• Flash Fiction Posts: 5
• Works Complete: 0
• Submissions: 4

December 2022

Completed the 1st draft of my novel The Red (working title) on Dec. 31st, just making my goal to finish it before year end.

Completed my ongoing goal by submitting to Writers of the Future contest.

Accomplishments Summery
• Words Written: 18,796
• Flash Fiction Posts: 4
• Works Complete: 0
• Submissions: 5

2022 Overall

I completed a lot of the goals I set out to do this year, but not everything.

There were twists and turns in my life that are not recounted here, but which impacted my writing. Both positive and negative. Overall, I’m delighted with the conclusion to my year.

2022 Accomplishment Summery
• Words Written: 70,045*
• Flash Fiction Posts: 53
• Works Complete: 20
• Submissions: 80

On to a new year, new challenges, and new goals!

* Remember this was just the word total for November and December. I wasn’t tracking this specifically before starting Project Wildfyre!

Shaking out the Dragons

From the Author

Dragon ready to hit the roadFor those of you who haven’t been paying attention (and tsk for that), this year saw the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Gala return to its familiar time in April of 2022. This year also saw my dragons taking to the road to see the event in person again. They might have been a tad excited, but don’t worry I wrangled them out of the driver’s seat. Thus, dragons corralled we headed off to California to see everything old and new.

Visiting in the Gardens at WotF38In some ways they event carried familiarity to those I’ve witnessed before: California, Author Services, judges, and the Taglyan Complex (which was as fabulous as it had been in 2019). The excitement as the winners came to the stage and accepted their awards. The time spent reconnecting with old friends and meeting new in the lobby and in the cool gardens outside. The winners were present, splendidly decked out in sharp tuxes and elegant gowns.

That is where the differences began.

The winners

Waiting for the Gala to Start WotF38This was the first time the Gala Awards were held in April since 2019. In 2020 the awards were postponed and in 2021 a combined ceremony was held in the fall (a ceremony I couldn’t attend but enjoyed watching the live stream of with friends). Because of this, 2022 saw winners not only from this year but those who could not travel before. They were excited to be there and engaged. Not only with the judges, experts, and staff there to help them work toward the next step on their journey, but with each other as well.

They talked. They socialized. They learned.

At the WotF38 Marketing Day Workshop with Blake CastlemanThey demonstrated the best qualities of people who love science fiction and fantasy. A keen curiosity for the unknown, balanced with tolerance for differing points of view. Their genuineness carries into their stories. If you haven’t already, grab your copy of Writers of the Future volume 38 and see for yourself. It launches tomorrow.

Also, each winner showed that in the face of challenges (because who hasn’t had challenges lately). Imagination and inspiration can flow. They didn’t let challenges stop them and continued working and creating.

The Location

At the Roosevelt WotF38Yes, the Taglyan Complex opened its doors for the ceremony again, but Author Services works hard to ensure even familiar places always hold a spark of magic. This year, they decked out both inside and out with mammoths matching Bob Eggleton’s cover art. There was a giant mammoth out front that you could have your picture taken with. There were Mammoths in the presentation. There were even tiny cut out mammoths located on the table. These details create an experience that draws those who attend into the volume in person.

WotF38 Winners relaxing after the GalaBeyond the Taglyan Complex, the workshop was held for the second time at the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown Hollywood instead of the Author Services building. The second time for author services the first time for me. The place was a maze with brilliant lights, hidden details, an occasional fountain or two, and more twisting and turns then I began to untangle in my day there.

And magical.

With their tightened protocols to keep everyone healthy, they couldn’t have chosen a better location. While I missed the exquisite woodwork of author services, the interior of the Roosevelt reminded me of a castle. What better place for the writers to learn that ensconced within their fortress. Or, when the work was done enjoying a California courtyard by the pool.

The People

Jody Lynn Nye instructing during the workshop at WotF38Okay, this one is mixed. There were the people I’ve known for years. John and Emily Goodwin. Joni Labaqui. Martin Shoemaker. Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Echo Chernik. And so many more.

But there were changes as well.

