Feature Writing and Speculative Fiction

I’m now splitting my time between feature writing and speculative fiction, so I’m going to be switching back and forth between those topics on this blog. I hope this doesn’t drive anyone much crazier than it’s currently driving me. (Only kidding—I’m loving this mix of work.)

After spending the pandemic lockdown working on a writing contract for Rover.com (where I’m continuing to freelance with reviews of cat-related products and services), I’ve recently shifted to work for the Seattle Times weekend Home section. I’m covering topics best described as “preventing and solving household problems.” While I’m not writing much about my own epic home repair and remodeling adventures, those experiences, and my contractor contacts, are definitely informing the feature writing work.

As far as speculative fiction writing, 2020 was my worst year for selling stories since I started publishing short stories in 2015. I sold one story, which hasn’t seen publication yet! But 2021 is off to a fine start.

In an abundance of caution, I rarely mentioned my publications until they are available for sale. But I’m so excited about having “Pieced Together” in The Art of Being Human, from the Australian publisher Fablecroft, that I’m making an exception. Editors Tehani Croft and Stephanie Lai have just announced the book’s table of contents, noting, “This anthology seeks to remind readers of the hope and beauty of the Arts, and the way our engagement with writing, music, film, theatre, artworks in all media, and craft of all kinds are at the core of our humanity.” The Art of Being Human is scheduled for publication later this year.

The inspiration for “Pieced Together” came from an introductory mosaics class I took a few years back. The instructor, Laurel True, is an activist and master of collaborative community mosaic art. While the mosaic plaque I produced in her class was a bit of a hot mess, the story I discovered while taking the class is pretty special.

Speaking of classes…like everyone else, I’m looking for ways to break out of the narrow existence I lived during the pandemic. To that end, I took a class this week taught by vocal coach Alyssa Keene for Jack Straw (Vocal Training for Writers). The class included one-on-one coaching and Keene helped me with “The Train,” which I’d read May 12 for the weekly Facebook Live program Story Hour. Plus, I’ve now learned how to use a pop screen with my Yeti microphone!

Author: Karen Anderson

To paraphrase Mark Morris, "I'm a writer; I write!"

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