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Literal Illusion

“Lorelei,” a historical fantasy tale that takes place near the Rhine in pre-Roman times, has been published in a new reprint anthology.


Table of Contents:

Half-Dime Adventure – Don Webb
Cry Havoc – Julie Frost
Lorelei – Elaine Cunningham
These Walls of Despair – Anaea Lay
Lady of the Plagues – Elena Gomel
The Seventh Trap – Adam Knight
How Fox Fixed the Sky – Stephen Case
The Well – Gregory L. Norris
Found Things – Gerri Leen
The Heart of a Diamond – Lillian Csernica

 

April writing update

April was an odd month. There was a lot of writing going on, but you wouldn’t know it from the summary below. A couple of small projects I’d hoped to finish were pushed back into May (or possibly beyond.)  On the bright side, I am very enthusiastic about the new novel, which will be the most ambitious story I’ve written since Evermeet, and considerably longer. I’m in learning mode, trying new things and submitting to new markets, and that’s a very exciting process.

Publications: 1

  • Renaissance Faire and Culture Magazine, Vol. 21 #3, Issue #109. A review of Edward IV, England’s Forgotten Warrior King: His Life, His People, and His Legacy by Anthony Corbet.  I was surprised to receive the “scribe’s copy” of this issue, as I’d submitted this review about a year ago and by now, I’d assumed it had been declined.

Submissions: 4

  • Wrote and submitted two short stories, on spec.
  • Submitted a previously published story to a podcast magazine.
  • Submitted “Synthetic Sanctity” to Market #4. (Persistence!)

Acceptances: 0

Rejections:  2 (or possibly 4)

  • “Synthetic Sanctity” was declined by Market #4. I got some very good feedback from two Trusted Readers, and am going to do a substantial rewrite before sending it out again.
  • The reprint story I sent to a podcast magazine was declined. This was a first step into audio for me (not counting the audiobook versions publishers have done of my backlist.) I’ve started listening to podcasts, and I’m going to practice recording my work-in-progress to make sure a story works for the ear. Lots to learn!
  • Not all rejections are definitive. Many publishers don’t respond at all unless they accept a story or article, so there comes a point at which writers have to call a submission’s “time of death” and turn off the life support. This month I’m pulling the plug on two essays written and submitted back in December. It’s always possible to be surprised a few months later, as in the Renaissance Magazine review, but in these two cases, it seems unlikely.

Work in progress:

  • First draft of an on-spec fantasy novel.
  • Revising a non-fiction ebook on habit acquisition.
  • Awaiting editors’ notes on two short stories submitted in March.

Projects in circulation: 3

After wiping the two essays off my submission slate, I have just three short stories out in the world–the two new ones submitted in April, and a story submitted to a reprint anthology.

Writing related:

  • Sent the graphic novel version of my Forgotten Realms story “The Great Hunt” to the winner of the March contest held on the Facebook group Forgotten Realms Archives
  • Ran a contest for April in Forgotten Realms Archives with two audiobook versions of Winter Witch as prizes.

By Faerie Light: One review and two ideas

As a child, I read incessantly. One of the series that caught my imagination featured “the Littles,” a family of tiny humans who lived in the walls of a typical family house. Their size created significant challenges, as well as a new and intriguing way to view the world.

This notion has stuck with me over the years, and it’s the basis for “The White Tunic,” a story in this anthology. A young farmer strikes a bargain with a tiny fey warrior, who promptly takes him up on it. Before you know it, he has been seriously downsized.

In this review, the writer suggests using this notion in RPG campaigns. Since many of the people who read my stories are also gamers, this was something I had in mind while writing.  Shrinking your player characters would give them an interesting way to experience the world and their place in it.

Another idea, and something I do frequently when I’m out hiking, is to envision yourself the size of a bird or chipmunk and imagine what the world would look like from that perspective. This draws your focus to the environment in a way that you generally don’t experience when you’re moving through it as a human. The forest floor becomes more detailed and nuanced and important, the canopy both closer and more vast.

I’m fond of “The White Tunic,” mostly because it so clearly defines one of my primary storytelling values: Stories are all about possibilities, experiences, and seeing life–and perhaps yourself–a little differently than you did before.

KILLING IT SOFTLY, now in hardcover

A book that’s considered worthy of hardcover treatment usually makes its debut in that format. The horror anthology Killing It Softly  is an exception. It has been out for three months in digital and paperback format, and recently became available in hardcover with new cover art.

This is a collection of dark fiction by women writers, and apparently we’re going at this publishing thing backwards and in high heels.

Here’s a link to its page on Amazon.

“Lorelei” returns

Quite a few years ago, I wrote a short story inspired by the Lorelei, a river nymph said to haunt the Rhein. It’s set in what is now Germany, before the coming of the Romans, and it explores the nature and the temptations of leadership.

The story has an complex publishing history. Originally sold to Troll magazine, which ceased publication before the story saw print, it was published in 1999 as “The River War” in the short-lived e-zine The Dragon’s Scroll, and reprinted in 2008 in Worlds of Their Own, by Planet Stories (Paizo) and more recently, in my ebook short fiction collection Just Keep Weaving.  “Lorelei” is currently available only through the Digital Fantasy Fiction Short Story program on the e-booksellers listed below:

iTunes     Amazon.com     Barnes&Noble     Google Play

MEMENTO MORI

Memento Mori  is Latin for “Remember that you too must die.” This cheerful reminder kicks off a collection of dark fantasy and horror tales with death as the central theme. My contribution is “Dead Men Tell No Tales,” a ghost story set in colonial Newport, Rhode Island.  It was originally published in Sails & Sorcery, an anthology of sea-themed tales by Fantasist Enterprises. The narrator is a pirate of limited intellect, a powerful fighter who perceives far more than he understands. It’s one of my favorite stories.  If you haven’t read it–and if this collection sounds like something you might enjoy–now’s the time to pick it up. For the next several days, the ebook will be on sale for $.99 on Amazon.com.  Here’s a link to the book’s page.

 

Update: KILLING IT SOFTLY release moved to October 12

killing-it-softly-coverJust in time for Halloween, a collection of dark fantasy tales by women writers. The official release is October 12 for both ebook and trade paperback. The ebook will be on sale for $.99 through November 1, which is a better treat than a full-sized candy bar.

My story, “Ravens” is a reprint tale, a ghost story set in a little New England town.  It’s one of my favorite stories, and I’m delighted that it has found its way into a new collection.

Here’s a link to the book’s page on the publisher website.