New story! “Change Battery”

There is grime under the espresso machines. There is milk on the walls, in the cupboards, smeared across the windows. The drains are clogged with Splenda packets and broken straws. We are too busy to clean. We have to be ready, if customers come.

I worked at Starbucks for a solid two years, and I tell you, that kind of work fucks you up. You push yourself so hard in pursuit of profits, suffer so much, but no matter what you do or how committed you are, no matter how much money you single-handedly bring in, the greatest reward you can ever hope for is a pat on the back. But if you don’t work your ass off and get milk in your hair and burn your hands making Americanos too fast, you lose your job, and best of luck getting a new one without a good reference.

I had a really, really bad day. I got fed up. I wrote this. I showed it to my whole store, and they laughed and groaned and said “yeah, this is about how it is,” and now that I don’t work there anymore and can’t get fired for talking shit about my employer, I’m showing it to you.

Profit is an unfeeling god. The siren is an eldritch horror. That part is 100% factually true.

Change Battery



I guess it’s time for an intro post, now that I’ve been on air (so to speak) for five months. Hello! I’ve been putting this off because I’m stone terrified! I’ve been a lurker for the entire fifteen years I’ve been on the internet, and having an actual presence is scary! Who knew! But, you know, fuck it. I can’t lurk forever. I want to create something that will be remembered, and that’s not going to happen if I keep hiding.

I mean, to be honest, it’s probably not going to happen anyway, but there’s no reason to doom myself to that fate. I’m only twenty-seven, I’ve presumably got a long, long time to give this a shot.

To get basic information and history out of the way, I’m Emily, I was born with a black eye in Texas, moved to Oregon, grew up as The Weird Kid in a suburb with no sidewalks, went to high school in a warehouse, made the biggest mistake of my life (going to college while using the Bootstraps Method of Depression Treatment, do not recommend), and worked in food service until I got sick of smelling like milk. Now I’m in an office. It’s a living.

Throughout all this, I’ve been writing. My first novel made it a good four chapters before it was mercifully put down by The Great Hard Drive Crash of 2003. It was called How I Got My Horse and that tells you everything you need to know. By the time the crash happened, I was thirteen, and very, very ready to move on to plottier ventures.

I dove directly into anime fanfiction. This was way back in the day, when steamy stuff was called “lemons” and really steamy stuff was called “limes” and I probably shouldn’t have been reading any of it, let alone writing it, but a small collection of my Inu-Yasha fanfiction spent about two months on the internet in 2004 before I got a very kind, thoughtful piece of concrit and immediately (read: after crying all the water out of my body) obliterated all trace of it from existence. I vowed never to write fanfiction again. I was fourteen. I vowed a lot of things.

Fortuitously, that happened in October. I left fanfiction behind to write an epic romance about gay centaurs for Nanowrimo. The timing was terrible. I was ready to get serious, but I was going to Japan for two weeks right in the middle. I could do that, right? Write 25,000 words before November 8th, fly to Japan and have an amazing time, then come back and write 25,000 words in my remaining seven days? No problem. I didn’t tell anybody what I was doing. I barely planned anything before day one.

You guys. I fucking did it. Apparently I looked like a zombie and my mom was dead worried about me the whole time, but I wrote fifty-two thousand words of epic gay centaur romance in fourteen days. I’m still damn proud of that, to be honest. Not of the book. The book is unreadable. But I knew I’d get better, if I just kept doing it.

So I wrote a few more novels. I did Nanowrimo a few more times. I wrote a whole heck of a lot of short stories. I got published in my college’s literary journal. I put my fanfiction back online. I started a blog. I wrote an intro post. Here we are.

If I were you, I’d be wondering right about now what this chick actually writes about that she’s deliberately not telling me. (You probably aren’t thinking that; I’m projecting.) I’m kind of shy about this, because most of my favorite tropes are extremely embarrassing, but here’s the basics: I’m not married to any particular genre, but I’ve only done a few things that were firmly set in actual reality; everything else has magic, or spaceships, or aliens, or shapeshifters, or extremely unrealistic historical elements, or something.

Also, I’m way more interested in character exploration than plot. I’ve got plots, they’re in there, but they’re scaffolding, a support structure to give relationships and internal struggles shape and movement.

