Up at Daily Science Fiction this morning, a little thing about a unicorn and a homeowner's association. Enjoy!

Also, if for some reason you missed my story, Deathlight, in last year's Lightspeed, it's been turned into an audio play by the folks at Fancy Pants Gangsters. They have a number of other short plays up at their site as well - check them out!

The Lion

Mar. 6th, 2017 09:08 am
The Huntsmen was one of those stories that I wrote because the general concept wouldn't stop nagging at me: how did the princess of the original tale, collected by the Grimm brothers back in the early 19th century, manage to find eleven women who looked just like her? (It was only after I finished the story that I remembered that the majority of people at the time had no access to corrective lenses, so many people would have been too nearsighted to tell the difference.) And why go to so much effort just to get an unfaithful lover back?

I was so focused on those questions that I more or less ignored the other oddity of the tale - the sudden, never explained entrance of a talking lion. But as I shuffled the lion to the side, he started nagging at me too.

This is the result.

It's an example of how very often, when writing one story, another one appears. At least in my case.

Hundreds

Dec. 19th, 2016 10:43 am
The latest in my series of flash fairy tales, "Hundreds," just went up at Daily Science Fiction. Enjoy!

Souls

Oct. 24th, 2016 09:14 am
Another tiny story from me up at Daily Science Fiction today. It won't take too long to read, promise.

Souls.
Now up at Daily Science Fiction, Nine Songs, my little slipstream story about, well, Nine Songs. My titles tend to be fairly literal.

And also now available, one of the rare poems where I plunged into marine biology, sorta, "Madrepore," in Spelling the Hours: Poetry Celebrating the Forgotten Others of Science and Technology. The poem is about Anna Thynne, a 19th century marine biologist who, among other things, studied reproduction in stony corals, and also was one of the first to develop salt water aquaria capable of keeping stony corals alive.

The overall collection, as the title says, celebrates other mostly forgotten scientists.

Enjoy!
And now, in much happier news, I'm delighted to announce that I've received my authors' copies of Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix, and that this anthology is available at last on Amazon Kindle.

I've always loved Unlikely Story's little themed issues on unlikely subjects, and I'm both thrilled and, to be honest, kinda creeped out at the collection here.

Though I should add that my own story is loosely based on a real life incident. Involving a clown. So perhaps these stories are not so unlikely after all.

Sea Dreams

Aug. 7th, 2015 08:24 am
Cabinet des Fees just announced the release of the second issue of Scheherezade's Bequest, Something Rich and Strange: Tales From the Sea. It includes my little flash fiction piece, "Sea Dreams."

Proceeds benefit Doctors Without Borders. It can be purchased at Amazon or here.

The Knot

Jan. 12th, 2015 09:22 am
My flash story, The Knot, just went live at Pantheon Magazine.

A few quick points about this one: one, even though it's in a speculative zine, this is actually the first non-speculative story I've published in 15 years. Which is saying something. It actually felt a bit strange. Though, to be fair, it's not entirely non-speculative either - it's somewhat inspired by the myths of Persephone and Orpheus. Somewhat. Which I guess just goes to show that I can never quite rid myself of myth and fairy tale, not entirely, even when my words are wandering in the real world.

Second, this is one of many Persephone inspired stories in the issue - I'm delighted to be sharing a TOC with Megan Arkenberg again, and, for what I think is the first time, with Valya Dudycz Lupescu. Enjoy the issue!

The Store

Dec. 2nd, 2014 10:04 am
As Flapperhouse notes, it's the holiday shopping season, the perfect time for a little story about a store.

Enjoy!

Survival

Jul. 28th, 2014 02:06 pm
My little flash story, Survival, popped up at Goldfish Grimm over the weekend, along with a short interview with me.

In other survival stories, I left the house today thinking, oooh, the sun is still shining. I won't get wet. YAY ME.

Ten minutes later I was soaked completely through, and I do mean completely (well, my butt was kinda covered by the trike, but still.) We're talking every inch of clothing totally plastered to you soaked. Water dripping from my nose soaked. Having to stop because I can't ride the trike in heavy rain soaked (the rain gets on my glasses.)

During all of this?

Sun.

Still.

Shining.

Ok, that didn't last too long - the clouds swept in - but Florida. Where you can be in the sun, and still be wet.

