The Halfling and the Spaceman

Gabriela Santiago, Author

July 23, 2023 Janet & Roger Carden Season 3 Episode 2
Gabriela Santiago, Author
The Halfling and the Spaceman
More Info
The Halfling and the Spaceman
Gabriela Santiago, Author
Jul 23, 2023 Season 3 Episode 2
Janet & Roger Carden

We’re talking with Gabriela Santiago today.  She’s a writer whose work has appeared in science fiction magazines including Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, and The Dark. She’ll be discussing her writing process and the obstacles she’s had to overcome.

References and Links:

Show Notes Transcript

We’re talking with Gabriela Santiago today.  She’s a writer whose work has appeared in science fiction magazines including Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, and The Dark. She’ll be discussing her writing process and the obstacles she’s had to overcome.

References and Links:

Gabriela Santiago, Author

[00:00:00] Spaceman: Thank you for tuning into season three of the Halfling and the Spaceman: Journeys in Active Fandom. We're having great conversations with people that have turned their love of fandom into something creative. We are fans talking to fans. Joining us today is Gabriela Santiago, a writer whose work has appeared in science fiction magazines, including Clark's World, Strange Horizons, and The Dark.

[00:00:35] Spaceman: Welcome to the show, Gabriela.

[00:00:37] Gabriela Santiago: Hi. Good to be here.

[00:00:39] Spaceman: So Gabriela, why don't we get started with you telling us a little bit about yourself and your background.

[00:00:45] Gabriela Santiago: Uh, well, I was born four minutes after midnight in the middle of a thunderstorm, which was probably foreshadowing. And then I screamed for several days, which was probably also foreshadowing. My very Catholic grandma took my parents aside at one point and told 'em they should probably baptize me because I was probably fighting the devil for possession of my soul.

[00:01:03] Gabriela Santiago: But I think I was just really wanting to communicate. So I'm a writer. I am a member of SFWA, Graduate of Clarion. I'm also a performer, although I've not done stuff in person since the start of the pandemic. I really enjoy, um, stuff about xeno, linguistics, body horror, fandom, musings, all that good stuff.

[00:01:24] Halfling: So just to be clear, there was an early thought that you might be fighting for your soul when you were a baby. Wow. Okay.

[00:01:35] Gabriela Santiago: yeah. Cause I know you're probably thinking like a certain amount of crying and screaming, but just like imagine more than that and imagine like not a lot. Right. And you know, through my toddler years I did continue to have quite a temper. But one thing I've noticed as I've gotten older is the more vocabulary I got and the better at writing I got, the easier that has become to control.

[00:02:00] Gabriela Santiago: There's something, when you're a child and you don't have words, emotions feel like, emotions feel supernatural. They feel like these huge forces that animate your body like a puppet and lift you up and um, move you. But when you're able to describe what the emotion is and communicate that to other people, that's almost as if you suddenly have the magic and you can pin the emotion in place with a little butterfly pin and say that's what that is.

[00:02:28] Halfling: I totally get that because I actually taught preschool for quite a few years. Preschool in, in, uh kindergarten. And one of my big go-tos was, use your words and, you know, and what, what are you feeling right now? I'd ask, you know, I'd ask the child, are you, are you angry? You know, and try to help them with the words.

[00:02:51] Halfling: I, I totally get it. I totally, totally get that. I think they, you're a hundred percent right about that,

[00:02:59] Gabriela Santiago: Mm-hmm. 

[00:02:59] Spaceman: kinda like to imagine baby Gabriela holding the devil up in a suplex and then doing a pile driver.

[00:03:07] Gabriela Santiago: Baby Gabby would've loved that story.

[00:03:09] Spaceman: Yeah.

[00:03:11] Halfling: fighting with the devil. Oh, that's great style. Uh, well, Gabrielle, what does the word fandom mean to you? And what is your earliest memory of being a fan of something?

[00:03:27] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. So for me, fandom I feel like has two components. The first part is just that obsessive love, where something just pings your brain just the right way and you can't stop thinking about it. You're replaying the stories in your head. You're writing new endings. You hear a song and you think about the characters.

[00:03:46] Gabriela Santiago: You see a soup and you think about what the character, you, you eat some soup and you think what the characters would think about the soup. You to fall, fall asleep at night. You're just still thinking about them. You wanna dress up as them and sort of in a take on like the spirit of them through dressing up as them and just everything in your life.

[00:04:03] Gabriela Santiago: Becomes tinged a little bit with just how much you love that thing. And I realize there's people out there who don't experience that. And I feel really sad for them because it's just one of my most favorite feelings in the world. And I think the first time I felt it, like I always loved stories growing up.

[00:04:17] Gabriela Santiago: My parents read to us all the time. We had cassette tapes that we fell asleep to at night of like the Greek myths and folk tales and also banana slug strain band. But um, so I always loved stories, but I think I first felt that, that sort of vibration of obsessive, obsessive love in third grade. Uh, when we moved back to the US and we were, we were going to the library a lot to get books and I picked up two different series, the Dealing With Dragons Series by Patricia C. Reed and Animorphs by K.A. Applegate. And dealing with dragons. Like I loved fairytales and I'd obviously heard a lot of different versions of fairytales from different cultures, but this was the first time I realized that you could play with fairytales because the protagonist of that is a brunette princess who instead of like needle work, uh, learns, learns how to make cherries jubilee and jousting.

[00:05:14] Gabriela Santiago: And instead of being captured by a dragon, she decides to go work for a dragon and doesn't want to be rescued. And so I was like, you can do that. And that was like baby Gabby's first introduction to messing with archetypes and tropes, which is still a thing I love. And then, um, the Animorphs series, which I read totally out of order at the library until I was caught up and then got a new one once a month for the next, I think three years through the Scholastic Book Club orders, that.

[00:05:43] Gabriela Santiago: Was my introduction to just so much. That is probably honestly one of the best book series of all times because when middle grade goes good, middle grade goes good. And those stories, the characters were great. They dealt with such serious issues like P T S D and trauma, the world building was amazing.

[00:06:03] Gabriela Santiago: Just all the little details she threw in, like the Chi, the Android dog race, like so cool. And she taught me and she taught me how to write fight scenes. I remember as a kid reading animals and being like, she does this thing where she, cuts out a lot of the adjectives or like, she just has like these sharp images and the sentences get shorter and choppier and you just get these startling flashes of images.

[00:06:26] Gabriela Santiago: Like Marco holding his intestines inside with his gorilla hands and um, verbs and emm dashes. And I was like, I think I could do that. So, Um, oh, I loved those books. And then later in fifth grade, everything Tamara Pierce ever, uh, wrote became my next obsession. Uh, I loved a lot of the lioness, I loved the Dane books.

[00:06:50] Gabriela Santiago: I loved Circle of Magic. I wanted to be Tamara Pierce. I went to her website and I looked up her, the college she went to, and I was like, I'm gonna go to that college. Um, which I didn't, but at that time I thought I would. And she like had a random note in her bio that she liked this British Electric folk band called Steel Eye Dance.

