August 30, 2009
The folks at Strange Horizons said “no” to Stuff of the Old Gods, the story I brought back from Jim Gunn’s SF Writers Workshop. So I tweaked the ending a bit and pushed it back out into the cold to go knocking at the door of Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.
I’ll let you know whether of not they let it in.
And Downunder, Upon Whom the Pale Moon Gleams, made it through to the third round of review at Australia’s Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. So more waiting and the editors there say only about one in three stories make it through the third round and into the magazine.
More to come there.
August 30, 2009
Winners of the 2008 Writers of the Future competition were in Los Angeles this past week for a writers workshop conducted by SF novelists K.D. Wentworth and Tim Power.
Part of the pay-off for winning the contest.
The folks at Author Services, which sponsors the competition, have been posting pictures of the proceedings but it’s too late to catch the best part. The awards ceremony for the winners was shown live Saturday night via streaming video.
I watched the whole thing and it was a classy operation. Tuxedoes and evening gowns and speeches. Choreography and film clips. Trophies and some tears.
My buddy, Jordan Lapp, who won 1st place in the 4th Quarter 2008 segment of the contest, looked dapper in formal wear and offered up a great thank-you speech. But he didn’t win the gold prize, which means a second, bigger trophy and an extra $5000.
Oh, and the 25th edition of the Writers of the Future anthology, in which Jordan’s story will appear, was presented for all to see. Pick up a copy when it hits the store shelves. It’s going to be great reading.
All the ceremony had me day-dreaming about next year, when it’s my turn to head to L.A. for the hoopla.
Have I mentioned how much I hate waiting?
August 30, 2009
The last few words of Wayfarer still elude me, so I focused on a couple pieces of flash this past week — The First Time and The Maple Leaf Maneuver.
Two stories couldn’t be any more different.
The First Time is somber and melancholy. It’s about one of my most returned to topic, death and the process of dying. Rachael says I focus on it so much that I should change my name to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.
The Maple Leaf Maneuver is a snarky bit of fun that uses Canada’s recent changes it its Citizenship statutes as a jumping off point. This is one of those stories that if you asked how much of it is true, I would have to say all of it — except for the parts that I made up.
I sent it off to a flash fiction contest at Gemini Magazine. I’ll let you know how it goes. I haven’t figured out where to send the other piece yet. We’ll see.
August 17, 2009
Ninety days has passed since Nosing with the Four-Stroke Kid appeared in Murky Depths #8, so I can let you read it here.
Neil Stuthers, the Irish artist who painted the kick-ass art that appeared with the story, has given me permission to show you that, too. Thanks, Neil.
I think the story is my own personal favorite and I get goose bumps when I look at Neil’s painting.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
August 17, 2009
Finished Neon Knight this morning.
It’s a 2,000-word short about Arthur’s round table and vampires and revenge.
How, you may ask, do those three things fit together? I’d tell you, but then I’d have to drain every last drop of blood from your struggling body. So why not wait and see if it finds a home.
I sent it off to the folks at Abyss & Apex. I’ll let you know what they say.
Meanwhile, I’m still working on Wayfarer. It’s one of those pieces that goes into the word processor kicking and biting. Not that I’m having trouble finding words, quite the opposite.
I’m writing it for a specific market — Beyond Ceaseless Skies — that has a preferred maximum count of 10,000 words. The story’s at 6,000 words so far, I’ve already cut it back twice, and the end isn’t in sight yet.
The characters in Wayfarer keep whispering to me that they want more. Greedy bastards. I’ll let you know who wins.
August 11, 2009
Well-placed words are valuable.
Yesterday, novelist and teacher Mary Rosenblum was kind enough to tell folks about 10Flash, my quarterly e-zine for genre flash fiction, in her Writer’s eNews column at Long Ridge Writers Group and visits to 10Flash have rocketed.
Thank you, Mary.
August 11, 2009
Gay Degani is running a nifty writing contest over at Flash Fiction Chronicles through August 16th.
Just 250 words and the 1st Place Winner will have his or her story published at Every Day Fiction in October. In addition, the winner gets a copy of The Best of Every Day Fiction 2008 and an “I Write Every Day” t-shirt.
2nd and 3rd Place Winners will have their stories published at Flash Fiction Chronicles and receive a copy of The Best of Every Day Fiction 2008.
Check it out, why don’t you?
August 10, 2009
I’ve been thinking about One Last Kiss, which is in to Glimmer Train at the moment. I mentioned the submission in an earlier post.
It’s the first piece of non-genre fiction I’ve written in the past couple of years that isn’t flash. Actually, it started out as both — flash fantasy — but like Alice it grew and grew and grew.
It capped out at almost 6,000 words and I stopped thinking of it as fantasy when I realized that although its protagonist, Gracie Landis, considers using a voodoo spell, the actual casting never occurs.
Funny how fiction can grow and change in the telling. I have heard it said that a story is as long as it has to be. I’m not one of those writers who believes that stories come from some strange and mysterious place outside of me. I sweat out each and every word that I put onto paper (or into pixels) and I know that they all come from my imagination. My sub-conscious, if you like.
But I do wonder sometimes how that works.
Why do some stories come together with such little effort, 900 or 1,000 words when I intend to write 900 or 1,000 words and no more? And why do others have to be almost wrestled into place with more and more words flowing from the fountain even when my conscious mind says that it is time to stop?
Anyway, One Last Kiss is one of those stories that fought me, without let up, until I finally gave in and forgot about word count or genre. And the understanding that Gracie and her step-father, Jerry, come to at the end is so much more satisfying without magic.
August 9, 2009
Got an e-mail today from Katherine A. Patterson, senior editor at AlienSkin Magazine, to tell me they have accepted my flash, We Who Are Ernest Now Salute You, for the October/November 2009 issue.
The story is all about demons, angels and a dying man’s last wish to meet Ernest Hemingway. I’ll provide a link when it’s published.