June News

June 27, 2017 at 12:39 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

June has been busy for me with new acceptances, contracts, cover reveals and releases. Add into the mix outdoor jugger and gardening and blogging gets reduced to one or two postings a month.

I’m happy to say that the e-book version of Tesseracts 20: Compostela is now available with the print version to follow in September (it contans my short story “Better” – I mentioned the pre-order last post) This one’s a thrill for me, due in part to the fact that Spider Robinson is one of the editors. I grew up reading his books (Night of Power was my favourite as a teen but I’m not sure which I’d give top place now,) and he actually lived in Nova Scotia for a time, so I hold him in high esteem.

Another new release is in Gathering Storm Issue #3. “Counting Crows” is my second appearance in this beautiful venue (their format is formidable and their artwork breathtaking, like the cover artwork here.) I’m submitted something for issue #4, so fingers crossed.

My story “Wrigglers” will make a reprint appearance in Gehenna and Hinnom’s Year’s Best Body Horror 2017 Anthology . You can find the ToC announcement here.

And to top it off, I just receive an acceptance and contract for an all Canadian horror anthology in the works. More news on that later.

I have a couple more things brewing but I can’t include them just yet. I’ll share when I can

As crazy as it may sound, I have decided to do Camp Nanowrimo this July. This will be my first time participating as part of a group (our cabin) but it should help me stay focused. I skipped the last couple of Nanowrimos because I haven’t felt all that motivated when it comes to novel writing (especially when the 20+ novels I already have completed could probably use another round of edits and then maybe a new shopping run.) But I’ve promising my hubby the one I have planned for camp for some time now, so it’s time to buckle down and get started. I just have to get a little research in before July 1 and work my writing in around overtime and family day trips.

See you in July!

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Catch-Up in June

June 2, 2017 at 12:52 am (dark fantasy, horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

A post has been a long time in coming (sorry), but I have been well and truly busy. I’ve been working at setting a blog up for my pseudonym as well as prepping a couple of between blitz submissions, juggling proofing and marketing requests and participating in the voting process for one of my writer’s associations. It’s also gardening season, jugger season and I’ve been spending a lot of time with my daughter lately. So yeah – I’m busy.

That being said, the last few weeks have been pleasantly rife with story acceptances, payments, cover reveals and ToC announcements – so I have to play catch-up on those (or, at least the ones I’m allowed to talk about now.)

Compostela – Tesseracts 20 – containing my sci-fi short story “Better” is now available for pre-order here . Tesseracts is one of my “writer’s bucket list” achievements, so it’s a big deal for me. I’m sharing pages with some pretty impressive people.

Clockwork Canada, the Exile Editions steampunk anthology containing my short story “The Curlicue Seahorse” is on the ballot for the 2017 Aurora Awards, in the category of Best Related Work.

I have a new free read available too.  My flash fiction, Pure Mime, has been published by Body Parts Magazine.

And you can also find me listed on two ToC announcements. The first is from Digital Fiction Publishing. My short story “Octavia” will be included in their all-female writer horror reprint anthology, “Killing It Softly 2” .

The second can be found on the blog for Mackenzie Publishing . Their “Two Eyes Open” horror anthology will include my period horror short, “Soul Cakes.” I’ve shared the lovely and intriguing cover above.

I’ll have more announcements coming soon as my last submission blitz proved to be quite successful. And I just finished a horror short for a themed anthology invite that I can’t discuss just yet. We’ll see how that goes.

I hope everybody’s year has been as exciting as mine has been so far. Now its off to work on some edits…

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Spring Blitz 2017 – The End Is Nigh

May 2, 2017 at 9:40 pm (horror, Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , )

My blitz is all over now but the waiting. I do already have a couple of acceptances (and multiple rejections).  I should have posted this wrap up on Sunday, but I beg off based on illness (I had a cold), taxes (I had to finish them up) and gardening (we planted this weekend.)

I had meant to write this following review up as soon as I finished the book, but all the things I mentioned above got in the way. Besides, I find writing a review is something better done once I’ve had a chance to mull things over.  And so, I’ve been mulling.

The first thing I want to say is that Zeroes, by Chuck Wendig, was a breath of fresh read.  After having read a handful of very formulaic Sandra Brown thrillers, which while entertaining on a basic level, had seriously flat and repetitive characterization and even reused the “father gave daughter up for adoption but regretted it later” plot line, I needed something with substance.  Zeroes had substance, and then some.

First of all, I always judge a book by its characterization, and the characterization in Zeroes offered novelty and depth.  The cast was diverse.  While one of the protagonists…perhaps you could call him the protagonist-in-chief, because there were technically five protagonists (six if you want to count Harris who perhaps is more of a strong secondary,) is very much a white male everyman, he certainly doesn’t “save the day”.  In fact, he is heavily reliant on the diverse other characters in his hacking group and would have gotten nowhere without them.  There’s a rocky romantic thread with the exceptionally competent Aleena and the “buddy” component with DeAndre, and even the aging mentor/father figure in Wade.  While in essence none of these plot elements are original, what makes them different are the strengths and weaknesses of the particular characters and the out of the ordinary dynamics involved.

