Category: Uncategorized

Short story publication!

I am delighted to announce that my short story THE LORD OF RUTHVEN HALL is out now in the latest issue of Wyldblood Magazine.

THE LORD OF RUTHVEN HALL is a Gothic tale of wolves, winter, and winning free from traps both mundane and metaphorical. (And, if you’re someone who’s heard me talk about my writing much, it’s also ‘that transmasc Gothic werewolf short’ XD)

For anyone who needs to hear it right now:

You can’t help anyone if you burn yourself out.

However damn privileged you are, however much you want to stand in the way of the hits for folks who can’t, you step out of the damn shield-wall and get yourself patched up if you’re hurting – there’re plenty of other folks who can and will take your place.

Come back when you’re fresh, come back when you’re healed, and come back when you’re not breaking your own physical or mental health trying to fix the world.

Since the US Supreme Court has apparently decided that AFAB Americans don’t get to control their own bodies

Some resources for my readers who’re in the USA:

And this thread from the ACLU: (the links in it are getting hammered at the time of posting, for obvious reasons, but check back later)

First short story publication!

So y’know I was saying that I had some good writing news? Well, I am delighted to announce that my short story THE MATTER OF ALL FORMS has just come out in the latest issue of Gwyllion Magazine!

This is my first publication, and it’s also the first short story I ever finished, so there’s a whole lot of emotions going on here, I tell you what.

THE MATTER OF ALL FORMS is a story about kicking against the system, about finding your place in the world, and about working out what really matters when the chips are down. It’s also about alchemy, love, magic… and chickens.

Sacaan in pictures

[This was originally posted on my Patreon in August 2021]

(Aka the author was having a low spoons day and wanted to show off their photographs)

The road up to the Hall (in our world, a path in the Alps)
The Aan River (in our world, the Ouse in York)
The Temple Quarter in Sacaan (in our world, York again – this time by the Minster)
An alleyway in Steepside, Sacaan (in our world, a town in the Alps)

Copyright © 2022 by Finn McLellan.  All rights reserved.

Quick heads-up r.e. Silver in the Ashes updates

No chapter this week – a mixture of life events, disability flare-ups, and ending up having to redraft some stuff means I’m further behind than I’d like with work on Silver in the Ashes. I am still very much working on it, and Chapter 12 will be posted as soon as I’m happy with it.

A quick update

So you might have noticed that, aside from the Blood on the Snow draft chapters, it’s been a wee bit quiet over here for the last few months.

Don’t worry, nothing’s happened – and that’s pretty much why there’s been a drop-off in updates, to be honest. Nothing’s happened. For sure, plenty of stuff’s happened in the wider world (and dear gods, this year just keeps on happening so much, apparently), but over in our terraced space station, we’ve mostly been keeping our heads down and trying to get on with the business of living through a global pandemic without acquiring too much in the way of Fun And Exciting Mental Health Fuckery.

To give you a quick overview of what’s going on with the writing, though:

  • I hit 50,000 words on my NaNoWriMo 2020 project today – first win since 2016, and I will absolutely sodding take that.
  • Related to the above, the first draft of Blood on the Snow is now actually finished (only took two years longer than I hoped it would, but that’s writing for you). The rest of the chapters’ll be going up on the same schedule I’ve been using all year, so expect to see those in the coming months.
  • The first draft of Silver in the Ashes is now 6 chapters in, so we’ll see where that ends up going (and how much it means I have to rewrite the existing draft of Fire in the Sky, since we’ve now got a couple of characters who didn’t exist when that draft was being written).
  • I may or may not have written over half a thousand words of drabbles set in a genderflipped version of the Argentum ‘verse somewhere in the middle of this week, due to a migraine knocking my brain completely out of NaNo headspace. There’re possibly some short stories coming from that AU, since ‘Lone Wolf And Cub/The Mandalorian, but with an assassin/spy pair of murder!lesbians’ (well, okay, Yulia’s bi, but you get my point) is a fun basis for one-off adventures.
  • [REDACTED COOL WRITING THING] – more on this one when I’m allowed to talk about it, but I promise you it’s cool (and caused much excited hand-flapping).

That’s… pretty much all happened this month, because apparently 2020 is like that. Current plans for December involve a little less writing and a lot more reading, since I bought a whole pile of books this month and have been saving them until after NaNo.

(Also those drabbles I mentioned above? Look out for those at some point in the future, once I’ve tidied them up a bit and worked out how to write an intro to that AU that makes any sense to anyone other than me).

We have always existed

Yes, this is another post about the world outside of fiction. Because it’s pride month, and because a certain author has apparently decided that makes it the perfect time to use her platform to take a swing at me and mine.

So. I am transgender. Specifically, I am a transmasc butch (which means to the general populace I’m a trans man, because attempting to explain the nuances of identity is not a thing I particularly want to do when I’m trying to buy a pint of milk or pay for a train ticket). I suspect if you’re reading this you already knew that, but if you didn’t – hey, now you do.

Trans people have existed as long as people have existed – in some cultures, we were and are revered for our liminal status, whereas in others we were and are viewed negatively (because humans have a nasty habit of hating things they don’t understand), but we’ve always been here and we’re always going to be here. We don’t disappear just because people happen to dislike us, and we don’t take away other peoples’ rights just by wanting to be recognised as who we are.

If you’re cis and you want to do something concrete to help, I’ve a couple of suggestions for you.

First off, use your cis-ness. You can get away with calling transphobia out where we can’t, and, unfortunately, people’re more likely to listen to you than they are us. Ask why that joke’s supposed to be funny. Ask why your company can’t use more inclusive phrasing, or why your school/workplace has gendered uniforms. You’re our allies on the inside, and you can do a whole lot of good from there.

Second, if you’ve got the money spare, donate! There’re plenty of places which do good work all around the world, and I can’t link all of them, but here’re three from the UK to get you started:

And third and finally, don’t get caught in a guilt spiral about being cis. That helps nobody, least of all you, and it’s a bad road to walk down.

‘People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people’ – Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

There’s really not much I can say about the current situation that hasn’t been said louder and better by folks whose voices carry far more weight than mine. And, non-American folks specifically, this thread might explain why things in the US are going the way they are (it sure as hells got it properly contextualised for me):

The police should protect and serve the people, not torture and murder them. Black trans lives matter. Black disabled lives matter. Black queer lives matter. Black lives matter.

(And, if you’re wondering why ‘Black lives matter’ and not ‘All lives matter’, this link might help: [tl;dr Of course all lives matter, but there’re a whole tonne of folks who seem to think that the lives of black folk don’t])

If you want something to do to help, this link has petitions and places to donate (though a note to non-American readers, a fair number of the petitions being shared right now seem to want a US zip code):

Blood on the Snow: Chapter 9 (draft)

The Old Town watchhouse, when Archer reached it, turned out to be as run-down and ramshackle as the rest of the district, though the subtle shimmer of spell-wards around the windows and doors suggested that its peeling paintwork and crumbling plaster weren’t its only lines of defence (and, to a magician, offered a rather worrying insight into exactly what some of the more subtle gangs in the River Quarter were capable of. Spell-wards weren’t proof against physical projectiles, after all).

It was also, much to his surprise, incredibly crowded – and the reason for that became almost immediately apparent as soon as he’d managed to talk his way in past the incredibly stressed-looking sentry (who seemed to be the only person who’d been spared from whatever was going on inside to do door detail and, if his tone and posture were anything to go by, was deeply, deeply resenting it).

There’d been another murder.

And this time, the victim had been one of the Watch.