The Cavern: Now a Podcast

About this time last year (21 Dec, 2012 to be exact) my first published short story, The Cavern, came out on Every Day Fiction. This winter-solstice-themed tale is now available as a podcast for your listening pleasure. Thanks to the narrator and EDF podcast manager Folly Blaine for her excellent reading, which you can listen to here. Enjoy.

It’s interesting to have my first story come out in another medium almost exactly one year later. It gives me a reason to compare where I am now to where I was then. My only publication (outside of writers’ forums) prior to The Cavern was the first chapter or two of Dosterra. I’ve had a few other short stories published since (and a few written, but still homeless). I’ve put Dosterra on hold while I work on a completely different novel. Continue reading

A Swirl of Chocolate Published

My latest flash fiction, A Swirl of Chocolate, is now available for reading on 365 tomorrows. This story is a quick little take on the twists and turns of time. Time travel is impossible…or is it? Have a read and, if you feel so inclined, let me know what you think.

I mentioned 365 tomorrows in a previous post on the pros and cons of different places where I’ve tried to publish. Now that I’ve completed the process with them, my opinion hasn’t changed all that much. The biggest pro this site has to offer is the variety of stories they are willing to publish. If you have a piece of flash fiction (<600 words) and aren’t sure what to do with it, they might be worth a try.

However, the biggest con is communication. For me that’s a big one and will likely prevent me from trying these guys again. I had to contact them through twitter to ask about a publishing date. They told me that informing authors when they were expected to be published was too costly.

I find this hard to believe–I mean really, we all have email accounts (and I would have settled for a tweet). I’m only asking for one line: ‘you’re projected publishing date is X.’ Everyone else I’ve worked with seems to manage it so I’m not sure why these guys think they can’t. Anyway, regardless of the cost, I consider open communication to be necessary in any business transaction. In the end, they didn’t even tell me that my story was published today. I only know because I checked the site.

Something else to consider is that they don’t include author bios with their stories. Not that this is a must, but bios give the author a place to tell anyone who likes there story where to find more of their work. Though I’m not a huge fan of writing bios I’ve come to appreciate their benefit.

All that said, it’s nice to have another story out there. I’m happy to add this experience to my repertoire.

More Ezine Reviews – A Lesson in Patience Part Two

As promised, here are some pros and cons for three more ezines where I have submitted work. Hope some of this info is helpful to other aspiring writers out there (first three reviews here):

Every Day Fiction:

This was the first site I submitted a short story to. And yes I just ended a sentence in a preposition. It’s allow these days. EDF publishes a new flash fiction piece every day with a 1000 word limit, which can be good or bad depending on your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I personally found keeping my story under 1000 words to be a challenge, which was actually part of my motivation for submitting to this site. Any genre goes as long as it is fiction — non-sci-fi writers take note. See their submission guidelines for more detail.

The biggest draw back I found with these guys was the turnaround time. They were averaging an 80 day response time when I submitted about a month before Christmas. I managed to get around this by responding to their special submission request for holiday-themed stories, but it certainly came down to the wire when they requested some last-minute edits. On the up side, they have an author admin page (that they actually keep updated) so authors can see that their submission is moving through the selection process.

This brings me to the biggest pro of this site. They actually give fairly detailed feedback (perhaps why the turnaround is so slow??) which I think is awesome and very helpful to new writers. I did however find myself drawing a line in the sand when they wanted be to water down my ending from the implication of sex (not even an actual sex scene) to ‘perhaps a simple kiss’.

I wasn’t trying to be stubborn or ‘protect the integrity of my art’, but looking at it as a business transaction, I felt that less remuneration equaled less input. They only pay a token $3; this is a get-your-work-out-there option. So, I agreed to some grammatical and minor stylistic changes — and appreciated/learn from some of the points they made — but refused to change the ending. I figured if they then decided not to publish my story I could live with that. They accepted the story anyway.

Conclusion: a great option for newbies and I’m glad I gave them a go, but I doubt I’ll be back.

