Appearance: The 2019 Outer Dark Symposium–Atlanta, Georgia

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 5.28.45 PMI am pleased as punch to announce that I will be a guest at this year’s OUTER DARK SYMPOSIUM in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s been an evolving and wonderful conference, with each year outdoing the other, and I was sorry to have missed last year in CA. I was honored to be at the first one, and looking forward to reconnecting to old friends, and making new ones. Will I see you there?

What is especially exciting this year is this: “This year we’re beyond excited to welcome our largest line-up yet, 40 of the most dynamic authors, editors, artists, publishers, and scholars in Weird fiction today. As with The Outer Dark podcast, our goal is to foster conversation and community among a diverse slate of program participants–inclusive, safe and welcoming to women, LBGTQ+, and writers of color. Returning to Atlanta allows us again to involve SOBSF/BlacktastiCon organizers Milton Davis and Balogun Ojetade. And sponsor support from Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s Innsmouth Free Press is helping us bring World Fantasy Award-nominated Mexican author Gabriela Damián Miravete.” (This is a huge deal. Don’t believe me, here are some of her stories online here and here.)

In order to fund this conference, Scott Nicolay, Anya Martin, and Melanie Crew are holding an Indiegogo with some pretty insane perks–signed Hellraiser memorabilia, rare and out-offprint chapbooks, and bundles by your favorite Weird authors. (They also make an amazing program book, with exclusive art and such. When I went in 2015, Yves Tourigny illustrated my piece on Leonora Carrington’s “Down, Down, Down.” This year it features original cover art by Liv-Rainey Smith!

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I was happy to donate a few books and some services: currently, there are a few copies of my first Dunhams Manor Press limited-edition chapbook, Of Parallel and Parcel, which was sold out in 2014, and has a run of 50 copies. You can also get this chapbook in a bundle with an ARC of my short story collection, CALLS FOR SUBMISSION. All signed and personalized!

I’m also offering some Tarot reading services. Tarot has become an important creative tool for me, and I love sharing its power with friends and colleagues, so I’m doing two kind of readings for Outer Dark fans and supporters. For $25, you can get a personalized email reading with images, or for $50, you can get a 60-min Skype session with me, plus follow-up email with a write-up and images.

Of course, I know there are other things needing your money, but if you had just $5 to spare in support, that would be of great help and will get you some swag and a shout-out in the program book.

If you are unfamiliar with THE OUTER DARK, here is more info quoted from their Indiegogo page:

“The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird is the world’s only conference focusing on contemporary Weird fiction, film and art. The third annual symposium will gather more than 40 writers, artists, filmmakers & editors on March 22 and 23, 2019 at Silver Scream FX Lab and Hotel Indigo-College Park in Atlanta, GA. Hear all the readings and panels on The Outer Dark podcast, which airs on This Is Horror, reaching thousands of listeners who are readers of Weird and speculative fiction.

“GUESTS/PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS: Mike Allen, Gregory Norman Bossert, David Bowles, Jesse Bullington, Nadia Bulkin, Selena Chambers, Gerald Coleman, Nancy A. Collins, Milton Davis, Kristi DeMeester, Kurt Fawver, John Foster, Chris Gavaler, Fiona Maeve Geist, Craig Laurance Gidney, Larissa Glasser, Orrin Grey, Edward Austin Hall, Lynne Hansen, Brian Kirk, Gwendolyn Kiste, Marc Laidlaw, Ian McDowell, Violette L. Meier, Gabriela Damian Miravete, Sunny Moraine, Shane Morton, Balogun Ojetade, Liv Rainey-Smith, Zin E. Rocklyn, Eric Schaller, Jeff Strand,  Damien Angelica Walters, Brookelynne Warra, Michael Wehunt, Lesley Wheeler, Gordon B. White, Lisa Yaszek.

 

 

Appearance: Tattered Cover Colfax, Denver, CO, Wednesday, Dec. 5th

I’m packing on up for my flight to Denver tomorrow. I’m really excited to be visiting the area again, and finally visiting the famous Tattered Cover bookstore in Colfax, Denver.

