In hindsight, arranging an international move with family and a cat during a pandemic, across a border that went from EU-internal to third country during the move, might not have been the wisest thing to do. But we did, and we are now settled in Sweden, with our old home in the UK sold, and most of the bureaucracy of it all now sorted.
Unfortunately, the stress of it almost broke me, and in the middle of December, when the sale of our UK home was finalised, all the pent-up stress hit me with a complete writer’s block. I had to abandon my traditional Advent tale, and wasn’t able to write anything again until late January this year.
But I am recovering, and I have started writing again.
Anyway, in 2021 I wrote just under 300 microstories which I posted on Twitter, Facebook, Mastodon and Tumblr.
As usual I am eligible for the “Fan Writer” category in the Hugo awards.
As a sample of my work, I’ll include the most popular (by Twitter interactions) story for each month below, with some brief commentary.
I don’t really have anything to add to this.
I imagine that the second time you have to go out and save the world is the worst. The first time is probably bad, but then it’s over, and it’s done. Having to do it again must be worse.
But once you’ve had to do it again, doing it again again must be easier.
Referencing the ship Ever Given, which was stuck in the Suez Canal, and blocked an inordinate amount of international shipping for a few days. Less than four hours after posting this story, the ship was partially freed, and after another ten hours it was underway, so I squeezed this one in just in time.
Also, note the brain fart where I wrote Suez Channel instead of Suez Canal. I beg your forgiveness – it was late, and I was likely floating between languages.
Things are rarely as simple as this or that, the one or the other. It is easy to forget that.
It is really unprofessional to toy with your victims.
I have never had a dog myself, but I have witnessed friends’ dogs fetch all kinds of interesting things. Not a sword though.
There once was, in the UK, a dial-up internet provider called Demon, where all support engineers were rumoured to be called Bob. This was written for them.
This story was most well received on Tumblr, which is the social media platform that holds on to its memes most dearly, cherishing and nurturing them for years.
Ea-nasir, a seller of sub-par quality copper ingots and the subject the world’s oldest customer complaint letter, is a firm favourite there.
Was there something in the news around then about billionaires not paying much in tax? Probably. There usually is.
I think this was inspired by some fic or story riffing off myths of ancient Greece.
You haven’t freed someone if you take custody of them yourself.
Libraries always offered me sanctuary.
It is a bit magical, that song.
This story was inspired by watching that video of the Green Day concert in Hyde Park in London, where the 65000 people in the crowd sang the whole song (including guitar solo). It’s amazing.
A story which I am very proud of since half the comments on it were “Ooof!” and half were “I don’t get it”: