Getting a Good Start

January 2, 2018 at 3:00 am (Fervor, horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

I gave my writing a bit of a rest last year – limited editing efforts, only a few short stories completed and a half-hearted commitment to submitting at least 100 times during the year.  I had some success, but my work life intruded upon my home life and I used that as an excuse to let things slide a little.

Thankfully, a Facebook writers group I belong to  has introduced a monthly writing goal thread that will help us all keep on track and I find it motivating.  I’m off to a good start, with some heavy duty editing and three short story submissions today to begin my January submission blitz.  Tomorrow I’ll get some more writing and editing in as well as more submissions.  I’ve also  come across a publisher looking to reprint or republish novels that offers some real potential for my now out-of-print series.  I’d love to see Fervor and Masters & Renegades in print again, and maybe I’ll get to publish the unpublished books in both series.

In the meantime, I’m going to celebrate my newest release.  “Fish Story” makes an appearance in Issue #6 of the Gathering Storm Magazine available online here, or in print here.  Once again, they have fabulous cover art, formatting and interior illustrations.  The are a top-notch publication specializing in dark, quirky fiction and poetry.  I’m working on another short for their next call for submissions.

I’ll try to follow-up on my progress over the next few weeks.  Wish me luck.

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Summer Theme Excerpts – Travel #3

July 8, 2016 at 2:18 am (Elevation, Hovers, Nathan, Sam, Sarah, writing) (, , , , , )

Elevationbw - EditedMy flight to France departs tomorrow, so travel is still very much on my mind.  Today’s “travel” excerpt is from Elevation:

As Sam reached for another branch, these contemplations still in his head, he felt a large hand on his arm. When he turned to look at Nathan, the young man gestured towards the hover

“Hey, little buddy – the first chance we get, you’re going to have to let me teach you how to drive one of those things; Sarah, too. We may stumble across another one, and I’d rather have you or Sarah driving it than one of those Controls. I still don’t trust them, exactly, no matter what Elliot says. And there’s always the chance we could get separated. If that happens, I don’t want you two getting stranded. If any more of the scholars’ men catch up to us, you may need to make a run for it. I wouldn’t want them nabbing you because you couldn’t get away when you had the chance.”

Sam shrugged, physically and mentally. He didn’t really like that idea, but he wasn’t about to argue with Nathan and his good intentions. Nathan had been technically eager from the start, at least as far as the hovers were concerned. He had tried to start one of the vehicles on Fervor after they had been abandoned by the adults on the island, before they had received the Directives at the Gathering forbidding it, and he had almost succeeded without the proper training. Sam, on the other hand, had never been interested in driving a hover. He also had found that even though the Languorite had stripped him of his obligations to follow the Directives, he still faced a slight wave of nausea whenever he had to travel in or even be around one of the vehicles. Conditioning, perhaps.

“We’ll learn,” Sarah agreed. “Even if we don’t really want to – right, Sam? It’s important. In fact, I think the first opportunity that Fiona has, she should teach us how to use any of the devices that she knows how to use. It’s not like we’re restricted by the Directives anymore. We’re free from them now; we have to get used to that, again.”

Just a gentle push, that was Sarah’s way, but that was all it took. Sam wanted to please her, not because he felt compelled to like he had with Francis, but because he wanted to; she deserved his cooperation.


Hopefully my flight will go well.  Wish me luck!

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Summer Theme Excerpts – Travel #2

June 29, 2016 at 11:05 pm (Elliot, Fervor, Royce, Sam, Sarah, writing) (, , , , , , )

trans1As I gather my gear and ready for my trip, I thought I’d share an excerpt where some of my characters are doing the same…only I don’t have to steal any maps.  Today’s excerpt is from Transcendence, Chapter 7 – Recruitment:

As soon as Nathan returned, they started out towards the combination storage unit/residence. They travelled in pairs so as not to attract any significant amount of attention, with Sam and Angela leading the way, well ahead of the others and Royce at the rear, glancing over his shoulder as he went.

