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 – 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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Let’s Blitz Again – October 2016

October 3, 2016 at 3:00 am (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

killing-it-cover-cs-bookcover6x9_cream_470-sample2-sep-21-editedAfter a lengthy hiatus thanks to an insanely busy post-vacation summer, I’m back to blogging my usual October submission blitz. My first submission was a query for a horror-themed charity anthology. I’ve already received a positive response. Today was a submission for a contemporary horror anthology.

I’m still dealing with my busy time at work and harvesting my garden, as well as fall/Thanksgiving/Halloween family activities, so I’ll be keeping my posts short. That and I’ve been wading through galleys for soon to be released anthologies. One is now available for pre-order, Killing It Softly, which contains a reprint of my horror story “Orbs”.

There are still many submissions ahead of me, so I’ll be blogging again soon. Enjoy the warm fall weather.

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October Submission Blitz 2015 – Query and Micro Fiction

October 28, 2015 at 1:06 am (dark fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , , , )

My plans for blogging multiple times this month are as dead as my poor tomato plants after the first serious frost. Unfortunately, my time available for writing has been cut short by the slow demise of a netbook battery that has proven difficult to replace and my daughter reclaiming her laptop – so I’m limited on what I can do away from home.  This includes finding time to write my blogs.  So, I’m abandoning my Scary Litte Girl theme and just focussing on the blitz itself until the end of the month.

Actually, it did take a bit longer for my garden to die this year.  The warm weather lasted longer.  I was still picking kale, broccolini, beets and chard on Monday.  A happy time suck, but one nonetheless.

Anyway, aside from the first couple of acceptances, I’ve only had a handful of rejections and I’m waiting on the rest.  One story was rejected a couple of times, only to be sent off again – but I have made my 27 submission goal as of today.  Only four more to go before end of month and multiple possibilities.  My submissions did include three micro fiction submissions, not my norm, and a rare agent query.  I haven’t tried that in a couple of years, but I stumbled across one today that might click with my work, and at least now I have a couple of pro-rate acceptances to mention in my query letter.

So I’ll push my way on to Halloween.  I’ve asked for a new computer for Christmas so I can get my writing back on track.  We’ll see how that one turns out.

More later…

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October Submission Blitz 2015

October 2, 2015 at 8:45 pm (horror, writing) (, , , , )

So as I’m staring down Halloween and our local fandom convention, I’m embarking on my regular semi-annual submission blitz. I have several stories from prior blitzes soon to make a published appearance (one fantasy, one sci-fi and one dark fiction) and that gives me plenty of motivation to do this again. I started of my blitz yesterday with a flash fiction submission to one of my favourite literary horror venues and I’ll be scoping out possible options for today after posting this.

I’ll have a few treats and tidbits to share as I go, including a few reviews and my ABC Scary Little Girl of the day.

Today’s A lass is Alessa Gillespie from the Silent Hill games/movies.  This unfortunate one has ties to cults, witches, alternate dimensions, doppelgangers and psychic powers, suffers at the hands of bullies, a molester and ignorant townsfolk and ends up severely burned during an attempt at a “spiritual cleansing.”  She is definitely a spooky little lady.

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October Submission Blitz – Scary Scarecrows

October 30, 2013 at 2:03 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , , )

Three more days, three more submissions (and two more rejection letters – but it is what it is.) I hadn’t been planning on submitting novels as part of this blitz, but I got a rejection back from Baen for Elements of Genocide and then found out Angry Robot had an open submission window. I really want to find EoG a home – I don’t like having it sit and gather dust on my shelf so I decided to try it out on Angry Robot. That meant writing a two page synopsis, my least favourite submission task. I find tackling the synopsis more difficult that writing and editing the 100,000+ word novel the synopsis covers. But I hunkered down and got it done. Even if I don’t get it published soon, I feel rewarded each time I get someone to read it, whether it ends up rejected or not.

The second novel submission was actually a query in response to a publisher soliciting a novel. This is only the second time I’ve had this happen, so I jumped on it and suggested “Sleep Escapes Us” for review. We’ll see if there’s interest there. I have my fingers crossed.

My third submission was the third resubmission for one of my shorts. Maybe the third time will be the charm.

My horror trope today is scary scarecrows. This trope seems to crop up everywhere. From the classic Pumpkinhead to a myriad of Halloween-themed tales in anthologies and podcasts the scary scarecrow shows its spooky face all over the place. Considering they are designed to frightened, it’s no surprise that they are inherently creepy.

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My Favourite Monsters A-Z – Zombie

October 31, 2012 at 11:34 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , )

Conveniently, I come to the end of the alphabet, the end of the month, and the end of my posts with what I consider the ultimate monster – the zombie. The zombie is versatile, prevalent, disturbing and – at times – humorous. It can generate sympathy and disgust, sadness and terror. It can cling to its humanity or cast it aside, depending on the nature of its story. It exists as an example of the most current common fear and a strong form of political commentary.

