I’ve been putting off this post for awhile, because it’s a bit of a bummer and because it’s the end of an era, but also because making it involves admitting that I cannot do All the Thing All the Time.

The Omikuji Project will be coming to an end in April.

It’s been five years since I decided to start writing short stories every month and sending them all over the world. It’s been an amazing, incredibly rewarding project. I’ve met people (and through meet-ups, people have met people) that I would not have met otherwise, I’ve been able to experiment and stretch my craft, I’ve had the tactile, primate pleasure of making something physical every month. (And often burning off my fingerprints with sealing wax.)

But it’s also been five years of writing a new, original story every single month. A story not published elsewhere, and of a not insignificant length. A story a month alongside the novels, poems, and other short fiction piled up on my plate. It’s a lot, a tremendous amount of work, both in the composition and the tactile, primate task that covers my dining room table once a month: the folding, sealing, stuffing, licking, and stamping of two hundred copies.

It’s gotten to be too much. Members will notice that the stories have been getting out late. I’m proud of the stories, still, but between touring and writing novels and trying to keep all my projects plus my head above water, a new story every month plus the labor of preparing them when I’m often not even in the country, is getting harder and harder.

I feel tremendously guilty about this, but I have to look out for my energy level in order to keep producing fiction for the foreseeable future. Burnout is a real thing and I don’t want to meet it in a dark alley. So I think this is a step I have to take. It may make room for more experiments down the line; it may just give me a rest, but either way, I think it’s time to draw the curtain with as much grace as possible.

Five years is an AMAZING run for a crowdfunded art project. The community created by the subscribers to Omikuji is warm and deep and invested, and I am so grateful to all of you for coming on this journey with me. So many of you are astonishingly talented artists in your own right, I’m honored by every person who opened that cream colored envelope every month and gave some of their time and energy to my stories. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To preemptively answer some questions:

Most of our year-long subscriptions run out in April, as that was the date of the first story back in 2008. If yours runs out at another time, please contact me at my first name at gmail (NOT on Facebook, please) so we can work out a refund or a trade in kind. Monthly subscribers will simply have their subscription cancelled in April, no work is required on your part.

I will be doing another anthology of stories to accompany This Is My Letter to the World: Cycle One. I have not decided whether to put all the stories together into one or simply make a Cycle Two, nor have I decided whether to do it through Lulu again or seek out a small press to handle the collection. Once my February 1st novel deadline is under the belt, I’ll be able to sit down and make those choices. But there will be a print anthology purchasable by anyone.

Until April, I will continue making back-issues available. The site will be updated with pricing information on that score very shortly.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or on whatever social media site you prefer.

Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who has been a part of this project, however briefly or long. It has been an extraordinary experience, and I hope it has been for you as well. Most projects of any quality come to an end point, and though we have reached it, there are more and new and exciting things to come. Life is long and unpredictable; so is fiction.

Thank you for helping me to make a whole lot of it in a very unique way. You made possible, made real, every one of those stories. And that’s straight-up magic.

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Ok, not really, no one waits with baited breath for these, but I can barely remember what I’ve published in any given year, so here is a reminder for 2012, should you be inclined to nominate works for awards. Hugo nominations are open, Nebulas will be opening soon, and you can actually nominate for the World Fantasy Awards exactly as you would the Hugos, though many don’t seem to know that.

If you’re not the nominating type, please enjoy things I have made!

Turns out I can totally remember what I published in 2012 though! After the avalanche of books in 2011, 2012 was a fairly slim year. Here’s the fiction I committed:

Short Stories:

Fade to White (Novelette, Clarkesworld–atompunk gender dystopia)
One Breath, One Stroke (The Future Is Japanese–calligraphy, demons, sentient lightning, oh my)

Poems (Eligible for the Rhysling Award):

What the Dragon Said: A Love Story (Tor.com)
Mouse Koan (Tor.com)
Aquaman and the Duality of Self/Other, America, 1985 (Tor.com)


The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Feiwel and Friends)

The Girl Who Fell Beneath is eligible for the Hugo Novel category (YA novels rarely make it, but there’s no YA category yet. One can always hope.) and the Andre Norton Award, and it’s also eligible for the Nebula Novel category.

I’m pretty proud of my output this year. It’s less than usual, but I think I did good work. That’s all I can ask of myself. (Repeat until true.)

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So like a boss genius, I locked myself out of my office last night.

I left the key on my desk and locked the door behind me and I couldn’t find my spare anywhere and the landlord K (who lives two doors down) wasn’t home to open it and All My Book was on the office computer and I stood outside like a Victorian waif pawing at the window.