As they neared the building Sam searched the connection to see if Elaine and Elliot were inside. Fortunately, they weren’t. He and Angela slipped inside and he sent her up into the loft to throw down the storm gear while he searched for the records he knew Elliot had stashed somewhere around. He found them in a crate that had been hidden underneath the table where he had first seen the maps. The maps were no longer spread across the tabletop, stored in a plastic tube off to the side. Sam slid out the one with the route to Transcendence on it before pulling the file box out into the open.

“I hope these are one size fits all,” Angela said as she tossed down her fourth set of gear, trying to move as quickly as possible.

“I don’t think it matters. It might be a problem if they’re too small, maybe for Malcolm and Nathan, but otherwise we’ll rig them to fit,” he answered.

He flipped through the records, pulling out the files relating to everyone in his alliance, as well as for Katrina, Anthony and Grace. Then he noticed that Elliot had added to the collection. There were files about the Littles and various house families, information that Royce had retrieved from the Hub. Sam grabbed anything relating to the people in his alliance that was in those files as well. He didn’t get a chance to read any of it, because of the rush, but he thought it might be useful later.

“One more,” Angela informed him. “Then we pack it all up and we’re out of here. In and out, clean as…” She paused in mid-thought, and Sam didn’t think anything of it, partially because he had just made a discovery that had him perturbed.

“The blueprints, they’re gone! We need those. They show the layout of the buildings. They can let us see the security systems. How are we supposed to get Sarah out of Transcendence without them? They were here, with the other files. Where did they go?” Sam leafed through the papers a second time, searching frantically, but to no avail. He started to go through the entire box again, hoping that the records had been reorganized or maybe shuffled around for some reason. That proved futile as well.

“Sam…” He heard Angela descending from the loft, but didn’t stop long enough to look at her.

“I saw them with my own eyes at Elevation. Where could they have gone?” He was tempted to dump the entire box out onto the floor. He was certain that they hadn’t been left behind.

“Never mind them; we’ll just have to wing it. Be quiet, Sam. We have to go, we have to…” He heard rustling as Angela hastily shoved what she had gathered from the loft into a canvas bag, but she stopped suddenly and sucked in a quiet gasp. “Oh no.”

She had sensed trouble before she had heard it, which was why she had alerted Sam to danger a few moments before he would have known it was there by other means. When he stopped rustling through the papers he could make out the sound of voices raised in hostility. He felt around in the connection, easily identifying Nathan, Malcolm and Royce. He detected anger, frustration and defensiveness on their part along with some apprehension. He also noted the distinct presence of Elliot, the lone Connected latent, and one of the ghostly minds he suspected belonged to Elaine. Their diversionary tactics were in play.

That’s it for today.  I’m that much closer to my departure to France.  I’m looking forward to seeing family and the beautiful sights of Eymet. – More tomorrow.

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April Blitz – Day 26

April 27, 2015 at 1:15 am (Fervor, horror, writing) (, , , , , )

I’m starting to scrape the barrel, sending out the flash fiction in my list and the stories that are hard to define when it comes to genre. I do have one regular-length SF story yet to submit, but it’s not a genre that inspires my best writing so I’m hesitant to submit it. The other full length story I have is sort of modern fantasy but it needs a very particular market.  I did manage to find a possible venue for some weird fiction in the pile.

The hubby and I were chatting in the car and came up with a flash fiction idea I may write tomorrow.  I have a venue in mind for it, so that one could go out in the next couple of days, once I have it done and tweaked.

Just a few more days to go.  I have a couple of projects in the works for when this blitz is over and I finish up Dominion.  I’m not sure which one I’ll start first.

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April Blitz – Day 4

April 4, 2015 at 6:29 pm (dark fantasy, Fervor, horror, writing) (, , , , , )

My last two submissions were dark tales anchored in mythology, sent to small press calls for anthologies. Neither were pro-pay but I’m just going where the inclination takes me during this blitz, with more focus on fit. I need a recharge on my creative batteries before I make another run on the pro-rate venues.

I now have the releases for my Fervor and Masters & Renegades series so I have to start thinking about what to do next with those. I could self-publish, but that will take some investment in new covers. Unless I can find a low cost solution, that’s not something I can swing at the moment. I’ll have to go hunting and see what I come up with.

