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What’s Up Wednesday

Hello lovely readers, and happy Wednesday! I’m peeking in mid-week to wave hello, and to talk a little more about what’s up in my writerly world. This year saw the release of my sci-fi novella Temporary Duty Assignment and prequel story Nice, both from The Book Smugglers. It was such a joy to be a part of the Book Smugglers Publishing Novella Initiative, and I learned a lot from writing and editing that piece. I have begun a new multimedia fiction and poetry project, Kudzu, with Pine Float Press…eerie southern gothic and memories of the place where I grew up feed these shadowy journeys. I also have been teasing a new project, which I’ll share more details about this week–it’s another novella enterprise, but this time I’m switching from a gritty post-apocalyptic megacity to a steam age world powered by magitech. In the Metro world, Sam’s Nightbringer served her well protecting Caleb and the Greenerhouse Compound in Temporary Duty Assignment and now it will be so much fun for me to show off mechmage Jeron North, a character from my new project, wielding a lightning scepter to great (and electrifying) effect.

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Of course, where there is steam-powered magitech there must be airships and in my current manuscript I’m laying the groundwork for a world where flight is newly-discovered, and where magic is an everyday occurrence. I’ll blog more about this soon, along with a cover reveal but in the meantime, thanks to my followers, and enormous thanks to all readers who have found and enjoyed my work! Here’s wishing you the loveliest of days…be well! <3

 

Thursday Thoughts

vintage-1113179 (2)Hello, intrepid readers, and I hope you are all well and thriving!

I’ve been thinking a lot in recent days about timelines for upcoming projects, setting off on new writing adventures, and how thrilled I am to share these adventures with readers in the near future. It seems appropriate that a tremendously important narrative facet of my most recent endeavor is adventure and journeying, navigating the magic and dangers and even everyday moments of a fantasy world I’ve been developing over the past few years. Letting a world take form and dictate its shape, watching its terrain emerge from the swirling void is one of the most invigorating aspects of being a writer. Even more exciting to me is seeing that world populated by strong, ornery, funny, flawed, and so very real-to-me characters.

In the next days, I’ll be talking more about this project and even embarking on quests of my own–posting snippets and blurbs to ensnare you, lovely readers;  tantalizing you with cover art, celebrating this labor of love journey with oh so much squee…I am over the moon! I’ve even changed my Twitter banner and created graphics to offer you a hint of what this new world holds…  <3

Thank you for letting me share these Thursday Thoughts with you, lovely readers. I hope the rest of your week is kind to you and wishing you all the best! <3

Social Media Update

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Hi there! I hope you are all well and thriving this near-the-end-of-October day. I wanted to send out a quick note to let you know that I’ve been doing some much-needed maintenance on my sundry writer’s accounts, and have made some changes based on recent reader feedback. For ease of searching, my Twitter handle is now @AEAshWrites, my Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr usernames are @aeashwrites, and my Goodreads remains A.E. Ash.

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Streetlights on during the day…creepy. YES.

I’ll post any other new updates as they occur, of course…in the meantime, I’m excited to be able to foist a new creepy poem upon ya’ll just in time for Halloween tomorrow. I’ll have more news in the coming weeks–lots of little projects and one or two big ones are afoot, and life continues, for which I am profoundly thankful. The year wanes, the days grow short here in the Northern Hemisphere, and autumn settles around me quietly, nudging me towards even more writing, the excitement of NaNoWriMo (even if I decide not to participate this year and I’m still not sure, I love hearing about others doing so!), and the welcome quiet and introspection of the darker part of the year. All the best and thank you as ever for following and for reading! <3 

 

before/after the streetlights (a poemy thing)

When I was a kid, I was a bit obsessed with streetlights. Not just because I was allowed to stay out till just past the time when they came on, but for other reasons…harder to explain reasons. Imagery from the Book of Revelations via terrifying sermons, post-apocalyptic scenes courtesy of 80’s sci-fi shows and movies, and sci-fi odds and ends from books and school all mingled in my mind to give me thinky-thoughts. I would look up at the streetlights with their buzzing, orange light and wonder–what would it take to turn off all the lights in the world? If that thing happened, would they all go out at once, a sudden there-then-not kind of thing? As I grew and my understanding of the world (power grids, physics, post-apocalyptic narratives stemming from post Cold War tensions and the 80’s Star Wars propaganda) matured, I started to see that these things that preoccupied me as a kid were still pretty scary. These things come out even now in my poetry and fiction. Streetlights, powerlines stretching for miles over grassy fields, windmills with their blinking red pilot lights, the kinds of strange machinery and structures I’d see at the edges of the military bases and the Port Authority where I grew up all blend together with my young mind’s questions, creating this personalized, complex iconography of tech. To this day, I write about when the streetlights go out. To this day, I still get chills thinking about it. I hope you are all having a good week so far, and thanks for reading!

