October Submission Blitz 2015 – Success

October 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm (horror, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , )

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Day 12 of my blitz and 12 submissions complete, several of them to pro-rate venues.  The good news is that I’ve already received two responses and both of them were acceptances.  I’ll post the details when I’m free to share them.

My scary little girl of the day is a classic C – Carrie.  Stephen King’s start as the King of Horror began  with a teenage disaster who found supernatural powers to go with her adolescent angst when she reached puberty.  Throw in a crazy zealot of a mother, school bullies and a bucket of pig’s blood and say hello to a freak out of epic proportions.

And for a bonus today, a review.  Here’s one for Ren Garcia’s Stenibelle:

With this installment Ren Garcia’s Shadow Tech Goddess series, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It had all of the wonderful world crafting and characterizations typical of his writing, but with its female protagonist/PoV, I was a little wary about how I would connect with the story.

I like to see stories that give female characters plenty of agency, especially adventure stories, and that’s difficult in the Victorian-esque patriarchal social-settings common to Garcia’s League of Elders series. It allows for dashing male heroes wielding great power and charm, but the female characters before this novel ,have been either demure, villainous, or struggling to control and wield what power they have – bordering on insane, damaged by their power or seeking isolation at the expense of their relationships.

In this vein, Stenibelle is at a disadvantage compared to her male counterparts right from the start. She starts at a major low and swings out far in the other direction to the point of arrogance and aggression, and I found myself hoping there would be some balance to come. Despite my frustration with her situation and her behaviour, the story was still very enjoyable.

At first Stenibelle didn’t have her own agency – “lesser” than her male counterparts – and she had to have an extra hand up. Considering her social setting, however, there was no way of avoiding some disadvantage because of her gender. My discomfort at her struggles is a compliment to the author’s storytelling skills – I wouldn’t have felt frustrated in the face of her circumstances if I hadn’t been so invested in the characters and the storyline.

There are other examples of empowered female characters in the story. Gwen was very strong in this book, despite getting beaten in a physical fight. Stenibelle was using unfair tactics to win and Gwen took the loss graciously without being cowed by it.

Alesta is also empowered, and my favourite character in the book. She works outside the boundaries of society because of her spiritual beliefs. She does what she feels is right and sometimes that meant being assertive. She’s quite powerful even though she is humble about it and doesn’t resort to throwing that power around carelessly.

Stenibelle, or Bel, does undergo growth of character. With the help of her friends, Bel, finds her agency and owns who she is. As Bel’s confidence grows it changes her dynamic with other characters, such as the bullying, villainous Professor Shurlamp. Shurlamp then has less power over her.

I really liked the changes that happen at this point in the book. Bel had to shake free the shackles of societal expectations and the unwarranted doubt it had created within her. Then she assumes responsibility for her fate directing the outcome of her adventure. In the end, I thought that this was one of Ren Garcia’s best stories yet. I look forward to the next one in this series.

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October Submission Blitz 2015 – Reprints, Reprints

October 8, 2015 at 12:24 am (writing) (, , , , , )

While I’ve fallen behind on my blogging, I have been keeping up on my blitzing.  Seven days, seven submissions, including two reprint submissions which tend to be a rare thing for me.  It’s not that I’m not willing to submit them, but aside from the odd podcast or “for the love” venue I don’t often see calls for submissions that allow them.  I also submitted to a charity anthology that does offer a token payment.  I’ve sourced out a few more possibilities too, but I have to continue the hunt for promising opportunities.

My scary little girl for the day is a real life B belle, the notorious Mary Bell.  One of the youngest little murderers out there, she strangled two little boys, one four and one three, before being caught and put away.  Blame was attributed to being raised with constant exposure to violence and sex (her mother was a prostitute who had tried to kill Mary and then forced her to participate in her “work”.)  She was eventually released as an adult and given a new identity, but the families of the murdered boys will always consider her a monster who ruined their lives.  Multiple documentaries have been made about her scary ways.

24 submissions left to go.

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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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