[00:07:08] Gabriela Santiago: So I asked for that for Christmas, and I still have the CD somewhere. So that was like, I think the first component of fandom. And then for me, the second component of fandom is community. And I didn't really find that until sixth grade. When I started getting into Star Trek, so, um, that was the era of Star Trek, the next generation reruns on Spike tv.

[00:07:31] Gabriela Santiago: Uh, my parents had divorced and my dad had cables, and I very quickly went from just casually watching it when my older sister and my dad happened to have it on to guarding the TV on the third floor. Like a half hour before the, I knew the rewinds were going to be on because I had checked TV guy and be like, this TV is mine for the next three hours because Star Trek, the next generation is going to be on.

[00:07:53] Gabriela Santiago: And then later Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well. And it took a little while to find community, um, with that because my friends are all fans and nerds and geeks, but they were specifically Lord of the Rings and Star Wars fans and nerds

[00:08:06] Gabriela Santiago: and geeks. So it did start out online , but I just. I loved, I loved NextGen.

[00:08:13] Gabriela Santiago: I loved it so much for the utopian multicultural future. The characters and the relationships, the weird science. And speaking of the characters and relationships, I particularly liked the relationship between Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher. So like 13 year old Gabby goes on the internet and Googles something probably like Dr.

[00:08:33] Gabriela Santiago: Picard and Captain Crusher totally need to kiss, right?

[00:08:36] Halfling: oh. Uh oh.

[00:08:38] Gabriela Santiago: discovered fandom and discovered fan fiction. And um, Yeah, discovered people were out there writing sometimes wonderful, sometimes terrible things. Um, managed to get one of my friends into Star Trek fandom by sending her some great Deep Space Nine fan fiction that I knew she would enjoy, and so brought her into that.

[00:09:01] Gabriela Santiago: So then got that in-person fandom in College Live Journal came along and I started making friendships there. Talking with like-minded fans. Somebody actually, uh, there's this woman, her and her wife run a Star Fleet crew fan club in Iowa, and when I was visiting a convention and my sister's car broke down, so she wasn't able to shuffle me back and forth, they were like, yeah, you can stay in our hotel room for the night person I've messaged with once before on Live Journal.

[00:09:28] Gabriela Santiago: So, building that fandom there. And then later, after college when Tumblr became more of a thing, meeting more people there, doing analysis with them, laughing with them over silly jokes that you don't get unless you know the specific references to Dharma and Gelada Tora. So just finding people who also have that same ping of obsessive joy and just, yeah, being able to do analysis together.

[00:09:54] Gabriela Santiago: And I should also, I suppose, mention convergence here. I had a fellowship to conduct interviews with fans of color about their experiences. So for, for part of that, I was able to go to conventions for the first time and I chose the local sci-fi fantasy convention convergence as my first stop just cuz it was convenient, but it is still one of my favorite conventions.

[00:10:14] Gabriela Santiago: I still remember just walking in there on that first day and seeing everybody in like their Fannish t-shirts and everybody in their cosplays. And people were starting to put up posters for different events that had different jokes on them. And some people were putting googly eyes over the people on the posters and there was just this whole, um, Booklet full of panels, and I could go to like a Klingon puppet show, or I could go to Firefly themed yoga, or I could go to a panel talk on Gabrielle and Zena and their formative influence on other lesbian relationships in television.

[00:10:50] Gabriela Santiago: Or I could just wander around and look at the dealer's room or the art room where people had just created so much cool stuff and everybody was so excited to show it off and to see everybody else's stuff. And I was just like, these are my people. I'm home. And it feels like that still every year.

[00:11:09] Spaceman: Our motto is Find Your Tribe, and it sounds like you did.

[00:11:13] Gabriela Santiago: Mm-hmm. 

[00:11:14] Halfling: Yeah. Yeah. You use the phrase, you know, coming home, which is a phrase that I have used. Many times in reference to going to conventions, especially like right after the pandemic, when things started opening back up. And you know, there was a time when they weren't putting on conventions because of it, and then all of a sudden, you know, when things finally settled down and they started opening conventions again.

[00:11:41] Halfling: The first con that we went to, I, I said, you know, this is like coming home. The these are, these are, this is family. These, these are my people. You know, it's 

[00:11:51] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. And I've so appreciated convergence, being careful with Covid stuff still, and also our local Doctor Who convention Console Room. I so appreciate their commitment to a hybrid model that they've done in the past. And there was a year where it was just like, no, we can't go. We've just had too many exposures with my partner's work.

[00:12:09] Gabriela Santiago: We can't responsibly be there in person. And it was just so great to still be able to be a part of that family and that community, through the hybrid thing cuz console room's done a really excellent job with making sure that you still get a great experience and can still participate with all your friends.

[00:12:26] Spaceman: Well, Gabriela, we've talked a little bit about what's sparked your interest in fandom and your, and your early book fandom. What really got you into writing at an early age?

[00:12:36] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. So like I said before, I always loved stories. As a toddler, one of my favorite things to do was to either shut myself in the bathroom and sit down on the closed toilet and tell myself a story, or go to the empty living room and walk around in circles and tell myself a story. And so I would just walk around and around and round and tell myself a long, round, rambling, never-ending story, usually featuring lots of violence and strong women characters with very complicated names and magic.

[00:13:03] Gabriela Santiago: So, you know, debatable how much that's changed up till now. But, I just, I always loved stories and I always knew that I wanted to recreate that magic. There's nothing as absorbing as a story. And I think also, at a very young age, I became aware that my brain did not work the same as other people's.

[00:13:23] Gabriela Santiago: And I remember telling my mother once that a particular food tasted like the sound of buzzing bees. And that makes perfect sense in my mind. But my mom was deeply confused cuz she doesn't have synesthesia. And I was confused how she could possibly be confused. And I think that was one of my first intimations of the fact that humans have completely different subjective experiences.

[00:13:50] Gabriela Santiago: And no matter how much you love somebody, you don't have telepathy and you don't experience the same world they do. And that can be kind of terrifying and lonely a little bit to realize that. So I think I've just always been very driven to find a way to communicate because if I can find a way to put just words together in the most perfect.

[00:14:16] Gabriela Santiago: Flow or combination or find the most precise thing. If I can make the reader feel exactly what I want them to feel, then it's a little bit like that separation has been eroded just for a second, and they do see the world through my eyes.

[00:14:30] Spaceman: That sounds very, very powerful.

[00:14:33] Halfling: Yeah, Yeah, it does. And I think it's, it's wonderful, I don't think I have heard another writer describe it as a way of communicating about themselves. And I'm sure I, it, it's, I'm sure that it's not that they don't feel that way, it's just that no one has really voiced that. So I appreciate you, you know, you, you voicing that.