I will be there Wednesday, December 5th celebrating the release of MECHANICAL ANIMALS: TALES AT THE CRUX OF CREATURE AND TECH with my co-editor Jason Heller, and contributors Stephen Graham-Jones, Molly Tanzer, and Carrie Vaughn. It’s going to be a really great reading with signings to follow, and if you are in the Denver area I hope you will come by and say hi!

Event page with details: https://www.tatteredcover.com/events#event-id-144273

 

BOOK RELEASE: MECHANICAL ANIMALS

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Out November 27th. Cover art: Aaron Lovett

While it is true Marilyn Manson’s MECHANICAL ANIMALS has turned 20 years old, another MECHANICAL ANIMALS has been just born, and I hope will grow up to be as long-lasting and epic.

This is the anthology I co-edited with the brilliant Jason Heller (whose STRANGE STARS came out earlier this year, and needs to be on your gift list, if not already). While I haven’t talked about it too much, this project has been 5 years in the making, and it’s hard to believe it is finally out and about in the wild.

This has been a dream project, and I am thankful to Jason for being an ideal collaborator (not to mention friend), to Josh Viola, Dean Wyant, and the team at HEX Publishing for putting their faith into the book, and, most of all, to our contributors who turned this antho’s theme into a conversation about biomimcry, automata, and our complex relationship with nature and technology. Needless to say, Jason and I couldn’t do this with out their wonderful words and worlds.

We will be celebrating the book’s release at Tattered Cover (Colfax location) in Denver, on December 5th. Joining us will be Stephen Graham-Jones, Molly Tanzer, and Carrie Vaughn. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and if you are in the area, please stop by and say hi!

So, to the nitty gritty details, then:

MECHANICAL ANIMALS: TALES AT THE CRUX OF CREATURE AND TECH is a speculative fiction safari that riffs on the traditional ideals of automata to explore our strange and competitive relationship with the natural world. Biomimicry is no stranger to literature, with canonical authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hans Christian Anderson, and Jules Verne setting the tone for a trope that has expounded and expanded upon what exactly separates humans from the animal kingdom as well as the boundary between machines and living beings. Featuring 15 original stories by today’s top science fiction and fantasy authors and contextual mecha-fauna essays by artist and Insect Lab Studio maker, Mike Libby, and SF encyclopedist and author Jess Nevins, Mechanical Animals presents a biomimicry menagerie of animalistic machines that will blur the lines between what is and isn’t nature’s design.

Contributor’s Include: Mike Libby, Jess Nevins, Tessa Kum, Delia Sherman, Maurice Broaddus, Sarah Hans, Lauren Beukes, Jesse Bullington, An Owomoyela, Stephen Graham Jones, Hans Christian Andersen, Molly Tanzer, Aliette de Bodard, Nick Mamatas, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kat Howard, Michael Cisco, Adrian Van Young, Robert T. Toombs, Joseph S. Pulver, Jr., Alistair Rennie, Jules Verne, Caroline Yoachim, Carrie Vaughn

It has been called “Mind-stretching tales of synthetic fauna….” by Kirkus.

ORDERING (If you c

HEX Publishing

Amazon

Indiebound

 

Barnes & Noble

Guest on Tonight’s Lovecraft Ezine Chat!

EZine
“Selena Chambers Delivers Sharp Prose in Calls for Submission” was written by Acep Hale, and ran on Lovecraft eZine on June 8.

I am excited to be on tonight’s Lovecraft Ezine Chat where I’ll be joining Mike Davis, Acep Hale, and crew to discuss my short story collection, Calls for Submission, and all the dark, sundry things within.

If you’d like to tune in LIVE you can do so here at 6 pm EST:  https://youtu.be/9GtcQ-Vsw14. But if you can’t catch it (because like, you are at HPLFF), you can always catch it later on in the week. There will be a podcast version available too, which I will post once I have the relevant linky links.