I love zombies. I have had one novelette and seven zombie short stories published. I’ve written three more unpublished zombie shorts and a full zombie novel. I’ve researched and published essays on zombie comedy and the origins and forms of zombies. You can find my blog postings on zombies at:

And I’ll close with an excerpt from “Palliative” that goes with this sketch:

“Greg’s instincts proved correct, and he found her in one of the open ward rooms, much to his great horror. She had already made short work of two of the four residents there, vulnerable, dying and unable to fight back. They were badly mauled, their flesh shredded and bloody, ripped from their sedated forms by her gnarled and crooked teeth. Thelma was coated in their gore and was perched over her third anticipated victim, frothy pink drool lining her lips and pooling at the corners of her mouth. She leaned in towards the sleeping woman, keening quietly as she prepared for the bite.”

I hope that leaves you with a case of the shivers – have a Happy Halloween!

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My Favourite Monsters A-Z: Ankou

October 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm (horror) (, , , , , , , )

I decided, in honour of Halloween, that I’ll be presenting a short post a day (aside from my review Mondays) of my favourite monsters – one for each letter of the alphabet. We’re not talking unicorn and pixies here, but real monsters…the scary kind. These will be short blurbs on what they are and why it’s a favourite of mine. I start today with the Ankou.

This is a precursor to the grim reaper that originated in Brittany. My Acadian heritage (on my father’s side) can be traced back to this part of France, so I feel attuned to this nasty. It was also popular with the Normans and my British heritage (on my mother’s side)has roots there. While only a henchman of death, the skeletal grave-watcher was known to wear a dark robe, a hat that hid its face and carried a scythe. He also was responsible for collecting dead souls. Every parish in Brittany supposedly had one.

And up there is my own little interpretation of what one of these death omens might have looked like.

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Oodles of October

September 28, 2012 at 11:51 pm (Fervor, horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , , , , )

Overtime season has finally come to an end for me at my day job, I’m closing in on the last chapter of the first draft of Providence, and my home life is more subdued because the garden has been reaped and the kids are back at school. As much as I might wish this means things will calm down for me, I’m afraid I’m not that fortunate. October is creeping up, after all, and October is the month for horror writers, so October finds me as busy as ever. What do I have on my plate, you may ask? Well how about I share that with you:

Editing, editing, editing – My regular publisher, May December Publications, has experienced a few delays, so the edits for Transcendence I was expecting to review in September have yet to arrive. I’m anticipating they’ll come my way in October. This also means preparing my blurb, my preface and my acknowledgements, all time consuming to some degree. On top of that, Harper Voyager is opening up a brief two week window when they’ll be accepting unsolicited, unagented submissions. I have three manuscripts, Elements of Genocide, Sleep Escapes Us and Intangible, I intend on editing and submitting within that two week span (they’ve all been edited at least once or twice previously, but I’ll be polishing them up again.) By the end of those two weeks, I’ll be lucky if I have any hair left.

Anthologies a plenty – With Halloween approaching, it is prime time horror anthology release season. I know I’ve mentioned these before (in My Hurricane Season), but now I have more details. To begin with, Crooked Cat Publications is releasing their Fear charity anthology, a scary collection of tales from 60 different authors, in two volumes. My phobic tale, “Octavia,” will be appearing in volume one. You can find out more about it at their online launch party on October 3rd. Another anthology from Crowded Quarantine is scheduled for October release, Tales for the Toilet: Volume 1, a horror Johnny reader containing my short tale “And Then the Crow Said ‘Henry'”. I’m also pleased to say that my wicked tale, “Orbs” will be sharing the pages of the Mistresses of the Macabre anthology from Dark Moon Books with other frightful female writers. It had an anticipated October release, but the schedule is not firm and from what I’ve seen with small presses, expect to be flexible.

Preparations Galore – Preparations will be required for two upcoming events. The first is Hal-Con at the end of October. While I won’t be appearing as a guest this year, I will still be there – only with much more freedom to attend panels, hang out and be friendly, and come and go as I please. I’ll also have a backpack full of books and business cards with me and I’m working towards showing up in costume. I’m hoping to see some of you there. The other event is NaNo. I have a great deal of research to do on Lapp mythology, culture and language for my planned “The Trading of Skin” novel. I’ll also be doing more research into North American mythology, for a separate project. I loooove doing research, so this part of my chaos will also be my bliss.

And just a quick mention that I plan on making October a “My Favourite Monster” month for my blog. All my non-review blog postings will offer up something about some of my most-loved monsters, until I start my NaNo blog hiatus in November. I’ll be on the hunt for guest bloggers before then.

Toodles, until oodles, for now!

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