Monday, March 18, 2013

And the Winner is ... Somebody Else

So my most stressful final of the term is over, and actually it wasn't a case of pulling teeth so much as scratching my head a little. It turned out OK. Or at least better than I anticipated.

After which, I turned on my computer and promptly got some happy news that distracted me from any/all thinking about the final. At this point, I'm so happy I couldn't tell you what I wrote about anymore!

Sometime during class I got an email from the Writers of the Future contest saying my story got an honorable mention in the first quarter of their yearly contest. Which is super exciting (!!!) seeing as I haven't got any such notice from them before. It doesn't mean money or wealth or fame but, heck, I get a certificate! That's pretty groovy.

As I've collected a healthy armload of rejections along the lines of, "it was good, but not what we wanted--oh, but send us something next time", I'd started to wonder how sincere these words were, or if this is the form letter everyone gets from certain publishers. Is it? Maybe. This honorable mention, though, feels like a step up from that. I don't get money or a second chance for the story to win, but it's nice that someone's acknowledged and appreciated my work.

Even better is the timing--it comes right at the end of winter term, like some sort of plan. It's cool to think that, even though I haven't had much time for writing or even submitting, my stories have still been out there doing their best for me.

The only trick is, the second quarter's coming up soon and I don't know what to send in next! More cowboys, perchance?

Come on, who can get tired of cowboys?  

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Almost Full-term ...

So we've reached the final countdown for winter term--which is a relief, because I'm ready for spring to start. Yes, I'll have classes then, too; but at least it'll be sunnier.

I'm really excited for the end of this week because then I'll be done with my big projects--my papers and class presentations are all coming in the next couple of days. And then they'll be turned in, out of my hands, and maybe (just maybe!) I'll get a chance to do some writing before I have to focus on my finals. And my jobs. And next term.

And yet, according to my chart of reading periods, there are a bunch that close in March--miraculously, just after spring break. So I'll have some time to get things prepared and ready to send.

And then on to the next term! Yay!

Well, hopefully I'll be ready for it....

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Saga Begins!

So aside from living under a rock recently, cool and exciting things have been happening to me. I had two stories accepted for publication last year, meaning that they'll soon be coming to a bookstore/e-Reader near you! Whether or not this is exciting to anyone else, it's a huge step toward authorship for this little green bean. Details shall be forthcoming as I obtain them, but this is what I can share now:

The awesomeness that is Narcissus Press will be publishing "Ancestors Enthroned" soon--this SPRING, I do believe, in an anthology entitled Daughters of Icarus. The blurb on the website explains the theme thusly:

"What can women tell us about the world? In this new collection of science fiction, a stunning assembly of authors explore the work laid before the daughters of Icarus, left behind after the prideful fall. Whether the worlds they imagine are hopeful or desolate, each sheds new light on the possibilities of feminism. Daughters of Icarus is a bold exploration of the present, past and future."

Did you see that? Whether or not they meant to, Pink Narcissus called me "stunning" (You can tell we haven't met in person). Knowing my own story backward and forward, I'm curious about what the other writers contributed. And I love the cover art.

Maybe I shouldn't admit it but this is one of those stories I sent out on a lark, my overall thinking being: "What the hey, it's gathering dust, I'll throw it at somebody's wall and see if it sticks!" Which it did, crazy enough.

If the idea of feminist SF gives you pause, I can promise you there are mummies. Trust me, mummies.

My second acceptance was from the lovely folks over at Crossed Genres Press, who picked up my novella (short novel) "The Second Wife" for a collection called Winter Well. Here is their stunning cover art:

They summarize "The Second Wife" thusly: Enslaved by a monstrous lord, a sage seeks answers in the stars and finds more… desirable problems.

Coming in MAY!!!

I can also promise Mayanesque bloodshed and awesomeness, though if I say anything else it'll probably be a spoiler.

I banged this story out solely for the anthology, just barely scraping by the deadline. Happy that it found a home because I got quite attached to Lady Akam as I wrote her. Hopefully you'll come to like her, too.

It comes as a surprise to me (maybe to no one else in the world) that my two acceptances thus far have been of stories featuring female protagonists although I'm a writer who feels uncomfortable writing women. Does this just mean I subconsciously try harder to make them believable? Or, does it mean that I shouldn't be so uncomfortable with female characters and should just embrace my inner warrior woman/sorceress/mummification artist? After all, it's not like there's some trick to being a woman in a world where I make up all the rules.

Never mind all that--just get ready for these awesome anthologies to become available soon, so you can tell me how many typos you found! Enjoy!

Winter Well: Speculative Novellas About Older Women (Coming Soon)

Winter Well: Speculative Novellas About Older Women (Coming Soon)

Here is the link back to the site for anyone who wants to take a look!