Hey all, welcome back. Has it been a week already?
Speaking of a week, the Aurora Awards voting closes on September 4, 2021 (in just over a week at the time this has been posted). For those of you who may not be aware, I have had the honour of once again being nominated for an Aurora Award this time for my short story “Breathe” which was published in Prairie Soul Press’ anthology entitled “Prairie Gothic” (which has also been nominated for an Aurora Award for Best Related Work). There are so many great nominees this year including “Grass Gods,” another short story in Prairie Gothic.
The other times I have been nominated for an Aurora Award was in 2013 for my editing skills as co-editor for that labour of love, Shanghai Steam and in 2018 my short story entitled “Rose’s Arm” published in Laksa Media’s “Where the Stars Rise.”
I am humbled and grateful that my stories are touching people and that my writing peers feel my work is good enough to be nominated and to make the short list as best speculative short fiction in Canada. There are so many other speculative fiction writers writing their hearts out who never get nominated. Even once. The feeling of validation can be overwhelming at times.
Writing is a solitary and sometimes lonely avocation. So when we see an author’s name on the cover of a book, it is easy to make the assumption that the novel was written and came out whole cloth from the writer’s mind and dumped onto the page. A quick perusal through the front pages quickly dispels that idea. Usually there is a dedication page wherein the author thanks all the people who have assisted in the writing of that project.
However, for short stories, there is little or no dedication page in anthologies except for the editors. So short story authors never get to thank anyone unless they win and give an acceptance speech.
So I thought I’d rectify that. I haven’t won the Aurora Award yet and even if I don’t win, the people who helped and supported me should not remain anonymous.
So here are the people I want to thank.
First, I want to thank Jennifer Cheung, my partner in life, for all her love and support all these years. Without her, I could not have the long stretches of time to let my mind wander through imaginary worlds.
I also want to thank my sons, Kiyoshi and Toshiro who keep me grounded and let me know what is really important in life and family.
Thank you to my parents who are my most outspoken critics but my biggest cheerleaders. Thanks for raising me, keeping me on the straight and narrow, and picking me up when I was down.
Thank you to the editors at Prairie Soul and Laksa Media. You have made this author’s ordinary words look fantastic.
Thank you to IFWA, the best writing group on the planet. You have all helped me grow as a writer whether through a critique, skills session, or generally sharing your knowledge. You all deserve recognition.
Thank you to the WWC which has made it possible to allow me to give something back to the writing community.
Thank you to all the editors and publishers who have accepted my work. You are the unsung heroes of the publishing world. You fight for our stories and mold our words from lumps of clay to works of art.
Thank you to the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association. Your hard work and dedication allows the Aurora Awards to exist.
Thank you to all those who nominated me for this or for previous works. Your validation is so important to an old curmudgeon like me.
And finally, thank you to everyone who has read my whimsical little tales. I am glad I have given some joy and wonder to you all. Without you, there would be no stories. There are so many people to thank for all the time, wisdom, and support I have received over the years. There are too many to count. But this is a good beginning.
So at this point in the blog post, there would normally be a call to action. I could ask that you go to the Prix-Aurora Award page, buy a membership (if you haven’t already), and vote for my story or the anthology it has been published in. You have until September 4, 2021.
Instead, I just want to thank you for reading this far into this post. It means a lot to me. It means that you have already discovered my writing and may be waiting for more.
So, time to get back to the writing so it may be possible that one day I might give this acceptance speech aloud or write that dedication page in that novel.