To give you some idea of what all this means, here’s the blurbs + cover art* of my top four most-promising works in progress.

*I also have dreams of being an illustrator, but that future is significantly further away than my authorship dreams, so we’re leaving that out for now.


No Solace

Where he comes from, there’s no such thing as bodies. There were no words, no touch; there were only feelings, projected directly into each other’s consciousness. That was home. He’d never thought of it as a utopia until he was summoned to this… this hell.

They want him to do magic. He can’t. He has it, they call it feelings, but it’s trapped inside his body and nothing he does will let him use it.

They either don’t understand, or don’t care. No matter what he does, they are unwilling to accept that it’s impossible. They will go to any lengths to make him do what they want. Apparently, they need his magic. He doesn’t know what for, but he hopes it’s important, because it’s torture just being alive, and he doesn’t want to do it anymore. And he will go to any lengths to stop.



James has a tenuous position as apprentice carpenter. Tobias needs somewhere to hide. If the woodshop master finds Tobias in the shed, they’re both fucked–but James isn’t going to let that happen. Somebody helped James when he was homeless and alone and scared, and he’s not about to let that debt go unpaid. The way the boy makes his heart fill with soda bubbles has nothing to do with it. Nothing. Honest.



And Summon the Lambs to Slaughter

Miracle Taylor has a dream, and a nightmare.

On a good night, she’ll fall asleep and see the girl she’s been in love with since she was twelve, and the girl will push Miracle’s fleeces out of her arms, sink her fingers into Miracle’s hair, and set Miracle’s heart on fire.

On a bad night, she is back in the forest where she was born, and a monster with breath like burning tar and eyes like her mother’s laughs as she tries to run, and it’s like she never left that cursed place, and the feeling sticks to her skin even after she wakes.

Now she’s going to college. She’s leaving her nightmares, and her dreams, behind. Her nightmares aren’t real. There are other girls.

Except, the monster in her nightmares has started appearing outside of her dreams.

And that girl she’s in love with?

That’s her roommate.


Driving Interest

Theo’s father made a habit of screwing people over, so Theo really isn’t that surprised when his father is finally arrested for tax evasion. What does surprise him is that he is included among the property seized and sold into twenty years of indentured servitude to pay back those tax debts.

The man who buys him could be worse. He’s offering Theo a choice. He’ll free him in just five years, if Theo agrees to sleep with certain powerful officials whose favor the man needs. This is obviously an insane plan–Theo grew up with their children, he was one of them, they won’t want him like that even if he was some kind of sexual god, which he is decidedly not–until he sees the letters. People definitely want him. Mostly, it’s the people who hated his father.

If he’s lucky, his friends can find a legal loophole to invalidate this whole thing.

If not, he has a long, long time to decide how much of his body he’s willing to sacrifice for his freedom.


0-PorcupineImage Description: A North American Porcupine standing on a tree stump, decorative black dots of various sizes all around her. Rays of grey marker strokes radiate out from the porcupine’s body.

2 hours, Sakura Micron #5, Copic Sketch N0, N2, and N4, and Sharpie (for the dots).

This is the younger of the two porcupines who live at the High Desert Museum in Eastern Oregon. She was very active the day I visited, but she stood still long enough for this. I love all porcupines but the North American variety is the most danger puff of them all and I think I stood there for forty-five solid minutes just watching her run around and bother her mom.

“Bleeding Earth” by Kaitlin Ward


“It’s like Junji Ito with a twist of gay” – my fiance re: the back-of-book blurb

Silhouette portrait done in blood, awesome.

Female author, good start, good start.

“Earth started growing hair and bones” alright this is cool maybe I’ll pick it up from the li-

“She longs to spend time with her new girlfriend” SOLD. No time for the library, where’s my wallet?

Unfortunately it’s the usual YA first-person present-tense, which I have hated since time immemorial, but if I want to read anything I’m gonna have to get used to it, so here goes.



Image Description: A tiny baby red fox sticks his face into a teacup. A full tea set is clustered around him, sugar bowl and creamer behind him and two taper candles to his left. The taper candles are kind of crooked because I’m a dope. The tea set has a pattern of violet foxgloves and golden suns. Also there is a spoon.

Watercolor and sakura microns.