B is for Brainstorming

TesseractThings are progressing very well behind the scenes of A is for Apocalypse. I’m aiming for an autumn release so be sure nothing gets rushed and it’s all as awesome as it possibly can be (and trust me guys, these stories are awesome). The thing is, A is for Apocalypse is meant to be the first of a series of anthologies… and I really need to sort out what the theme of the second anthology is going to be so the contributors will have lots of time to write their stories.

I can’t decide what B is for.

It’s driving me a bit bonkers and it’s threatening to take over my life. Truly. Jo, Dani and I will be going about our day and just randomly go, “B is for balloon?”. I really need to pick and idea and go with it, but I’d like your help.

What do you think B should be for?

It has to be a theme you’d actually want to read stories from that is wide enough to accommodate 26 stories from very different writers, all tackling it with a different letter in mind. It also has to be just one word.

My current short list (which changes daily hourly) is:

  • Bounty
  • Balance
  • Broken
  • Braaains

What do you think about those words/themes? Any great suggestions I’m missing? What would you prefer B stand for as a writer? What about as a reader?

I will add my favourite suggestions to that list, so check back to see how it evolves and offer more feedback. I really want to know what you’re thinking about this, it will help me make a decision.

A word about bestiary: So… B is for Bestiary seems like a match made in heaven right? I love it. The problem is… just between you and I, I’m 99.9% sure that C is for Chimera. It seems to me like the potential for overlap/too much similarity between bestiary and chimera is high enough that it’s not a good idea for two books who will be back to back in the series. So that’s why bestiary isn’t really an option. I know, it seems like such a great choice, but I’ve thought about this one pretty hard.

Update: ‘Broken’ is getting a lot of love right now. Some of my favourite suggestions I’ve received include ‘Ballet’, ‘Battle’, ‘Bugs’, ‘Blood’, ‘Burning’, ‘Bell’, ‘Blasphemy’, ‘Beginnings’ and ‘Biohazard’.

Sale: Corvidae and Scarecrow

Vector raven or crow in grunge styleI am incredibly excited to announce that Fae has officially become the first in a series of anthologies I will be editing for World Weaver Press!

Though submissions are not yet open for our next titles we announce their existence this afternoon on WWP’s month #SFFlunch chat on Twitter so I’m able to share the news with you.

Corvidae and Scarecrow will be the second and third titles I will be editing for WWP (and there may be more in the future, wait and see!)

Corvidae is going to be dedicated to stories about corvids, all kinds of corvids. Crows, ravens, magpies, bluejays, nutcrackers, treepies, choughs… you name ’em, I want to see ’em. I’m looking for fantasy stories (horror is okay as long as it’s not gratuitous) that span the spectrum of light to dark.

Scarecrow is going to be all about scarecrows. Having seen them in everything from The Wizard of Oz to Doctor Who I’ve developed quite a taste for the range of ways scarecrows have been portrayed in the past and want to explore even more new and exciting ones in this anthology. Again I’ll be looking for stories that cover a large spectrum in terms of mood.

Scarecrow and Corvidae are meant to be companion anthologies, in conversation with one another. One of the ways to make my job easier in that regard (and I’m always looking for ways to make my job easier) will be to have overlap between the authors included in the two anthologies. With that in mind I am encouraging people to submit to both anthologies. Not the same story, you understand, but if you happen to have a great idea for a corvid story and an incredible scarecrow story I would very much like to see them both. Also, before someone asks, it is not required to submit to both and submitting to only one will not hurt your chances of acceptance.

Submissions won’t open until July but I was too excited to keep this to myself any longer, and I figured the sooner I shared it the sooner people could start brainstorming stories for these two books.

Also? Can I just say “OMG YAY!”

🙂

Halloween falls...

 

[Call for Submissions] Corvidae

Magpie[Call for Submissions] Corvidae

 

Anthologist: Rhonda Parrish
Publisher: World Weaver Press

Corvidae are the family of birds which include such iconic species as crows, ravens, magpies, rooks and nutcrackers. They are known for their high intelligence (they use tools and recognize themselves in mirrors!) and appear in fiction and mythology all through the ages and in a great many different cultures as well.