There were familiar faces there stepping into new roles. Jody Lynn Nye lead the workshop and has taken over as coordinating judge. A role she’s embrace with great energy and enthusiasm. I cannot wait to see where the contest takes her.

And absences

David FarlandPerhaps part of why this year’s post as been so hard to write was the glaring absence I knew would be there but was still struck by. This is the first Writers of the Future event I have attended where David Farland was present. Physically. In word and spirit, he was very much there.

I still don’t have the words which seem adequate enough to encompass everything he was as a writer, a mentor, and a person. My thoughts still spin this way and that trying to understand the void he’s left. But he will be missed.

In part because this isn’t the end.

The Writers and Illustrators of the Future contests look forward to finding the next author whose stories will blaze in the hearts and minds of readers. The dragons, creatures busy spinning out their wisdom to any who will listen, may have been shaking up, but they still stand strong. Here is to all the winners and everyone behind Volume 38, and to all those unknowns still waiting for their turn to shine.

If you’re one of them, it’s not too late to enter the current quarter. It closes on June 30th. Get your stories and illustrations in now.

Mine is in.

So until the next time the dragons take to the road. Keep writing. Keep drawing. Keep creating. There’s too much behind and ahead to stop.

Hotel Roosevelt WotF38The Cutest Death Enjoying a Meal Break During WotF38Fountain beneath the stairs at the Roosevelt during WotF38The Mammoth Outside the WotF38 Gala

Wooly the Mammoth from WotF38P.S. For any interested parties, I’m still working on my mammoth’s name, but for now he is content with Woolly.

Will of a Wisp Nominated

From the Author

A little under a year ago, I wrote “Will of a Wisp,” submitted it, and it placed in the Leading Edge contest and was published in their magazine. Why is this story so significant to me? Because it was the first story I wrote after my surgeries for cancer last year. Cancer that had affected my body so that I was incapable of reading and writing. This story was a victory for me, not just for placing in the contest, but because it helped prove to myself I was healing.

Yesterday, I found out I the story nominated for the Critter’s Readers’ Choice Awards. These awards are open to all readers to vote in. If you would, please take a moment and consider voting for it. The polls close on January 11th.

You can vote for the stories here: https://critters.org/predpoll/shortstorysf.shtml
Information on my story is here: https://www.mistglenmoon.net/books/the-leading-edge-issue-78/

My Sister Saved My Life

From the Author

Let’s start with the good news. Nay, the AMAZING news. I had my post op appointment with the oncologist and received the pathology report. I am clean.


Now that I’ve had a bit of time to process this news, I’ve come to one realization. My sister saved my life. To explain this will take a bit of rewinding.

In the hazy past (no, I don’t recall how long) my sister had a cyst the size of a soccer ball when it was found (not jealous of the size). Like me, her invader was removed as quickly as possible. Unlike me, her unlamented creature was completely benign (that’s the part I’m jealous of). After her surgery her migraines abated.

Fast forward to me last year. In addition to a myriad of problems I was trying to deal with, I was having cognitive issues. My migraines had ticked up slightly (hadn’t missed their absence), but worse was reading and writing.

By December it had progressed to where I could not read, nor could I write. Not more than a couple sentences every several hours (talk about a flow killer). If I tried, my brain felt like it was literally vibrating in my skull. Or at other random times like my skull was squeezing my brain even when I was behaving. If I ignored the warning sign of buzzing brain, I would break out into physically trembling all over. Once I hit that point, I’d need several hours in a very dark room doing absolutely nothing before I could to do anything again. I do mean anything.

I also, I wasn’t enjoying light at all. Okay, light and I have never completely gotten along (the sun is an EVIL day orb). But this was to the point I kept the lights off in any room I was in and my wonderful friend blacked out the windows as much as possible too. I could not stand light.

Yep, a lot of symptoms were centering around my head. Okay, these problems are only a small portion of what I was dealing with, but they had major impact on my functionality.

When I had a follow-up with my primary physician in December, specialists had already ruled out some things, and we were going to start exploring others (yay, more doctors). The neurologist was progressing slowly. I’ve discovered those are extremely busy doctors and as a result have long intervals between appointments. But while my PC and I were discussing this, my sister and her cyst’s effects on her head jumped into mine.

I asked the doctor if it would be worth checking.

He agreed to check.

The creature was found.

The creature was removed.

The cancer was found, and things spiraled quickly from there.


No wonder I feel a bit dizzy about everything that’s happened right now.

I am certain if my sister hadn’t had her creature, I never would have thought to ask my doctor to check that. They wouldn’t have found the cancer as soon as they did and everything would have been much, much worse. Possibly, or maybe even probabl,y deadly.

But she had her creature which led me to asking the question that revealed mine. So now I’m here, healing and looking to my future.

As a bonus, today is also three years since I got my surgery recovery friend. This dragon has made an incredible pillow to help me battle pain.

Saddest Dragon peaking out of the bag on the way homeSaddest Dragon protecting a little dragon at the store

One Moment

From the Author

This isn’t a usual from the author post, but then the last several days (or months really) haven’t been usual for me. To start, I’d like to present a quick bit of flash fiction. After which will be my update.

The small, thin pad was unbearably heavy in Eve’s hands. She stared at the thing, but her eyes refused to comprehend, and her hands would neither grasp the pad firmly nor let it go.

Air. Had she forgotten to breathe? Eve parted her lips, but breathing wasn’t any easier. Weight from emotions she couldn’t name compressed her lungs. Air being pushed into and suck from the room was loud in the silence, a signed of the ships steadily working, steadily keeping them alive.

More reliable than her own body.

Air surged into her lungs as her body recalled how. She glanced up, and Dr. Avil was still seated across from her. Elbows on his knees. Eve didn’t know what he said or even if he spoke or waited in silence. She wouldn’t have heard either way over the blood thrumming in her ears.

She blinked. In the moment of darkness, her mind spun under a torrent of images traversing her path here. Here systems from family, friends, and faced with an unescapable point.

Eve roamed through each conceivable variation. Ones where she was home. They all ended the same: with her in this chair, a similar space, or ignorantly doomed.

That was all before though. Here was now. Next, was disconnected from both.

She roamed the murky tangle of her future. The paths multiplied out. Some short. Some long. But she lost thread of each in incomprehensible complexities drowning in reason.

Too much!

Eve fled from all the questions of tomorrows, but to the moment. There was a question here, simple and pure. She grasped to the question a line forward from drowning as her eyes opened. Swallowing, Eve shifted in her chair and locked eyes with the doctor. “What’s the first step?”

Exactly one month after my surgery at the end of December I found myself in yet another doctor’s office. I’ve lost track of how many specialists I’ve seen since September. Some found things. Some found nothing, but even nothing is another puzzle piece.

The surgery in December had major impact. They removed a growth larger than a softball from my abdomen. This proved to be an excellent step. The cognitive issues I’ve been struggling through began improving, as did other issues and I was healing well from being cut up. Things looked good. But life has an ironic way of being surprising and gave me one.

The growth they removed in December, which had every sign of being benign beforehand, was not as benign as hoped. So, last Friday I got to meet with an oncologist where the word cancer was bandied about and where I was informed that my best option is more surgery and quickly. As a result, I am scheduled for another surgery this week.

The upshot, my unlamented creature was caught extremely early. Right now, I have every reason to believe that the surgery (and whatever else the doctor recommends) should leave me in good shape once I’m done healing. I try to keep this in mind, but that was definitely a moment tangled in emotion. So, I’m doing what I can and taking the next step forward.

Crossroads Soaring

From the Author

Like my protagonist from “Crossroads of the Sky,” Annabelle, I love the feeling of floating. Right now mine, unlike hers, comes from the more mundane explanation of excitement instead of soaring on a fueling platform. I wouldn’t trade the experience, at least not at the moment.

Critters 2020 Readers Choice Awards: Best Steampunk Short StoryOver the weekend, I received the wonderful news that “Crossroads of the Sky” received the Critters 2020 Readers Choice Award for Best Steampunk Short Story.

I still am unsure what to say beyond I am truly touched that enough people also enjoyed this story to nominate it and help it place first. Thank you to everyone who voted for the story.