But I now have my bananas, which was the main point of going against Florida's weather, so all good.
Beans and Lies just went up at Daily Science Fiction. It's very short, I promise. And it's - almost - a fairy tale. Kinda.
First, Happy Pancake Day everyone! Alas, my own plans for pancakes today have taken a bit of a detour thanks to unpredictable weather, but the good thing about pancake day is that you can always celebrate it later with more pancakes.

And in non pancake news:

1. My little story, Undone just popped up over at Apex Magazine. Enjoy!

2. And over at Unlikely Story, I'm interviewed about my short story, Ink. Somehow or other clowns jumped in. That sort of thing happens.

Toads

Feb. 27th, 2014 09:29 am
For those who aren't getting Daily Science Fiction in their inboxes (and why not? It's free?), my little short story, Toads just popped up on their site today.

"Toads" is part of a series of flash fiction fairy tales that I really hope to have completed one day. I'm currently about 1/3 of the way through the planned outline, so...let's just say I have a ways to go. But at least this one is out there, hopping through the world.

No, I couldn't resist that pun. Why do you ask?
Poet extraordinaire Amal El-Mohtar has been yelling at everyone to do this, so --

Writing is an odd thing: what you are actually doing, and what others see, is often far apart.

2013 was a classic example of this for me.

I know I've talked a lot about not writing as much as I should, but the first half of 2013 took this down to an all time low. I barely wrote at all; which made me feel even worse about my writing. In July, matters improved, but improved only in comparison to the first half of the year; it was worse than previous years. And all this while my fellow writers were happily totaling up booming word counts and publications on Twitter. Gulp.

But you might not guess any of that from my publications in 2013. As I noted earlier, I managed to publish nine full length short stories this year, five of them at "pro" rates, including one at Tor.com; three flash stories, including one over at McSweeney's; and five poems. That's rather fewer poems than in recent years, but I haven't been writing as much poetry, so the decline is to be expected.

Anyway, here's the rundown of the stories:

Probably the most widely read and popular (barring a couple of dissenters) was In the Greenwood, Tor.com, December, a folktale retelling, which has popped up in a couple of best of lists for 2013. Publishing being what it is, this is also the oldest (in terms of when I wrote it) story on this list.

Runner-up probably was The Princess and Her Tale, Daily Science Fiction, May, another folktale retelling.

Other retellings of folklore and fairy tales included The Gifts, Daily Science Fiction, September; and "Godmother," "Marmalette" and "Palatina" in Missing Links and Secret Histories, Aquaduct Press, July 2013, which more people should read, because the other stories in it are hilarious, and no, I'm not just saying that. I still pull out the book to cheer myself up.

Stepping away from the folklore retellings for a bit, we have the only story set in my "Stoneverse" setting, An Assault of Color, Apex, October 2013, which has started to appear, much to my surprise, in a few best of lists for the year. This surprising because no one seemed to notice it when it first came out. Remember that reality versus perception thing I was mentioning? Here's another example.

And something that was not a folktale retelling or tied to anything else I've written was The Dragon and the Bond, about, well, a dragon. And a Bond. But not James Bond, despite the obvious joke that several people picked up on after the story was published. I have to say I missed that entirely; then again, one of the hardest parts of writing for me remains coming up with a title. This story is called "The Dragon and The Bond" because, well, not to give too much of the story away, it has a dragon and it has a bond and after spending far, far too long trying to come up with a title I just went with two things that were in the story.

And there's the writing process in action, everyone!

Anyway, title issues aside, "The Dragon and the Bond" was one of my personal favorites from last year, along with Stronger Than the Wind, Stronger Than the Sea, Demeter's Spicebox, July 2013; a combination of science fiction and fairy tale.

And then the three pieces of flash fiction:

What to Expect When You're Expecting Cthulhu, McSweeneys, August 2013, humor, and the only piece this year that I cackled over as I wrote it.

Seaweed, Daily Science Fiction, August 2013, part of the fairy tale series that yes, I do plan to finish one of these days, along with the connecting bits.

A Winter's Love, Goldfish Grimm, December 2013.

And poems:

"Gleaming," Mythic Delirium, Issue 28, April 2013

"Walking Home," Dreams and Nightmares, Issue 95, June 2013

Iron Search, inkscrawl, August 2013

Mountain, Through the Gate, August 2013

The Loss, Strange Horizons, September 2013.

Along with this I also published one or two posts per week over at Tor.com, covering works by Mary Norton, Roald Dahl, Lloyd Alexander, Christopher Moore, and Georgette Heyer. That turned out to be a bit too much, so since the Georgette Heyer reread is over, this is going to drop back down to the usual one post per week plus very occasional extras -- yes, yes, I am looking forward to that upcoming Oz movie -- to let me breathe a little.

