My far future flash fiction piece, “Grief Processed,” made its scheduled appearance in the September 1, 2016 issue of NewMyths.com. You can find the story here.
If you’re interested in how the story came to be, I said a bit about that in a previous post.
There’s also a nifty mini-interview with me on my author page at the zine.
Thanks so much to Scott T. Barnes and Susan Shell Winston for selecting my story. I enjoyed working with both of them and hope to repeat the experience in the future.
My far future science fiction flash piece, “Grief, Processed,” is slated to appear in the e-zine NewMyths.com in September. I’m delighted — I’ve had a bit of a dry spell and I’m glad that the turmoil of 2015 won’t end up having the effect of making 2016 a year entirely without publications.
As most of my stories do, this one started as an exercise inspired by a poem narrated in first person, direct address to an inanimate object. The first version was in fact far more poem-like with just a small turning point to hint at plot. I added another character to balance the piece, and the result became more story-like.
It’s one of my more philosophical stories, examining the role grief plays in the human condition.
I’ll post again when it’s available online.
It’s been a while since I posted. Here’s a short update.
Last June I entered an unplanned job search for a new day job. Looking for a new job became my job, as I am the sole breadwinner for my two school-aged boys. I was fortunate to find something that feels like a great fit, and accepted a new position right before Christmas. I started work at the end of January.
During this period I did very little in the way of writing. For the most part, I was too stressed to enter the relaxed dream-space I need to be in to be able to create. When I hit my limit on the job search around Thanksgiving, I resubmitted stories that had come back to me and put the finishing touches on a few new ones. But then, I entered a phase of trying to get things done that would never get done while working, including a huge early spring clean of the entire house. Shortly after that, I started the new job. I’ve been there almost two months, and am starting to get my bearings. So I’m starting to think about writing again.
In the interim, I missed a number of deadlines. One was for the Campbell anthology — since I had my first pro sale last year, I’m in my first year of eligibility. I’d been looking forward to contributing to the anthology, but I just plain missed the call because of the new job preparation and acclimation.
The upheaval couldn’t have come at a worse time. I had started to sell to pro venues. I had taken some vacation days in May to write and cranked out five stories. Even though I knew I really needed work to support the family, part of me fantasized that if I was still out of work next summer I’d have a rare chance to apply to one of the Clarions or Odyssey and actually be able to go if I was fortunate enough to get accepted. Being a working stiff with dependents rather puts a crimp in such plans under ordinary circumstances.
But hey, what can you do except get back in the saddle whenever the horse comes round again. I am grateful that it was a relatively short hiatus as such things go, and hope that I’ll soon have my routine in sufficient order that I can build on my nascent success. I started last weekend — getting my stuff out there, especially for some calls that end at the end of the month, finishing a new piece, and starting to think through my next project.
I hope to have good news to post in the coming months.
Nature has podcast my story “Heartworm” — you can listen here. This is the first time I’ve had a story podcast (to my knowledge) so it’s a nice feather in my writer’s achievement cap. Geoff Marsh’s reading makes my words sound so classy. 😉
My cyberpunk flash piece, “Heartworm,” is now available in Nature. Because “Heartworm” is flash, I can’t say too much about it without bumping up against spoilers, but after you give it a read you can also read my short blog post at the Nature site, with the “story behind the story.” Thanks to my Writers Studio classmates and teachers, and my alpha and beta readers, for helping me take this from exercise to story. I’d also like to thank Colin Sullivan at Nature, who was a dream to work with.
I just returned the contract for the sale of my short SF piece, “Heartworm,” to Nature. I’ve had my eye on Nature since I read the first Futures Features anthology, the table of contents of which reads like a who’s who of SF. I worried that I didn’t write stories that were hard-SF-enough for this market, but I decided to take a chance and submit this story. I’m very glad I did.
As a bonus, Nature is a SFWA qualifying market. This marks my first sale to a qualifying market, which has been a goal of mine since I started submitting in late 2012. I’m excited to have unlocked this achievement!
I’ve received an acceptance on another story of mine, “Across the Fourth Sea,” from an utterly awesome semi-pro zine — but I’m going to wait until I get the contract signed and returned to discuss which one in public. Superstition, you know. Kenina hora and all that. Suffice it to say, for now: I couldn’t be more excited about this news!
The story is a secondary world fantasy. It’s my first attempt at this subgenre in a fully invented world (as opposed to one based in historical fact). It’s one of my longer pieces to date as well, just under 10,000 words. I don’t want to spoil the read so I’ll just say that it explores a particular aspect of father-son relationships — and by extension any similar parent-child dynamic — against a backdrop of adventure and magic.
I also learned recently that the current go-live date for my story at Mad Scientist Journal is April 29, 2013.
Don’t worry, I’ll remind you when the date arrives. Heh.
I just finished reading the Spring 2013 issue of The Colored Lens. Admittedly, I’m somewhat biased because my story, “Bottle This,” appears in the issue, but my story is only one small reason you should read this issue if you like speculative fiction. At $2.99 on Amazon, this issue is a bargain.
The issue includes twelve stories in addition to mine, all nicely done. I particularly enjoyed Maigen Turner’s steampunkish whodunnitish story about a murdered wizard, “In Glamourglass Court,” Rebecca Schwarz’s lyrical mermaid story, “The Gyre,” S. R. Algernon’s fascinating and somewhat beguiling “Once More, onto the Beach,” and the themes of memory and love underpinning John Zaharick’s “Fossil Fire” and Michael Shone’s “The Flower Garden.”
Now, off to read the latest F&SF and Asimov’s!
The Spring 2013 issue of The Colored Lens is now available! My story referred to in a previous post, “Bottle This,” is in this issue, along with a dozen other stories I can’t wait to read. The issue is available for the Kindle at Amazon with a lush, inviting forest path on the cover. Isn’t it pretty?
Work at my day job has heated up quite a bit over the past few weeks and my reading and writing have both suffered as a result. I hope that the next time I have writing news to post, I’ll also have some good reading recommendations.
I’m excited to announce that The Colored Lens accepted my near-future science fiction story, “Bottle This.” The story is scheduled to appear in the Spring 2013 issue. Thanks so much to everyone at The Colored Lens. I admire the vision and aesthetics of this lovely publication.
I won’t give anything away in case you’re inclined to give the story a read — I’ve learned by now that the story I thought I wrote isn’t necessarily the same story readers read, and I don’t want to predispose anyone to reading in a particular way. I’ll just say it involves futuristic pharmaceuticals and a lawyer for whom things are not going at all well. Thanks to my beta readers for helping to improve this piece.
On the reading front, I’ve been curling up with Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, No. 28 lately and have started Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I love how the stories in LCRW inspire me to dig deeper into weirdness in my own writing. The Road has sucked me in from the first pages. I’m trying to read it as a writer, but it’s just so appealing to read as a reader I have to keep reminding myself to examine McCarthy’s technique.
Finally, I was delighted to learn that my teacher, Cat Rambo, has a story on this year’s Nebula ballot. The story is “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain” and I read it in her collection, Near + Far. It’s both lovely and disturbing on a visceral level. I don’t have a vote — not yet, anyway — but congrats to all the nominees. I’m looking forward to reading those of the nominated stories I haven’t yet read.