And then there’s Reagan – the best part of the book for me.  She’s the character I both loved and hated the most.  She’s the one I could identify with even though in some ways I despised her…someone I could have been if my life had taken a different turn at some point.  She’s callous, brash and unapologetic.  She’s also clever, creative and conniving,  Plus she’s broken.  All the protagonists are in some way, but you can see it most in her because she’s brutally honest about it.  Her most notable shining moment is my favourite part of the book and without it, the story would have been lost.

I can forgive a book with a weak plot line as long as the characters are good, but I didn’t have to in this case.  The plot had oodles of dark intrigue and thrilling action with enough complexity to keep me interested.  And I have to say that I loved the little introductory chapters for each of the characters.  It gives you a chance to properly “meet” them before jumping into the story, so that you actually care what’s going on.

I picked up this book out of curiosity because I follow Chuck’s well-written blog.  Now I will probably go out of my way to read more of his books.  This one was a winner.

Here’s one of the recent release of one of my flash fiction stories from a prior out.  Check out “Pure Mime” at Body Parts Magazine.

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Spring Blitz 2017 – Hanging in There

April 21, 2017 at 2:12 am (Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , )

I completed my 20th submission for April today, despite not keeping up with regular blitz blog posts. I blame mundane tasks that have gotten in the way, like helping with homework, chasing chickens (see the dastardly Pecan here to the left) and doing my taxes, and not so mundane tasks like being eyeball deep in Chuck Wendig’s Zeroes (which I hope to review on Monday.) I’ve been testing new venue waters too which has meant investing more time to broaden my call searches.

I’ve been waiting on a couple of new releases expected shortly. Forest Seclusion (adult content warning) is now available here, and there will be more to follow fairly soon.

I’ve also received a new acceptance – a year and four days in the making.  I was on the brink of retracting that submission when the acceptance came through, but I was pleased to see the wait was worth it.  I try to give a submission plenty of time before retracting, but I usually figure a year is enough.  Sometimes I do let them sit longer though, if I’m not anxious to resubmit.  At the same time I received a quick confirmation that another submission had made it through phase one of a three phase review process.  Fingers crossed. 🙂

And, or course, this month isn’t without its rejections – 5 so far, with two of the submissions clearing the year long mark.  It only pays to be patient some of the time.

I may not post again until Monday.  I have a short story I hope to finish and then it’s back to working on taxes.

But at least gardening’s not that far off … right?

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Spring Blitz 2017 – New Release

April 9, 2017 at 11:35 pm (dark fantasy, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

Another two submissions have gone out, one micro-fiction and one flash, and both creepy horror tales.  I had another story I wanted to submit, but the venue I was considering doesn’t reopen for submissions until tomorrow, so it will have to wait.  This particular story has been rejected 12 times already, but I feel it is a strong story, as it has had four “maybe”s that turned into “no”s and some decent praise from some pro-rate editors, despite no acceptance.  So I’ll press on and perhaps it will find a home some day.

Another of my stories has just been released by Crimson Streets.  Not only have they published “Amnesty” but they accepted a follow up story involving the same character.  I have another story in mind if ever they decide they want a third.

Back to hunting out more calls for submissions – I still have three weeks of submissions ahead of me.

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Spring Blitz 2017 – A Storm’s a Coming

April 2, 2017 at 1:47 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

And so begins my April 2017 submission blitz.

I’m returning to my blog after a much needed hiatus. I started off this blitz with a submission of a strange story to an offbeat literary journal. I’ve had some luck with these in the past, my fiction sometimes blurring the line between “literary” and “genre”. In fact, a new publication for this month, my short story, “A Distaste for Dust” falls into this category. It’s dark and strange, but only sort of horror. It is making an appearance this April in Issue #2 of the Gathering Storm Magazine (https://www.gatheringstormmagazine.com/copy-of-volume-1-issue-1), a venue that seeks submissions based on a few inspiring themes for each issue. I’ve already written three stories as a result of these themes, and I’m happy to have the editors select one of those three for publication out of hundreds of submissions.

I have more coming out this April and I’ll advise you as it happens.  There’s plenty of excitement in store for 2017 and even more, I hope, after this blitz.

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December and Dark Corners

December 3, 2016 at 12:28 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

darkcornersI know this has been my first blog post in some time and it’s not because I participated in Nanowrimo this year (I didn’t). Rather, real life had me busy. An issue with my well/running water that had to be resolved before the ground froze for the winter had me (and to a larger extent, my husband) occupied on the home front for over a week.

Meanwhile, having to move offices (for a third time since I started my current job) meant numerous missed breaks and lunch hours and just a general sense of feeling burnt out at the end of the work day – so any blog posts got put on hold for sometime.