Corvids are seen as mystical creatures, known to be companions to both Odin and Apollo, believed by the Haida to have created the earth and credited (in the form of Raven the Trickster) for stealing fire and bringing it to earth, but they are also associated with death, disease and madness. According to legend, the Kingdom of England will fall if the ravens leave the Tower of London and so are a kind of good luck charm, but they are also associated with battle and war through their connection with The Morrigan and Badb from Irish mythology. Such paradoxical creatures, it’s easy to be fascinated by them, and a great many of us are.

We are looking for fantasy and well-written horror stories (nothing gratuitously gory or violent) of up to 7,500 words long.

Corvidae will be published alongside a companion anthology, Scarecrow. We intend for the two books to be in conversation with one another and so would like some overlap between the authors included in each title. Thus we encourage writers to submit to both anthologies. Please do not submit the same story to both books (if the anthologist believes a story is more appropriate for one than the other she will let you know).

Rights and compensation: Payment: $10 and a paperback copy of the anthology from World Weaver Press. We are looking for previously unpublished works in English. Seeking first world rights in English and exclusive right to publish in print and electronic format for six months after publication date, after which publisher retains nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.

Open submission period: July 1, 2014 – October 31, 2014

Length: Under 7,500 words

Submission method: Email story as a .doc or .rtf attachment to fae [at] worldweaverpress [dot] com. Subject line: Corvidae Submission: TITLE

Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.

About the anthologist: Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming World Weaver Press anthology Fae. 

In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Mythic Delirium.

Her website, updated weekly, is at rhondaparrish.com.

Updates

June 30, 2014 – New blog post about What I’m Looking For

[Call For Submissions] Scarecrow

Scarecrow[Call For Submissions] Scarecrow

 

Anthologist: Rhonda Parrish
Publisher: World Weaver Press

Scarecrows have been portrayed as everything from empty-headed geniuses to malevolent demons. They’ve appeared in literature and mythology, from as far back as ancient Japan where Kuebiko, the god of agriculture is represented as a wise scarecrow who cannot walk, to more modern representations in Doctor Who. They are supervillains and storybook heroes, hapless and powerful. Wonderfully paradoxical creatures, much like the birds they are (in their most practical forms) meant to scare away. It is no wonder they capture our imaginations the way they do. It’s time the world had an anthology filled with scarecrow stories.

I will be looking for fresh twists on these ancient characters, exotic locations (both real and imagined), three-dimensional characters, and engaging voices.

Scarecrow will be an anthology of well-written fantasy and horror stories (nothing gratuitously gory or violent) of up to 7,500 words long.

Note: I feel somewhat bad using this particular picture alongside this blog because I’m not only looking for dark stories. In fact, though I definitely want some stories on the dark side of the spectrum I will be sad and disappointed if I don’t receive lighter pieces as well.

Scarecrow will be published alongside a companion anthology, Corvidae. We intend for the two books to be in conversation with one another and so would like some overlap between the authors included in each title. Thus we encourage writers to submit to both anthologies. Please do not submit the same story to both books (if the anthologist believes a story is more appropriate for one than the other she will let you know).

Rights and compensation: Payment: $10 and a paperback copy of the anthology from World Weaver Press. We are looking for previously unpublished works in English. Seeking first world rights in English and exclusive right to publish in print and electronic format for six months after publication date, after which publisher retains nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.

Open submission period: July 1, 2014 – October 31, 2014

Length: Under 7,500 words

Submission method: Email story as a .doc or .rtf attachment to fae [at] worldweaverpress [dot] com. Subject line: Scarecrow Submission: TITLE

Simultaneous submissions = okay. Multiple submissions = no.

About the anthologist: Rhonda Parrish is driven by a desire to do All The Things. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming World Weaver Press anthology Fae. 

In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Mythic Delirium.

Her website, updated weekly, is at rhondaparrish.com.

Updates

June 30, 2014 – New blog post about What I’m Looking For

Photograph copyright Rhonda Parrish

Unaccepted?

Photograph copyright Rhonda ParrishI chose that image to go with this post because to me it feels cold and rather desolate. I think that’s as good a way as any to visualise disappointment, which is what this is all about.

Disappointment.

Disappointment is buying a paperback copy of a gorgeous anthology you believe contains one of your stories, tearing open the package and turning the book over to look at the back cover, where all the contributors names are listed and not finding your own. Disappointment is opening the book and running trembling fingers down the table of contents, scanning for your name, the name of your story and finding nothing. Which is precisely what happened to me a couple weeks ago.

