Four Green Squares

the tiny little blog no-one will ever read

Time for some news? November 28, 2016

Filed under: clarion,writing — FourGreenSquares @ 6:09 pm

After a long silence, some news….

First, my story “Lost Memories of Air” is out in Liquid Imagination. I love the teaser line (which is also the first line of the story): “I like Grandma better dead. Even when she does things like this.”

How can you NOT want to read it now?

Also, since I’m here, I’ll add a very late promo announcement for the third annual Clarion

Get your Yellow Volume now! (art by the amazing E.G. Cosh)

Get your Yellow Volume now! (art by the amazing E.G. Cosh)

2012 Awkward Robots fundraiser anthology. Titled the Yellow Volume, its available on pay-what-you-want, with all proceeds going to the Clarion Foundation to support the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop.

My story is called “Half the World is Night” and its about making ice and killing monsters in the desert…


Awkbot Anthology time again–and this time, it’s Orange! October 27, 2015

Filed under: clarion,writing — FourGreenSquares @ 2:41 pm

The Awkbot Clarion Class of 2012 is once again releasing an anthology to fundraise for the Clarion Foundation–and you can grab it now for pre-order from our homepage on a pay-what-you-can basis. All money raised goes to the  Clarion Foundation.

Available now (art by E.G. Cosh)

Available now
(art by E.G. Cosh)

Just in time for Halloween, this year’s theme is Orange, and the anthology contains plenty of shivers, scares and spooky goings-on to make it the perfect thing to curl up with as the nights draw in. Curious to learn more? See what BoingBoing has to say.

Last year, we raised $1500 for Clarion, the marvel-mazing place that brought us together and gave us so much.

Hope you enjoy the stories!

Oh–right. My story.

How’s this for a teaser: In LOST MEMORIES OF AIR, the Festival for the Revered Dead draws to a close, and a young girl has to face what makes life–and the afterlife–worthwhile.

Not enough? I’ll even give you the first line:

I like Grandma better dead. Even when she does things like this.

C’mon, you know you want to find out what happens next, so grab a copy, enjoy some amazing fiction, and help support a great cause. The Orange Volume goes live on Oct. 31.


Write-a-Thon time again July 28, 2015

Filed under: clarion,writing — FourGreenSquares @ 4:26 pm
Tags: ,

Oops. Very late this year, this being the last week and all of the Clarion Write-a-Thon.

Still not too late to sponsor me or indeed any of the other amazing writers participating. All money raised goes to the Clarion workshop in the form of scholarships for students. Anything helps, srsly.

I did have a big long blog post written for the occasion, but I’m sosososo close to finishing the novel that it has simply sucked up my entire life. I will get it up here soon. Thought it’s as good a testament to Clarion as any that I’m too busy writing the novel to post on my blog, instead of the other way around…

But until then, another excerpt from Nothing and Forever below the cut.



News, news, news. Yup, that much news March 6, 2015

Filed under: clarion,writing — FourGreenSquares @ 2:59 pm

So, I said I had some news, did I?

  • So, those of you that did make the awkbot cry, here’s a chance to read my story “A Touch of Red”, which is just out in the Spring 2015 (March) issue of Mirror Dance.


  • My story “Mission Critical”, which first appeared in Luna Station Quarterly’s issue 17 , was selected to appear in its first “Best of” anthology, out later this year. It’s about an alien that eats nearly everyone and how can you not want to read it knowing that?


  • My story “Refugee Status” (one of my Clarion application stories, for the interested) has been accepted by This Dark Matter to be published the first Friday of March. Oh, yeah. Today.  The entire future is being evacuated back to present day, and it’s a love story set in one of the refugee camps. Bear in mind, it is a horror e-zine so maybe it’s not so much of a romance. Or is it…

Seeing this story in print has special meaning. This is the first short story I ever had critiqued or workshopped. God, that feeling of dread and fear expressed as an insane urge to giggle and hide under the cushions. Knowing it wasn’t right but wanting people to tell me it was perfect anyway. Ending up with loads of comments that I then had to figure out how to use, not crumple in a ball and toss under the bed, food for nightmares.
I must have done okay, because it got me in to Clarion (or at least didn’t keep me out). It’s been revised a bit since then but remains the same in essentials.
I even remember where I got the initial idea, from an exercise in The 3 a.m. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises that Transform your Fiction, by Brian Kiteley: “Use Cookery—menu preparation, the love of this process—as a way of understanding a man and a woman’s relationship to one another.”
I just happened to set the kitchen in a refugee camp, in a world having to cope with the entire future being evacuated. Once a sci-fi writer…
So much of my personal writing history is bound up in this story, along with the fact that I could never write it now. I simply would not make these plot choices again. Not that I think they are bad; I’ve just made them already. Mined that vein of inspiration, moved on.
Seeing it out in the world feels like the proper, befitting end to my “learning to write” stage. Not that I think I need to stop learning; I don’t think you can ever stop learning new things about writing, or wanting to improve. But I definitely wouldn’t call myself a beginner, either.
There you go. Stories published in the space of about a week that span about four years of my writing. Such is the strange timeline of the writer’s life.