Appearances: Hemingway Days — “Voices, Places, Inspirations,”– literary readings on July 19th, Key West, FL

KWAHS
Source: Hemingway in Key West online exhibit of The Key West Art & Historical Society. http://www.kwahs.org/exhibitions/ernest-in-key-west

Next week, I’m heading down to the Southernmost part of the US to participate in the 37th annual Hemingway Days!

There are a lot of events throughout the week, and I am excited to be part of Wednesday’s evening readings alongside some of Florida’s best! Because speculative fiction isn’t exactly associated with Hemingway, I will be doing a mini-presentation on how his interest in pulp, crime, and action, alongside other aspects of craft, inspired some facets of my fiction. If you are in the Keys for vacation or for Papa festivities, please come by and say hi!

Here are the details, and you can find out about the rest of the events here:

7:30-10 p.m. “Voices, Places, Inspirations.” This evening of readings features authors Chuck Ball, Selena Chambers, Mandy Miles and Terry Schmida — plus a highlight appearance by Ted Geltner, author of “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews.” Presented by Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County, the event also includes a “meet the authors” reception. Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St.

I am also excited to be near water. I haven’t traveled too much this year, and so I am ready to take it all in:  the Symposiums, the literary pilgrimages, the Daiquiris, and of course the beauty of the Straits.

CALLS FOR SUBMISSION: Electric Lit, Lovecraft Ezine, & Hemingway Days

Some other great stuff has been going on in #CFSBOOK land in addition to the great event I had at Midtown Reader in Tallahassee.

 

June, Lovecraft eZine Review

EZine
Selena Chambers Delivers Sharp Prose in Calls for Submission” was written by Acep Hale, and ran on Lovecraft eZine on June 8.

In June, Calls for Submission received another glowing review from Lovecraft eZine’s Acep Hale, who calls it: “the showcase of a writer with a deliberate and considered world view, intensely honed craft, and a calculated message. My only hope is the next work I read by her is of novel length.” I hope so, too!

This review is very thorough, touching on all of the stories, and hits on many points and intentions I had hoped readers would enjoy. It’s also the first time I’ve ever been compared to anyone in hip-hop, which is unexpected and also really fucking cool. I’ve always been humbled to find myself compared to a lot of awesome people in the past, but Ghost Face Killah alongside Gabrielle Wittkop, Leonora Carrington, and Francesca Woodman all in one swoop blows my mind!

Many thanks to Mr. Hale, Mike Davis, and Lovecraft eZine for giving Calls for Submission the attention and space!

 

July, Electric Lit Interview

Electric Lit
The Weird World of Selena Chambers” was written by Adrian Van Young, and ran on Electric Literature on July 6th.

Last week, an interview with Adrian Van Young went live at Electric Lit! In its introduction he calls Calls for Submission “a creepy-sad, smart and courageous collection that stimulates the intellect while inexorably pulling and pulling the heartstrings.” In addition to the collection, we discuss “reclaiming literary territory, “the female glance,” being a hot-weather Goth, Florida weirdness, and the non-intersectionality of literary circles.”

This is sort of a first. I did plenty of interviews in the past when I was promoting The Steampunk Bible, but they always focused on the artists and makers we featured in that book. I’ve never really had to discuss myself or my own work up until this past few months and I have to say it is way different and more difficult to do that than to discuss the work of others. In the few instances I have been interviewed about my own work, usually the person has never read me, and that is even harder…BUT, in the case of Adrian Van Young, not only did he come prepared, he put the screws to me in the best of ways. When we finished the interview, conducted via email, I was left empowered by more knowledge of myself and my work than going in. That’s testament to an excellent interviewer, and I am very grateful to Mr. Van Young for his thorough questioning and conversation, and for Electric Lit for the space and support!

 

UPCOMING APPEARANCE:  July 18 through July 23rd, Hemingway Days (reading and rumming)

KWAHS
Source: Hemingway in Key West online exhibit of The Key West Art & Historical Society. http://www.kwahs.org/exhibitions/ernest-in-key-west

Next week, I’m heading down to the Southernmost part of the US to participate in the 37th annual Hemingway Days!