Disappointment sucks. It sucks so much that I decided I needed to take a step back before I blogged about it, because I didn’t want this to turn into a rant or some such thing. I’m not sure what the point of it is, actually, except perhaps catharsis.

A couple years ago one of my stories was accepted for inclusion in the aforementioned anthology. Full disclosure: I never signed a contract. As it was a non-paying market I wasn’t completely surprised by that, lots of small markets (especially ones who don’t pay) don’t seem to have contracts. Anyway, I digress.

I assumed, weirdly enough, that my story, which was accepted to the anthology, was included in the anthology. I blogged about the publication, I added it to my list of Publications on my website and I, eventually, picked up a copy of the book to add it to my ego shelf.

So, not only was my story not included, but I spent money to find that out. Not loads of money, but that’s hardly the point, is it?

Now, to be fair, the story that was accepted isn’t my finest. In fact, if it hadn’t made it into that anthology it would have been trunked, but since it was accepted into the anthology… *sigh*

Anyway. I wouldn’t have been super disappointed if the editors had dropped me an email to say ‘Hey, sorry but we’re not going to include this story after all.’ But they didn’t.

I don’t know if my story being left out was an oversight (the production didn’t seem super organised) or intentional, but either way? It fucking sucks.

All it would have taken was an email, ya know?

Anyway, since it wasn’t actually accepted elsewhere and because I’m feeling particularly… somethingy (defiant, maybe?) today, here’s the story that got unaccepted to an anthology:

Continue reading

Every Day Poets Logo

Published: Hereditary Delusions

Every Day Poets Logo

This Sunday’s prompt is a first line: “When the dust settled, a man stood there, clothed in white.”

I used the prompt right there (supplied by Beth Cato to NaNoLJers) to write a poem entitled Hereditary Delusions which was published today at Every Day Poets. As you’ll see when you read it, I didn’t use that exact line and I didn’t use it to start the poem but it inspired it nevertheless. Sometimes when I post story prompts and such at NaNoLJers people email me and say ‘Can I just change this–‘ Dude, they are just story prompts. They aren’t meant to feel restrictive, exactly the opposite, in fact. I think it’s important to know that it’s okay to bend the rules sometimes*–especially when it comes to finding inspiration.

…anyway, I’ve totally gotten off the point of this post which was that Hereditary Delusions is up and available online for you to read for free, so please take a peek and let me know what you think 🙂

*Those times never include when it comes to following submission guidelines though LOL

What IS this thing?

When I’m working with other people’s writing I run into some of the weirdest formatting you’ve ever seen. Everyone has their own way of doing things and sometimes, even though a dozen stories may look the same on the page as you’re reading them, as soon as it’s time to start formatting and I click the little ‘Show/Hide Paragraph Marks and other Hidden Formatting Symbols’ button (which looks like this for those of you who’ve never heard of it – ShowThingys) things get crazy.

I’ve seen a lot of weird things. A lot of stories which look elegantly formatted, until you look under the hood by pressing that ‘Show/Hide’ button and find just a mess of weird mark-up.

But whatever, it’s all stuff that I can work with or around, this isn’t meant to be a rant. I have an honest to goodness question for those of you who also do this sort of thing. What do the little circles in between words stand for? Where do they come from? How are they different from spaces?

Here is an example I created by changing the text in a submission I received without changing the formatting:

what-the

What’s with the circles? Anyone know? LOL

ETA: I’ve been told (on Facebook, LJ and my blog) “A degree symbol ° represents a non-breaking space (Ctrl+Shift+Spacebar), which you can use to prevent words from being separated at the end of a line.” (I’m quoting Steven S. from my Facebook there). Thanks guys!

 

Fae’s First Readers

The Magic of AutumnLast week I asked Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman if they would consider writing the introduction to Fae. Because they are awesome (and I am lucky), they agreed so I sent them a copy of the manuscript to read. I should say, I nervously sent them a copy of the manuscript to read…

I love Fae. I learn more with each project I work on and truly feel that I improve with each one* which, obviously, translates to me thinking whatever I’ve finished most recently is the best thing I’ve done so far. But… something about Fae has been different. Magical, even. The quality of this anthology surpasses everything I’ve edited before by a huge margin.

Now, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I don’t still love Niteblade and Metastasis and everything else I do… but I’ve really grown as an editor while I worked on Fae. That can only benefit everything else I do from here on in, but it’s also fantastic for this project in particular.