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You May Have Noticed…

September 16, 2014 at 11:54 am (Fervor, Reviews, The Snowy Barrens trilogy, writing) (, , , )

I haven’t been blogging much lately. I’m still trying to make heads or tails of the fact that my publisher, May December Publications, has decided to release the majority of its authors, which means the better part of my novels will soon be out of print (in fact, Transcendence already is and the others will soon follow.) If you were thinking of purchasing any of the novels, you may want to grab them now while you still can. Some are being offered at deal prices – Fervor for $4.83 for example.

I can appreciate the reasons behind their decisions. MDP is a family run business and they are dealing with some very serious personal issues at the moment. They are choosing to concentrate their limited time and resources on the publication and promotion of the managing editor’s books instead. This a a more profitable option for them.  I understand their choice, it makes perfect sense, and I expected things to go this way for some time. Unfortunate circumstances just prompted it sooner rather than later.

So now I’m left deciding if I want to put the work into self-publishing these novels, try to find a new small press publisher or just sit on them for a while and mull things over.  My writing effort of late has been going into short stories and I am still publishing those with other publishers.  My Snowy Barrens Trilogy will still be available.

I will have to go about disabling the buttons and links here on WordPress for things no longer in print .  It will take me some time to update everything, so bear with me.  It sort of feels like I’ll be starting all over again from the beginning, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  The only thing  I’m unhappy about losing are the reviews I’ve amassed on Amazon, especially for Fervor.

Anyway, MDP and I will be parting on good terms.  I wish them luck and I enjoyed working with them.

On to the next adventure.

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New Success

July 9, 2014 at 2:08 am (fantasy, Fervor, writing) (, , , , , , )

My last submission blitz, despite a disappointing start with regards to responses, is proving to be more successful than I had originally anticipated. I’ve had one more yes in a later reply, my first noir acceptance, and a “maybe” I had believed was turning into a “no” proved to be a “yes.”

Inspired by my success so far with fairy-tale retelling mash-ups, I’ve jumped into a new project writing a cyberpunk retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk”. This is new territory for me, but that adds to the excitement. We’ll soon see what the test readers have to say. It will need to be submitted to the place I have in mind by month’s end.

This has been a good year for fantasy acceptances for me. My past acceptances for short stories have been predominantly horror, even though fantasy is my first love, so it’s nice to see that shifting a little. My next two stories out have an element of fantasy to them, although “The Godmother’s Curse” has a equal helping of horror.

“A Fly on the Wall” arriving in August, on the other hand, is strictly fantasy. It introduces a guild and a villainous character who makes an encore appearance in Book #6 of my Masters & Renegades series, due out in 2016. The story and the novel were written more than a decade apart.

Back to some review work I have to do before vacation kicks in. Back to working on Chapter #7 of Dominion as well. Next week I’ll be putting the last few changes into Endeavor before it goes off to MDP.

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Friday the 13th – Update #2

June 14, 2014 at 1:53 am (fantasy, Fervor, Links, The Snowy Barrens trilogy, writing) (, , , , , , , )

I’m starting to think I’m meant to stick with my semi-pro/amateur writer status after this last blitz. It has been almost entirely unsuccessful. One firm yes so far and royalty-based only. I had a couple of “maybe”s, but one did not pan out because the kick-starter campaign, while meeting its goal amount, failed to reach its stretch goal and the other turned into “we’ll put it in the next anthology in this series” offer…which I guess does count as a yes in a way. Otherwise it has been a stream of “no”s, most arriving in form letters or with feedback leaning heavily on the negative.

Have I lost my mojo along with my muse? It’s possible. I don’t think I’ve written anything to my satisfaction since that ill-fated April. I can still connect with characters I created back in the day, so my Fervor series continues to be going okay, but nothing new has had the same magic. As a lifelong dabbler, I’m starting to think the time has come to figure out the next thing to delve into – maybe something a little less overly popular this time. Perhaps I’ll move into non-fiction. Or something completely different.

