[sticky post] This is the dimension of imagination.

Welcome to my sandbox!

I'm Merc Rustad, a robot velociraptor in disguise. I write things, attend college (film major),  watch lots and lots of movies, read stuff, and play video games.

My pronouns are they/them/their.

I'm on Twitter: @Merc_Rustad

And you can find a list of my published fiction here.

Next stop...the Twilight Zone.
  • Current Mood: artistic artistic


Hai guys. I'm still around! Just, you know, mostly on Twitter or akf. Mass Effect trilogy has EATEN MY BRAIN. That and mid-terms.

I have admittedly avoided LJ/DW a little more than I expected when I realized un-responded-to-comments were still there and I was stressing over that. So, with apologies to everyone, I'm calling blanket amnesty on all previous comments. I'm sorry I can't reply/read them. I really appreciate comments, I love to see those notifications! Don't get me wrong. It's just--the backlog is creating too much stress and my MH is a bit shaky, so I need to allow myself to be able to say 'it's okay, we can start fresh.' And going forward I am going to try to stay on top of it.


What else has been going on? Let me make a list.

- I have new stories out! It's exciting. (link to website because I'm too lazy to copy/paste all my code for links and such over here)

- I helped make a movie over a weekend! (horror comedy; I was officially director of photography/gaffer, and unofficially line-producer and do-anything-we-needed-done-on-set, including taking over the direction and choreography for a massacre scene (our director, hilariously enough, is not a big fan of horror--so she mostly took care of the non-bloody scenes and I handled the carnage scenes. it worked out! and yes there will be more news of this closer to release in late August. For those who are on FB, I have a bunch of production photos for the curious)

- I've spent well over 40 hrs working on a 2D animatic for a project, and on the bright side I'm getting the hang of Illustrator and a tiny grasp on After Effects. (It'll be done Weds. *sweatdrop*)

- OH YEAH I'M MAKING ANOTHER MOVIE IN A WEEK AND A HALF, WHAT. (drama! about monsters! dude, prepro is kicking my ass on this one.)

- I WROTE A THING. (April was pretty much a wash in terms of words. I did nothing. So today I drafted a story! New post for that.)

- Did I mention I'm stuck in the black hole that is the Mass Effect Trilogy? Because I am. Halfway through 3. I have no heart left. IT HAS BEEN UTTERLY DESTROYED BY THIS GAME. (And don't worry about spoilers, I already made my sister--who has played it numerous times--tell me exactly what happens to everyone because I could not take the emotional pressure and OH MY GOD BIOWARE WHY. *sob*)

- possibly other things happened and I cannot think any more tonight. Oh yeah, watched Daredevil (liked it), watched Avengers 2 (liked it), did I mention how freaking long it takes to play a trilogy of ME games...


Okay. That's all I got atm. How are you all? *hands out cookies*

"Where Monsters Dance"

Delighted to announce my dark fairy tale-esque lesbian fantasy is live at Inscription Magazine!


"Where Monsters Dance"


(Content warning: domestic violence, transphobia.)


This is a story very dear to my cyborg heart and I'm thrilled it's found a great home. (I'm working on a story notes post for this one.) I hope you enjoy!

"Finding Home" and "Exponentially Hoping"

So, I'm still very behind with updates & responses. But I do have things to share!

The first issue of Vitality Magazine is out! I have a story in this called "Finding Home," about traveling through alternate realities. It's a love story, and it's also about family and identity. It's unabashedly positive SF. :)


(The gorgeous cover art is by Alex Garcia.)

It's available digitally and in print! Super gorgeous interior illustrations as well, and so many delightful stories about queer characters. I do hope you'll check it out. :)


Other piece of news: author Jim C. Hines has been hosting a series of guest blog posts about diversity and representation. I had a post to kick it off, "Exponentially Hoping," about the need for non-binary representation in fiction and media. It's a very raw and personal essay, but I'm quite proud of it. (You can also read the rest of the guest posts--all excellent.)

