This is it: the final contributor spotlight for our crowdfunding anthology Aether Beyond the Binary, featuring 17 aetherpunk stories starring non-binary characters! Now, by going through the campaign updates, you can read biographies of all seventeen authors featured in this anthology and read excerpts from their works! We hope you’ll do so, and love what you read! We’ll be putting up a single post linking all the spotlights on Tuesday (January 23rd) so be on the lookout!
The crowdfunding campaign for Duck Prints Press’s next anthology Aether Beyond the Binary ends in 4 days and we are still $2,000 from our funding goal. We’d love your helping ensuring this project succeeds: so signal boost our posts or become a backer TODAY!
About Catherine: Catherine E. Green (pronouns: xe/xem/xyr or they/them/their) is an agender person, one who’s had an on-again, off-again love affair with writing. Xe began writing when xe was a wee thing, when xyr other major pastimes were playing xyr mother’s NES and roughhousing with the boys next door. It’s only in the past few years that they have begun writing consistently and publishing their writing, fanfiction and original writing alike, leading to their first published short story titled “Of Loops and Weaves.”
Outside of writing, xe is a collector of books and sleep debt and an avid admirer of the cosmos. Playing video games, reading a variety of fiction genres (primarily fantasy, queer romance, and manga and graphic novels of all kinds), and working on wrangling their own personal data archiving projects occupy most of their free time. Xe is also proud to announce xyr graduation from a crocheting a single scarf to crocheting several scarves and other projects.
This is Catherine’s first time contributing as a writer to a Duck Prints Press anthology, but xe were an editor on our anthology Aim For The Heart: Queer Fanworks Inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s “The Three Musketeers”, and xe are also an editor for Aether Beyond the Binary. Xyr short story Of Loops and Weaves is linked above.
An Interview with Catherine E. Green
How did you pick the name you create under?
Catherine is my meatspace name. The E. Green is an homage to my grandmother, who is herself a writer and poet and someone I look to for writing advice and inspiration. She was my first beta when I was first starting to write, and I cannot thank her enough for her loving support.
Are you a pantser, a planner, or a planster? What’s your process look like?
I’m somewhere in between a pantser and a planster. I usually go into writing something with some overarching idea (like a theme or a shape of a scene) and begin the actual act of writing with setting the scene. However, if the words aren’t coming, before I resolve to try again another day, I try writing something somewhere in the middle of the narrative – just to try to trick my brain into cooperating with me. This will sometimes lead to some internal consistencies in my writing (which one reason I love editing so much – love, love, love it), but it gets words on the page, which is often my biggest hurdle.
What do the phrases “writer’s block” or “art block” mean to you?
Writer’s block, to me, is when the filters my anxiety has built up in my mind sufficient block my creative output. It’s when I question every word I put on the page to the point where nothing I write feels worth keeping, much less moving on from. I don’t know that it’s ever something I’ll be able to work through, but I’m trying our being kinder with myself and addressing my mental health issues to see if both combined help reduce how long my writer’s block lasts for. Here’s hoping!
What are your favorite resources and tools for your craft?
iPad with a magic keyboard, Google Docs, and either Notepad or some sticky notes for things I want to bear in mind while I’m writing. I’ve tried Scrivener and similar software, but I’ve never vibed with any of them.
What is your “dream project” – the thing you’d see as the culmination of your work as a creator?
I wrote a short story during my undergraduate studies that still have a fondness for to this day. It’s contemporary fantasy-type thing set in a lonely, not-quite-haunted cul-de-sac, where the lights and people seem to fade in and out of existence. It’s about identity, companionship among people who come from very different backgrounds, and the importance of language in how it shapes identity and relationships. I want to expand the work into a novel at some point, if I can, but we’ll see.
Tell us about your pet(s).
I have a 6-year-old tuxedo cat named Yennefer (yes, the reference). My brother and I adopted her a couple years ago from a small rural animal shelter. At the time, the shelter had given her the name Jennifer, so Yennefer was hardy a jump at all. And, goodness, does she have the personality to match. She’s my energetic boo-boo head, who likes to sleep on my bookshelves and knock over my coffee, and I love her to bits.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Try to write a little bit every day, even if it’s only a hundred words. The period of time when I was writing everyday was when I felt the best about my writing and when I felt like I was most capable shutting down the filters in my brain that make it difficult to write.
If you could give one piece of advice to a new creator who came to you for help, what would that advice be?
1) Read, read, read. Read a little bit of everything: fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, mystery, science fiction, history, etc. Read about writing. Read works by people whose style you vibe with and those by people whose style you don’t. Every bit of reading helps build a scaffold onto which you can hang your own ideas and words, and having a more stable scaffolding, and more stable foundation can only help your writing improve.
2) Learn how to talk about your writing, especially once you get to a point where you’re engaging the services of alphas, betas, and editors. The writer and the editor work best together when there can be open dialogue, and open dialogue is only possible when all parties involved can talk about the work in a productive way.
3) Figure out the kind of environment you work best in, whether that includes music or white noise or nothing, what kind of device you prefer typing on or if you prefer hand-writing, whether you work best in long stretches every so often or in short, frequent stretches, and so on. Try to craft your perfect writing space.
4) Writing is a skill one can work on improving over the course of an entire life. There is no end-point at which you are suddenly a good writer. Every word you write is a small step toward better your writing in one way or another, so try not to become too frustrated with yourself if you don’t feel like you’re improving. You are—I promise.
Catherine’s Contribution to Aether Beyond the Binary
Title: To Hold the World Close
Very much unlike the typical saying “Sending along warm thoughts” and its various approximations, which often convey a rather intangible, often perfunctory, sentiment, Adrienne surrounds the swirling mass of fear, embarrassment, and grief with a warmth of xyr own. It’s the warmth of a community coming together to bring someone up from their knees; it’s the wondrous comfort of a light breeze and a spot of shade on an otherwise murderous hot summer day; it’s the pleasant touch of a loved one. I can’t be with you, my dear, not in person, but please take some measure of comfort from me, if you can, and seek out those who love you.