On a lighter note, I finally got the ebook version of the last novel in my trilogy up on Amazon (the paperback version has been there for a while.) Now I need to set up links and tabs and put a plethora of other things in place, as well as fix a few typos/formatting issues in the first two that readers reported before embarking on promotional efforts. I plan on doing a first issue freebie offer, when everything is ready.

I also will be posting a surprise as soon as I have permission to make the announcement, a happy outcome in an annual event. At least that much has made me smile.

And lastly, I sent Victims of Circumstance, Masters & Renegades #4, off to the publisher. I’m looking forward to seeing that one in print. It is a fun, but at times very dark, romp involving some of my favourite characters and while it does involve a few standard fantasy tropes, it dishes them out in a highly unusual way.

Happy Friday the 13th

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Progress Update

March 29, 2014 at 3:30 am (Fervor, horror, Links, The Snowy Barrens trilogy, writing) (, , , )

My apologies for my recent absence, but my world is a busy blur at the moment. Along with trying to meet a March 31st deadline for two pro-rate submissions as part of my current writing/submission goal, I’m also working on Dominion, book #6 in my Fervor series, revving up for my April Submission Blitz and trying to finalize this year’s Wicked Women Writer submission. This month also saw the release of the print version of The Blood Flows True, the last installment of my Snowy Barrens Trilogy. So this progress report will be brief.

Released this month was an anthology I’m happy to be a part of – Let’s Scare Cancer to Death. This is one of several charity anthologies to which I’ve contributed, but this one helps in the fight against cancer and my story is dedicated to my dear friend Barb McQueen who lost her battle with cancer almost a year ago. I purchased a copy and I encourage others to do the same. It contains stories written by a great group of horror writers and supports a cause that’s close to my heart.

I did manage to complete and send off those two pro-rate submissions. So far, all I’ve had is more rejections, but the last one said my story was “quite excellent” and had made it to the final round of selections before they decided not to go with it. I’ll keep trying and maybe at some point, I’ll get that elusive pro-rate acceptance. I’ll be sending many more submissions out next month.

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A Current Endeavor – Quiet

August 28, 2013 at 9:53 pm (Fervor, writing) (, , , , , , )

I haven’t posted in quite some time, but that’s in part because I went on vacation for two weeks and decide to make it a true vacation in that I stopped any extraneous activities that felt like work to me – even regular posts on social media.

Blogging is definitely work. Like many writers I’m an introvert and aside from my stories, I’m not inclined to communicate. A relaxing day for me is writing, artwork, gardening, playing a few computer games or puzzles, reading or floating happily in the water at some beach. Note that these are all solitary activities. I like doing many of these activities side-by-side with my friends or family, but I don’t engage easily, sometimes to my husband’s irritation who I know expects more sharing. That is what a relationship is supposed to be about after all, but that’s just not me.

Even fun social activities, like parties, are uncomfortable for me. I used to enjoy them, but I don’t relate to old friends anymore. Many of them don’t have kids and certainly not autistic ones. Most of them don’t understand my obsession with writing. Most of them have more to their lives than work, family and writing. I end up talking about writing to the odd person who is interested, or maybe gardening to a few other hobby gardeners, but that’s about it. Otherwise I feel very much out of place at social gatherings. The typical extrovert just doesn’t get me.

I like the quiet…no, make that, I love the quiet, and after going offline, and tuning out, it’s difficult and even jarring to force myself to tune back in. I oftentimes wonder if it’s worth it, especially when considering I’m happier and less stressed if I just let things be, embracing who I am and enjoying that peace of mind. I don’t have a large following on my blog. I don’t receive much in the way of communication from folks who read my work. The effort necessary in order to reach out to people seems an awful lot for the size of the return.

But I have made commitments to people and as much as I prefer the quiet, I have to make the effort. I always try to make good on my promises, especially when someone has invested time, energy and/or money in me. So I’m jumping back into social media and I’ll be posting again.

BTW – I’m working on Chapter 16 of Endeavor and I received an acceptance for a fifth short story as the result of my submission blitz. My goal was 6, but I still have some pending a response, so I’ll keep my fingers-crossed that I’ll receive at least one more. I’m planning a second blitz in October.

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