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine

These guys recently rejected one of my stories, but I recommend giving them a try. The pay is higher than token, 1.25 cents per word up to $20, and their response time is good, a couple of weeks. They have excellent — and humourous — submission guidelines, including an awesome article on common writer’s mistakes, A Comprehensive and Totally Universal Listing of Every Problem a Story Has Ever Had, which I strongly recommend it to any writer of any genre.

These guys are on the to-try-again-list.

365 tomorrows:

My most recent acceptance, A Swirl of Chocolate, will be published on this site. They don’t pay, but since they are only looking for flash of 600 words or less I decided they were worth a try, and could at least offer some visibility. The submission guidelines don’t tell much, but from reading some of the stories published on the site, they are fairly flexible aside from the word limit.

Their response time is slow, and communication is lacking. Unlike every other acceptance I’ve had, which included a back and forth regarding publishing dates, copyrights etc, these guys sent me my acceptance notice via a no-reply email — weird. I’ve resorted to communicating with them through twitter.

Since this one is still in the works, I can’t say whether I’ll submit to them again. The communication thing is annoying, but on the other hand they are a good option for extra-short flash fiction that may not find a home elsewhere.

That’s all for now. As I test the publishing waters in other places I’ll share my thoughts.

Accepted by 365 tomorrows

Yesterday was a pretty good day for me as a wannabe author. Aside from Dosterra, my learn-to-write-a-novel project, I also continue to write short stories. Having somewhere else to put my focus when I’m not sure what to write next for Dosterra helps to keep my creative juices flowing and prevent me from feeling too daunted by a project that is many months from completion.

Yesterday, about 3 1/2 months after its initial acceptance, I got the pleasure of seeing Mabel’s Mission appear on Mad Scientist Journal. Working with MSJ has been great, probably my most positive experience in publishing so far–even though they rejected one of the three works I sent them. I guess two outta three ain’t bad 😉

I also received another acceptance, this one from the flash-fiction site 365 tomorrows. This site posts a new flash fiction story on their site every day, and they will be publishing my flash piece A Swirl of Chocolate at some point in the hopefully-not-too-distant future, date TBD. Communication with 365 tomorrows hasn’t been quite as smooth as MSJ, but another acceptance always makes me smile.

In my next post I plan on sharing some of the ups and downs of online publishing that I’ve encountered so far, which will hopefully be of value to those of you taking part in the process. For today though, I’m just going to enjoy the validation of having another story chosen for publication.

Sociopaths with Human Pets

In my never-ending search of science fiction sites to fuel both my reading and writing, I’ve come across 365 tomorrows. This site posts flash science fiction daily (by their definition, flash being 600 words or less). Sci-fi writers take note, they have staff writers but also take submissions.

Today’s story, A. I. of the Beholder by Duncan Shields, is a melancholy account of — as I’m sure you can tell from the title — the consequences of letting A.I. take over. Somewhat channeling Asimov, Shields manages to avoid the cliché of the angry A.I. rebellion. What about the consequences of no emotion at all? If you have a few minutes to spare, check it out.

And, Happy New Year everyone.

The Cavern now published on Every Day Fiction

Hello everyone,

Back in early November I responded to a prompt from the daily flash fiction site Every Day Fiction looking for holiday themed stories. I sat down for and afternoon and came up with The Cavern a winter solstice themed story that is available for free starting today on their website. It’s a quick and easy read. Check it out and don’t be afraid to leave comments/ratings.

Happy Winter Solstice!

Assuming the World Doesn’t End…

Just a quick reminder that one week from today my flash fiction story The Cavern will be published by Every Day Fiction for the Winter Solstice…assuming the world doesn’t end of course.

For anyone unfamiliar with Every Day Fiction, they are a website that publishes flash fiction stories (<1000 words) daily. They cover just about every genre and the stories are available free on the website (you can also subscribe to receive the stories via email) . It’s a great site to add to your favorites for a diversion that won’t chew up too much of your precious free time.

If you don’t feel like adding them to your favorites, I’d still appreciate it if you dropped by to read my story on Dec 21st. 😀