Story Sale: Phalium arium ssp. anams

I’m very excited to announce that my flash story “Phalium arium ssp. anams” sold to Cast of Wonders, the excellent YA fiction podcast!

Phalium artwork

I wrote this one after the Viable Paradise reunion in October and must again thank Leigh Wallace/Leigh Five for her excellent illustration, shown here, as well as all who offered feedback on the story when it was done. Your encouragement meant a lot!

One thing quite important to the story of this sale is its main character: I named her after my grandmother-in-law who passed just last week. I will be forever grateful that I read it to her myself. Another character is named for both her husband and my mother’s uncle, both of whom had passed long before I’d written the story. By doing this, I feel as though I had a chance to memorialize two long-lived, deeply loving Irish-American couples in one fell swoop, and I hope that both families smile when they get to listen and read.

I don’t yet know when this one will air, but you bet I’ll make sure you know about it.

And Gram and Grampa Flynn, Aunt Shirley, and Uncle Mike: if you get internet access in heaven, know we love you.

April Writing Round-Up

This month was more than a little crazy. There was a death in the family. I struggled through some tough stretches with my kid. And I got off on the wrong foot with a story that just ate away at me. None of that is good for work ethic. That said, until I got the worst news of the month last week, I was actually on-target for my meager word count goal and had found my footing again. Here’s to getting back on the horse again this week and month!

  • Words Written: 12,297  (YTD: 87,010 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 0 (YTD: 3 | 2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 7 (YTD: 32)
  • Books Read: 1 (YTD: 8 | 2017 Goal: 30)
  • PLUS
    • 7 rejections (1 personal)
    • Revisions to Botanizer have been slow, but I’ve got a pile of interlibrary loan books to get through and it’s my top priority this month.
    • A major source of words this month was a novella I’m writing for the Codex Novella Contest. I’m really loving what I have, but it’s not a full novella yet and I have (checks calendar) two weeks in which to finish it. Time to bite my nails…
    • Days I’ve written this month: 13/30
    • Days written since the inauguration: 60/100
    • Longest streak: 31 days

May is my refocus month. I want the novella and a short story done. And I want to make measurable headway on Botanizer. There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it. We’ll see how it goes…

BUT: Look for more news! And soon!

Story Sale: “The Moon, the Sun, and the Truth”

You may have heard this before because I shouted it from rooftops when I signed the contract, but I have enough details that it deserves a short post. ‘The Moon, the Sun, and the Truth” will appear in Shimmer‘s Issue 38, which releases in July 2017!

I started writing this story in a friend’s hotel room mid-Arisia 2017 as part of the Codex Weekend Warrior flash contest. After comments came through, it was clear the story needed more space. I gave it another pass or two, and it shaped up into something worthy of the badgery-shimmery-goodness of this amazing magazine. It’s roots are lodged in what I saw as a notable moment in journalism, but the story is set in a wilder sort of West than once was.

I could not be more proud or excited! Can’t wait to share it with you this summer!

 

March Writing Round-Up

This month’s round-up is the perfect example of why I need these. I had some big wins early on, but a slow week has gotten me into a funk. So let’s review the month and scare off some brain-weasels, shall we?

 

  • STORY SALE: I will write a whole post for this when I know for sure when it will publish, but I sold “The Moon, The Sun, and the Truth” to Shimmer (yes SHIMMER, #squee) this month! I couldn’t be more proud of this little former-flash future-Western-dystopia that I wrote for the Codex Weekend Warrior flash contest in January. If you were at my Boskone reading in February, you heard it. Expect to see it later this year.
  • Words Written: 17,211  (YTD: 74,713 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 1 novel! #Brains is done and with a few readers! (YTD: 3 | 2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 5 (YTD: 27)
  • Books Read: 0 — but only because I beta-read two novels for friends (YTD: 7 | 2017 Goal: 30)
  • PLUS
    • 2 rejections (both forms) and 1 SALE
    • Of my 7 active submissions, 4 have been bumped from slush/are in editors’ hold piles
    • Did I mention that I finished #Brains? I’m quite happy with the result, draft though it is.
    • My critique for Botanizer was amazing. Revising has been slow–partly because revising is slow and partly because life.
    • Days I’ve written this month: 13/31
    • Days written since the inauguration: 47/69
    • Longest streak: 31 days

Still wanting to get a short written, revised, and submitted by the end of April, but I’ll be tackling a novella mid-Botanizer revisions so…we’ll see?

February Writing Round-Up

Twenty-eight days of work. Twenty-eight days of not taking any downtime for the sake of downtime. This has been a good month.

  • Words Written: 33,543  (YTD: 55,981 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 1 flash piece finished, revised, and submitted! (YTD: 2 | 2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 9 (YTD: 22)
  • Books Read: 4 (YTD: 7* | 2017 Goal: 30) *I think I missed a book in my January report
  • PLUS
    • 7 rejections (1 personal)
    • Attended Bokone 2017 as a panelist and moderator! Best Boskone yet for me!
    • I did take those days and one for prep off of writing, in part because what little down-time I had was given to ELF. But I’m okay with that. That was work, but it wasn’t writing. I’m proud that I got back to it with no hesitation. That’s how it should be.
    • I interviewed author Meg Howrey and the Q&A appeared in Publishers Weekly! I’ve got a few more of these in the work beyond the reviews I’ve been doing for them.
    • Codex Weekend Warrior 2017 wrapped. I wrote 4/5 stories and have revised and subbed 2 of those 4 already this year. Very pleased with the other 3 ideas that came from the contest, and they’re in my queue. I’ll definitely play again next year, and I’m going to shoot for finishing all 5 stories.
    • I’ve entered #PitchMadness! Just a good way to get myself prepped for everything that comes next for Botanizer.
    • Speaking of Botanizer, my critique is next Sunday. #dyingofbrainweasels
    • I ended January with 13k written in #Brains, my jaunty drivel project that has nothing to do with zombies. This month, that MS us up to 45k and counting!
    • Days I’ve written this month: 24/28
    • Days written since the inauguration: 34/38
    • Longest streak: 31 days

A note for March and April: I’ll be moving away from hard-and-fast metrics as I revise. My big goals: 1) Finish #Brains, 2) Revise Botanizer, 3) get a short story written, revised, and submitted.