There are a lot of events throughout the week, and I am excited to be part of Wednesday’s evening readings alongside some of Florida’s best! Because speculative fiction isn’t exactly associated with Hemingway, I will be doing a mini-presentation on how his interest in pulp, crime, and action, alongside other aspects of craft, inspired some facets of my fiction. If you are in the Keys for vacation or for Papa festivities, please come by and say hi!

Here are the details, and you can find out about the rest of the events here:

7:30-10 p.m. “Voices, Places, Inspirations.” This evening of readings features authors Chuck Ball, Selena Chambers, Mandy Miles and Terry Schmida — plus a highlight appearance by Ted Geltner, author of “Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews.” Presented by Literacy Volunteers of America-Monroe County, the event also includes a “meet the authors” reception. Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St.

I am also excited to be near water. I haven’t traveled too much this year, and so I am ready to take it all in:  the Symposiums, the literary pilgrimages, the Daiquiris, and of course the beauty of the Straits.

RECAP: CALLS FOR SUBMISSION at Midtown Reader, Tallahassee, June 16, 2017

SignTwo weeks ago was my book release party for Calls for Submission. And, as usual, I’m blogging about it in a totally timely manner. The delay in posting doesn’t diminish how amazing of a night it was! My book had been out for exactly a month by the evening of the reading, but it didn’t feel REAL until I arrived at Midtown Reader and found my books on the New Arrivals table.

 

IMG_5173That was when it finally hit me:  Holy crap, I made a thing. This thing. This beautiful, weird little thing.

And that was just the first of many pleasant surprises. Friends I hadn’t seen since high school were there, and since we were all the types to forget about going to reunions, it was lovely to get to see everyone’s faces and catch up (albeit way too briefly!) on the past 17 years. My mother and brother were there, too, and I think Mom especially enjoyed seeing how all of us kids had grown up.

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After some cupcakes and wine, owner Sally Bradshaw gave a wonderfully warm welcome and introduction, and I babbled way too much about the Florida Gothic before diving into “Dive in Me,” a Gothic tale set basically in Tallahassee, and co-written with my small times bud, Jesse Bullington, whose mother was also in the audience!

Book book

My friend was really kind enough to take pictures for me, and she did a pretty excellent job documenting the night. But there is one photo that never was taken, and it was what I saw after I read the concluding line.

“Dive” is almost too long for a reading, and every other time I’ve read from it, I have usually had to stop right when the getting was good, or jumble a lot of stuff together. But I read it from start to finish that night, about 20 to 25 minutes total, and when I began I was already intimidated that all the seats were mostly full. But when I finished reading and looked up, all seats were taken, and the store was full of standing friendly faces I hadn’t seen come in while performing! I’m glad I didn’t noticed, or else I might have froze and blown the whole thing. Heh.

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I signed ALL the books and we pretty much cleaned house. While signing, many people told me they hadn’t visited Midtown Reader yet, and they had fallen in love with the store as much as I had. This, probably, more than anything else really felt great because after having gone without an independent bookstore for, well, basically, ever, I really want Tallahassee to come out and appreciate what Sally and her wonderful staff are creating for us. This is the lodestone of a strong literary community, and since it’s opening in November, I have already noticed the difference Midtown Reader is making here.

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Check out that banner in the back! My publisher, Pelekenisis, sent it special delivery from California and it really was a special touch and showcased the cover art well, which was a real hit.

I received many compliments on Joan Horne‘s cover, which was really cool because Joan is also a Tallahassee-native and long-time bud. While she is doing her kick-ass thing in L. A., it felt like having her there with me. I felt that way about Molly Tanzer, too, who wrote the Intro for Calls for Submission, and of course, my “Dive in Me” co-author, Jesse. I realized that night that I was carrying around a lot more of Tallahassee in my little book than I realized, given not only the material of some of the stories, but just the love and involvement it got from close childhood friends. And the fact that even more family and friends, like Lisa, Jesse’s mom, came out to help me celebrate this crazy achievement was one of life’s rare joyous feelings that I am grateful to get to experience!

