A little bit of news for the end of June: I’ve sold a short story to Horror d’oeuvres, Dark Fuse‘s online venue for bizarre and experimental flash fiction. “To Dearest Amelia, Always In Our Thoughts” is a piece about explorers voyaging into the Jungian unconscious, and the first new story I wrote this year. It’s due to go up on 25th July for Horror d’oeuvres subscribers, but may also be reprinted in a print/ebook anthology at a later date.
Some odds and ends for January…
Every Day Fiction Acceptance
First up, my flash fiction piece Shadow-play has been snapped up by Every Day Fiction.
This one is a bit of a departure for me as it has much more of a children’s/storybook feel. I had originally written it for PodCastle’s flash fiction contest, but I didn’t think it was really all it could be. With a 500-word limit for the contest, some of the concepts I’d imagined for the story couldn’t really be fleshed out the way I would have liked. It probably didn’t help that I rushed the draft out hours before the deadline, and some of the writing might have been a wee bit clumsy as a result!
Still, I was very fond of the concept of the piece–a world of eternal day in which people’s shadows have their own lives, and what might happen if there were an eclipse–so afterwards I set to rewriting it. After several revisions, I finally arrived at this finished version–somewhat longer than the initial piece, and with (I hope!) the problems that plagued the original contest version banished. All said, I’m very proud of the results.
Shadow-play is due to appear in Every Day Fiction on the 28th February.
Kzine Issue 9
Next, a quick plug for Kzine, a tri-annual Kindle-focussed genre magazine edited by Graeme Hurry. Kzine’s broad range gives each issue an interesting slant: science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, mystery… pretty much anything “genre fiction.” Fun never knowing quite where the next story might take you. Kzine issue 9 is due to include my story Dear Sweet Rosie, a story about a young shape-shifter struggling to understand the vagaries of language. Table of contents (subject to change):
Joshua Schwartzkopf – Connections
Rachel Marquez – The Obligation
Richard Zwicker – Witchcraft 2.0
Danielle N. Gales – Dear Sweet Rosie
Michael Haynes – Escape
Rhonda Parrish – Shattered
Vaughan Stanger – Time to Play
Maureen Bowden – Teller
Jez Patterson – Heads
Paul Hamilton – Seventeen Year Switch
Issue 9 is due out towards the end of May.
Unidentified Funny Objects 3
Plug the second: humorous speculative fiction can be a tough sell in the short fiction world. Dark, literary, experimental… there’s plenty of places to locate all of those things, but something just plain fun and funny is a lot harder to find. That’s where the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology series comes in. Be sure to drop by the Kickstarter campaign for the third in the series. Edited by Alex Shvartsman, UFO3 is set to include stories from Mike Resnick, David Farland, and Jody Lynn Nye, amongst many others. Heck, it’s worth backing just for that awesome cover art by Tomasz Maronski.
The Kickstarter campaign is aiming for $8000, and runs until 18th February. Also, check out the first two anthologies at UFO Publishing.
Overall, January has been decent on the writing front, though I have not gotten near as much accomplished as I should! One new piece of flash fiction completed, a whole bunch of half-stories in my WIP folder that may or may not go anywhere, and a new story underway which is turning out to be a bit of a monster to write, but I’m happy with where it’s going so far.
To steal what some other writers are doing on their blogs, I figure I might as well throw some raw stats out there, just to show how I’ve managed this month on the submission front:
Acceptances – 3
Rejections – 2*
Submissions made – 3**
(*I’ll never reach 100 by the end of the year at this rate. **Must write more stories to send out there!)
The July issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly will include my story “The River Fox,” in which I get away with having a talking animal for a character.
This one was written in the middle of an “everything I write must be completely different from anything I’ve ever written before” phase, and was the result of a bit of a frustrated creative flurry. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the result; it’s sort of mythic, sort of a storybook fable, and a bit odd all round, and I’m glad it’s found a nice home.
Just a quick update…
In the “hopefully this year will be awesome” department, I’ve recently made my first short story sale of 2014!
“Odd Leg,” a science fiction flash piece involving genetic engineering, has been accepted for publication by Stupefying Stories. A nice surprise, and I’m very happy that one of my pieces will be appearing with them in the future.