Curse of Beauty Coming Your Way

I really didn’t expect to be sharing a new publication so soon after having two horror shorts published, but here we go!

I just sent off the contract to Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. They’re going to be publishing my fantasy short story, “Curse of Beauty”, in the next issue on their website! It should be going up around May 1st, to be included in Issue #28, so in just a couple of weeks. Note that this will be a free read, so anybody can drop by and read it once it’s live. 😉

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly - About Us

This story has had a long road to get to this point. I’ve been trying to find a home for it since 2011 and have had over 20 rejections on it. Sometimes I wondered if it was worth shopping around, but this is a business where it’s good to be persistent. Like I’ve said before, my writing can be difficult to pin down, which means finding the right niche for it is difficult.

I’ve actually had a couple of older, hard-to-place pieces picked up lately. “A Slippery Customer” was another one. That one too had been homeless since 2011 and had 16 rejections, and the anthology crawled all the way up to #3 in Amazon’s horror anthology listing.

I guess the lesson of this story is not to give up. Take a fresh read of your story now and then, because you do get better as a writer over time, but don’t let yourself get discouraged. Keep sending them out. Eventually you’ll find the awesome editor for your piece. The numbers I’ve listed here are pretty typical in placing your writing. These are just short stories I’m talking about too, not even novels. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of submitting longer pieces to publishers. (I think I’m still scorched from Hodderscape’s open window from last August.)

Anyway come May 1st I’ll be sending out all the links I can, and hopefully you’ll understand why I’m so proud of this baby. I hope you’ll read and share as well!

A Fitting Finale

It sure does feel good to get a story completed. Sure, it’s a short story, not a novel-length piece or anything, but it’s a nice feeling. Especially when you get it completed on your self-imposed deadline.

Despite becoming an aunt this month and spending far too much time at the hospital. Despite getting sick this last week unexpectedly. Despite a thousand other roadblocks that tried to get in my way, I still finished it. *Throws confetti!*

Of course, I did write a wee bit over the limit. Um… something like 1,000+ words over the limit. This is going to require some serious editing skills when I go through, but that’s okay! That’s something to worry about tomorrow, am I right?

This is a time for celebratory brownies. 🙂

Oh and the title of this piece is still kind of up in the air. I’ll probably figure it out for certain as I go through the edits.

Title: The Scorn of a Sorceress
Deadline: June 1st – DEADLINE MET!
Deadline for Contest: June 30th
Contest Link: 2014 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award
New words written:
5/31 – 1,107
Present total word count: 9,139 (Oops! For the record, the limit is 8,000 words.)

Thing accomplished in fiction: A finale fitting the love of a fierce mercenary and an evil sorceress.

Next up: Edits, edits, edits. Though this story will need to cool for a bit so I can look at it fresh. I didn’t know precisely what direction it was going when I first started writing, so the cutting room will likely be a bloody mess by the time I’m done. It’s a good think I don’t have a weak heart.

Commentary: Now if you’ll excuse me, there are some brownies demanding my attention.

Subplots Galore

More progress! Hmm I seem to have written over the word count limit. At least I’m in the final scene though!

Guess I’ll have to cut out some of the subplots that sprang up throughout the story. From what I hear, that’s a normal problem when you go from writing on novels -> short stories. You just get so used to dropping in subplots and whatnot to give more character depth. In short stories though you have to have limited space. You have to balance a detailed environment, character depth, and plot development. I’ll have to comb back through it with a chainsaw once I’m finally done.

Title: The Scorn of a Sorceress
Deadline: June 1st – gives a month for edits/review
Deadline for Contest: June 30th
Contest Link: 2014 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award
New words written:
5/24 – 1,183
5/25 – 1,100
Present total word count: 8,032 (Oops! For the record, the limit is 8,000 words.)

Thing accomplished in fiction: Gruesome battles, lots of blood, and a disturbing revelation. It is fantasy adventure after all, right? 🙂

Next up: Salma has to make a difficult decision. She’ll have to listen to her head and her heart more than her fighting instincts to win.

Commentary: Really glad to see this story is wrapping up nicely, and I don’t think it’ll be too difficult to cut out what I need to in order to get it down to size.

Black-Feathered Wings

It’s been a little while, so time for an update!

Title: The Scorn of a Sorceress
Deadline: June 1st – gives a month for edits/review
Deadline for Contest: June 30th
New words written:
5/11 – 1,256 (Good!)
5/15 – 560 (Meh…)
5/17 – 973 (Better!)
5/18 – 1,244 (Good!)
Present total word count: 5,749



Thing accomplished in fiction: Attacks from the land and from the air, difficult confessions, and a bit of strategy.

Next up: To sneak or not to sneak? That is the question. Also moats, gators, and of course more birds.

Commentary: This piece is coming along quite well, and it should be under the word count requirement as well which makes me happy. I should have it finished by the deadline and then I’ll start with edits.

The Reluctant Negotiator

I’m working on a new short story, one that I hope to submit to 2014 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award which gives me a workable deadline to have it finished. It’s a nice break from my current WIP and gives me a bit of breathing time after stressing out over The Writer’s Voice competition last week. Check out the results! Some really incredible stories got picked up.

Here’s today’s progress on my sword and sorcery short story about Salma, a fierce mercenary, who gets dragged into being a negotiator all because she sorta-kinda might have had a relationship with the evil sorceress years ago. Together with a sly thief and a warrior who’s painted up for battle, she’ll try her best to save the Queen’s grandson. She’s also hoping the evil sorceress isn’t still bitter about their breakup.

Title: The Scorn of a Sorceress
Deadline: June 1st – gives a month for edits/review
Deadline for Contest: June 30th
New words written: 1,138
Present total word count: 1,716

Thing accomplished in fiction: Rewrote Salma’s meeting with Nadim, the thief. Had a one-sided meeting with the Queen. Got assigned the job of negotiator despite Salma’s lack of experience.

Next up: Ominous swampland and an old monastery. What better place to make friends with your new travel partners?

Commentary: I’m going super-slow with this piece to make every word count. I’ll probably need to beef up the details down the road, but for now I’m keeping elaborate descriptions to a minimum. Started this piece last week when I first heard about the contest. Fantasy Adventure – how could I pass that up?