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Sword and Sorceress 32

The latest anthology in the long-running Sword and Sorceress series is out today. I am very happy to be a part of this one.

My story, “Royal Daughters,” is a historical fantasy tale set in the tumultuous border country of Scotland during the infancy of Mary Queen of Scots. It’s a standalone story, but it also gives a glimpse into the setting of my novel-in-progress.  The story takes place about twenty years before the events of the novel.

Here’s a link to the Amazon.com page. Hope you enjoy this collection!

Killing It Softly 2

This reprint anthology includes 38 dark fiction tales, all told by women writers. It’s over 185,000 words, and in printed form it’s 600 pages.

My story, “A Great and Terrible Hunger,” first appeared in the Chaosium anthology Madness on the Orient Express, edited by James Lowder.

Here’s a link to the Amazon.com page.

October Writing Summary

Summary:

Publications: 1
Submissions: 3
Acceptances: 0
Rejections: 2
Projects currently in circulation: 5

Publications:

  • The short story “A Great and Terrible Hunger,” originally published in the anthology Madness on the Orient Express (Chaosium, 2014) was published in the reprint anthology Killing It Softly 2, a collection of dark fiction by women writers.
  • Wrote and posted several new pieces of Halloween micropoetry.  (These are technically publications, but they’re not counted in the summary above.)

Submissions: 

  • Submitted a flash fiction story written in August to market #3
  • Submitted the same flash fiction story to market #4
  • Submitted a Very Odd Short Story to market #7
  • Submitted a poem to a print/online magazine

Rejections: 2

  • The flash fiction story mentioned above was declined by Markets #3 and #4.

Work in progress:

  • Draft Zero of a historical fantasy novel.
  • Waiting for copyediting notes on “Living Memory,” a short story written for a shared-world anthology

Writing related:

  • Worked on content for a Patreon account
  • Attended the RI Children’s Book Festival in Providence
  • Attended Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival in northern Massachusetts

Books read:

  • The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
  • A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander
  • Mrs. Pollifax and the China Station by Dorothy Gilman
  • Chasing Shakespeare by Sarah Smith
  • The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith

Books reading:

  • The Elizabethan Secret Services by Alan Haynes
  • Patronage, Culture and Power: The Early Cecils 1558-1612 edited by Pauline Croft

The Rules of Magic

This was a filling-the-well sort of weekend. Friday evening at the RI Philharmonic, listening to my favorite Mozart piano concerto and the Saint-Saëns organ symphony. Saturday at the RI Festival of Children’s Books during the day and playing games (Roll for the Galaxy, Cacao, and The Dresden Files cooperative card game) at Rivendell Books and Games in the evening. Sunday was for walking, our weekly everyone-in-the-kitchen family lunch, and tending to necessary weekly routines.

Over the weekend I also read The Rules of Magic, Alice Hoffman’s new book. It’s a prequel to her bestselling book, Practical Magic, and it’s wonderful. Reading a book like that is like listening to Renee Fleming sing: it shows you how much room you have to grow. That can be discouraging, but it can also leave you feeling energized by the possibilities ahead. Today, I choose the latter response.

Halloween Haiku, and the path ahead

Samhain–Halloween, in its current incarnation–was regarded by some people as the end of the old year. I like the idea of choosing costumes that represent what you’d like to change and how you’d like to grow in the coming year.

It’s also a good time to take stock of the things that are hindering you from becoming the person you’d like to be.  Could be friends or family, but more likely, it’s a script–a belief or pattern of thought–that has been playing in your head for as long as you can remember.

October 2018

What would you like to do during (or by) next October that you are not doing this year?  I’ll go first.

  • On October 1, e-publish Payback’s a Witch, a very quirky urban fantasy novel that’s been on my to-do list for years.
  • On October 10, start publishing Hex and Violins, a sequel to the above novel, as serial novella on Patreon, one chapter every day, with the conclusion on Halloween.
  • Write at least one new short story for a seasonal anthology.
  • Finish writing a ballad I started a few years back entitled “Tastefully Matted and Framed.”
  • Participate in Inktober and draw one sketch every day. 
  • Fall foliage hikes: Franconia Notch in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Mt. Greylock in western Massachusetts.
  • Have photo taken in a black gown and my Victorian witch hat, use it as my author photo for the month.
  • Spend Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts.
  • Go to Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Massachusetts for one of their Haunted Halloween nights.
  • Go to the Jack o’Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Zoo.
  • Make pumpkin whoopie pies filled with cream cheese icing.
  • Host a game night/pumpkin ale tasting

Renaissance Magazine Issue #112

The latest issue of Renaissance Magazine is out.  There’s lots of castle lore, a comprehensive listing of Renaissance Fairs, ads for all sorts of intriguing stuff that’s hard to justify purchasing because you (mostly) live in the 21st century, and the Tomes of Lore column. In the latter is my review of Allison Weir’s latest historical novel:  Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession.

I’ve been writing articles and reviews for this periodical for several years now. It’s a fun publication that appeals to RenFaire enthusiasts, as well as people who enjoy popular history and historical novels, games, and music.  And since I’m spending a great deal of time in the Renaissance these days, I have several more reviews in the pipeline, most of them for recently released histories.

The reason for this historical immersion is that I’m currently writing a novel set in a dark fantasy version of Elizabethan England.  More info coming soon!