Like a Woman anthology

Anthologies are a great experience! This is open to both male and female writers for any who may be interested.

Steamdragon's Lair

Like a Woman: An anthology of speculative fiction inspired by women, would like to invite authors to submit stories for publication.

All submissions need to be in the speculative fiction genre and reflect the theme- like a woman. This includes fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, horror, steampunk, dystopian, etc. If you’re unsure, please feel free to ask.

Submissions need to be between 3,000 and 7,000 words in length, but we will consider stories which are a little shorter or longer. We prefer good stories over precise word counts!

We would love submissions to be aimed at a largely adult audience, but if your story has broad appeal, that’s great too.

We’re not looking for stories with erotica, but mild sex scenes are fine. We would also prefer stories not be overly gorey.

We’re open to submissions from both women and men, as long as they’re well-written.

We will not accept stories…

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Mini-Interview: Nameless

Author Olga Godim interviewed my character in ‘Breath Between Seconds’ for our upcoming release of Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, a fantasy anthology about lost heros!

Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life

bubble_knightinterview3Our IWSG anthology, Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life, includes 12 tales of heroes lost or fallen, struggling or bewildered, living in fantasy worlds or in our own. Some of them agreed to have a mini-interview on this blog.

My next guest is a nameless young woman, a lieutenant from Lesleigh Nahay’s story Breath Between Seconds.

Tell me about yourself—name, profession, home, family, the usual.

Why? Who would care about me?

How did you end up in this crazy adventure your story talks about?

Adventure? There is a war. Death and blood and battle for the last eight and a half years. It is my honor to defend my House in its endeavors to make us better and stronger. My House wishes to increase our holdings for the benefit of its people. The area in question lays vacant. Its inhabitants are gone. Dead. Why leave its…

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2017 is heading in a bad direction.

2016 didn’t end much better.

For the pets in my family.

My sister was supposed to fly in for a visit in November, when her 6 year old cat suddenly crashed. The diagnosis turned out to be colon cancer. Oddly enough, this is what our grandmother died of. Weiwei died just a couple of weeks ago. Only six years old.

In December, my cousin began texting me that her dog (also around 6 I believe) had suddenly gone paralyzed. She took Coco to the neurologist, who ended up needing spinal surgery!…..a couple days after my cousin’s father was hospitalized for back surgery! But Coco (and her people!) recovered quickly and without incident 🙂

And now it’s my house’s turn. A couple of days after Christmas, my 15 year old pit started limping, and my whole being plummeted. I knew that it wasn’t an injury, and given her age, I was terrified with the alternative: cancer. It goes with her history in a way. Every time I’m prepared to take her in for a dental, she blows a leg. She’s had cruciate surgery in both knees already. I thought we were safe this time. But no. Front leg.

As I no longer work in a veterinary clinic, and as I recently moved to this area, I had to figure out how to find a veterinarian. That sucks. It really does. I do not like being on this end of things. The vet we went to took X-Rays, but wasn’t sure. I was able to have them emailed to me, and showed them to veterinarian colleagues, who both suspect cancer as well. I haven’t told my children yet, and she and I are going to another vet on Tuesday. Over a month on pain medicine, and her limp has increased. And I’m afraid.

suni taking a break

I’ve already been watching my eighteen year old cat like a hawk since last summer, when I was sure she’d go. Several masses sprouted up on her, and then they opened. She no longer looks like the picture below, which was only two years ago. Only two years! Seeing how much she’s changed is very disheartening. She no longer grooms herself, and has lost half her weight by the looks of this picture. I wasn’t prepared for that.

Masses on cats are bad. Talking my sister through things was very personal, as I was silently going through the same decisions with my own cat: when is it enough? When is it clear that their death is going to be a long time coming, and that their pain is only growing; when do we know to say that it’s time? I had it planned, her humane endpoint, but now I’m forced to rethink it, and make myself be a tech and not her person, and rely on what my intuition is trying to tell me. And so she has a vet appointment as well now. An ‘I don’t know what to do’ appointment. I sought out some familiar comfort by finding a cat’s-only clinic, even though it’s across the border in Illinois (it’s not that big a drive). How are there no cat clinics in Indiana? I so miss my Colorado people right now.


I have dealt with this in my career for the last 18 years, and yet to face it personally, all I can think is indecision. And fear. Lots of fear.

But I Can’t

I’m supposed to be writing my cheerful cover release post about my upcoming anthology (which I’m truly, genuinely thrilled about), but I can’t. Actually, I’m supposed to HAVE written my cover release post. I’m a week behind.

But I can’t. I’m glued to my phone, watching my world unfurl. Watching my children’s world, their future, unfurl. I was not this heartbroken or upset during 9/11. And I was both then. I was terrified, holding my six month old and thinking we were going to go into WWIII. Now he’s fifteen, and while I can no longer hold him, I am more terrified. WWIII is actually closer now than it was then.

I may write fantasy, but I live and breathe in a real world. I can even distinguish fact from ‘alternate fact’ from lie from make-believe. And I love my make-believe. My house is covered in dragons and a few unicorns, and I am highly prone to daydreams and hearing the banter of voices that aren’t mine reverberate through my head sometimes non-stop. Yet my real-world persona exists in a science career.

