blogging, Curious Fictions

Curious Fictions

I want to let you know about an opportunity I’m thinking about over at the Curious Fictions platform, on my personal author space. Click the link, then click “Posts” and you’ll see that I’m thinking about expanding my presence there, and I’m asking for thoughts on what readers there would like to see.

If you want to join the readership at Curious Fictions, I’d be glad to see you. Even if you don’t, do check out the site–there are some amazing authors there, posting some awesome work.

blogging, Magic of the Everyday, Nature

Return of an Old Superstition?

So, way back when, in those halcyon early days of this blog, I had this superstition going that when I experienced a wonderful natural or wildlife encounter, I’d soon receive a writing rejection. If the wildlife experience was truly wonderful, I might get two rejections back-to-back. It was reasoned that Mother Nature was trying to make up for the sting of rejection, and was getting there ahead of time. And while I know it was silly, it was also kind of fun.

And it hasn’t happened for years. I’ve not had “amazing” natural experiences. Oh, sure, I’ve seen wildlife, and appreciated the natural world, but nothing truly remarkable or memorable has happened for a little while. Until last night.

The dog pestered me into an evening w-a-l-k (gotta spell that word around here, you know. He knows what it means!), so we went by the turtle pond. The turtle food vending machine has recently been refilled for spring, and he loves hoovering up food spilled at its base, so we paused, and paused, and paused some more (those kids spill a lot of turtle food pellets), and while he sniffed and ate, I looked around at the falling evening. Only a few turtles still swam in the small pond, having instead gone wherever it is they go at night, and oh, look there on the bank of the pond. There’s a turtle now, with its butt dipping in and out a hole–HOLY COW! SHE’S LAYING EGGS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

Yes, I know. Not the best pic, but I only had my camera phone. And actually, I forgot I had the phone in my pocket and had to circle back to snap the photo.



Sure enough, the turtles back end would dip lower into a hole, and when it raised she’d sweep her back foot to settle the egg and cover it gently. I have no idea how many eggs she laid, or how many might survive (lots of kids run and play in that area, and use it for turtle watching), but seeing that felt magical indeed.

So, once I returned home [and had a rush of texting and online research to find out what kind of turtles we’re talking about and how long until the eggs might hatch (I think they’re River Cooters, and 45-56 days ’til hatching)], I started remembering the old superstition ’round this blog…and now I’m expecting some really earth-shattering rejection, very, very soon.

(ETA: no, after a thorough viewing of said turtles in daylight, it turns out they are Red Belly Cooters, a.k.a., Red Belly Turtles)

Fortunately, enough time writing has taught me two things: 1) rejection is just another part of the process, and 2) enjoy the process. So I’m enjoying the turtle-gram, and not holding my breath. After all, it’s just another rejection. Meh. But turtles laying eggs? That’s something to remember.

blogging, Moving, Personal Life, publication

Upcoming: Publications and Absence

It’s been a week since my last post, which is kind of a long time for me. And it’s going to be spotty going here at ye olde bloggue as the upcoming move comes up more and more. I’ll be gone for a few days, in fact, on a house hunting mission. When ya move, ya gotta move to somewhere. If you have any extra good luck, send it my way for traveling and in looking for a new home, will you?

Looking forward, I want to mention two upcoming publications that will feature my work. Liquid Imagination will run my story, “Something Wicked,” by the end of this month (or the very beginning of June, at the latest). This story is about families, and differences, and taking your own path while not “selling out” your present for your future. I’ll give a direct link to it once I return and it’s available. For now, the link above takes you to the Liquid Imagination homepage, where you can view all the month’s current stories. While you’re there, why not read something else, too?

Also forthcoming in early June is “Ghost Dog,” over at Aurora Wolf. If you’re interested in such things, this is the story whose original (this has been edited a bit since then) got me into Viable Paradise Writers’ Workshop. It was inspired by a very bad year: I moved, my sister died, and then my dog died. The dog in the story isn’t exactly the dog that died, though. Riva, the story dog, is more an amalgamation of both of my boxer girls into one.

Looking backward, have you purchased a physical book from Alliteration Ink? Maybe Sidekicks, which my story “Worthy” appears within, or the awesome What Fates Impose, or perhaps the amazing Steampunk World? First, thanks. And second, now you can get an ebook version free when you register that copy. Check out the notice here, and get the ebook version of any book Alliteration Ink has published, even those before this went into effect. How cool is that?


blogging, Viable Paradise, Writing

Link Up!

This post is a collection of random bits, all containing links to other places–that’s the only common denominator, other than my interest in them. Let’s get on with it:

First off, Sarah Hans has a wonderful retrospective, complete with MORE LINKS, on the contributors to the Sidekicks! anthology. When I saw this, I was floored–a year’s gone by already? How!!?? But there you have it, time flies when you’re writing…

From one of my VP 17 cohort, Michael Johnston, comes this pep-talk about wading through post-workshop assimilation. In addition, it’s a great little plug for VP XVIII (and applications are now open. Hint, hint…perhaps you should apply?)

I’m having lots of fun over at Coursera, and thought I should plug them once more. Free, online courses covering a wide variety of topics. I’m taking “Imagining Other Earths,” am learning so much, and am just really enjoying it!


blogging, Personal Life

Holy Cow! Over 200 Posts!

Somehow, I made my 200th post without realizing it. Woot and woo-hoo!

