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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Let’s Blitz Again – Almost There

October 28, 2016 at 10:57 pm (writing) (, , , , , , , )

11667_300667415031_6542402_n-editedI’m nearing the end of my blitz, Halloween and the start of the cold season. I’m hoping I’ll get several stories finished over the next few months, preparing for my first annual January blitz. It was nice to relax standards a little and send things out to newer, smaller venues offering token payments and interesting contests with not much in the way of prize money. With more focus on my day job lately, my aspirations have changed somewhat. I may dedicate the next couple of months to mixture of writing and some serious editing. I think I’m due for a new round of novel submissions, but I’d like to give them a bit of a tune-up first.

My last couple of submissions have gone to a genre competition being held by a literary magazine (whaaat?) and one of a newer publisher’s start-up anthology. It’s theme works with the story’s content, which has generated a fair amount of interest but has yet to clinch a “yes”. I may throw it into the “rewrite” pile if it gets another rejection. I actually expected it to get in somewhere long before some of the stories that followed it (but they went first.

I’m off to figure out my costume for Monday, and maybe give my daughter a hand at sewing hers. I hope you all have a great weekend, and I’ll post again soon.

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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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Women in Horror – Shared Pages: Claire C Riley

February 27, 2015 at 4:01 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

clairecrI chose this female horror writer for my spotlight because her story “Choices” in the Let’s Scare Cancer to Death anthology presents strong emotions from realistic characters. There’s a tangible tension maintained until the thrilling end.

In addition to being a woman in horror, Claire is also an avid reader of all genres, a book collector, and a general procrastinator. She reads and writes paranormal romance too.

Find out more about Claire here: http://www.clairecriley.com/

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Women in Horror – Shared Pages: Megan Tregler

February 6, 2015 at 2:50 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , )

Megan TreglerI chose this female horror writer for my spotlight because I found her story “Hello Again” in the First Time Dead anthology both chilling and entertaining – a wonderful first-time contribution to the horror genre. Reviewers describe her characters as well drawn and believable and her atmosphere as superbly constructed. I hope to see more from her some day.

In addition to being a woman in horror, she is also a self confessed full-time flibbertigibbet, and a liberal/progressive conspirator who happens to like zombies and vampires.

Find out more about Megan here: https://twitter.com/megler3000

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Women in Horror – Shared Pages: An Intro

February 3, 2015 at 11:49 pm (horror, writing) (, , , )

For Women in Horror month this year, I’ve decide to do my spotlights on women who shared pages with me in various anthologies, a woman from a different publication each day. For some anthologies my options will be limited. In fact, in one anthology only two female writers were contributors, me and another talented lady, so my choice is a given. I’m hoping the more women in the genre are promoted, the less we’ll see of that kind of imbalance.

So beginning tomorrow, in chronological order of the anthologies involved, I’ll begin posting my spotlights. They’ll be short, sweet and to the point, highlighting some wonderfully scary women.

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There Will Be Blood…

February 3, 2015 at 3:58 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , )

I just had to make mention that one of this year’s Women in Horror promotional events is a massive blood drive. As a 50+ donor myself (they love me – I’m O negative) I think this is a wonderful idea, and highly appropriate considering the genre. You can find out more about it here:


and if that’s not enough blood for you, check out the documentary “Pretty Bloody: The Women of Horror.” It features several talented ladies such as Tanya Huff and Nancy Kilpatrick.

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Women in Horror – My First Influences

February 2, 2015 at 3:58 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , )

I’ll be spending most of this month discussing current women horror writers mostly published through small presses (and/or self-published.) But most of my influences growing up were traditionally published with larger publishers, primarily because I was in a time and place where access to smaller press offerings was limited. Here’s a list of female horror writers who helped develop my interest in the genre:

Tanith Lee
Anne Rice
V.C. Andrews
Shirley Jackson
Mary Shelley

Unfortunately, as you can see, this list was rather small. If you compared it to the number of male horror writers I read in my younger years, you’d see it is far shorter – not because I had any preferences gender-wise, but because the choice was lacking. I’m happy to say the number of female horror writers on my reading list has expanded in leaps and bounds, but it still isn’t where it should be. That’s why things like Women in Horror month and all female anthologies are important.

I’m looking forward to sharing my latest finds with you over the next four weeks. I hope it leads others to discover some of the amazing female genre writers out there.

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April Submission Blitz – Dabbling in New Venues

April 24, 2014 at 1:56 am (fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , )

Sent out one of my few urban fantasy tales today and received a rejection for an earlier submission this month. Most of the venues I submit to are horror or fantasy, so finding a fit for the odd urban fantasy tale can be difficult. Rather than using an open call page, I just googled until I found something struck my fancy. I’m willing to take a chance with these stories, since they aren’t my usual genre. We’ll see if anything comes from it.

I think I’ve worn out my desire to focus on pro-rate venues for the month and the last few stories don’t really demand it as they were experiments more than anything. Not that the stories aren’t worth publishing, they’re just not my normal fare. I’d just like to see if I can get a paying venue to pick them up, even if they only offer a token payment.

My little guy is sick so I don’t think I’ll be finishing up the editing on my WWW audio submission today – maybe this weekend.


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April Submission Blitz – Sometimes Confusing

April 7, 2014 at 12:03 am (writing) (, , , , , , , )

I sent in a submission today for an anthology where the theme was a little ambiguous. From what I read, it sounded like my submission would be acceptable, although it didn’t match the ideal submission they were looking for. It did seem to fit the secondary themes they were willing to consider, as long as I haven’t misinterpreted what they were describing. I’m sure you can tell from this that I was a little confused. Before I hit send I was thinking the story I chose was a reasonable match for their “bigger picture” – but afterwards I was second guessing myself.

Story fit is a big issue when it comes to submissions. It also seems to be a point of interpretation where I fall short. About half my rejections say they don’t think the story is the right “fit” even though they enjoyed it or if it fits the venue and they want to accept, it doesn’t match up with the other stories they’ve decided to accept, so they’re going to pass on it. An author can write a fantastic story with a solid plot, good technical form and acceptable style, but if it happens to be something too distinct, you could end up having a terrible time getting it published, especially if it skirts more than one genre or lies somewhere between mainstream and speculative (I have one of those in my “available for submission” pile.)

So I’ll cross my fingers on that one – another story that got some “we really enjoyed it” slush pile love, but which has received multiple rejections nevertheless. It’s a divergent tale, both dark and hopeful, disturbing but inspiring.

Wish me luck!

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