December won’t be much better, time wise. Commitments for the holidays, Christmas shopping and trying to fulfill the act from my daily act of kindness advent calendar doesn’t leave much wiggle room for writing or blogging, but I’ll do my best to squeeze some in.

On a happy note, I did keep up with my short fiction writing in November. One of my blitz acceptances (from a rejection the publisher retracted the day after it was sent – a first for me) came with a request for a sequel short, so I completed that. I hope they like it. I added a bit of plot and character complexity that they might appreciate, or it may put them off. I’ll wait and see.

I also worked on a sci-fi story for a selective call for submissions (a call extension by invitation only) with an impending deadline. Writing to a requested theme can be tricky – I have a tendency to skirt the edges of the topic to avoid being boxed in, which doesn’t always work in my favour. The story ended up nice and tight though, so I’m hopeful it has a chance.

And in other news, November saw a new story release. My horror short story, “On the Tip of her Tongue” is now available in the latest Dark Corners anthology, dedicated to the original editor, who sadly passed away before the anthology saw the light. Thanks to his wife and others committed to seeing the anthology’s completion, his efforts won’t go to waste.

I’ll try to get in a few updates in December, but if blog posts are limited, I’ll make up for it in January with my first annual winter submission blitz. I’m aiming for 100 submissions next year. Let’s see if I can make it happen.

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Blitz’s End – October 2016

November 1, 2016 at 1:20 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

screenshot-2016-10-31-at-10-13-00-pm-editedI get to say goodbye today to another blitz I’ve decided November will be a month of editing to follow-up after a month of submissions. Several of my stories that have had multiple rejections could use a tweak, and all of my novels could use another round too.

Maybe that will get me in the mood to write more prolifically again, especially now that gardening season is practically over (the kale, chard and rutabagas are still holding on). Dealing with a still busy day job and a household full of challenges (my mother-in-law lives in my basement, my daughter is a teenager and my son is on the spectrum, ‘nuff said) leaves me feeling drained at the end of the day and less than inspired. And that’s without going into all the issues facing my family in far away places (worrying about it can wear on my nerves.) It has been a brutal few years, and it leaves me being thankful for everything I do have, even if it does come with its share of challenges.

Aside from my novels, which mostly remain unsubmitted at the moment, this last blitz left me with only a handful of unsubmitted stories. I count that as a good thing, but it means if I want to have enough material for January’s first submission blitz, I’ll have to make a diligent effort to get things written in December. I have a couple of unfinished stories to finalize but the rest will have to be new.

On a happy note – my story “Hand” is now available in the Kindle version of the charity anthology “Silent Screams”. The print version should be available in a couple of weeks.

Enjoy many treats and not so many tricks. Bob for some apples and have a good swig out of the puzzling jug (if you don’t know what that is, go for a Google.)

Happy Halloween!

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Let’s Blitz Again – New Release

October 24, 2016 at 1:31 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

screenshot-2016-10-23-at-1-29-59-pm-editedAlong with recording my second blitz rejection (and another non-blitz one) I get to celebrate the release of one of my blitz acceptances (this month’s!)  Jitter Press accepted my flash piece “The Candy Apple Man”, which is available now in Issue #5.  If you prefer an electronic format, they have a digital version available as well.

Yesterday’s submission was sending out a recently rejected story to a call that looked like a good match, perhaps even better than my first try.  Today’s is another stab at an acceptance for one of my flash stories.  It’s been rejected a couple of times before but I think it has potential.

Thanks to the recent rejections, I have enough stories available for submission to make it to the end of the blitz even if I don’t finish anymore new stories over the next week plus.  I’ll keep hoping for some more acceptances in the meantime.  Fingers crossed.

 

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Let’s Blitz Again – #ICTTBCONTEST

October 21, 2016 at 10:36 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

screenshot-2016-10-21-at-7-05-16-pm-editedToday’s submission was to Grey Matter Press’s flash fiction contest. More about that in a bit.

Yesterday brought a new rejection, but not one from the blitz.  It was a story I sent out in the summer – one my sister had inspired while I was on vacation.  The editors said it had piqued their interest, but in the end, they had decided it was a no.  They did however say they hoped I would send in another story before the call closed.  Well it just so happened the short story I had recently finished and not yet submitted anywhere matched well with their theme, so without skipping a beat, I sent that one in.  I have high hopes and may end up disappointed, but it was worth a shot.

On my hunt for my next submission, I came across Grey Matter Press’s “I Can Taste the Blood” flash fiction contest and decided I’d give it a go.  Today was the last day to submit, so I just managed to squeak in there.  You can check out all of the flash stories submitted (including mine) at the link above and vote for your favourite.  If you give it a read, I hope you find my story quite chilling.

Two-thirds of the way to blitz end.  This has been a fun one.

And I’m off to hunt out my next call.

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