Dark Daughter is up!

Two years ago, I made the following entry on this blog:

Today, I started a short story. I wrote:

My daughter stalks me through amber chambers shaped from the secretions of our ancestors.

And promptly stalled out.

Funny, that. It seemed like such a cool and well-put-together story while I was nursing the baby at 4 am this morning…

Well, happily, I did figure out what happened next and that story–named Dark Daughter–is now up at Flash Me Magazine. Enjoy!

(Yes, I am back from vacation! Had a lovely time in Maine; pictures forthcoming.)

first sale of the year

I got the acceptance right before leaving for vacation, so the announcement is a little belated.

My humorous fantasy short, A Plague of Chicken, was accepted by MindFlights. I wrote it a few years, recently read it and still liked it, spruced it up and sent it on its merry way. I’m very pleased for it to have found a home.

Soulsong

Soulsong, featuring the bard Elinor, is now up at Mindflights! Read it here.

This is my second published Elinor story (here’s a link to the first one, for those interested). Elinor and I go back a long way. In her first incarnation, she was my twin-sword-wielding, monster-bashing bard in the Hellfire expansion of Diablo. Diablo was my very first RPG, which my now-husband introduced me to in college. Alas, Elinor’s electronic existence was subjected to the whims of D’s roommate on whose computer a bunch of us played the game. When F decided to clean up his hard drive, Elinor got deleted in the housekeeping frenzy. Too heartbroken to resurrect her as a game character, I promised that someday she would get her very own story.

At this point, a series of her very own stories. *grin*

I have the first draft of a third Elinor story written, and a fourth nibbling away at the edges of my mind. Also the laughable first chapters of the Elinor novel that I started and abandoned nearly six years ago. I hope those never see the light of day (they’re really that bad and I keep them around to keep me humble), but expect to see Elinor make her appearance in some other shorts!

Neverlands and Otherwheres

Neverlands and Otherwheres is out!

A note about my story Second Sight: This is the most autobiographical of all my stories. The Skeleton Man and Kaloo Baba are bogeys from my childhood (my little bro and cousin might recognize the latter!), and I actually lived next door to the Unpainted House. As for the rest, well, read the story and decide for yourself where the line between fantasy and reality is.

(Yes, I’m being purposefully enigmatic.)

of knights and dragons

First off, I read today that Terry Pratchett (author of the Discworld series) has been knighted. I’ve been following Pratchett ever since I read Reaperman when I was 14 (and yes, that was more than a decade ago!). He never fails to amuse, delight and surprise me. He’s also one of the wittiest and most intelligent writers I’ve ever had the privilege of reading. I’m so pleased for him.

And now, courtesy of D., in a similar vein, here are…. edible dragons.

(And now I have cravings for cake.)

On an unrelated note, I thought I’d mention that my first submission of 2009 happened a couple days ago (see, I’m not slacking!) and I received a proof of Soulsong to look over. Not a bad start to the year.

i’m doing it for love. really.

I know that writing fiction does not generate much income. I know that most novelists do not support themselves on their royalties and advances.  Then I read articles like this one and I really know it.

It’s not the lack of money more than it is the lack of readership that bothers me. My husband says that it’s a pride thing instead of an avarice thing for me. Darn right. If I’m spending all this time crafting and polishing my stories, I’d like to have lots of readers, please. Preferably tens of thousands of them.

That said, I got a thousand words on the last story of this month. So, despite my pessimism, I’m still planning on inflicting my work on the unsuspecting populace. Oh, and ALSO, I got my contributor copy of Neverlands and Otherwheres which includes my story Second Sight (written as R. A. Gale). I got a real kick out of watching my husband read my story in its published form. Hee.

state of the industry roundup

Wow, a lot have posts about the state of the publishing industry have been hitting my Google Reader recently.

Agent Jennifer Jackson has a rundown of which houses are announcing layoffs.

Agent Kristin Nelson expresses confusion over HMH’s “acquisition freeze“.

Susan Wise Bauer, co-author of the classical homeschooling bible, The Well-Trained Mind, is on the verge of a nervous breakdown (her diagnosis, not mine!) over how all of this is affecting the latest edition of that book.

On the plus side, Amazon announced their 2009 Breakthrough  Novel Award for unpublished novels. Contest opens February 2009.

On a personal level, I came back from Thanksgiving to the good news of a check in the mail from the sale of a short earlier this year. This was especially nice because this month I received two “good, but not quite there, send more” rejections for the one story I’m currently shopping around. Back to Ralan and Duotrope, I guess.

buy a book, save the world

Or at least the part of it that publishes books.

An editorial assistant explains why October was such a terrible month for publishers.

Personally, I’ve never understood why books are returnable in the first place. Shouldn’t bookstores take on more risk? Do grocery stores return unsold cans of spam and jars of molasses and rolls of toilet paper? Do department stores send the no-longer-in-fashion clothing back to the manufacturer? Is it only the book business that has such an odd standard?

Regardless, books are cool and fun and make great gifts. Go forth and buy some, especially fantasy with romantic subplots in order to create more demand for the kind of books that I like to write. :D

news, news!

I am typing this one-handed as I hold a cute snuggly sleeping baby. Yes, folks, the new little guy is here and home from the hospital. He’s a big little fellow–2 pounds heavier than his sibs at their births–but cute as a, um, very cute button. I am very happy to have him here, but I expect things to be crazy and unsettled and sleep-deprived for a bit. My blog posts might be weird for a while, so bear with me, please!

In other exciting news, my short story Out of Shape is up in issue 13 of OG’s Speculative Fiction. That was a nice little postpartum gift. I would love to hear any comments you may have about it!

Celebrate

Today is LAUNCH DAY of my brand-spankin’-new website. This means that I have now put the URL in my email sig line, informed friends over at LJ and Facebook of this site’s existence, and put “World’s Greatest Writer Found Here” in my meta tags. Now I just need to get out of the way of the stampeding herd, right?

Kidding aside, I have a couple things to share with all you lovely people to celebrate my moving into my virtual home. First off, I put together an e-book of short stories for you to enjoy. Here Comes the Bride was my first published short story (way back in 2003) and I will always have a soft spot for it. The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, an experiment in present tense and fractured fairy tales, is making its public debut. I love feedback, so feel free to leave some.

Second, two of my stories were accepted for publication in rapid succession in June (pause for happy dancing). Details forthcoming as soon as I know them.

Thanks for stopping by!