Now to see what 2014 brings. If the stars align, it should bring at least three short story publications, two flash fiction pieces, one novella, and one poem so far....but we'll see.
In the spirit of the season, my flash fiction story, "A Winter's Love," just popped up at Goldfish Grimm.

This is a slightly unusual story for me, in that the setting was directly inspired by where I live -- it's basically a magical version of parts of Winter Garden. The attached interview, which is longer than the actual story, explains a bit more.

Enjoy!

The Gifts

Oct. 3rd, 2013 10:00 am
If for some reason you aren't subscribing to Daily Science Fiction (it's free!) and thus missed my little three part story, The Gifts, that went out to subscribers last week, all three parts are now up on the web:

The Gifts, part one

The Gifts, part two

The Gifts, part three

This was not originally intended as a three part story, or even as a story at all. I was working on a poem when something started to nag at me -- a something that turned into part one, which needed a bit more exploration, which turned into part three, and then needed something else, part two: three separate tiny stories that form a larger one.

Having said that, I'm not sure how well the story worked spread out over three days, so I decided to wait until all three parts were up on the web before adding the links here, to give everyone the option of reading the story in one large clump instead of three bits.

In any case, "The Gifts" is loosely based on the fairy tale "The Girl Without Hands," one of the more brutal tales collected by the Grimm brothers, even after they softened it a trifle. I've always wondered about a few things in the story, which helped lead to this.

If you enjoyed it, or even if you didn't enjoy this one, but liked previous DSF stories of mine, I'll just note that another one is coming up in a few months - and that one has a dragon in it. (Because, dragons.) Keep an eye out.
1. I missed this yesterday what with various Other Things, but my little flash story Seaweed is up on the web.

2. Over at Tor.com, the Lloyd Alexander reread finally gets going with Time Cat Warning: a certain black and white cat had Issues With the Book, which I faithfully added to the post.

3. I love rain. Love it. I do not love it when a heavy, dark cloud bursting with rain continues to hover just north, shutting off light and making it all dark and gloomy, raining up there, but not here. Which it's been doing for the past couple of hours or so, leaving it dark and humid without a drop. I'm waiting, heavy rains. I'm waiting.
1. My flash fiction piece, "Seaweed," the next in the series of fairy tale vignettes, was sent out to Daily Science Fiction subscribers today. I'll have more on this next week when it goes up on the web.

2. Meanwhile, over at Tor.com, the Heyer reread continues with April Lady. Not a favorite...but Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle, is coming up next.

3. And over at McSweeney's: What to Expect When You're Expecting Cthulhu. This could not be more unlike the "Seaweed" piece: you've been warned.
Still absolutely zonked and mostly out of it from last week, but wanted to pop up to note that my little ghost story, The Agreement, just popped up at Abyss and Apex.

This story almost became a ghost itself -- I had one of those rare moments where I was seized by the first sentence and typed the whole thing through, saved, and zonked out, planning on returning to the story to check for spelling and that sort of thing the following day...

...only to find the following day that the computer was dead, dead, dead, and that getting things off the HP hard drive was trickier than it sounds. Once I finally managed the trick I shot off the story instantly to Abyss and Apex, and by "instantly" I mean, without a cover letter or the usual stuff that goes along with submissions. Luckily slush editor Camille Alexa forgave me and took the piece anyway, and here it is now, pulsing with pixels, one of my few pieces that remained completely unchanged from first draft to final publication. I didn't even edit while writing.

And now I go zonk out again. Coherency and interesting stuff later.
My two short recent short stories for Daily Science Fiction, Nameless and A Different Rain, are now up at the main Daily Science Fiction site.

Like many of my flash fiction stories, "A Different Rain" was written in a flash of irritation, this time at the very happy and very loud next door neighbor children who appear to believe that play is best interspersed with screaming. I was beginning to feel miserable, and it rained, which initially caused more screams, and then blessed, blessed silence, except for the rain. That did not take too long to write up.

"Nameless" is a bit different. That story initially began as a flash fiction piece, a joke about my inability to name characters. Slowly I realized it was turning into something more. It took me forever to find the end of the story, however; this was a piece that came together in bits and pieces.

"Nameless" is set in the same Stoneverse (my new name for it) as Trickster and In the Pits of Isfhan, although in a different time and place than either. I'm hoping to continue to add tales in this world, bit by bit.

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