And now, a new poem:

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before/after the streetlights

 

Be in before the streetlights come on, mom calls out

and her voice slaps flat against the sides of houses

and the summerhot asphalt

and my scrambling footfalls echo back–

 

I run till the street ends in woods and it’s darker.

Before the streetlights, what was there?

Fireflies and distant blinking stars only go so far

in holding back the night–

 

Before the streetlights, one kind of darkness

and after? What happens when the white light

eats the sky, when the generators die–will the streetlights

and stoplights and house lights all go out at once?

 

Will I be able to see to run? Be in before the streetlights

come on, I tell my blue shadow and look up at the metal

and orange light and down at the crumbling street

and I hum and I try not to be afraid of the after

Newsday Tuesday: An Announcement!

Hello, all…happy Tuesday to you lovelies! Since Tuesday rhymes with news-day, I’ve decided to announce today that my short story Nice will be appearing in next edition of The Book Smugglers’ Quarterly Almanac! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! *ahem* Nice will introduce an exciting new sci-fi world and set in motion the events that go down in my upcoming sci-fi romance novella T.D.A., coming in July of this year. I cannot tell you how excited I am, so I must include a moment for internal Carlton Dancing.

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*Ahem* again. In preparation for this exciting new story, which is among my favorite things I have EVER written and maybe even my Patronus, I have opted to do teaser art of one of Nice‘s characters. Kind folks, meet Lukka:

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Lukka keeps company with shell casings, apparently.

I’ll announce more details, including a cover reveal for T.D.A. (it’s AMAZING and I am not even one tiny bit joking), and availability dates. Thank you as ever for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day! <3

Robin McKinley Said It So Well-A #FridayReads Quick-Post.

So often, I feel like what I am, what I do, how I exist is not enough in wake of the Big Bad in this world. Then I remember a quote from Sunshine by Robin McKinley, one of my favorite reads of all time and something I’m planning to treat myself to re-reading for #FridayReads after some editing. We must use what we are given, and we must use it the best we can. I hope this Friday finds us all using what we have and being who we are as best we can to make the world brighter, kinder, and more full of win. Happy Friday!

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A Reason <3

pexels1Writers do what they do for eleventybillion reasons and then some. I know–I’ve counted. And at least half of those are the same reasons that drive me to keep working towards publishing what I write even when it’s not an easy road to tricycle or bigwheel or otherwise travel. And so it goes, me doing what I do because Reasons. But sometimes, someone gives me a reason or at least provides context for me to articulate one of my reasons for doing what I do. This happened to me last week. I’m neck-deep in edits for a SUPER exciting piece, planning and outlining several more rad projects of win, hammering away at Day Job duties while life happens in its lifey way around me when suddenly, bam—a message from an old friend.

We back-and-forthed for a bit but she utterly floored me when she told me that she had two of my characters in her head, just hanging out with her while she folded laundry, that she had deliberately carved out time to not just read my work, but leave a super!awesome review on Goodreads. Best of all, she told me that she wanted to read more. This friend is a busy woman. She is immersed, as all of us are, in the thousands of big and little things that drive us through these minutes into hours into days of our lives but at some point, she allotted some of that time to my words and then took more time still to tell me that those minutes with my words made her day better.

What grander of a compliment can a writer receive? More of your work, please…more that I will have to make time for (totally not her words, but that is the reality of sitting down and getting a thing done)…

I write to explore, yes. To build worlds. To be who am I not, and doubly who I am. However, in the end, I write to communicate and if what I’ve done takes someone on a journey, provides respite or just a bit of fun then holy wow, I’ve done something right.

So to my friend, and any other readers who have enjoyed my work or to all the other writers and readers out there creating and seeking narratives to enrich their lives in some way—thank you. You are the everything, to quote R.E.M. You are the BEST. Read on, write on, and now that I’ve taken minutes to say these words, back to edits! <3