I called the landlord, left a message, ate dinner. We went back to see if we could get a window open–we could not. In frustration, Dmitri tried the door again, which had DEFINITELY been locked before dinner–and it was open! Hooray! Christmas is saved!

We figured K had come and opened it for us and just hadn’t bothered to call back or anything. Got my daily work done and didn’t think anymore of it.

K called this morning to arrange meeting me to open the office. I explained that it was open a few hours later and we thought she’d done it–she had, clearly, not.

Whereupon K laughed and said “Oh, well, that’s the building, though. It has a history of things like that. Radios turning on and off, that sort of thing. All benign, but I’m sure it won’t be the first time something strange happens there! Have a good day!”

Oh my god, I love this island. And New England. And Maine. My office has a friendly ghost that lets me in when I lock myself out. Of course it does. Caspar the Friendly Locksmith.

Best haunting ever.

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Well, hello there, Internet.

I am sure it has not gone unnoticed that I have fallen into a black hole of radio silence the likes of which I have not indulged in since, well, before I started blogging in the first place.


I’ll try to thumbnail this as best I can: I’ve been depressive all my life. And for the last eight years I have run as far as I can as fast as I can as hard as I can, using myself up on every level in order to make it as a writer, in order to get out of the morass I’d made of my life in my early twenties, in order to get to Maine and get to self-sufficient and in general get to where I am now. I have had to face up to the fact that energy, my energy, is actually finite.

In short: you know how you guys keep asking me how I write so many books and blog and write articles and go on tour for months and make circuses and cook and knit and raise a billion animals? And I always answer “Badly,” and everyone laughs? The answer is badly, it has always been badly, and I only held it all together by sheer force of will, desire to do what I do forever, a fair amount of good Puritan shame at not Accomplishing Everything At The Same Time All the Time and must be Perfect Provider and Perfect Housewife Both At Once, and the energy that comes from being young and driven and compulsive in one’s work habits.

After all, if you can work so hard you lose sight of everything else in the world and pitch yourself face-first into an exhaustive breakdown, anything less than that is slacking, right? Well. Quite so. 2012 was meant to be a year of mostly rest and then touring like a mad Wheeler for the autumn and winter. Instead I was sick for the first four months of the year, which put every single other thing on my schedule back four months and left me no time to recover from the craziness of 2011. And then I spent the summer in Europe (poor me, I know, but it was mostly working) and had a bare breath of being home before a tour that ran six weeks and god knows how many cities and just took everything out of me.

Tours are magic, tours are a gift from the publishing gods these days, tours give so much beauty and love. Some truly, truly amazing things have happened to me in the last few months. Holy shit you guys, I was in Time Magazine. Twice. But touring takes a level of social energy that borders on a superpower. And it takes time to recharge. And I haven’t had a moment to recharge in two years.

And I am writing the third Fairyland novel. When a novel is going well, I am Chipper and Glee and Want to Talk to Everyone. When it isn’t, I can’t bear any kind of communication that isn’t between me and the book. I think this book and I are finally starting to get along, and my chest is starting to feel less heavy about anything involving typing.

I have neglected this blog and the Internet and the world most heinously. I am going to try to be better, without hurting myself. That’s probably a good mantra for the year. But I knew my depression was a horse of a different color this time because I stopped blogging. I’ve blogged for twelve years, no matter how dire anything was. I stopped playing video games. I stopped knitting. I stopped all the things that brought me pleasure because experiencing pleasure caused me so much anxiety I couldn’t even face it.

This is personal stuff, I know. I’m talking about it because I know so many people suffer from depression and it’s not talked about and especially not talked about if you are an Type A Over-Accomplisher Semi-Semi-Public Figure. So I’m saying: I’ve been in a dark place. Exhaustion and sickness and hitting the energy wall and Overly Dramatic Life Things I won’t get into. I’ve sought medication for depression for the first time; it didn’t go so well and I’m debating whether to pursue that course further. At least I’m home for awhile. Catching up on everything I’ve let slide. And making fiction again.

But I’m trying to come out. It’s not a popping out of the ground with YMCA arms thing. It’s a process. And step one is coming out of online hiding.

So hi. It’s been awhile.

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Hi guys–I’m at an airport on my way to Houston. I have eaten a fried chicken sandwich for the first time in a year and I’m not really sorry!

Big correction–the Book Cellar Event in Chicago is on Saturday, October 13th at 7pm, not Friday, October 12th, as previously reported. Some confusion on the office side. So sorry if this is confusing! I hope to see a bunch of you in the Windy City.

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