Anjali Patel

writer & software engineer

this is what's happening (feat goals and romeo's birthday)

It’s 2021! I hope you all had a restful holiday and have reasons to look forward to the year ahead. This year I am choosing to acknowledge Time and the fictional markers we assign to our passage through it because, well...a fresh start does sound nice. So I created some yearly goals for once. Here are two of them:

That is not 50 acceptances, nor is it 50 different stories. It is just...sending things out at least 50 times this year. So far I am at two [UPDATE: 5]. So we’ll see how this goes.

I’m also trying to get better organized. Right now I use Notion for my TODO lists, Airtable to track progress on my stories and rejections, and Bear (basically the notes app, but prettier) on my phone to tuck away phrases and ideas that pop into my head. I also have a planner arriving [UPDATE: HAS ARRIVED].

However, I still struggle with ways to store words or phrases I come across while reading. I mostly read digital library loans on my phone or kindle so as far as I know, any markings I add disappear when the loan expires. So suggestions welcome!

Happy Birthday Romeo!
It was Romeo’s birthday last week! 12 years young! Look at this good boy and his good doggy cupcake. He received lots of treats and good food and soft items to cuddle with. Now when I try to top his food off with his regular canned mixed-ins, he huffs at me and mopes around a bit until he gets hungry enough to eat with begrudging, angry chomps and the intermittent glare.

How is Romeo?

He’s well, given the above. It snowed a couple weeks ago and as it turns out he loves the snow. He romped and chomped at it and rolled around and even ran a bit. It was delightful. Sometimes he would get ice trapped in his paw, so I’d take my gloves off and warm it in my hands until it all melted. Then we’d be off on our way again.

Writing #

I have my first acceptance of the year for a Hundred Word Horror anthology. The piece is, yes, 100 words and horror. I will share it here when it goes live.

I have seven other short stories in various states of revision/completion, ranging from enchanted ice carnivals to gods so desperate to catch each other’s attention that they nearly bring about the end of the world. The acceptance/rejection ratios are pretty bleak so who knows if they’ll get out there this year, but we’ll see!

Reading #

I read 52 books last year. You can check them all here. Below are some of my last books of 2020.

Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman (novel)

I’m on a bit of a mythology kick because 1) it’s a hole in my canonical knowledge and 2) I’ve been told my writing style feels “mythological” and that should probably be more intentional than accidental. This was a fun read and the mythos definitely steeped a piece I’m revising now. I listened to it on audio and Gaiman is, of course, a fantastic reader. I especially enjoyed the voice he did for the Thunder Lord of Himbos, Thor.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (novella)

This was my last book of 2020, which brought me to 52 books for the year! When I bought this copy in...high school? College? I thought it would be ~ really cool and literary ~ to self-inflict a tradition of reading it every holiday season. Lol, well. Last year was the second time I ever read it. It was fun! And I enjoyed seeing Dickens unleash the entire thesaurus to describe something as straightforward as a turkey. (short story), by Hal Y. Zhang

A masterful story told through code. You don’t need to know python to understand it. It reads like poetry, and the format works well without feeling like a gimmick. Read it here.

Tony Roomba's Last Day On Earth, by Maria Haskins (short story)

I am so charmed by this! I don’t want to say anything else about it really, just give it a read if you can. It’s very enjoyable and the tension is great. Read it here.

As the Last May Know, by S.L. Huang

(Mild spoiler) This one is interesting because the change in the protagonist isn’t a grand shift in ideology like I expected, but more of a firmness in her convictions for her own reasons. Such a deft way to give a young woman agency. And there is a powerful message about the cost abstracting of war when it does not happen on our soil. Read it here.

And a snippet from my writing compost bin: #

"Strange how you can never tell how far along the night is when it’s snowing."

Stay safe,