[00:14:55] Halfling: I think it's great that people get 

[00:14:57] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, I mean, Everybody's different. But like I a hundred percent do not understand the people who have like written five novels and put them in a filing cabinet, never shown them to anybody. Because to me the whole point is that I show them to somebody. I'm like, I wrote this whole thing to communicate something.

[00:15:14] Gabriela Santiago: And maybe the something is just, the feeling, the sound, like, um, I like to say that my short story, the when to go at the end of the blue line, which is nominally about the fact that the Mall of America is a giant Wendigo. I like to say that it's actually just 6,000 words to say the sound of breathing through pain.

[00:15:32] Gabriela Santiago: that's what that is to me.

[00:15:33] Spaceman: Know, talking about people who write novels and then put them in a drawer and no one ever sees them. You can also have, folks that go the other way who constantly are revising their novel and they're never done. So it's good to find a balance between the two. And 

[00:15:47] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. 

[00:15:48] Spaceman: as a writer, when do you know your work is done?

[00:15:51] Gabriela Santiago: Oof. That's hard. Yeah. When I've finished the first draft, I always have to put it away for a little bit because it's very easy to feel like it's done then. But if I give it time, I know later I'll come back to that and I'll be able to see it with more objective eyes and I'll be able to revise it a little, and just be able to see the weaknesses.

[00:16:09] Gabriela Santiago: But I think at a certain point, for me at least, the writing is done when I'm sick of editing it. So I'll do at least one pass myself. I'll do a pass for a beta reader. If it's novel length, I'll send it to my agent and get her feedback and do a pass there. If wonder of wonder she manages to get an editor interested in the future, then I will do as many passes as they want.

[00:16:36] Gabriela Santiago: But, um, at a certain point I just feel like if you're editing it and editing it, you either have to say, you know what? This story's still not what I want. I gotta trunk itt, come back to it later or you gotta say, I don't think this story is what I want, but I don't know if I'm ever gonna get any closer.

[00:16:52] Gabriela Santiago: I'm gonna send it out there and see what other people think.

[00:16:55] Halfling: That, that reminds me, and this is completely off topic, so forgive me in advance, 

[00:17:01] Gabriela Santiago: No worries. 

[00:17:02] Halfling: this reminds me, of the story we heard about Elvis Presley when he went into the studio to record Love Me Tender. Apparently the story goes that Elvis liked to always set the mood in his studio when he was recording.

[00:17:18] Halfling: And so for this particular story in this recording, he had all these candles lit and everything, and he sat down at the piano and the, the mic, you know, came down from, uh, from above. And no, it was, it was, are you lonesome Tonight? Sorry. Okay. And he, so he, so he recorded the song, played it absolutely beautifully, and when he was done, he stood up and he hit his head on the mic and it recorded it. And they said, you're gonna have to do it again. And he said, no, you don't understand. I can't do it any better than I just did. And that was it. And he didn't, he didn't do it again. So, you know, I mean, he, he felt like that was it, that was the best that he could ever do with it and that's what we hear on, that's what we hear when we hear, hear 'em on the radio, whatever.

[00:18:14] Halfling: That's, that's that version. You may not actually hear it because you know the radio stations will cut it out, but

[00:18:20] Halfling: that 

[00:18:21] Spaceman: the engineers did their best to get 

[00:18:22] Halfling: rid 

[00:18:22] Halfling: of

[00:18:23] Halfling: it. Yeah. So that's the word. So it's, I mean, it's, you know, it's, sorry. Like I said, it's a little off topic, but it just reminded me of that story.

[00:18:30] Halfling: I always thought that was an interesting story.

[00:18:33] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, I think there's always, parallels between different art forms and it's always interesting to hear those kind of stories and. Think about how they apply with writing. Like, listening to the le miserable soundtrack obsessively, my seventh grade year was like how I started to think about writing themes and motifs.

[00:18:52] Gabriela Santiago: Cuz I was like, huh, there's this sound, there's this like series of notes that always shows up with a certain character, but here it's happy and here it's sad. So they've reminded me that like, this is carrying through and I'm like, I wonder how you do that with writing.

[00:19:05] Spaceman: Speaking of Leitmotif, this is way off topic.

[00:19:09] Halfling: Here we go again.

[00:19:10] Spaceman: have you ever seen an animated Disney TV series called TaleSpin?

[00:19:15] Gabriela Santiago: I have not.

[00:19:18] Spaceman: Oh, okay. It's an animated adventure series that have the characters from the Jungle book as anthropomorphic beings. And Baloo is the star. He's a boat plane captain and there is a character called Wildcat who is an interesting character, but he has a leitmotif for that character.

[00:19:39] Spaceman: Every time Wildcat shows up, there is this whimsical little series of notes that play, and he's the only character in the whole series that has their own leitmotif. So, yeah, it's a great TV series if you like, plup adventure Stories for Kids, 

[00:19:56] Gabriela Santiago: Okay. Yeah. I do like a lot of animation for kids. I'm very into SheRa, the Princesses of Power, Kio and the Age of the Wonder Beast, owl House, all that.

[00:20:07] Halfling: Uh,

[00:20:08] Spaceman: This. This is a few decades old at this point though,

[00:20:10] Halfling: yeah. Yeah. Uh, yeah. I think that was back in the nineties.

[00:20:15] Halfling: Something. Yeah, it 

[00:20:15] Spaceman: in the nineties. It was back when we, back when we still, well, back when we had all our hair and it was still mostly brown. It was, all right. 

[00:20:25] Halfling: over 

[00:20:26] Halfling: You moving on.

[00:20:26] Spaceman: Moving on.

[00:20:28] Halfling: What has been your biggest influence in your writing? Is there any one thing that has inspired your writing or, or any certain things, or do you just, it's just whatever comes into your mind at the time.

[00:20:44] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, so, I feel like the way that stories come to me is, I will just have a lot of different things vividly rotating in my head, like a rock Tumblr, striking images, lines from books, fun facts. I'm great at remembering fun facts. I don't remember anyone's name or face because that information is taken up with the number of taste buds a pig has, which is 15,000.

[00:21:07] Gabriela Santiago: So that's just like all rotating inside my brain. And then the thing that pulls it together into a story for me is when I figure out the voice. So once I know what the voice of the story is and who the protagonist is and how they sound in my head, then I can write it. But yeah, before that it's just a mishmash of different inspirations.

[00:21:26] Gabriela Santiago: There's definitely lot, lots of writers that I love, Shirley Jackson, Roald Dahl, all the other ones I previously mentioned. There's definitely themes that I returned to like fandom and, language and communication and, the point of view of being a kid and things like that. And there's definitely been like inspirational people in my life, like my Clarion class and my instructors and lots of my teachers, including my creative writing professor Marlon James in college.

[00:21:54] Gabriela Santiago: So I don't think I could choose just one inspiration, but I would say it just kind of, All is just constantly in my head until I find a voice.

[00:22:02] Spaceman: A follow up question to that, the story has a voice, but do your characters, the participants in the story, do they each have an individual voice?

