- James Zahardis – A Song From the Old Country
- Erin Cole – In the Deep of a Wild Blue
- Jamie Lackey – Old Man’s Cave
- M.E.L.I. – Rebirth
- Tanya X. Short – The Great Mystery
- Danielle N. Gales – The River Fox
- Tim McDaniel – Victims
Issue 9 of Kzine, the Kindle-based magazine of genre fiction, is out now over at Amazon (links to USA/UK store). This one features my story, “Dear Sweet Rosie,” a first-person piece about a shapeshifter trying to get to grips with language and the less-than-benign motives of those around her.
It was a fun story to write, very much a voice and character piece. Rosie’s viewpoint gave me a chance to play around with the shifting, uncertain qualities of language as they relate to her own abilities and her growing understanding of the world around her, and to do it in an unrestricted and childlike way.
Also check out Steve Rogerson’s review of Issue 9 here.
Table of contents:
Today I was pleased to discover that a story I’d submitted for Quarter 1 of the Writers of the Future Contest has been awarded an Honourable Mention! This is definitely one of the nicest ways of saying “I’ll pass” that I’ve come across so far. I’m very proud of this story and remain optimistic that it’ll find a great home some day soon, but receiving this little nod is a nice reassurance all the same. In the meantime, my Q2 story is already waiting patiently for David Farland to judge it, and I guess I’ll have to pull my finger out and write something to enter in Q3 soon. Congrats and good luck to the finalists!
It’s been a relatively quiet time recently, I think because I’ve been a bit more consistent with aiming high up the food chain this year where fiction submissions are concerned. The responses have been sporadic and often a long time coming. But silence on the submission front doesn’t mean silence on the “getting actual words down on the page” front. In March I managed to finish up three new short stories and start sending them out into the world, and I’ve spent the bulk of April engaged in a big scary novel–a Young Adult Fantasy that takes place in a secondary world modelled on the Roman Republic.
This is my third attempt at a novel. The first took ten years to outline, write, and rewrite until I was finally ready to call it “done.” The second, by contrast, was a NaNoWriMo project that was written in a month flat. Both taught me valuable lessons. The first: that there is such a thing as too much planning, too much researching, and too much tinkering. Eventually, you have to call time and get on with the next big thing. It would have been nice if I’d been slightly quicker off the mark to figure that out, but still. The second: that I’m useless at making things up as I go! Some writers thrive on that–on laying once sentence in front of the next like railroad in front of a speeding train, discovering the story and the characters as they write. After a dizzying month of 2000+ word days, I had no idea where I’d ended up, but it was a scary, alien place where nothing quite made sense and every road had a “No Entry” sign hanging above it. Why didn’t I think to bring a map along with me?
So here we are with novel #3, and I think I’ve found a happy medium. A good, solid outline with enough space around the edges for situations to grow organically, and for the intricacies of the story to remain shrouded enough that I’m still able to be surprised by the places the characters take me. After spending much of April outlining, the words are now flying onto the page. I’m averaging 3000 words a day, which for me is something approaching the miraculous. Many of those words might even be salvageable, too! I’ll have to give a shout out to Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method here, which has been invaluable for me with this one.
In other news, the humorous speculative fiction anthology Alternate Hilarities from Strange Musings Press, in which my story “The Great Abyss Disjunction” appears, is now available to purchase in both paperback and ebook formats.
There’s this cute little story called “Shadow-play” up now at Every Day Fiction. I may or may not be guilty of writing it. Guess you’ll just have to click here to see for yourselves!
Off you go, then.
I’ve got a story, “The Great Abyss Disjunction,” upcoming in the humorous spec-fic anthology, Alternate Hilarities.
Currently the plan is to release the anthology as an ebook, however Editor Giovanni Valentino is running a Kickstarter campaign with a modest goal of financing a print run. Rewards include having a character in one of the stories named after you. That would include my story too, you lucky people!
Alternate Hilarities should be out in ebook form by the 1st May, and will also feature stories from the following authors:
Isabel Sterling – Day Al-Mohamed – Brenda Anderson – Jason Bougger – Gavin Cameron – A.B. Rinklin – Dan Doerflein – John H. Dromey Christine Edwards – Jaimie M. Engle – Eric James Spannerman – Steve Esling – Laura Thurston – Ronald Friedman – Jay Fuller – Steven Grassie Cathy Greco – James E. Guin – Shari L Klase – Felicia Lee Lance Manion – Daniel McPherson – Jez Patterson – M. Kelly Peach Clay Sheldon – Chuck Rothman – Josh Strnad – Giovanni Valentino – Adam Millard – Aaron Austin
The campaign runs from now until 25th March. Take a peek here for all of the details.
Now available from Dark Opus Press: Tell Me a Fable, an anthology of dark short fiction retelling Grimm’s fairy tales, edited by A.W. Gifford and Jennifer L. Gifford. Included is my story, “Eyeless Old Gothel”, based upon the story of Rapunzel.
Once upon a time… These words begin one of the most enduring forms of literature, the fable. Timeless in its history and simple in its morality, it’s our legacy, passed down in written form. Of all the fables, Grimm’s fairytales hold a special place in our collective hearts. Favorites like Rumpelstiltskin, Rapunzel, Snow White and Little Red Cap are retold in this collection with a modern flare. Stories by: K. Trap Jones, Danielle N. Gales, Wendy N. Wagner, Kristal Stittle, Vivian Caethe, Anne Bean, David Turnbull, Marie Michaels, Mark A. France, Benjamin T. Smith, Jason Barney, Wendy Nikel and Brenda Kezar
Rapunzel she shall be called, after the least of the herbs the thief had stolen. A girl born with sin deep in her heart, just like her mother. Just like old Gothel.
Old Gothel takes the infant, as is the price. The demon wretch mother, see how she begs with her hollow words, how she cries her empty tears for her child. Old Gothel slams the door on her, trapping her inside with her lascivious deceits. Others with keen eyes can watch her close now that the truth of her shame is revealed.
The father–her little sneak-thief–he begs her so. “Must it be this way?” he pleads.
He’s tall, this one, his body the product of long, heavy hours under the sun; such strength is but a trifle before the weakness in his soul. Gothel sees him from a great distance before swooping in with her sight, sees the nights he lies with his demon woman, flesh all twisted and glistening and excited and mounting and full and ripe and bursting and, and, and… Oh, how she hates him. She sees it and it burns, scolds her deep. Look upon his eyes now, all wet weakness and regret. See how he averts them from her hideousness–her scarred face, her hairless head, the strip of coarse black cloth wrapped where her eyes once sat.
To read the rest, as well as check out all of the other stories, pick up a copy below!