I loved writing this story. The heart of the story is home, and I’m grateful to know it has found a home in other’s hearts as well.

If you haven’t yet, you can catch Annabelle’s tale in A Mighty Fortress along with more amazing steampunk stories from great authors. Check out a brief except of “Crossroads of the Sky” here, along with information on where it is available.

September 23rd

From the Author

September 23rd.

Looking at my blog and realizing how long it has been since I last posted flash fiction on September 23rd is hard. At the start of September, I had posted about the health struggles I had been going through since the start of July. They are still going on. Unfortunately, those same struggles have affected my capacity to write, and my capacity to read.

I needed to give myself time to heal, and I’m still not there. Progress is being made, and I’m slowly getting answers. There are still more pieces to find and more time to recover.

However, I am a writer. Not writing drives me insane. So, I’m trying something new. Thanks to the encouragement of my friends, especially Martin Shoemaker, I’m trying out voice dictation to see if this will allow me to reconnect with words. This post was written using that method.

Well I am sad to see the empty weeks on my blog, I know they will not stay empty. I will find ways to write. Those weeks will be filled with the stories I would have written if I had been up to it. For now, writing far slower than I like, but I will keep creating and sharing the worlds which are still vibrantly alive inside my head.

I am an author, and I can’t wait to share again.



I am in the high-risk category for Covid-19 for a condition I was diagnosed with before I was one, asthma. Because of this I have been cautious and taken all the precautions I could to prevent contracting the disease.

Then on July 1st my health changed. No, I did not get Covid-19 then, but while trying to get supplies to a student in an essential services field to help continue their education, I rolled my ankle causing soft tissue damage. Due to previous soft tissue wounds I knew I heal slowly from this type of injury, one taking over two years to heal. Due to my spine problems I knew I could not use crutches. I borrowed my mother’s wheelchair.

As a result, I started working even more remotely where I could not walk or travel easily. I did pickup orders from the grocery store. I had extremely little contact with anyone.

On the evening of July 22nd, I knew I felt off. By the next morning I knew I was sick. After calling, I was advised to take a Covid-19 test. I took the test as soon as I could and recall thinking that the test wasn’t so bad. The personal was obviously stressed and didn’t tell me much. I was able to drive away immediately.

The result came back negative, and my doctor decided to put me on an antibiotic where there were symptoms that were clearly bacterial. After trying one and switching to a second antibiotic where there was no improvement, the bacterial symptoms were gone.

However, I was not better. The remaining symptoms where ones commonly associated with Covid-19. My doctor instructed me to take a second test. When the second test was administered it was much worse, much more invasive than the first test had been. This test was administered on August 12, 2020 a full 20 days after the first test. This test the personal was much more engaged with me, gave me much more thorough instructions, and the test was extremely invasive. One of the personal’s parting words were to let me know how leave “when I was ready to drive.” It took a couple minutes before I could.

The second test’s results also came back negative.

I discussed with my nurse practitioner’s assistant what symptoms where bothering me most, which he had requested. I informed him of two. First, breathing difficulties which I stated was not like when having an asthma attack or like when I have had bronchitis or pneumonia. Second, concentration problems I am having. When I try to concentrate too much (especially on my writing) my head will feel like it is buzzing, and if I ignore this warning sign I will start to tremble until I am not functional at all.

My doctor’s decision was to diagnose me with asthma. The condition I’ve been diagnosed with since before I was one. And that he had prescribed a refill inhaler for the week before.

I could say a lot on what I think of this diagnosis, but I will leave it at I do not believe my doctor listened to me. Finding a doctor who will listen and diagnose based on symptoms is a challenge now. Doctors are under huge amounts of stress. They are treating more patients and lacking information on this disease for many reasons including that the disease is new, there is a lot that is not known yet and, like the rest of us, they cannot hold their normal conferences to learn from each other.

As of today, I have been ill for 46 days.

While the bacterial symptoms were treated with the antibiotics, the rest have not lessened in this time. Instead I have some days which are my new normal and some days which are much worse, but I am not improving noticeably.