[00:22:12] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. Typically when I say I need the voice for the story, I'm thinking of the voice of the main protagonist, but there may be other characters in that. I will also need their voices before I can write them.

[00:22:23] Spaceman: You know, it's interesting. Some of the folks that we've interviewed that are authors think about the story in the form of the plot. And some of the people we've talked to think about the story as far as these characters that are interacting and building their story that way. And so it's, it's interesting to see how different people form stories.

[00:22:45] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, I definitely think about the plot when I'm daydreaming it out in that first part. But, , I often find that when I'm, uh, experiencing writer's block, it's because I'm trying to force the plot over the characters. So whenever I can't, uh, then, and that's just for me, I'm more character, more voice-based.

[00:23:04] Gabriela Santiago: And so, I just need to know the characters inside and out. And if I get writer's block, instead of trying to make them to do, do what I want them to do, I just have to tell myself, you know, that's not your job. Your job is that you put these characters in a room and you write down what they do. And that, for me, takes off a lot of the pressure.

[00:23:21] Gabriela Santiago: It makes it a lot easier to go forward.

[00:23:23] Halfling: That sounds like actually pretty solid approach to it. Um I, I would think that you, you know, would be able to write successfully, uh, with that approach. So that's, that's pretty cool. Pretty cool. Um, have you ever, have you ever just had like a title in your head that, you know, you, you get a title and you think, Hmm, there's something there, and then you have to really work at it to, you know, kinda worry it out.

[00:23:55] Gabriela Santiago: I've had some great titles, but I feel like often when I come up with Title first it gets abandoned. I've been wanting to write something called, it's already raining tomorrow for like 20 years. Cause it's something my little sister said once and I'm like, that would be a great title. Um, but. Nothing's worked out for it.

[00:24:14] Gabriela Santiago: Um, and then my current novel is a, is the title is currently The Things I Could Never Tell Isabel Blakeley, but for the longest time it was called The Pigeon of Desire because I thought that was funny, but

[00:24:30] Spaceman: And talking about things that are funny. That's why we're the halfling and the spaceman.

[00:24:35] Gabriela Santiago: mm-hmm.

[00:24:37] Spaceman: Gabriela, one of the things we wanna talk about, and one of the things we want our listeners to hear about is our guest journeys into becoming creative forces in fandom. With that in mind, what would you say was your starting point for your writing career from the point of view of your fandom?

[00:24:52] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. It's kind of tricky because I would say I was a writer long before I experienced that, like tingly fandom, joy in third grade cuz I was walking around rooms telling myself stories as a toddler. Once I was able to like physically write, I started writing down stories and poems and journals and so I just, I always knew I was gonna be a writer.

[00:25:15] Gabriela Santiago: Uh, I got a lot of support from teachers and peers throughout high school. I cont I continued to get good support through college. I was able to get into intro to freshman, I'm sorry, intro to Creative Writing as a freshman, which was supposed to be impossible because the system when you're signing up online gives priority to seniors and then juniors and the sophomores and so on, because some of them need it for their majors.

[00:25:39] Gabriela Santiago: And so you definitely can't sign up that way as a freshman. And you could technically show up to the first day of class and give the professor a transfer slip and ask to be transferred in. But no professor's going to do that, because they know that there's other older students who also want to get into the class.

[00:25:55] Gabriela Santiago: But I decided to show up anyway, and even though everyone had told me this, and apparently no one had told the new professor this, so Marlin just was like, yeah, you wanna take the class? Sure. So I got a great boost that way. He was a great teacher. He was the first person who gave me a good explanation of why I should limit adverbs.

[00:26:13] Gabriela Santiago: People had always told me that rule and it had never made sense to me. But he explained that like it's not that adverbs are bad or that they don't have a purpose in the English language. It's just that often you can come up with a much more precise verb than adding an adverb to a verb, and that'll get your meaning across more precisely.

[00:26:29] Gabriela Santiago: So him being able to explain stuff like that and being very supportive of my weird genre fiction writing was great. And then after college I really kind of struggled because I didn't have the community and it was hard to stay accountable and it was hard to, it was hard to actually continue to send things in knowing they'd get rejected and face that possibility of failure.

[00:26:49] Gabriela Santiago: It was easier to keep the eternal. Possibility of success in my head by not actually finishing stories and sending them places. So I think Clarion was a really big help there because it got me that community, it got me that accountability. It got me those people to bounce ideas off of. So I think that to me is kind of my journey into writing.

[00:27:09] Gabriela Santiago: And so it wasn't necessarily that fandom inspired me to write, but always being a writer and then getting into fandom, naturally fandom became a really strong theme for me and something I wanted to write about a lot. I want. Pop culture is also a theme that shows up in a lot of my works and throughout a lot of high school, many, many, of my workshop peers and teachers have tried to tell me not to put pop culture into things cuz it'll date them.

[00:27:34] Gabriela Santiago: And I'm like, too bad because the. It's the most, it is not essentially true without this pop culture reference. So I will put it in. Thank you. So that's really showed up in that way. Fan love shows up a lot. And, in college I also started having a strong theme of my writing, be fan grief. That feeling when an actor or a writer who you maybe never met dies and you feel that loss so strongly, you've never met them, but they've brought you so much joy in your life.

[00:28:04] Gabriela Santiago: And that's just a fascinating facet of the human experience for me. Our ability to bond with people across space and time.

[00:28:12] Spaceman: I understand exactly what you're talking about because Janet and I both grieved when Terry Pratchett passed.

[00:28:19] Gabriela Santiago: Oh, absolutely. He was, he was a real one. 

[00:28:24] Gabriela Santiago: I got to meet him on my birthday at the North American Discworld Convention, so that was really great. 

[00:28:29] Halfling: wow. wow. What an awesome experience. That must have been

[00:28:34] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, I, I was, I was in the line to get an autographed book and I was like, um, it's my birthday. And like, I don't want you to feel like pressured or anything, so feel free to totally say no to you if you want, but it would just be like the best birthday present ever if I could shake your hand. And he looked at me and I was like, Hmm, but what about a big bag of gold? And I was like, Nope, nope, this would be good. This would be better than that. This would be good. And he continued to look at me and he was like, but what about a really big bag of gold? So he was great.

[00:29:17] Halfling: Oh, I'm so envious right now. 

[00:29:20] Spaceman: Yeah,

[00:29:20] Spaceman: both of 

[00:29:20] Halfling: those are,

[00:29:21] Halfling: Wow. Wow.

[00:29:22] Spaceman: yeah. Our, we, we have a friend, who was trying to get us into Terry Pratchett for years and years. And every time she and her husband would tell us about the Discworld series, they would always end up with, and the librarian is an orangutan. And I was thinking, "this is a selling point?"

[00:29:40] Spaceman: And then, she loaned us the first of the Tiffany aching novels and after af after as an audiobook, and after that we went back and we got every Discworld novel and started at the beginning.

