December 2021

Christmas and Cats

Here at Mysterion headquarters, the Christmas tree is trimmed, holiday baking has begun, and even Kristin acknowledges that it's okay to listen to Christmas music now.

None of our cookie cutters are very Christmas-y.

The cats are reaching new heights of mischief; literally, as we find things knocked down from the tops of shelves we didn't think they could get to. Maxwell has become obsessed with bathroom water, and loves to sit in the wet tub after one of us has showered or climb up on the counter to watch us brush our teeth (we have to keep the toilet lid closed when not in use). Marie is as vocal as ever, and eager to explore wherever she isn't allowed. They recently figured out how to open the coat closet, forcing us to relocate the extra bags of cat food and treats that we probably shouldn't have been storing there in the first place. We're in trouble if they ever figure out doorknobs.

Stories and Submissions

Our latest story is "The Inksmith", by Katherine Briggs, which imagines a world where sin leaves indelible stains, like tattoos. A desperate woman has heard of a man who can remove sin stains; but how can she believe it's possible when other followers remain marked?

Later this month (December 27th), be sure to come back for K.J. Khan's "Soul's Wager", an unconventional retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth. You'll see why we scheduled it for December, as it's the closest we have to a Christmas story this year.

Speaking of Christmas stories (and other stories): we open to submissions again on January 1st. Some authors send us Christmas stories during the July submission period, even though our Submission Guidelines say to send them in January. Our July open submission window supplies the stories that we'll publish between January and June of the following year. If it would only make sense to publish your story between July and December (e.g., Halloween or Christmas), January is the time to try us with it.

Of course, please do feel free to send us stories that don't obviously belong in any particular month! Until we see a significant increase in our monthly Patreon support, we're unlikely to publish more than one Halloween and one Christmas story per year.

How much of an increase? Well, right now, we have 21 Patreon supporters, contributing a total of $216/month. In order to reach our next funding goal of $275/month, which will allow us to add two additional stories each year, we'll need another $59/month in pledges.

If you can help with this, and aren't already supporting us on Patreon, please consider signing up! All Patrons, even at the $1/month level, get the opportunity to participate in monthly Discord chats with Kristin and Donald (and, often, with Mysterion authors), plus monthly posts on our exciting lives as fiction editors (including exclusive cat content!). At $3/month (our most popular option), you get early access to all the stories we publish, and at higher levels, the additional rewards include special edition e-books and free copies of the anthologies we put out every two years. 

We have responded to all stories submitted in July, so if you haven't heard from us yet, please do get in touch ASAP ( Thank you to everyone who sent us stories! Once again, we had some really tough decisions to make at the end. But we're excited about the next batch and look forward to sharing them with our readers.

One theme we saw in a number of our most recent submissions was characters who prefer or deliberately seek out isolation from other people, often involving a desire to stay home and never go anywhere. (Hmm, what could that be about?) Ghosts were also popular, as always, and Catholic priests. Always with the Catholic priests... 

Wishing a blessed Advent season to all who are waiting for Christmas, and we'll leave you with the pie Kristin baked for Thanksgiving: Key Lime Meringue.

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