I believe the first test was done incorrectly. I know that the tests have a high false negative rate. Everything I research my symptoms line up with Covd-19. I believe I did manage to contract the disease through community spread and that I am in a long-haul recovery.

I have been extremely lucky. While the symptoms are being persistent, they have not been extreme. Still, I would encourage everyone to take precautions against contracting Covid-19. The disease is new. Doctors don’t understand it yet. You do not know how your body will react. It is not worth the risk.

In part I believe this because of my experience in December. In December I contracted an illness which is the worst I had ever been through in my life. At the time, until I just couldn’t anymore, I wrote a fictionalized series of posts about some of my experience which I titled “The Death Plague.”

My roommate was also sick during this period for a full month. Her experience was prolonged fevers including a point where she had not been out of her bed in three days. I know this because she called me to beg for soup where she had not had the energy to feed herself in days. Something I would not have noticed where we had different work and sleep schedules.

At the time, we both knew the symptoms we experienced where atypical for the flu and were not bacterial. The more we have learned about Covid-19 the more certain we have grown that the atypical symptoms match up with Covid-19. Including the fact that my roommate is still experiencing symptoms we have learned other long-haulers experience from Covid-19.

I don’t know what my recovery will look like from here. I have been largely quiet on my experiences up to now. Reasons for this include the uncertainty of what I had, a complete lack of energy to deal with anything beyond what I had to, the extreme difficulty I have writing, skepticism from others, and more. I’m sharing now because I want others to know they are not alone, and because I want to remember.

I believe that I am in a long-haul recovery from contracting Covid-19 in July, and I believe I had the disease in December 2019 as well.

A Mighty Fortress of Trailers

From the Author

Launch day for A Mighty Fortress is coming up quick. Next Tuesday in fact. I’ve enjoyed the story trailers for eight of the stories in the anthology. Each story is written by a terrifically talented author and I can’t wait to read them all. In the meantime, I’ve collected all the trailers for you below. Which are you the most excited for?

Mighty Fortress Story Trailers
"Beautiful Zion, Built Above" by Bryce Beattie
Deep below the waves of Yellowstone Lake, thermal vents power enormous pistons which in turn provide power to the city built above. Every night, something attacks this machinery, threatening the livelihoods and very lives of the city's pioneer settlers. One ambitious junior repairist takes it upon himself to find and stop the monster responsible. But can a rubber and brass suit possibly stand up to a prehistoric behemoth?
"Crossroads of the Sky" by Jenna Eatough
Annabelle enjoys working on a fueling platform high above the plains of Utah. However, when the army flies in Annabelle must fight for her home.
"Eternal Round" by Elizabeth Meuller
Sariah hides a secret pain that is wrenched to light with a simple touch of an ancient artifact that is delivered to her museum. She is thrust back into time and lives out Samuel the Lamanite's fantastic feat of survival upon Zarahemla's wall.
"Follow the Temple" by Nate Givens
Bennie Browning is sent to fetch the wandering Nauvoo Striding Temple when it abandons the pioneers. Can she retrieve the structure and bring it home before others get there first?
"Joined in Silence" by John D. Payne
Hans Henry did not expect the knock in the night, or the self-emancipated labor automaton, Brother Pilgram. A simple request to have a song written has Brother Pilgram, Hans and his wife at odds about what life means.
"Mekanikers" by Kevin Folkman
LDS immigration agent Arthur Kessler tries to prepare a group of Danish converts for an invasion of dock pirates, intent on stealing the immigrants meager possessions when they dock in New Orleans. However, two mechanically minded Danish brothers have a surprise for the thieves, steampowered and assembled in the ship's hold that promises to shift the balance of power in favor of the immigrants.
"The Many Wives of Solomon King" by Christopher McAfee
Whether to spite the wife who abandoned him or to fill the hole she left behind, Solomon King is driven to build a better wife. Hiding in the hills outside Kirtland, he builds one after another, each more perfect than the last, bringing Solomon nearer to his deserved reward.
"The Tunnel" by Jay Barnson
Under the streets of London something has gone wrong. Women are disappearing and Eloise White, journalist, is determined to discover why.