[00:29:54] Gabriela Santiago: Nice. 

[00:29:55] Gabriela Santiago: Oh, I was just gonna say, my start was, I first read Good Omens, cuz it was out on display at the library and then later I saw going postal and I was like, well, it's not Neil Gaiman, but I guess I'll try this Terry Pratchett guy, and then the rabbit hole.

[00:30:11] Spaceman: Oh yes. Moist von Lipwig.

[00:30:15] Gabriela Santiago: it.

[00:30:16] Halfling: There are just so many great, he, he had so many great characters and such a rich world. I. It's, it's just, uh, it, it was just incredible. And you know, when we, when we heard, because we've listened to all of 'em on, on audio, when we heard the last book, I mean, I had literal tears, especially, especially when he's reading the description of granny weather, waxes passing, and, you know, and I just, he's reading that part of the book and I'm like, because he knew that his time was limited and, you know, and it was like he was writing about himself almost.

[00:30:57] Halfling: And it was just, it was so, just so touching and just, it was, it was very powerful. But, uh, but anyway, uh, we should get back on track

[00:31:10] Halfling: back

[00:31:11] Halfling: We, we could, we could do, we could do Terry Pratchett all, all night, but.

[00:31:14] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, I'm the queen of tangents.

[00:31:16] Halfling: Uh, that's, I mean, yeah.

[00:31:22] Halfling: Well, I actually got to read your, your short story. They jumped through fires. I just read that the other, the other night actually. And I, I don't mean this in a bad way because it was, I, to me it was really interesting, but it was a little bit, it was a little bit bizarre. Um, you know, I mean, and I really haven't had a chance to read that.

[00:31:43] Halfling: That's unfortunately the only thing I have had a chance to read at this point. But I was curious as to what your inspiration for that particular story was.

[00:31:54] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, so like going back to like how my stories come from just like a rock Tumblr of images and thoughts and ideas, and then eventually a voice. One of the first things that would've been in there was, uh, one day I was walking around the McAllister campus and I saw a Jackalope and I stopped and I was like, what?

[00:32:14] Gabriela Santiago: Jackalopes aren't real? Am I saying this? Uh, and I tried to get closer without scaring it away, and I'm like, no, I, I think I'm seeing a rabbit with antlers. I think I really am. This is crazy. Have I just discovered jackalopes? No, that's insane. I must be seeing something wrong. It's probably a shadow of the ear or like a stick.

[00:32:35] Gabriela Santiago: And, but I was like, it really looks like antlers or horns or something. And so later I googled it and it turns out that rabbits can get this papillo virus that creates keratinous structures, that grow out all over their head and their face. And, after that first time, like, you know, the first time you see something, you start seeing it everywhere.

[00:32:56] Gabriela Santiago: So I've seen many, many more rabbits like this in St. Paul. Honestly, probably the majority of rabbits in St. Paul, which is a little cthulhulian and frightening, have horns or like keratinous tentacle looking masses coming off their faces. 

[00:33:10] Gabriela Santiago: so it's a little sad, but.

[00:33:13] Gabriela Santiago: Is very visually striking and creepy. And so that image was rolling around my brain.

[00:33:18] Gabriela Santiago: And then another thing that actually probably, yeah, that would've been before that, was the folk tale. So the folk tale in that story in the letters from Great Aunt Theadora an actual family folk tale from my dad's side of the family from when, that side of the family was living in Texas.

[00:33:33] Gabriela Santiago: And the way that Great aunt Theadora writes is very much the way my grandma Dolly writes. So I used a little bit of her voice there to tell that story. So, you know, that's rolling around my head. And then all the stuff with the death. I think I've just always been very interested in that and interested in the way people deal with death.

[00:33:52] Gabriela Santiago: And, you know, that little, that part of you that's a kid that's interested in taboo subjects and things that are gross or forbidden, I don't think that's ever really gone away for me. I love digging into that stuff and finding out like all the secret, knowledge. And so I've always been interested in those things and pushing the envelope a little bit.

[00:34:09] Gabriela Santiago: And in college I took a great religious studies course called How to Do Things with Dead People based on the linguistics book, how to do things with words. So instead of talking about how words enact, things like weddings, or laws going into effect, this class talked about how funerals are tools that societies use in different ways to enact certain things, to help a community heal, to transfer power, to, form a relationship with ancestors or with the gods.

[00:34:38] Gabriela Santiago: Basically all the different ways that funerals are useful to a society. So I learned a lot of great death lore there. Read a lot of the great classics, uh, the American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford, the classic, stiff by Mary Roach. My personal favorite of hers is Fuzz, where I learned that the part of you a bear will eat the first is your butt.

[00:34:57] Gabriela Santiago: So that's fun. Um, and so yeah, so I have a great story of morbid facts that I will gleefully unleash on people. But I do have to say that the, corpse birth that takes place in that story, despite my best Googling, that's probably got me on a lot of different lists of the government. I don't know what that sounds like.

[00:35:20] Gabriela Santiago: I made that up based on my best guess. Um, I think those are okay. So then, So those elements are all rotating around in my brain. I think my friend Angus or Tom was the one who posted in our Clarion 2013, Facebook group that a call for an anthology was out. So there was a call for an anthology.

[00:35:39] Gabriela Santiago: The theme was surveillance. And so I'm like, what kind of story can I write about surveillance? I've got all these different themes, how does it all pull together? And I needed a voice. So a couple things about me. One is that at any given time, I have 10 to 50 books checked out from the St. Paul Public Library because they took away the limit on the amount of holds you can have.

[00:36:00] Gabriela Santiago: And ever since I got into nonfiction, the problem has gotten worse because when you read fiction and you like it, you check out another book by the same author.

[00:36:11] Gabriela Santiago: But when you read nonfiction and you like it, you check out another book by the same author and you also make a note that you want to read all of the books that they cite as part of their research for writing this book.

[00:36:21] Gabriela Santiago: So I tend to g kind of go on subject matter sprints and, at that time I was on a subject matter sprint of reading a lot of memoirs, and also other nonfiction and fiction books that happened to be by autistic people. So I had read a lot of stuff by Temple Brennan. I love her. Her writing voice is so beautiful.

[00:36:41] Gabriela Santiago: She works with a co co-author, but if you read all of her stuff with different co-authors and then you read the co-authors themselves, you can tell it's very clearly her voice and it's just so lovely and crisp and love it and I think another prominent one is, apologies for, I'm not gonna be able to say the name correctly, but I believe his name is Tito Raja.

[00:37:03] Gabriela Santiago: He is an Indian. Of, of Indian descent and he has just beautiful writing. His prose is amazing. Another thing about me is that I have an audible inner monologue and my inner monologue takes on the voice of whatever I happen to have been reading the most. So it's really funny when I'm reading a lot of Charles Dickens, I get a Victorian gentleman narrating my life.