My small department is made up of women. Women with an education- of varying degrees and experience- in science and medicine. And we serve a larger department of scientists; of which, maybe 1% is American. The rest are from everywhere: Romania, Sweden, India, China, Ireland, varying Arabic nations, Vietnam, Africa. Sometimes, it may take three of us to decipher someone’s broken or mislearned, or heavily accented English. I told my son to skip Spanish as a High School language and seek out Mandarin, even though he’s part Mexican. Many days I wish I spoke Mandarin.

I hear talk of visas, of visa trouble, but honestly, I really don’t care. My life is richer for working with such an amazing group of vastly different, yet remarkably similar people. They embody Chicago. They represent our entire melting pot of a country.

I watched the live feed from today, and my thoughts went to them. Same as it did the Monday after the election. Same as it did during the end of the campaign, especially while working with visiting medical professionals from France and Germany and the UK. These people are devoting themselves to the advancement and improvement of our health, with US bragging rights, and what does my country do in return? Attack the scientific community, put a gag on the sharing of data, and now put into physical and visible effect, the attack of a specific demographic of people. To attack one of us is to attack all of us.

I am so ashamed of my government, yet watching the immediate response of my people, I can also feel growing pride.




We Will Eat You Whole



I am so ANGRY.

I don’t think you understand the quantity of the word ‘I’.

I don’t think you understand the RAGE whirling around within the state of this anger.

Not I as in sole, me. I, as in millions. There are millions walking around like us, filled with rage at the state of our country; with the ignorant, defamatory, stunted views of our very neighbors, family, friends. Chivalry itself is a fairy tale.

Four days into the new presidency, and I feel as though the fabric of our democracy has been shredded. The fabric of humanity, decency, and the environmental survival instinct that seems to be missing in our current administration. At this rate, there will be absolutely nothing left of US (U.S., America, no longer United States of) by the time he’s gone- whether he’s impeached or overthrown in a month, or whether he somehow has a full four years more.

-Isn’t that a more accurate word? Administration, not government, absolutely not president. Especially not precedent.

ADMINISTRATION: the process or activity of running a business

ADMINISTER: dispense or apply. deal out or inflict (punishment). ‘manage’, ‘control’, ‘handle’, steer, ‘govern’, gaslight (if it fits…)

PRECEDENT: an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances

Two autumns ago, I was rolling my eyes about all the new WWII and Nazi themed YA books I kept coming across. Ok already. We’ve learned our lesson. Let’s move on.

And now it is so seratedly-sharp clear that we never did. That the generations between mine and theirs, and the generations after me, didn’t hear a damn thing. What would all those men and women who died to end that say to us now? Nothing. I think they’d be so speechless with shame and abhorrence, they’d be incapable of producing one word. All their sacrifice, for their descendents to willingly chose a repeat. Their generation didn’t know what they’d done. Mine knows. And they did it anyway. Because a black man with a foreign sounding name was president and nothing bad happened.

I can completely agree to the reasons why many could not vote for Clinton. I can see the need for something new, for maybe a non-politician. But HIM? That was your solution? That was your collective descision? Not a green-party, or an independant? We’d have all jumped on board! ALL of us. You couldn’t even chose a different republican? You did this. By next year, ‘I’m sorry’ will be unacceptable.

While I’m tearing up reading about what the TPP agreement stood for and protected, watching my (I’m every woman, you bastard) rights to a safe, medically sound abortion be yanked away by a group of men who openly brag about sexual assault, who cheat on their wives and cheat on their girlfriends and laugh through it all cause god damn it they’re Sunday Christians and white and rich and have a penis NO ONE can dictate the use of. (Who dictated that your genitals and reproductive abilities are off limits?) While I’m stressing about this, about the decrees of censorship, the blockade and possible death of a free press, a dictator’s breakdowns and bi-polar like highs; while I’m upset about attacking people like my great-grandparents, who seek a home in a country that’s supposed to be better, ‘progressive’, safer; while I’m wordless about a pipeline that will permanently poison and destroy not merely my earth, my country, my people, my environment, my water, my future (my as in millions, as in yours, you ignorant morons)- I’m seeing posts about how he was chosen by god! Pictures of him signing these rapes into effect with Jesus smiling down on him and holding the pen in his hand. What the fuck type of god do you people believe in?! He created this world for rich white men with penises to plunder and pilage and DESTROY?

How force-fed were you with the guilt of ‘original sin’ being all the fault of us, women? WTH? Women who somehow find a way to berate and attack something as purely good and civil and binding and UNPRECEDENTED as hundreds of millions of women of every sort of color, age, religion, and economic background coming together in unity on the same day ALL OVER THE WORLD, are the definition of evil. You are. If something like that doesn’t induce awe, or nudge you to step back and reconsider, or to actually listen and take stock, then there’s no antedote for the koolaide you’re drinking.

I am so angry.  So angry because I cannot stay silent. So angry that my private politics must now, ethically, morally, become vocalized. Those who stay silent…..

I write about this shit. It’s supposed to stay in the realm of fantasy and fiction.



And hell hath no fury.


L. Nahay's Blog

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