Get yer Red Volume now October 5, 2014

Filed under: clarion,writing — FourGreenSquares @ 3:06 pm

The Red Volume is out (okay, it has been for a while–my bad).

And it’s received incredibly good reviews: Neil Gaiman recommended us on Twitter,  Cory Doctorow did the same on Boing Boing, called us its “new faves,” and Walter Jon Williams (one of our Clarion instructors) showed the love.

It’s not too late to get your copy. Available on pay-what-you-want, DRM-free, at

And E.G. Cosh, who designed the awkbot on the cover, also put together this cute little video available on youtube.

Don’t make the awkbot cry! Get your copy of the Red Volume today.


Red Volume Launch Day Approaches August 18, 2014

Filed under: clarion,writing — FourGreenSquares @ 7:58 pm

Promo-2-Awkward-robotWe’ve been working hard all summer on our fundraising anthology, and it goes out for sale in just a few weeks!

We’ll be releasing teasers for the stories in the lead up to launch day but you, loyal readers, can have mine now:

“In A Touch of Red by Deborah Bailey, a young girl waits on the banks of a blood-red river  for her mother to return—an outcome that depends on whose prayers the Goddess decides to answer.”

Our press release has received some good exposure, including on the SFWA blog:


Clarion 2012 Releases Fundraiser Antho

Clarion 2012 has issued the following: The Clarion class of 2012—known as the Awkward Robots—wants to tell you a story. Or, more precisely, seventeen stories. About post-singularity dreamscapes, gentrified haunted houses, and redcaps in the trenches at Verdun.

The Red Volume is a collection of stories largely written and revised during the Clarion Foundation’s fundraising write-a-thon, which runs concurrently with the workshop. The anthology will be available this September on a pay-what-you-can basis. Readers can snag a copy for free, or donate any amount from 99 cents up. All proceeds benefit the Clarion Foundation.

AwkBot Luke R. Pebler, whose fiction most recently appeared in the Sword and Laseranthology, proposed the idea to his cohort following a successful reading at WisCon 38. Awkward Robots Read was so well-received, Pebler wanted to put that momentum to good use. The result is a a collection of stories by writers previously published in Lightspeed, Shimmer,Strange Horizons, The New Yorker, and more. The table of contents includes Carmen Maria Machado, winner of the Richard Yates Short Fiction Prize, and Sam J. Miller, recent recipient of the Shirley Jackson Award.

But it takes more than good writing to build an anthology; AwkBot Emma Cosh holds down a day job in graphic design, and Sarah Mack (whose latest story appears in Gone Lawn 15) is a master of eBook distribution. Together, the ‘Bots have created a slick, stylish anthology packed with arresting prose. Jeffrey Ford, winner of the Nebula, Shirley Jackson and World Fantasy Awards, will write The Red Volume‘s introduction. Ford taught week one of Clarion 2012, and fondly refers to the AwkBots as “a bunch of chuckleheads.” You couldn’t ask for a better endorsement.

The Red Volume is available for pre-order at Follow @AwkBots2012 on Twitter for updates.



The Awkward Robots present: The Red Volume June 30, 2014

Filed under: clarion,writing — FourGreenSquares @ 1:42 pm

designed by the amazing E.G. Cosh

Its that time of year.  The Clarion write-a-thon is in full swing.  This year, the Clarion 2012 class is not just fundraising through accepting pledges for x amount of work. We thought it would be good to share the outcome of the all that hard summer writing.

Thus, we are pleased to announce The Red Volume, featuring stories written by the Clarion class of 2012 during the 2014 write-a-thon.

All donors to Clarion though any of our write-a-thon pages will get a copy. Good fic, better cause: can’t get more win-win than that.

In addition, all future proceeds from the anthology will be donated to the Clarion Foundation, which provides scholarships to enable people to attend Clarion. I know Clarion changed both my writing and my life, and the Clarion Foundation makes that experience available to everyone, regardless of financial status.

You know you want a copy! Sponsor me here and grab one!