[00:37:27] Gabriela Santiago: But at this point I had all these different, voices of autistic folks in my head. And that kind, that led me to the protagonist voice. Though my neurodivergence is more in the O C D, there is a Venn diagram with a lot of overlap with where I empathize with that. So, the protagonist voice came through that kind of overlap on the Venn diagram for me.

[00:37:50] Gabriela Santiago: And once I had a voice, I was able to write the story.

[00:37:53] Halfling: Okay. Well that is a fascinating insight into that story. 

[00:37:59] Spaceman: Well, I like the elder God bunnies. Bunnies of the elder Gods

[00:38:04] Gabriela Santiago: It is wild to me that no one on the internet is talking about our weird Chtulhulian bunnies in St. Paul. I'm like, do you all not notice the elra to bunnies we have?

[00:38:14] Spaceman: eldrich bunnies. Ooh, I 

[00:38:15] Halfling: like 

[00:38:16] Halfling: that.

[00:38:16] Spaceman: Have to remember 

[00:38:17] Halfling: that phrase. 

[00:38:18] Spaceman: Beware the eldrich bunnies.

[00:38:20] Halfling: Sounds like that could be a heavy metal band.

[00:38:24] Spaceman: Well, if I ever take music up again, maybe 

[00:38:26] Spaceman: I'll 

[00:38:26] Halfling: consider 

[00:38:26] Halfling: it

[00:38:28] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, you can have that one.

[00:38:29] Spaceman: The Spaceman and the Eldritch Bunnies 

[00:38:35] Spaceman: Gabriela, we've 

[00:38:35] Spaceman: all faced challenges along the way. Can you tell us a little bit about the challenges you faced as a writer and how you were able to overcome them?

[00:38:43] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. I think I alluded to earlier, just having the motivation to write after I graduated was really hard because in college you have a deadline and that's your motivation. So you write something for your class. But once you're out in the world and you're trying to hold down, at least two part-time jobs and you're trying to interview for other jobs and.

[00:39:04] Gabriela Santiago: You could spend your time just having beautiful, beautiful daydreams about the things you'll write someday. And rewatching Star Trek Deep Space Nine with your roommate. It's really hard to finish something and if you finish something it's really hard to edit it. And once you edit it, it's really hard to submit it somewhere.

[00:39:22] Gabriela Santiago: And once you submit it somewhere, it's really hard to face that form rejection. So I think that probably was one of my biggest challenges was finding a way to be motivated to keep writing, when in so many, uh, and to like go for that long-term potential reward. When the short-term reward of just daydreaming about my perfect, perfect stories that never have to be ruined by my inability to bring them to fruition, was a lot more appealing sometimes.

[00:39:49] Halfling: Yeah. That's one of the things that, that most writers will tell you is, if you wanna start a career with that, with writing, you have to have a very thick skin because you will face a lot of rejections before you get that first story. Sold. And you just have to be prepared for that.

[00:40:07] Halfling: And if you're not, then you need to find something else to do.

[00:40:11] Spaceman: And one of the pieces of advice I can give to prospective writers out there is don't be ugly to any editor, because the editors know each other.

[00:40:21] Halfling: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah. well, so do you attend conventions now? And, are there Any conventions that you attend, are they primarily literary or do you just attend general sat by fantasy type conventions or?

[00:40:40] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, I've recently gotten some recommendations for some local literary conventions that I might try to attend this year, depending on how they land on Covid policies. Um, if they're still being careful, I might try 'em out. But I've tended to go more to general sci-fi fantasy conventions or , the local Doctor who convention, again, console room and on those I might go to specifically literary panels and beyond those, or moderate them as part of it. So I typically at Convergence am on three to six panels each time, and maybe half of those will be more on a literary track. But yeah, I haven't done a lot of literary conventions. I like having a literary component to my convention, but I also like talking about other things.

[00:41:22] Gabriela Santiago: I suppose Wizz Con is more of a literary convention. I haven't been there for a few years now, but I do always enjoy the level of analysis people bring to Wizz Con.

[00:41:31] Spaceman: Despite the fact that, we've done a magazine, well, two magazines, we've done two magazines and you know, we, we ran a fiction website for the longest time. We're, we're With You. We prefer general fandom conventions because there's more to do and, people are there to have a good time. And not to say that literary, conventions aren't, people aren't there to have a good time, but they, they tend to be more focused on, you know, their writing or a lot of people are aspiring writers and they're coming to learn from established writers.

[00:42:00] Spaceman: And, uh, you know, the Halfling nor myself are writers, although we can write, but we're not, we, we don't have that creative spirit that the writers that we've met. Tend to have,

[00:42:11] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, like my thought is if I can't be there in cosplay, then like, why is it a convention? So,

[00:42:19] Halfling: Oh, okay. What do you like to cosplay? Yeah. Now that you've mentioned that, what do you like to cosplay?

[00:42:25] Gabriela Santiago: so, my sewing level is buy things from Goodwill and alter them. And the last couple of years it's been even lazier than that. So at the last convergence, I just, Took some t-shirts that I already have that reference fictional businesses from welcome to Nightvale and built an outfit around that.

[00:42:43] Gabriela Santiago: So like, I'm a pizza delivery guy from Big Rico's Pizza, or I'm a baseball player on the Nightvale spider wolves. So that's what I kind of do these days. But in the past I, I do enjoy a pun costume. So, I don't know how much you guys are into Dr. Who.

[00:43:00] Spaceman: we,

[00:43:01] Halfling: we spaceman more than more than me. 

[00:43:03] Spaceman: Okay.

[00:43:04] Spaceman: Janet likes New who I like classic. Who, and we both, Peter Capaldi sort of made 

[00:43:09] Halfling: us 

[00:43:09] Halfling: drop 

[00:43:10] Halfling: it.

[00:43:10] Halfling: Ah.

[00:43:11] Gabriela Santiago: Oh yeah, well, I love it all New WHo is what got me into it. Sarah Jane Adventures and classic, who is what, like pulled me fully down the fandom rabbit hole of Deep Love. But if you're familiar with the UNIT dating controversy, the original definition for that is the fact that some writers kind of messed up some of the time timelines.

[00:43:31] Gabriela Santiago: And it's not really clear if certain episodes are taking place in the seventies or the eighties,

[00:43:36] Gabriela Santiago: but the internet also likes defer to refer to the UNIT dating controversy as the fact that everyone in the unit is clearly sleeping with each other. So I dressed up as the UNIT dating controversy, which involved, some short camo shorts and a military jacket and, uh, lipstick prints all over my face and neck and a little sash that said UNIT dating controversy and a necklace that said, seventies.

[00:44:02] Gabriela Santiago: An necklace that said seventies and another necklace that said eighties. So that was very fun to walk around a specifically Dr. Who convention and have people actually get what I was dressed as and get the joke.

