A lot of hijinks have gone on since I last made a non-show notes post. Here’s a quick recap of some of my activities on and offline.
First off, I’ve been writing again. I’ve finally finished a solid draft of my cyberpunk/horror story and it is off in the queue at Critters.org, the online speculative fiction writers workshop.
I’m looking forward to the critiques on that, as I hope to enter it into the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) Amateur Writing Competition! It’s got a nice cash prize and the award is actually handed out at our own Capclave! Right alongside our own WSFA Small Press Award, for which I am woefully behind on my committee readings/judgings (don’t worry, I’ll power through it in time).
Speaking of Capclave, don’t forget to buy your tickets for this Fall! George R. R. Martin is our Guest of Honor, but even without his magnificense, I would expect Capclave to continue to be an awesome reader/writer-focused weekend.
Speaking of cons more soon to come…Balticon is coming up in May and I am prepared with my tickets and buddies to room with. It’s my first non-Capclave con and I’m super excited about it! Joe Haldeman is the Guest of Honor, so I guess I’d better get working on The Forever War before I attend…
Back to writing. I’ve got a super short story submitted to Pseudopod’s 500 words or less competition. The top winners will get purchased and read by Psuedopod proper! It’s too late to submit your own work, but now you can help judge, voting on each block of 10 stories as they come out every 2 days. We’ve been organizing little reading parties where I read them out and we all…enjoy the quality writing. Occasionally there is a gem in there. I’m pretty proud of my story, so I’m bracing myself for when the forum folk rip it to shreds!
As I mentioned in the podcast for this month, Amazing Stories is back from the dead. First published in 1926, the magazine has returned as a fiction/blog hybrid. Now I haven’t broken into the fiction markets myself, but I do blog a bit, and Steve Davidson, the editor in chief, has agreed to syndicate my podcast over there.
You can check it all out here:
The website is just coming online for the first time, so there might be a little construction dust, but that should settle soon. My content will be posted over the rest of January.
After the break, you can read the full press release:
Not much new to say at this point. Another win (under the forum username “loyaleagle”)!
If you read my blog semi-regularly, you’ve seen my braggy articles about The Drabblecast’s weekly twabble (100 characters exactly, not counting spaces) competitions. If not, click the “Publication” tag for previous winning-twabble bragposts.
Here’s the story, for your “visual” enjoyment:
“I could feel her eyes on the back of my neck. Then I turned around and her green eyestalks adjusted, pushing into my chest.”
I titled the twabble “When You Find Your True Love…” because I had the song “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific stuck in my head. You know, eyes on the back of your neck…your love across a crowded room…anyway…
Many thanks to Norm over at The Drabblecast for continuously picking my entries. They are a great way to keep my creative juices flowing without sucking valuable time from grad school. I encourage everybody to try to craft their own weird twabble over at the appropriate Drabblecast forum thread.
[Episode art by Jacob Wayne Bryner]
A couple exciting updates:
Briefly, I’m writing fiction a little more steadily over the last couple days. I’ve had a story in the works (in my brain) for a little while, but now I have finally sat down and begun writing. Better than that, I have a pretty good feeling about what’s come out so far…about 1500 words. Here’s to finishing it…
More concrete and more exciting, my friend Charity has given me permission to feature one of her stories on Synthetic Voices. She published her story, called “Trees,” previously in an ezine that has since disappeared. When I find the time, I’ll record it for the podcast.
Incidentally, I encountered “Trees” while doing crits for Critters.org. I knew Charity, but had no idea that it was her story or that it was subsequently published!
I got some exciting news last night! Norm Sherman over at The Drabblecast asked if he could use a 100 word story (aka, a “drabble”) on this week’s show. It seems my little bit of flash fiction fit nicely with the other featured story’s theme. Norm did a great job reading it too. Check out both my drabble and the doppleganger-centered main fiction on this week’s episode (#243, timecode 00:27)!
While flash fiction doesn’t usually mean much in the wider world of fiction, this is a pretty big step for me personally. I’ve had several of my pieces chosen for The Drabblecast‘s 100 character “Twabble” competition, but this time I’ve graduated to a full-length Drabble. I write longer pieces as well and send them out to the various publication markets, but so for no luck. These little achievements help me keep motivated as I try to break into longer fiction formats.
For those with no ears, here’s a text copy of story:
“The Swap Last Fall”
by James Rogers
Do you remember that huge storm we had here last fall? Most people were huddled up in their homes, but Phil and I were drunk and wading about in the town fountain like idiots. Some kind of man vs. nature crap, I guess.
I don’t think either of us saw the lightning bolt strike, but I still remember how it crackled between my fingertips.
When I woke up, I was in Phil’s body and I think Phil was in mine. He was also dead. I’ve never told anyone about this before, not even my wife — certainly not Phil’s wife.
[Cover art by Richard K. Green]