Story Sales, Jury Summons, and More

Winter is coming. No, scratch that. Winter is here. It’s in the dark, gloomy skies, the icy wind, the slushy road, and in the overpowering desire to go into hibernation for the next four months. Wake me in April when the days at least start to get longer, if no less chilly.

I’m not here to write about the weather, though. I have two great short story sales to report. I sold my second story to Lightspeed Magazine, yay! The first wasn’t a fluke, heh. And I sold my first ever story to The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. After five years of trying! Never give up, never surrender!

Both stories should be out some time next year and I’ll be sure to post links when they are. In other news, I polished up the middle grade secondary-world fantasy I’ve been working on and sent it off to my agent. And I started writing another middle grade fantasy, this one a contemporary fantasy based in India. I’m working on another couple of projects too, but it’s too early to say what length they will be. Some things are flash, some are shorts, some are longer and often you won’t know what they are until you’ve spent time with them.

In November, I was one of the inaugural speakers at Ephemera, a new reading series in Toronto held at Glad Day Bookshop on the first Wednesday of every month. If you live in the GTA, I heartily recommend attending. Starting in 2020, they will be reserving open mic spots for up-and-coming speculative fiction authors.

What else? This morning I was at the courthouse, summoned for jury selection. I received the summons in September and ever since then, it had been hanging over me like a sword. Of course, I was determined to do my civic duty. But suppose I got selected to be a juror in some terrible criminal trial? Would I be up to it? My imagination (and newspapers) supplied several ghastly details.

The day dawned. Of course I woke madly early. I went armed with books and bananas, having been warned of the lack of food in the courthouse. I even got my laptop in case the urge to write seized me. When I arrived, I asked about the internet. I was told there was no wifi, because they didn’t want people playing games in court. Fair enough. I sat in a room with about a hundred other people, waiting quietly and patiently to be selected. Two hours, three restroom breaks, one banana, and three chapters later (The Palace of Illusions, fantastic book) everyone perked up. The jury manager entered. This was it, I thought, putting my book away.

Except it wasn’t. We were told there was no need for juries at the moment, and we could all just go home. I could sense the relief of half the crowd, the disappointment of the rest, mirroring my own mixed feelings. The elderly lady next to me said bitterly, “This is the third time this is happening to me. I’m not coming back unless they get their act together.”

I sympathize. I could see she’d been really hoping to get selected this time. As for me, I sense I have read entirely too many legal thrillers at a young and impressionable age. I blame John Grisham for my unrealistic expectations. Oh well, next time!

About Rati Mehrotra

Science fiction and fantasy writer. I blog at: Thanks for dropping by!
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