[00:44:13] Spaceman: You know, I can't imagine anybody going after the Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart. I just, just,

[00:44:22] Gabriela Santiago: Uh, yeah. Rule 34,

[00:44:25] Spaceman: yeah. Yeah. If they can rule 34 Lethbridge Stewart, then anything is possible.

[00:44:30] Gabriela Santiago: oh, he has been rule 34 many a time.

[00:44:36] Spaceman: Okay. Moving on from the brigadier.

[00:44:38] Spaceman: Moving on

[00:44:39] Spaceman: Moving on.

[00:44:41] Halfling: Spaceman.

[00:44:42] Spaceman: Oh, okay. I didn't know if it was my question or your question. Hello? Hello. Come in, spaceman. Come Ino. All right. Now that ground controls talked to Major Tom, I'll ask next, next question.

[00:44:51] Spaceman: Gabriela, do you have any advice for any of the listeners out there who may just be starting out with their writing careers? And are there things that you know now that you would wish that you had known when you were starting out?

[00:45:02] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. I would say, uh, writing can be very solitary and I would say do your best to find a writing community. Don't be discouraged if the first one doesn't work out or the second. It's okay if it's in person, it's okay if it's virtual. But finding a writing community that really works for you can be just so, so transformative.

[00:45:24] Gabriela Santiago: It helped me so much, like I said before with people in my Clarion writing group. Post about story ideas. They post about upcoming story submissions. Uh, we talk through different struggles we're having with our stories together. We commiserate with each other when we get rejected. We congratulate each other when we get success.

[00:45:42] Gabriela Santiago: And having a community is also just a really good way to inoculate yourself a little bit against jealousy. Um, because I think when you're solitary, it's very easy to see other people having success and to feel bitter about why you don't have that particular marker of success yourself. But when it's your dear friends, you can be, you have that choice.

[00:46:04] Gabriela Santiago: You can, that you look at and say, you know, I could get jealous about this, and I could slowly poison this friendship that I value so much. Or I can consciously reject that thought and focus on the fact that I am so happy for my friends. They did so well, and that has just been a really. Big boost for my mental health.

[00:46:24] Gabriela Santiago: For me, it's been a much healthier way for me to think about things. but I guess my other piece of writing advice would be, don't feel bad if writing advice doesn't work for you. Like everybody is so different. There are people whose writing schedules and strategies would not work for me in any way, shape, or form.

[00:46:42] Gabriela Santiago: I know a lot of the stuff about the way I work wouldn't worked for people. Like I write a hundred words and then I go like a post on Tumblr, and then I write another hundred words, and then I go like a post on Tumblr and that keeps the dopamine flowing for me. But other people would just be like, Nope, I'm gone.

[00:46:55] Gabriela Santiago: I'm on Tumblr. Two hours have passed. and other people hate Tumblr. So, I would just say try different things. Seek out advice and try them, but don't feel bad if you're one of those people who can't write every day or it doesn't work for you to write to music or whatever. The hot new writing tip of the week is something like, reading stuff out loud is super helpful for, for me, but some people are deaf or have processing disorder and that's not gonna be useful for them.

[00:47:22] Gabriela Santiago: So you get to pick and choose, from all the advice that people give you.

[00:47:26] Spaceman: the thing about being part of a community, that's really, really good advice because you, you feel good for the success of your friends, but your friends can also lift you up. You know, they can make acquaintances with editors, they can put you in touch with an agent. They can, that you can help network.

[00:47:43] Spaceman: They can even act as beta readers for your work. 

[00:47:46] Spaceman: And they, one of the things that we've noticed that generally people in the greater geek community tend to look after each other well with the, with the exception of course, of the, random internet troll who just wants to bring people down.

[00:48:01] Halfling: Yeah.

[00:48:02] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, you have to be careful with it. But if you can find a good community, and I think with writing workshops, often you show each other some of the most vulnerable parts of yourself through your writing because you're showing what you care about, that can forge a real bond of caring about each other and looking about looking after each other.

[00:48:18] Halfling: Yeah. And, and I think, like Roger was saying, that, the sense of community is very important because you do lift each other up, you sort of look out for each other. I mean, of course there's always the bad eggs, unfortunately. But you can learn to avoid them or just learn to say, you know what?

[00:48:40] Halfling: I don't need that and just let it go know, whatever. Um, and that's, that's in all different types of fandom in general. I mean, we've had, you know, we've had cosplayers that have talked about new, you know, talked about people who wanted to try cosplay and didn't know what to do, or didn't have the materials or the skills to put together a really good outfit or costume.

[00:49:03] Halfling: And you got cosplay that have been in it for a while and said, you know, well, I'm gonna lend you this, or, you know, or it's really easy. Let's just put this and this together, you know, and I'll help you put it together. And, you know, you know, willing to, willing to live, lend, lend that hand.

[00:49:19] Halfling: Even vendors at a convention that are sitting next to each other, you know, Hey, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go check out, you know, this panel. Would you mind watching the table for, you know, for a few minutes, you know? Yeah. Most of the time they have no problem with it. So it's, great. Yeah. So, and it goes back to that sense of coming home, that sense of finding your people.

[00:49:43] Halfling: Yeah. So I did wanna ask you what up and coming stories you might have that people can look forward to.

[00:49:52] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. So I checked, and there's not a publication date yet, but I did just sell a short story to Lightspeed. It's called Reconstructing the Golden Rod Conspiracy, a d Room two 30 to three 30. And it's an alternate history of, a world where our country has been plunged into, famine told through the format of a convention panel about reconstructing a long lost episode of Canadian Science Fiction tv.

[00:50:20] Gabriela Santiago: So, It's 

[00:50:24] Gabriela Santiago: my kind of, my kind of musing on that feel when you are living through a dystopia, but when you're not in active physical danger, you still really care about your fandoms.

[00:50:37] Spaceman: you know, it's a pretty deep dive when you start talking about, uh, Canadian sci-fi tv. We not long ago had a, uh Canadian streamer on the show, and he was talking about the model building. His thing is, you know, he streams video games, he builds models he streams at, and we got talking about Canadian sci-fi and I said, have you ever seen Rock N Rule?

[00:51:02] Spaceman: And he didn't even know what Rock N Rule was. I said, Man! Nelvana produced all this awesome stuff in the seventies, man. It should be a part of Canadian pride that you have to watch this stuff. So, so I turned him onto something new. So, you know, I'm kind of proud of that.

[00:51:18] Gabriela Santiago: Nice.

[00:51:18] Spaceman: Uh, and that, that's how we find out the things that we watch, is that we watch all sorts of oddball things.

[00:51:26] Spaceman: The most recent thing we watched that was oddball was this one season early 1970s, British German, uh, collaboration called Star 

[00:51:36] Halfling: Maiden, and 

[00:51:38] Halfling: it 

[00:51:38] Halfling: was 

[00:51:39] Spaceman: bad.

[00:51:40] Spaceman: It

[00:51:40] Spaceman: was,

[00:51:42] Spaceman: but we watched all 13 episodes

[00:51:44] Spaceman: of 

[00:51:44] Spaceman: it.