Potentially more shiny things to report later--I hope you are all well!


I have a backlog of comments I would like to respond to, but have not had the spoons recently. Sorry. (If you suddenly see replies to months-old comments, well. >.> It could happen!)

some talk about depression and dr visits (it"s good news, tho)Collapse )It will be a slow and challenging road, I know, but I took the first big step and I have wonderful people to help and support me and it's kind of amazing. :) 

(comments are on, but don't expect a fast reply--I'm conserving spoons.)
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"To the Knife-Cold Stars" is up on Escape Pod!

Delighted to share my SF story, "To the Knife-Cold Stars," which is about cyborgs and wirepunk and learning to live again. It just went live on Escape Pod! You can read the text version or listen to the audio, which is guest-hosted by Rachel K. Jones and narrated by Matt Weller.

To the Knife-Cold Stars

This is part of Escape Pod's Artemis Rising special, a month of stories featuring non-binary and women authors. :) I hope you enjoy!


GYWO: January update

I checked in with the GYWO community post already, but! I thought in interests of general updatery and, you know, writing progress, this would be fun.

In January, all told, I wrote 17,186 words. (To which my response is: HOLY CRAP WHAT o.o )

This was a mix of short stories (finished all of 1), script work, outlines, tiny bit of fanfic, some prep/planning work, and a very few secret novel words.

I repeat: HOLY WHAT.

I thought January was a slow month. I have had many days where I struggled to do anything, let alone write. (And then there were days where all I did was play Dragon Age: Inquisition, because, well, DAI.)

Apparently I did some words, guys! This is remarkably encouraging, when I have persistent, constant doubtroaches living in my brain that constantly whisper about how I get nothing done and am never productive.

Frankly, fuck the doubtroaches.

I think I did AWESOME last month on the productivity level. A little bit every few days, even if not in a row, does add up. ^_^ Homework may be languishing somewhere in the mines (let's not discuss how unmotivated I am about classwork this quarter) but dammit, Jim, WORDS HAPPENED.

a meme

When you see this, share 3 random lines from 3 WIPs.

(which...I may not have paid exact attention to the number of lines, but whatever)

1. A dozen soldiers with blue-white braiding on their uniforms trotted about the dragon, checking the harness. The dragon snorted and the force of its breath shot freshly-mounded dirt scattering in all directions. Its double heartbeats were like thunder, and all the metal in the carriages and chains keened.
[a short story WIP]

2. Enough of blood, love, the gold murmured, warm and languid. Let me show you what trinkets our pets have brought from beyond mountain and sea.
[from a novel WIP, same world as #1]

3. Food is her great joy—preparing and savoring, equally. Until the clinic and her wife’s illness prompted her to see patients again, she worked with her sister-in-law at the Falcon’s Tryst, a fine eatery and wine-shop. She was chef and delighted in inspecting the food products for the day’s menu. She accepted only the best ingredients. A raptor’s nose, even cased in human skin, can pick out signs of rot or fermentation before it shows.
[a different short story WIP--with, yes, SHAPESHIFTING MEGARAPTORS.]

Draft: SMILE (short script)

I hate dolls. I find them absolutely disturbing and creepy, and maybe it was fostered early by watching "Talking Tina" on The Twilight Zone when I was a tiny!Merc, or more likely it was watching The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy at an even younger age (6?) and being SCARRED FOR LIFE. Because that is seriously the scariest movie I have ever seen. Ever. (And I like, and watch, lots of horror.)

So of course it makes perfect sense I choose to make my final cinematography project about...creepy dolls. (Or not.)

Regardless, I wrote a script and freaked myself out. Either that suggests the finished product will be effective as horror, or else I just won't sleep ever again, or maybe both.

Title: "Smile"
Date: 1/19/15
Genre: horror
Words: short script (2 pages)
Shiny: ummmmm...

(Estimated release: end of March, when it's due.)

/goes on to question their life choices because WTF, self
  • Current Mood: scared scared
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