Ana’s Advent Calendar, Day 21: How was created

red green square

How was created, and how I met my co-admin, Angel Martinez.
Of course, there are two sides to every story.


It all started on a snowy Christmas eve… OK, it was actually January 8th, 2014, and being that I was in Sacramento, there was no snow. But I think I had the idea around Christmas. Does that count?

I was writing again, after a twenty year dry spell. I was looking for a community of likeminded folks online to chat with, and I found a few on Facebook. But none of them was doing quite what I wanted to do – bringing together a diverse group of writers and readers from across the LGBT speculative fiction spectrum.

I created the blog/website and the Facebook page, but I knew I couldn’t do the whole Queer Sci Fi thing on my own. I would need an accomplice if I was going to take the web by storm.

And I had my eyes on Angel from the start. I met her early on on Facebook, and was impressed with her long list of published works and her sweet, friendly demeanor. So I got on one knee and asked her to be my co-admin.

Oh, she played coy at first. Claimed she had responsibilities to another group. Said she just didn’t have time. Mumbled something about space demons and pink hedgehogs that I didn’t even pretend to understand.

And once, I kid you not, she simply said she had to wash her hair.

But bit by bit, I wore her down. I am tenacious like that. I sent her chocolate bars. I wrote her haikus. I knitted her a purple bonnet her cat. I even offered to fly to the Garden State to rub her feet (which, frankly, probably wouldn’t have worked since she lives in Delaware).

But eventually I got to her – it was something about my sunny personality (and the fact that she probably figured out I’d never give up until she said yes). And so she came on board.

Oh, we’ve had our bumps in the road as a power couple – like the time I promised to publish every single story that met our criteria for our second flash fiction contest, regardless. Or the time I bought the smallest buttons ever created, to promote the QSF site at Rainbow Con. Or the time I accidentally sold her cat into the Czech feline slave trade.

Come to think of it, I guess I’m the bump in the road, most of the time.

But we chalked it up to the fact that we were figuring it all out as we went. We even named 2015 The Year of the Learning Curve.

What will next year be called? I have no idea. But I can’t wait to find out.



Okay, I suppose it all did start around January of 2014, though how anyone could think that growly little me has a sunny disposition is beyond me. Diplomatic, maybe. Sometimes. Friends have told me I try to be Switzerland, but of course, that’s not accurate either. I never have enough money or chocolate, and don’t know the first thing about watches more’s the pity.

Scott and I met online on another group and, at the time, I was ears deep in deadlines, co-admining two other groups, and trying to deal with the weirdness of a small business. To be asked at that point to help out with one more thing? My head would have exploded.

Eventually, though, writing life settled down, a couple of previous obligations faded away, and Scott was still asking. Can you do it now? Can you do it now? How about now? Okay, I’ll wait. How about now? You know, like that Simpsons episode where the kids bug Homer non-stop for three days and nights to take them to Splash World. Maybe not quite that bad, but Scott is persistent. It’s one of his most important traits because it gets stuff done. I said yes to becoming a co-conspirator in this whole QSF thing partly because of that persistence and partly because I really wanted to work with Scott. All kidding aside, he was always positive and upbeat in all of our interactions, and I loved the idea of the community he wanted to build.

We’ve both done a lot of learning this year, about each other, about tech stuff that I always struggle with, about how the struggle for an inclusive community is an ongoing thing and not just a label. We’re still learning. That’s what life is, right?

After working together online for some time, we finally got to meet face to face last summer at Rainbow Con, a meeting we were both ridiculously nervous about. What if we didn’t like each other in person? What if one of us had terrible habits the other couldn’t stand? What if Scott picked his teeth in public and smoked cigars? We shouldn’t have worried. It was just as easy to interact face to face as it was online. I think we’re from the same litter or something.

Scott’s the idea man. I try to bring things back to what’s possible, the rock that holds us in reality. Scott may look at it as the stone dragging him down, but hey, it works. We’re looking forward to next year and more exciting things to come.


qsfThanks to a partnership with Mischief Corner Books, QSF also has a book out – Discovery: QSF’s Second Annual Flash Fiction Contest – more than a hundred speculative fiction stories that are no more than 300 words each. 🙂

It’s hard to tell a story in just 300 words. But somehow we inspired more than a hundred writers to give it a try, with some amazing results collected here for your pleasure.
The rules are simple enough. Write a complete story—either sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal. Make sure it has LGBT characters and/or an LGBT vibe. And do it all with just 300 words.
The stories in this volume run the gamut, from platypus shifters to alien slug monsters, from carnival horror stories to haunting stories of ships with souls. There are little jokes, big surprises, and future prognostications.
One of the things I like best about this format – it’s quick and painless. You may not fall in love with every story here. In fact, you probably won’t. But if you don’t like one of them, just move on to the next, and you’re sure to find some bite-sized morsels of flash fiction goodness.At Queer Sci Fi, we’re building a community of writers and readers who want a little rainbow in their speculative fiction. We hope you’ll join us, and maybe submit a story of your own next time!