[00:51:45] Gabriela Santiago: Mm-hmm. 

[00:51:46] Halfling: It was one of those that was so bad. It was good because it was just funny. It was just so cheeky and 

[00:51:54] Spaceman: and, 

[00:51:55] Halfling: oh my gosh.

[00:51:56] Spaceman: you could tell they were trying to be progressive with it because they were, they were, you know, having this discussion about, you know, women's rights. But they were doing the form of being the males, being the underclass. And I was thinking to myself, you know, I know what they're trying to do, but maybe it's because I'm looking at this through modern eyes.

[00:52:14] Spaceman: I'm just not seeing it. Oh, that was funny. That was funny.

[00:52:18] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah. Yeah. I, one of, one of my favorite ways to discover random things is if I'm at a convention and I just pop into a movie room, for a couple minutes there back when I was in my twenties and I could just go to the convention and mostly stay awake for four days, I would sometimes go into the movie room and you're not supposed to do this, don't do this, kids.

[00:52:40] Gabriela Santiago: But go there for that. So for years I thought that I had fever dreamed most of the plot and the aesthetics of the movie, the Apple, which is about like, what if recording executives were Satan and they tried to convince a clean cut young couple to be into disco. And it's a musical, it seems like it should have been a fever dream.

[00:53:01] Gabriela Santiago: But they brought that movie back to the movie room a few years later when I had wised up and started paying for a hotel room and I watched it awake and nope, that's, that's the plot of it. wild.

[00:53:13] Spaceman: Okay. Halfling. I think we're gonna have to add that. At to our movie cue

[00:53:17] Spaceman: because it, it, it sounds kind of bizarre. It sounds like it's right up our alley.

[00:53:22] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah.

[00:53:23] Gabriela Santiago: At one point everybody puts little shiny holographic triangles on their faces for fashion. Um, and I think that's supposed to be like the mark of the beast or something. And I don't know,

[00:53:32] Halfling: Oh, okay.

[00:53:35] Spaceman: Oh, goodness. Oh, goodness.

[00:53:37] Halfling: Well, okay. You mentioned that. You've mentioned that one story. Do you have anything else coming out?

[00:53:42] Gabriela Santiago: That's the only thing coming out at the moment. I'm working on a few other things, but they're not on the stage where I'm ready to submit them. The main, things I'm working on is the novel I mentioned earlier, the things I could Never Tell. Isabelle Blakely, which is a time travel novel, done in a series of letters to the person's favorite actor.

[00:53:58] Gabriela Santiago: And, I'm working on a secondary world novella about a housekeeper who runs away to be the housekeeper to a pirate. So maybe you'll hear something about this someday, but definitely not ready for publication.

[00:54:10] Spaceman: Well reach out to us and let us know when they're ready.

[00:54:12] Halfling: Absolutely. 

[00:54:13] Halfling: Absolutely.

[00:54:14] Gabriela Santiago: Will do.

[00:54:15] Spaceman: Now it's time for us to start wrapping up. So can you tell our audience where they can find out more about you and where they can get your works or where they can find your works?

[00:54:26] Gabriela Santiago: Yeah, so I just got myself. A website and I'm actually typing it right now just to make sure it does actually come up. Okay. Yes. So is my new website. I'm still working on adding stuff to it, but if you go to it, there's a contact form and there's links to my social media and links to my link tree.

[00:54:48] Gabriela Santiago: And Link tree is where you can find all of my different short stories that have been published. Most of them are free on the internet. There's a few that are anthologized in print and that you would need to buy, but a lot of them you can read for free. You can also find me on Tumblr at writing-relatedactivities, and that's a little bit of me talking about writing and a lot of me reblogging deep space, nine memes.

[00:55:11] Gabriela Santiago: And you can also find me on. Instagram writing_relatedactivities, and I got that Instagram so that I could take part in an Instagram live for. We're here the best queer fiction of 2020, and then I found out Instagram Live doesn't work on a desk desktop, so I was like, I guess I have an Instagram now.

[00:55:31] Gabriela Santiago: So now it's just photos of weird liminal spaces around St. Paul.

[00:55:37] Spaceman: All right. about Deep Space Nine for just a second. Jadzia or Ezri?

[00:55:43] Gabriela Santiago: False dichotomy. Jadzia is obviously the first and great, and it's a shame the way Rick Berman pushed her off the show rather than talk to her, about her salary and give her what she deserved. But from a watsonian rather than a Doist standpoint, I do appreciate what they were trying to do with Ezri.

[00:56:02] Gabriela Santiago: And I feel like they did touch on some really interesting things about the way Trill friendships work. And I appreciate, the way that she's kind of an invisibly disabled character.

[00:56:12] Spaceman: Okay. How about, Bashir versus Worf?

[00:56:17] Gabriela Santiago: Uh, gotta say Bashir. I. Struggle with Worf. I have come around to him. He is one of the better things about the last season of Star Trek Picard, the way someone loved Michael Dorn on that writing staff, and they gave him some great lines on that last season. But I don't think they always knew how to write him on Next Generation or Deep Space Nine, uh, maybe less so on Deep Space Nine.

[00:56:40] Gabriela Santiago: But I feel like a lot of his plot lines about honor and not knowing how to be a father to Alexander got a little recycled. So Bahir, even though he's annoying, but that's part of his charm,

[00:56:51] Spaceman: All right, one last one. Miles or Keiko.

[00:56:55] Gabriela Santiago: Can't choose. Obviously we all love to torture. Miles O'Brien in the O'Brien must suffer episode of each season, but Keiko is also just a boss. Love her. She makes a lot of sense. My main question about them is, did y'all never talk before you were married? How 

[00:57:11] Gabriela Santiago: do you not know these things about your culture and your food preferences?

[00:57:15] Gabriela Santiago: What? What's up with you? Like, have conversations before you get married.

[00:57:20] Spaceman: That's 

[00:57:21] Halfling: good 

[00:57:21] Halfling: advice 

[00:57:21] Halfling: for 

[00:57:21] Halfling: everybody 

[00:57:22] Spaceman: of any time, period.

[00:57:23] Halfling: Yes, yes, definitely just, have a conversation. All right. 

[00:57:29] Spaceman: Well,

[00:57:29] Spaceman: Gabriela, thank you so much for talking with us today and putting up with my insane Deep Space nine questioning at the end.

[00:57:37] Gabriela Santiago: No worries. Always happy to talk about Deep Space Nine. The best Star Trek.

[00:57:41] Spaceman: Well, we've had a great time getting to know you and to hear about your journey in active fandom how you started out as a creator, then became a fan, and and a creator. So that's awesome. And we'd like to thank our listeners for tuning in today and we hope that you've enjoyed and perhaps become inspired by today's guest, Gabriela Santiago.

[00:58:02] Spaceman: And this is the spaceman of the Halfling and the Spaceman over and out.

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