New Story Appearing in “Lakeside Circus”

I’m happy to announce that one of my short stories will be appearing in the debut issue of Lakeside Circus. Lakeside Circus is a new quarterly magazine, edited by Carrie Cuinn, and in its first issue will have 42 pieces spanning flash fiction, poetry, and short stories. My own story, titled “Natalie,” falls in the flash fiction category, and I’m quite pleased with how it came out. It’s a science fiction story, about a geologist who finds herself involved in a particularly unusual way with a mission to Saturn’s moon Titan.

The magazine will be released on November 29th; subscribers will receive it via e-mail, and will also receive .epub and .mobi versions (suitable for various e-readers). After that, the stories will gradually appear on the website over the next three months, one every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I don’t know yet when my story will appear on the website (when that changes, I’ll update my “Stories” page accordingly), but in the meantime, you can receive my story and lots of others by subscribing to Lakeside Circus– I believe an annual subscription works out to $20 for around 200,000 words (about 800 pages) of original genre fiction. In addition, folks who subscribe by November 15th will receive the first issue of the magazine a week early, on November 22.

Right now they’re a semi-pro magazine, but their goal is to raise enough money through subscriptions to become a pro magazine. Moreover, I have a huge amount of like and respect for the editor, Carrie Cuinn, who’s repeatedly put herself on the front lines of the fight to make all of science fiction & fantasy field more socially aware, and more inclusive to less privileged folks. So beyond selfish reasons, I’d love to see this latest venture work out, and a new, forward-thinking pro magazine take root in the field.

Anyway, that’s my plug for my story, and for Lakeside Circus. Check ’em out for yourself.

Story Acceptance for “After Death…”

I’ve known about this for a couple months, but at last I can announce it: I sold a short story to Eric J. Guignard’s anthology “After Death…”, which will be published by Dark Moon Books in Spring 2013! The full announcement can be read over at Eric’s blog.

What makes this even cooler is that each story will have an illustration done by Audra Phillips, an amazing artist of dark fantasy and horror. My story is titled Someone to Remember; I’ve seen the picture for it, and it’s awesome.

After Death… will probably be out around March or April of next year– needless to say, I’ll let you know when it’s available.

Quick Update: Story Sale!

I’ll post a more substantial life-related update in a few days, but for now, I just wanted to say, YAY! I’ve known for a couple of months, but now it’s official: in April, one of my stories will be appearing in an anthology of flash fiction. The name of it is Flush Fiction, and it’ll be published by Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader– a collection of stories to be read in one “sitting,” as it were. My own little contribution will be a 700-word science fiction piece titled The Taste of Failure.

Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader has long been a fixture in the humor section of major retail bookstores. So sure, it may not be the most prestigious of literary magazines, but I’m still pretty awesomely happy about it. Heck, it means there’s a chance I could walk into any given Barnes and Noble and see one of my stories! It makes me kind of giddy.

This also counts as my first professional sale, as defined by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Joining SFWA has been a goal of mine ever since I started writing seriously. And while Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader isn’t explicitly listed as a qualifying market (strange, that), the story is science fiction, and the pay rate and the market do meet the qualification guidelines.

I haven’t decided if I’m going to apply yet. For one, if they do accept my application, then whenever I go to a SFWA event, every time someone asks where I’m published, I’ll have to answer, “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader!” This will either be sort of embarrassing or kind of cool. Or both. Either way, I’m willing to bet it’s a pretty unique first pro sale. (Insert “crappy fiction” joke here.)

More news later, including a report on my first week of working the night shift at the “day job”, and an answer to the question of whether the Calvin Method of Writing paid off for my latest short story (spoiler: No).

Ciao for niao!

Mid-NaNoWriMo Update… and Story Acceptance!

National Novel Writing Month has been a series of fitful stops and starts for me so far; right now I’m sitting at 28,000 words, and have about ten days left to write the rest. So I’m a few thousand words behind where I should be, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make up the deficit over Thanksgiving Break.

So far, writing the novel has been a process of discovery writing: I have no outline, so I’ve just been writing scenes as they occur to me. This has been both good and bad. On the good side, I’ve come up with some ideas that I probably wouldn’t have come up with otherwise, and for the most part, they’ve been ideas which flow naturally from the story instead of being forced onto said story. But there’s also been a lot of ideas which don’t work, and I’m still sort of searching for the main conflict. I have a few threads here and there, but nothing has really leaped out at me as being the primary overarching plotline of the book. So my novel writing thus far has been: write several thousand words over a couple of days, take a few days off because I’m not sure what happens next, then realize I’m falling behind and hurriedly write several thousand more words… rinse and repeat. We shall see if I actually make it to 50K, and whether I like the result enough that I end up writing a second draft.

In other news (which you probably already know if you follow my Twitter feed), one of my short stories, The Talisman of Hatra, got accepted into the Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations anthology! I’m really happy about this. The anthology is edited by Eric J. Guignard, and of the authors who will be represented, one is Joe R. Lansdale, who is one of the best-known horror and dark fiction writers around today. I’m honored to share a Table of Contents with him, as well as with the other authors, including a fellow member of my writing group, Folly Blaine. It comes out in March of next year– needless to say, I’ll post details when it’s available.

Yesterday’s Enterprises

Yesterday was a good writing day. In addition to editing a 9,000-word short story, brainstorming for a new steampunk story, and adding about 500 words to my novel, I also received notice that one of my stories sold! Woot!

It’ll be appearing at Every Day Fiction, a website which publishes daily flash fiction. (That means stories with less than 1,000 words, not stories about people exposing themselves… although there are probably websites for those, too.)

I don’t know when the story will be appearing yet, but needless to say I will post a link when it does.

Coming this April…

This evening I noticed that I had received an e-mail from Eirik Gumeny, the editor at Jersey Devil Press. Jersey Devil Press is a small independent publisher which publishes a monthly magazine of short stories, and a dead-tree anthology once a year. The e-mail was not unexpected; I had sent them one of my short stories, titled Armageddon’s Jester, a couple of weeks ago.

So when I saw the e-mail the first question that popped in my head was, “Hey, I got a response. I wonder if it’s a form rejection or a personalized rejection. Boy, I hope it’s personalized.” (Non-writers out there may never understand this mentality.)

So I opened the e-mail. “Thanks for the submission,” it started.

Meh, okay, sounds like a form rejection.

“We’d love to publish ‘Armageddon’s Jester’ in the April issue…”

Hey, I thought. This isn’t a rejection at all! It’s an acceptance! Woot! My first story acceptance!

To be honest, I hadn’t been too optimistic about finding a home for Armageddon’s Jester. It’s kind of an odd story which doesn’t really fit into a category. Luckily, on the “About Us” page, Jersey Devil Press says, We want the stories that don’t fit into the traditional definitions of speculative fiction or literature. We want funny and we want ‘What the fuck was that?’

So apparently Armageddon’s Jester was weird enough for them, which makes me happy. I’ll link to the story when it goes live on their website– probably around late March.