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Because most of the time you feel like you are doing this in a vacuum. It’s easy to think no one takes you seriously or cares about what you do in the shadows, but thanks to Midtown Reader, my beautiful friends and family, and the new friends I made that night, including staffers Darrell and Reid, I realize that I had that all wrong. And I am humbled and grateful for the love and this community!

THANK YOU all for coming out, buying books, and helping me launch this bizarre baby into the world! THANK YOU Midtown Reader for throwing one heck of a shindig! XoXo

And if you are reading this from Tallahassee and haven’t been to Midtown Reader, yet. Get thee to the bookstore! (They may still have a signed copy or two of Calls for Submission, left, you never know).

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Appearances: Book Release Party at Midtown Reader

Hey Tallahassee! Wanna party? Then come join me this Friday, June 16th at Midtown Reader to celebrate the release of my debut collection Calls For Submission!

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Midtown Reader is delighted to be hosting Selena Chambers to read from, discuss. and sign copies of her debut collection, Calls for Submission, this Friday, June 16th, from 5:30 to 7 pm. Details here.

From 5:30 pm to 7 pm, I will be reading from and discussing the book, as well as signing copies. There will be some fun Selena/Pelekinesis swag-bag giveaways, cupcakes and other refreshments, and the glorious atmosphere of one my favorite places in Tally.

This event is Free and open to the public.

It’s a real honor to get to celebrate this occasion at Midtown Reader and in my hometown. Thank you all for the support, and I hope you all will come by! It should be a pretty great weird time.

Calls for Submission Book Release Party is Friday, June 16th, from 5:30 to 7 pm at Midtown Reader. Midtown Reader is located at 1123 Thomasville Rd., Tallahassee, FL 32303. For further details, please check out the event page here.

 

Publishing Notes: Literary Hub and my Women Surrealist Survival Kit

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An essay I wrote about my “Surrealist Survival Kit” for Literary Hub.

I’m doing a mini-Guest Blog tour for Calls for Submission, and my first stop is at the incomparable Literary Hub! I am very pleased to share that “The Women Surrealists Helping Me Through Our New Political Reality” is now live.

My original intention, and pitch, for this piece was to be a discussion about the last ten years effort at a Women Surrealist Revival. An effort I believe is at its apex, what with the Leonora Carrington centennial, a first ever monograph of Eileen Agar, and the two new Claude Cahun books coming out this summer, including Exist Otherwise, the first English biography of the gender-bending photographer.

But as I started drafting, the essay took a different and much more personal route. I’d been re-acquainting myself with these artists since the election, and fully realized in the writing of this piece how they were helping me reassess and reaffirm what I believe the potential of art truly can be.  Something I had been struggling with all year, and as a result lead to a lot of dead ins and head-wall banging.

But as I started to look at what and who I had been dipping back into–Carrington, Cahun, Césaire, Kahlo, and Mina Loy–all women who commented on the political by drawing upon the personal, I realized I had to step up and go there myself. The Revival turned into Survival.

So, here then, is an achievement of a few things. First, it is the first finished thing I’ve produced since the election; Second, it is both a celebration of the internal resistance of the past, and advocation of its exploration in the future; three, it’s on LITHUB!

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check it out, and if you liked it, please share it widely with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

March Appearances: #RESIST & The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird

I haven’t had many reasons to leave the house, lately. Too many deadlines and not enough time. However, when it comes to these two events, I wouldn’t miss them for all the pennies per word in the world.

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On Thursday, March 9th, starting at 7 pm at the Phyllis Straus Gallery in Tallahassee, FL, I will be joining poet Luis Eduardo and others at his event #RESIST.

Quoting from the Facebook Event page:

Join us on a night of resistance and unification as we all welcome the artistry of The Lessers (singer/guitarist Olivier Millour), Mariah J. RománMax EpsteinSelena ChambersMenika LueSawyer CampbellLuis EduardoElton BurgestEric McNeil, and Sawyer Vanderwerff.