39 thoughts on “Ana’s Advent Calendar, Day 21: How was created

  1. Irishey says:

    Short-short stories can be fun and charming, and they can make you cry, or slug you in the gut and take away your breath. Nevertheless, I usually want more.

    The itty-bitties are like wanting a slice of cheesecake or pecan pie, and getting a paper-thin sliver instead. The melt-on-your-tongue sweetness is nice, but immediately it’s gone. This fleeting taste offers no clue you are missing the amazing experience of savoring an entire forkful of the rich, substantial, decadent dessert in the manner it was designed to interact with your mouth, tongue, taste buds.

    They also can be like indulging in a small chunk of the very finest dark chocolate. The flavor bursts in your mouth before it gets there. The aroma wafts into your senses, your mouth waters in anticipation. Your lips part to breathe in the scent through your mouth, your tongue tasting before touching this tantalizing morsel. Your mouth opens to receive the treat cradle gently, delicately melting, between the thumb and two fingers guiding it toward you.

    Oh, wait, I was only going to thank both of you, Scott and Angel, for telling the two sides of the story of how got started, and for sharing links to the short stories. I bet that was hecticfun putting all that together.

    I am strangely craving a cup of hot cocoa, with mini marshmallows, so I think that is in order while I rustle up some country breakfast. We are preparing to travel, so I may not be able to devote time to reading the stories anytime soon. I will check back here today as comments come in to find out which ones I absolutely must go read, and check them out on the drive tomorrow.

    Thanks, again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joelle Casteel says:

    Love the “two sides of the story’ thing. The cover art on your book looks great. I so empathize with Angel; I’m always doing too much. In fact, in my stress, I’ve started mumbling “Too much to do,” which always nets me a “There’s always too much to do. Settle down” from my dominant- because (with total snark intended) that’s oh so helpful to say.

    Oo, I want that book now 😀 LGBT speculative fiction is such a wonderful pairing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. JoanneBest says:

    First thing I did before commenting was go to the Queer Sci Fi website and put it in my favorites so I can go back and spend more time at the site. 🙂

    Count me in with the lovers of ‘two sides of the story’, although I was slightly disappointed that my Garden State of NJ isn’t the home of Angel 😀 Although I can see Delaware when I go to Cape May and stand at the edge of Sunset Beach ❤

    Thank you for giving us some insight into what it can take to get something as awesome as this together, a lot of time and hard work but the outcome is worth it. I'm looking forward to reading your book, actually I am considering submitting something, I wrote a lot of short short stories on a writing site where the maximum word-count allowed is 300 words or less and it gave me a lot of practice learning how to shorten my usually lengthy writing into something concise yet interesting and readable, it's not as easy as it may sound!
    When I first saw the title of today's post my mind immediately went to Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Willow and Tara ❤ one of my favorite TV couples ever. Anything that makes me think about Buffy is automatically awesome in my mind 😀

    Thanks again Scott and Angel, hope you both have a Merry Christmas! ❤


  4. pieclown says:

    Hi. That a cute he said/she said. I have look at you site, but I am sort off in a to timy wimy wibble wobbly place. I hope you have great success with bringing sci-fi to all. I am a fan of She-Zo. It has a boy that turns into a super heroine.

    Thanks being part of the madness here.
    Pie pie 4 now


  5. catrouble says:

    I’m with the others…enjoying the ‘two sides of the story’. Love the way you two seem to balance each other. Thanks for sharing your links…been a very long and tiring day so am bookmarking them to look at later in the week. Thanks for sharing.

    Hugs and blessings…Cat


  6. awesomesub says:

    Hi Scott and Angel, I enjoyed reading that Scott doesn’t pick his teeth in public and that the two of you became the team behind Just teasing, you sound like such a wonderful team, where one complements the other. That’s awesome, and I hope you’ll publish more great titles. My own experience with sci fi is rather limited, but I like all kinds of short stories, and I have not heard about flash fiction before, so I’ll definitely read the book.

    … I wonder what the astronaut with the rainbow eyes is doing there.




