Selena Chambers

I imbibe words and consume past minds. As a result, I often awake next to strange sentences and forgotten meanings. I am the Bas Bleu Zombie.

View of Ft. Lauderdale Beach from the Ritz-Carlton rooftop pool deck.

View of Ft. Lauderdale Beach from the Ritz-Carlton rooftop pool deck.

When I sat down to write this, I had the impression I hadn’t done a whole lot this year. But once I started putting things in bullets, I realized how jam packed and awesome it was.

Things I Did:

–Faced my fears and cut all my hair off.

When I was a child, my father kept my hair short. He was a barber and so only knew how to cut dude hair, and so guess what kind of cut I had? I hated it. People would mistake me for a little boy. One time I was denied access to the little girls room at a school function. Now that is just kind of funny, but at the time it was the beginning of a whole bunch of weird beauty/image issues I’d deal with as a teenager and in college. So, as sort of a fuck you to all that, I got a Pixie and really had fun with it.

–Stayed at the McFarlin House Bed and Breakfast in Quincy, FL

My husband and I wanted to get away for the weekend for our anniversary, and did so at the McFarlin. It’s a gorgeous Victorian mansion with porch swings and a deck side hot tub. Quincy is a weird place, full of old ass southern money, so apparently the B&B is hub to a lot of historians and reporters. While we were there, a reporter from Buzzfeed, Amy Saunders, was working on a story about Jerrie Mock, who was the first woman to fly around the globe, who lived right next door, it seems. It was a really neat breakfast getting to hear about Mrs. Mock, who sadly just passed away in October.

–Drank Bordeaux and learned about the Teen Mom show in a trailer park/camp ground in Lake City, FL.

Clarendalle 2006. Really delicious. But it was the company that was truly the best.

–Saw my first real Burlesque show in Ft. Lauderdale with my great friend Peter.

It was Dita von Teese’s Strip, Strip Hooray! It was absolutely transcendent and I am in love with Burlesque now. While in Miami, I had my first Caipirinha and my first authentic café con leche. Also saw Versace’s mansion with the beautiful gold Medusa head gates, and snuck into the Ritz’s pool. Everyone talks shit about Miami, but I really liked it.

–I liked Ft. Lauderdale so much I went back for the Hukilau to help ATLRetro editor and friend Anya Martin cover the tiki event for her online magazine. Met a lot of cool people and felt right at home.

–Tried to change my diet.

Ha, ha, ha. Yes, I did. I am trying to consume less animal for health and ethical reasons. Some weeks I am better at this than others. More often than not, cheese is the deal breaker.

–Reunited with old childhood friends at one of my favorite bars ever, Alchemy, and shut it down forever–may it rest in peace.

–Hung out with a baby armadillo and skate kids.

My dad had a brood of baby armadillos that were hanging out in his garden during the spring. I followed one around one day just because he seemed so alien but approachable. Did you know they snort like pigs? Cute little sniffy snort. I think they all had a sad end though:  hawks.

My husband is a skater, and there were a few awesome tournaments in Tally that I went too. I hate sports, especially spectator sports (except the world cup), but I can get down with sitting on the street and watching board races and making Archer jokes that are appreciated, like “you just skated into the Danger Zone.”

–Almost died of dehydration in New Orleans.

That’s pretty self-explanatory, I think. The revolving bar at the Hotel Monteleone didn’t help, but we survived thanks to the power of falafel, room service, and the World Cup. Apparently, NOLA’s idea of a vegetable is crab. Seriously, the vegetable of the day at a particular old school restaurant we went too was crab.

–Was blissfully unemployed during the World Cup.

Caught almost every game at the pub. It ruled.

–Celebrated my birthday in the Gulf with some of the best girls in the world, and had one of the best bottles of champagne in my life.

–Then I got a job. Wonk, wonk.

–Went to NYC and did a lot of shit, as previously posted.

–Went to…[counts on fingers]…5 weddings.

All beautiful, unique, and full of friends I hadn’t seen in ages. Everyone is growing into such cool adults. Best of luck to them all!

–Found like the one thing in Florida that feels like Brooklyn or Paris, the Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL.

Had a great breakfast with my Lucie and met her awesome beau.

Publications and other things I wrote

Fiction:

So this year has seen the most fiction from me yet. Some of these stories were written years ago and are just now appearing for various reasons; others I wrote this year. This is a direction I am very proud of and hope to continue in.

“Of Parallel and Parcel.” A Dunsham Manor Press limited edition micro-chapbook. Copies still available here.

“Dive In Me” with Jesse Bullington in The New Gothic, edited by Beth Lewis, Stone Skin Press. 

“The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour” in Steampunk World, edited by Sarah Hans, Alliteration Ink

“Descartar” in Darke Phantastique, edited by Jason V. Brock, Cycatrix Press

“Remnants of Lost Empire,” Starry Wisdom Library, edited by Nate Pedersen, PS Publishing. Now available for Pre-order!

Vintage Scenes for Mungbeing magazine.:

#1: Bandol, Chateau La Rouvière, 2002

#2: 2010 Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Spätlese

#3: Morellino di Scansano, 2011 Vendemmia

#4: Our Daily Red, Organic Red Table Wine

“The Venus of Great Neck,” exclusively and only available in Spanish translation in Acronos II, edited by Josué Ramos, Tyrannosaurus Books.

Non-Fiction

“Wandering Spirits: Traveling Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” in Non-Binary Review #2: Frankenstein. Available for free download with free app here.

Capsule Review for Alan M. Clark’s The Door That Faced West, The Big Click.

“The Revolution Will Be Served: Jeff “Beachbum” Berry Mixes at the Hukilau and Takes Us Through the Past, Present, and Future of Tiki,” for ATLRetro and in honor of the 13th annual Hukilau in Ft. Lauderdale.

Introduction to Vapourpunk II, the Portuguese Steampunk anthology series edited by Fábio Fernandes and Romeu Martins, Editora Draco.

“On the Writing Impulse,” a guest post for Sarah Hans’ great blog. Perhaps the most personal thing I’ve written, and the only thing about writing advice, I think.

“Stone Skin on the Rocks 7: Down and Dirty in the Deep South,” my guest blog post about Malt Liquor for Stone Skin Press.

Things I Read

I did not reach my goal of 50 books this year, and I also failed at upping my lady writers quota. However, I read some really great stuff, and my top 5 favorites were:

Whitman Illuminated by Allen Crawford

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

Careless People by Sarah Churchwell

Potions of the Caribbean by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry

Well, now that I look at it, it’s been a pretty ok year.  Next year is proving to be as equally jam-packed with more words, friends, and adventures that I can’t quite discuss yet. But until then, I wish you all a great holiday and Happy New Year. Thanks for hanging out with me here and on the other social media places, and for your support and friendship. It really means a lot.

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