If you’re reading this, thanks for hanging in there with me. Needless to say, a blog without readers wouldn’t be much fun. Just like with writing stories, knowing that someone may actually read the words you’re writing makes it that much more satisfying.

blogging, Personal Life, Writing

Unwelcome Gifts

Hubby brought me a lovely gift back from his travels: illness. He got sick shortly before returning home, and thoughtfully brought me some of his germs. Sharing is the joy of marriage, right? Yesterday I couldn’t speak, my throat was so sore. Today, the body aches and exhaustion are setting in. I doubt much writing will be done here today, unless it actually is “by zombies” (this is a phrase that, if you can add it at the end of a sentence, you know that sentence is phrased in the passive voice. “I doubt much writing will be done here today by zombies” is a perfectly valid sentence, and terribly passive.).

So, I’m sending you here, for a wonderful and thought-provoking writing prompt. If it got my sick brain in a whirl, what will it do for your healthy ones?

blogging, publication

The Next Big Thing: My Contribution

There are the authors everyone has heard about: George R. R. Martin, Stephen King. But what about all those books written by people you’ve never heard of? Some of them are treasures just waiting to be found, and that’s what this blog hop is all about: the books you might not have heard about, the authors you might end up loving.

This blog hop is like a game of tag. One author posts and then tags other authors who link back to their website the next week and tag new authors. If you follow the blog hop long enough, you’re bound to find some writers you’ll love! Maybe you’ll even discover a book that ends up being the next big thing.

I was tagged by Sarah Hans. She’s in my former writing group (WriteShop), and is on her way up. In addition to writing awesome steampunk, horror and dark fantasy, Sarah is involved in editing. She’s editing Sidekicks!, an anthology being published in early 2013 (which will include one of my stories). I am slightly in awe of the energy and enthusiasm she brings to her work, and I’m sure she’s going places. You can follow Sarah’s blog at

This blog hop includes ten questions to help you learn more about an author, so here’s a little info about me:

1: What is the working title of your current project?

I’ll answer this as ‘my latest accepted short story.’ The title has been changed from the working title of “In the Shadows of Greatness” to the final title of “Worthy.” Titles have always been hard for me, despite knowing how important they are. I think this new title is a change for the better (and it’s thanks to Sarah Hans, the editor).

2: Where do your ideas come from?

Ideas from different areas cross-pollinate in my brain. Many of those idea-kernels come while I’m walking in the woods (or in nature of some sort), some from things I read or places I visit. Then a juxtaposition takes place and two completely unrelated ideas come together in some weird way, and I just have to write about it.

3: What genre do you write?

Mostly Fantasy, and of any stripe: contemporary, magic realism, slipstream, other-world, etc. I’m edging nearer and nearer to finishing a science fiction story, which I enjoy reading but which I have a hard time writing well.

4: Cat-person or dog-person?

While I like cats (really, I do), I’m a dog person at heart. Currently, though, I have only two fish as pets. Maybe once the move is over that will change.

5: What’s a one-word description of yourself?

Paradoxical. Or maybe “enigmatic” since it sounds better?

6: Will your work be self-published or traditionally published?

I’m sending work to various magazines and anthologies, so I’m seeking tradition publishing at the moment.

7: How long does it take you to write a first draft?

Hmm, for a short story that can vary from a few days to months. It entirely depends on the story, my schedule (and health!), and how finished my idea really is. Generally, about 1-2 weeks.

8: Whose work would you compare yours to within your genre?

Oh good grief. I wouldn’t dare. I mean, can I really say “my stories have the broad appeal of Anne McCaffrey and the elegant prose of Ken Liu” and not sound full of stuff and nonsense? I simply try to write the best story I can, each time. Each may have a different flavor, but underneath, I think a reader will find it’s all me. (Hmph. And like that doesn’t sound conceited either. Well, I tried.)

9: Who are your favorite writers?

In the past, they would’ve been Tolkien, Anne McCaffery, Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler, Anne Rice, Ursula K. Leguin, James Tiptree Jr, and Sherri Tepper.

Current writers would include (but not be limited to) Charles de Lint, George R. R. Martin, Mary Robinette Kowal, N.K. Jemisin, Amanda Hesser (yes, a food writer!), Jason Sanford, Ken Liu and Nancy Kress.

Oh, these lists are so short! There are so many more great writers I should include–but maybe these will give you the basic idea of who has influenced/is influencing me.

10: What else might pique a reader’s interest?

I’m heavily influenced by the natural world around me. As my surroundings change, or when I go on a trip, my stories touch different ‘spices.’ Seeing as how I’m moving from Ohio to New Jersey in the very near future, I’m anticipating a difference to start sneaking in, subtly (or not so subtly!) changing the end results.

Also, I’m involved in Write 1/Sub 1 this year, so I’m hoping there will soon be much more of my work available in the near future.

Here are the authors I’m tagging to continue the hop. Click their links to head over to their blogsites.

Jennifer Mason-Black
I found Jennifer Mason-Black’s blog shortly after I began blogging, and I was struck by how similar our blog-voices sounded. One post in particular made me feel I’d found something I’d written and somehow forgotten about, it was that eerie. Later, I read her words, her stories, and was smitten. She has a wonderful way with prose, with characters, with a story. I suggest you go out and read some of her work.

Brent Smith
Brent is a recent graduate from Odyssey Writing Workshop. That alone shows his dedication to the written word, since Odyssey (like the Clarions) is a 6-week ‘boot camp’ for writers to hone their craft. He’s doing some fine writing, and I believe we’ll be seeing more of his name, and soon.