Stephanie Burgis
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Today's pre-writing-session email check started out just the right way, with an email from Paul Jessup to let me know that my Elizabethan fantasy story "Ivy and Thorn" was a finalist for the Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award! I hadn't even realized that Paul had nominated my story for the award, so this was a double surprise (thank you Paul!!!) and a really wonderful one. (And there's no tension of suspense, btw - I know I wasn't the winner, I just don't know who the winner was yet.) The WSFA is handing out certificates to all the finalists and their publishers in an awards ceremony at Capclave this October. Now, of course, I really wish I could go...but unfortunately, that's just not financially possible right now. Still, I'm really happy about this, and I can't wait to get the certificate. :)

I'm also particularly happy about this because it's honoring Grendelsong, a magazine that I really liked (and not just because Paul bought 3 of my stories for it!) and which is sadly on hiatus at the moment. I loved Grendelsong's focus, and Paul was a real pleasure to work with. The original artwork for "Ivy and Thorn" was just beautiful - one of my favorite illustrations for any of my stories. I'm so pleased Paul is going to be recognized for the work he did in those first two issues.

(Oh, and btw - the original issue of Grendelsong that published "Ivy and Thorn" sold out, but the story was reprinted this spring in Quantum Kiss, so you can still read the story online. Just try to imagine the lovely elf-artwork that was in the original version!)

Needless to say, after reading that email, I was in a fantastic writing mood this morning, and I wrote the first 500 words of Chapter 5 of Kat by Starlight very happily. And then I got to dive into re-reading Northanger Abbey as perfect research! (It's set in Bath at exactly the right time period, so really: this is serious work! Honest! Oh, and yeah, it is also hilarious and snarky and fun and it always, always makes me laugh...but no, seriously: this is WORK! Right...)

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