  7. renee200 says:

    Loved this story especially the two perceptions of it. i have gone and checked out the site and made sure I knew how to find it again. So many times I only have a short time to read and these stories fit that moment perfectly. Thanks and blessings. R


  8. Laura says:

    I’m with everyone else in loving the two sides of how QueerSciFi came into being. I’m definitely going to go check it out after leaving here. I didn’t know it was possible to use only 300 words to tell a story. Color me rainbow. Thanks for letting us(me) meet both of you and Happy Holidays. Go me so politically correct today. lol


  9. SH says:

    I read this post early yesterday morning and then of course, got busy with the holiday festivities 😀

    Anyway, I loved this post! I loved how the two of you worked together to create something special and I loved the humor in your posts 🙂


      • JoanneBest says:

        Hi Ana Pieclown! So I’m not the only sick one in the room? But you got to talk to Ana, I’m too scared to come out of the corner 😛

        Well, I went to the store today for some Christmas stocking stuffers but I don’t think that counts toward perfect attendance….
        I also cleaned and shopped online for Christmas and now I’m stuck in the house with someone who thought it was a good idea to drink massive amounts of Jameson on a Sunday 😛

        Dear Mrs. Claus,
        Do you need another Elf up there in the North Pole? I adjust rather quickly to temperature changes and I love snow. I can bake cookies if you’d like, also, I really love folding laundry so I can take care of all the laundry duties and I am very good with animals. I can take of any and all kitties, puppies and of course, reindeer.
        I promise I won’t look to see who is Naughty or Nice and I will stay in the corner when I’m not needed so I won’t get in anyone’s way.
        I don’t require much, maybe an occasional cup of tea and I clean up after myself. I also clean up after others if they leave a mess, I have a lot of experience in the cleaning up department.
        I also got a lot of Girl Scout Merit Badges when I was younger so I have credentials.
        Thank you for your consideration and a very Merry Christmas,
        Joanne, Elf wannabe
        PS: I also have a great respect and love for Wooden Spoons and I am able to start immediately.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. catrouble says:

    Now what kind of trouble can we get into while Ana is not looking? Of course, she can always report us to Kristine aka Mrs. Claus but then she might get in trouble for leaving us unattended. 😀

    Any ideas?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. JoanneBest says:

    Hey! A little tiny elf crawled into my computer and stole some words from my comments!!!
    There I was, trying to whisper Kristine and instead it came out loud and with a weird symbol like this : in front of Mrs. Claus’s first name! And the elf stole, of all words, “care” when I was trying to explain I would take care of all the kitties and puppies! 😛
    Also, the elf stole my scared face and turned it into this- : , and this O , and now I’m really scared and heading to the corner (whistling innocently, like Irishy )

    I’m going back to the corner and will check in later….I hope…. 😀

    Add me to the list of Ana-worriers hoping she’s sleeping like the Angel she is ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  12. catrouble says:

    I do hope Ana is getting her much needed rest but sheesh…I do believe I’m hearing a lot of clucking from the chickens around here. You’re either sucking up to Kristine or pointing fingers at me…except for PieClown. *cluck* *cluck* 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • JoanneBest says:

      Heehee! Catrouble,I was only trying to help you keep your name in good-standing, you know, the ‘trouble’ part 😛

      You and PieClown are brave but not me! Nuh uh! I am a scaredy cat from head to toe. Mostly. 😉
      And besides, my letter to, ahem, Mrs. Claus, (hey, it’s 5 days till Christmas, I have to be careful!!) wasn’t a suck-up, it was a pleading with Mrs. Claus (Kristine, said super fast and whispered) to get me away from Jameson-chuggers 😛

      Oh! Look! Over there! On Hallmark Channel! A new Christmas movie! “Christmas Land”! And a new post to come soon!!!
      🙂 (make believe there’s a halo there lol)

      (skedaddles) 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  13. kaisquared4 says:

    Cluck, cluck, cluck….. I hope I don’t lay an egg 🙂

    I am enjoying the rainbow of cookie doughs, perhaps we can lob the dough around the room with nice big wooden spoons, borrowed from Mrs. Claus.

    Ana, we totally behaved like angels ………. LOL

    Liked by 3 people

  14. JoanneBest says:

    I am soooo glad I was #amwriting heehee
    Between hurling dough and slingshots made with Mrs. Claus’s wooden spoons, dang, all the fun stuff happened while I wrote depressing poetry 😛

    And now I can’t stay awake any longer and no new post and curses! No perfect attendance 😀
    Oh well, tried to make it till midnight but i’m falling asleep on my keyboard 😛

    love and hugs mwahhh!!!!!
    sweet dreams all ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • catrouble says:

      If there’s no post for today, then how can marked down from the perfect attendance list. We were here and ready…poor Ana just had a bad day so I’m sure she’ll just give us all a pass for today. Hopefully, we’ll be back on track tomorrow.

      Oh and stealing Kristine’s spoons to make slingshots out of them is fun! Colorful globs of glittery dough all over the place…sticking to walls, ceiling, doors, countertops…woohoo…some even stuck on the windows! 😉 Sure was fun.

      Sweet dreams to you Joanne. ❤

      Hugs and blessings…Cat

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Laura says:

    Hi PieClown – I know I’m late tonight but when Ana isn’t looking I can get into all sorts of trouble. Let’s just say that today not only did I go looking for trouble, I decided to NOT Chriatmas shop even though I still haven’t bought one present(cuz granddaughter was here); and so now tomorrow morning I’m off early to see what I see. Hope everyone had a wonderful, marvelous, stupendous day. see ya tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

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