January Writing Round-Up

It’s been an exhausting month. I can’t even do justice to digesting what’s going on politically. These benchmarks don’t mean a lot in the global sense, but they prove that I’m writing and writing means resisting and that’s something.

  • Words Written: 20,077 (2017 Goal: 200,000+)
  • Works Complete: 1 flash piece finished, revised, and submitted! (2017 Goal: 10)
  • Submissions to Paying Markets: 13
  • Books Read: 2 (2017 Goal: 30)
  • PLUS
    • Attended Arisia 2017 as a panelist and moderated my first-ever panel!
    • 9 rejections (3 personal)
    • Codex Weekend Warrior contest almost finished! For those not in the know: We spend 5 weekends writing a flash story then vote/critique before the next weekend begins. It’s my first year, so there’s been an interesting learning curve. But I’m 1) enjoying myself, 2) producing, and 3) looking forward to doing it again. Of the 4 pieces I’ve written so far, I’ve subbed 1 (see above), need to expand another a little more, and need to expand a third a LOT. The forth is being read this week, so we’ll see!
    • The secret jaunty drivel project known as #Brains is going well. At just under 13k, it’s not as far along as I’d have liked, but HEY it’s progressing and I like it.
    • Days I’ve written this month: 29/31
    • Days written since the inauguration: 11/11
    • Longest streak: 16 days (and counting)

All in all, I’m pretty damn pleased with my progress.

My Boskone 54 Schedule

Sound the trumpets! The Boskone 54 program is out!

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I cannot say enough how much I enjoy this convention every year. It was the very first convention I attended and it spoke to be both in content and in character. They bring in the star-power authors but they also keep local writers at varying career stages in the fold. And this year, I am honored to be included in that number.

If you’re not familiar Boskone is New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention and will be held at the Westin Waterfront on February 17-19, 2017.  It’s going to be a fun weekend filled with discussions of books, film, art, music, gaming, and more. For more information about Boskone by visiting The Boskone Blog, Twitter, and Facebook as well as by going to the Boskone website to register.

As always, there are manifold things to do at any time, but if you’re interested in stopping in to see what I’ve got to say, here’s where I’ll be and when.

(Pocket Program art by Boskone 54 Official Artist Dave Seeley)


Steam’s Rising: A Proliferation of Punks

Friday 14:00 – 15:00, Harbor II (Westin)
We all know and may highly esteem steampunk, but it’s far from the only Victorian-inspired alternate history subgenre on our bookshelves. What about some of those other V-punks out there — dreadpunk, silkpunk, gaslight fantasy, and more … Why so many? Are they really all the same, or are there deeper differences in style, content, and approach? (And is gaslight fantasy actually punky at all?)
James Moore, KT Bryski (M), Victoria Sandbrook, Melanie Meadors 

Katniss, Furiosa, Elsa, and Rey: The New Woman in SF/F Film

Friday 17:00 – 18:00, Harbor III (Westin)
They each made big impressions in big recent genre movies. What do these characters say about the current state of heroic female figures in our cinematic imaginings? What traditions do they uphold or subvert? What promise do they hold for our futures?
Trisha Wooldridge, Vikki Ciaffone, LJ Cohen (M) , Victoria Sandbrook

The Harry Potter Effect

Friday 18:00 – 19:00, Harbor II (Westin)
Twenty years ago, an owl delivered a very special invitation to a boy who lived under the stairs in a small house at 4 Privet Drive. The world has never been the same. Tolkien changed the face of fantasy literature for adults; J.K. Rowling has done the same for children. How has the Harry Potter Effect influenced publishing? What have we learned about fantasy — and ourselves — through Harry’s adventures? Is 20 years of Potterdom enough? Do we need or want more?
20th Anniversary: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorcerer’s) Stone
Emma Caywood, John P. Murphy, Victoria Sandbrook (M), Flourish Klink, Sarah Beth Durst

Writing Stories With Victoria Sandbrook

Saturday 09:00 – 10:00, Galleria – DragonsLair (Westin)
Start a short story — or two! — in this all-ages mini-workshop. Victoria will offer an exercise to get you started, but where you go from there is up to you! Bring your preferred writing implements and paper.
Victoria Sandbrook 

Getting Ready for a Workshop

Saturday 11:00 – 12:00, Harbor I – Discussion Group (Westin)
What you should consider, how you should prepare, and what they can and can’t do for you when you attend a writer’s workshop.
Victoria Sandbrook

Reading by Victoria Sandbrook

Sunday 09:30 – 10:00, Independence (Westin)
Victoria Sandbrook

Contracts and Talking Terms

Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, Burroughs (Westin)
Literary contracts can be tricky to navigate. We’ll reveal what’s behind those mysterious clauses and terms hidden in plain sight. When is a deal too good to pass up — or too good to be true? Discover what’s okay to publish, learn to avoid legal landmines, and ask questions about what you most want to know.
Joshua Bilmes, Victoria Sandbrook, Kenneth Schneyer, E. C. Ambrose (M), Michael Stearns