[Resist] indicates unification and resistance, the sense of being together with all while also going against any disturbance to said unity. Has to do with current events, with the people against xenophobia, against homo- and trans-phobia, against bigotry and against diving opposing sides in any country, whether it be here in the States or in Great Britain. RESIST can mean many things; hence, resistance includes resisting from society, from pressure, or from the very resisting occurring in society. Unification, in turn, can be the unification of ideas that go against the very idea of unity, therefore, distractions to proper utopias. The two conflict and coerce themselves, like yin and yang. Both are necessary for the development of good and evil found in society.

Just as an aside, I agree with this mission statement 100%. Since November, I have heard testimonies from many people lost in the sea of possibility of resistance: What’s the right way? What’s the best way? Why is it this way? And resistance can come in many forms, and I believe that it is up to the artists, writers, musicians, and creators to explore and illustrate those forms in ways that aren’t necessarily done effectively on the front lines. So, I am very glad to be standing and reading with this great group of artists. Thank you, Luis!

ODS

On Saturday, March 25th, I will be in Atlanta as a guest participant in the first annual The Outer Dark Symposium of the Greater Weird.

The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird will be an immersive one-day event featuring eight hours of panels, readings and signings centered around Weird and speculative fiction. Admission will be limited to 50 attendees, but all programming will be featured on The Outer Dark weekly podcast which airs on This Is Horror, reaching thousands of listeners who are readers of Weird and speculative fiction.

Since this is its first year, they are running an Indiegogo campaign with amazing perks from some of the best weird writers and vendors in the biz. To quote co-founder Scott Nicolay, host of The Outer Dark weekly podcast:

A key goal is to keep the symposium affordable ($25) for readers and writers, with everyone attending all programming and sharing breakfast and lunch together. We also will be providing an opportunity to continue the conversation at an after-party in the evening. We’ve crunched every figure and cut corners as far as we possibly can, but to rent a great space for an entire day, fly in some out-of-town guests, provide food services, and print a collectible program chapbook still takes money. In other words, to accomplish ALL this at this crazy price point, we ask humbly for your help.

That’s why we created this Indiegogo campaign through which you can purchase:

  • Supporting Membership ($20, includes program chapbook, limited to 100 copies & signed by all 17 program participants)

  • Basic Attending Membership ($25 for day event including meals)

  • Deluxe Membership ($50 for day event & evening party)

  • VIP Membership ($100, includes exclusive brunch with author guests & more)

With 4 days left, they have almost reached 50% of their goal (which is just under $3k). If you are coming to the Outer Dark, why not consider buying your membership along with some of the great perks? If you are a fan of Frankenstein or Poe, you may be interested in two of the below options that involve my WANDERING SPIRITS: TRAVELING MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN limited edition chapbook from Tallhat Press.

Wandering Weird–$10 USD  + Shipping
 
1 signed & personalized copy of Selena Chambers’ WANDERING SPIRITS; TRAVELING MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN (illustrated by Yves Tourigny) & your name thanked in program chapbook & on podcast.
 
Dreadful Poe Pack–$45 USD + Shipping
 
The Dreadful Ape Tiki Mug is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE & finely crafted by Horror in Clay. To make it even more Poe-fect, it comes with a signed copy & personalized copy of WANDERING SPIRITS: TRAVELING MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN by Poe expert Selena Chambers. Plus your name thanked in program chapbook & on podcast.

There are plenty of other options, from simply getting the basic membership for $25, or a special VIP Deluxe Attending Membership for $100, which gets you to “The Outer Dark Symposium, VIP party (8-11 pm, location TBA), farewell Sun. brunch with guests (up to $25 incl tip) & special surprise Weird book/gift. Plus your name listed as VIPDeluxe attending member in program chapbook & on podcast.”

You can explore all the perk options and find more details at The Outer Dark Symposium on the Greater Weird’s Indiegogo page or Facebook event page. Many thanks to Scott and Anya Martin for having me along for the ride.