BUT that doesn’t mean I wasn’t totally nervous sending the manuscript to Sara and Brittany. They would be the first people aside from World Weaver Press Editor-in-Chief Eileen Wiedbrauk and myself to read the anthology in its entirety.

It was a nerve-wracking few days while I waited to hear what they thought. Would they like the collection as much as I did?

The answer is yes! I got an email from Brittany yesterday which said (quoted with permission):

“It is seriously FANTASTIC, we loved it!! Some of the stories were so SO good that we were yelling up and down the stairs to each other after finishing them, saying things like “OMG!” :).”

So it looks like it’s not just me then 😉

And maybe this is a little bit of a braggy blog, but I can’t help it. I’m so proud and excited about this anthology. You’re gonna love it. You really, really are!

*This is true regardless of what role I’m playing in each project: writer, editor, poet, human being.

Fae Table of Contents

Silver Pixie CA OrnamentIt’s been quite a journey since World Weaver Press and I first announced that I’d be editing an anthology of fairy stories. Fae has grown from a vague idea to a solid manuscript over the past few months and become even more amazing than I’d hoped. We have seventeen fantastic stories that are going to blow you away.

Allow me to share the table of contents from my forthcoming anthology, Fae:

Rosie Red Jacket by Christine Morgan
The Queen of Lakes by L.S. Johnson
Ten Ways to Self-Sabotage, Only Some of Which Relate to Fairies by Sara Puls
Antlers by Amanda Block
Only Make-Believe by Lauren Liebowitz
F.C.U. by Jon Arthur Kitson
Water Sense by Adria Laycraft
The Cartography of Shattered Trees by Beth Cato
Possession by Rhonda Eikamp
And Only The Eyes of Children by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Seven Years Fleeting by Lor Graham
The Last King by Liz Colter
Faerie Knight by Sidney Blaylock, Jr.
Solomon’s Friend by Kristina Wojtaszek
A Fairfolk Promise by Alexis A. Hunter
The Fairy Midwife by Shannon Phillips
The Price by Kari Castor

These stories run the gamut from high-tech to old-fashioned and will sweep you away to settings as varied as modern day Indianapolis, the American civil war and mystical medieval kingdoms. They have, as I requested in my call for submissions, lush settings, beautiful prose and complex characters, and come this summer, if you’re a fan of fairies and folklore, you are going to fall in love with this book.

Mythic Delirium Magazine

Sale: Seedpaper

Mythic Delirium MagazineI am so excited about this sale. Interestingly, I was so excited to share the news about it, that I kind of forgot to. When I got the acceptance notice it was one of those times when I read it again and again just to be sure I wasn’t misunderstanding (though the wording would have been clear as crystal to anyone other than me) and thinking I’d received an acceptance when I hadn’t. But I had! Still, superstition and paranoia meant I couldn’t talk about it publicly until I’d signed a contract. So I waited.

It wasn’t a long wait before the contract got to me, but it felt like it, because I was dying to tell people. When the contract came and I sent it back, I was so ecstatic. I could make the announcement! Except… there was a bunch of other stuff going on at that point and I didn’t want this post to get lost among the shuffle, so I filed the contract and thought, well, I’ve waited this long, I can wait a little longer.

But then because I’d filed the contract and it wasn’t in my inbox looking out at me each time I checked my email, I forgot. I didn’t forget about the acceptance, hell no, but I forgot that I hadn’t blogged about it yet.

Well, now I am. :-p

I am incredibly, over-the-moon excited to announce that my short story, Seedpaper, has been accepted for a future issue of Mythic Delirium!!!

SO exciting. For several reasons. Firstly, I love my story Seedpaper. Also? Are you kidding me? Mythic Delirium?! ZOMG!

I’d sent a couple poems to Mythic Delirium like three years ago, but otherwise I’d been too intimidated to submit there. I’d look at the name in my search results at Duotrope and shake my head. I even thought about putting the market on ignore because though I very much wanted to publish there, I didn’t think I was good enough. Didn’t think I’d make the grade and didn’t want to face the rejection letters.

I got brave enough because though I really, really love this story, I’d had a super tough time placing it (more on that later), Mythic Delirium had recently opened to fiction submissions AND I thought this piece would be a good match. So, telling myself the worst thing editor Mike Allen could say was no, I gritted my teeth and hit send on that submission.

And now, have you heard? My short story, Seedpaper, has been accepted for a future issue of Mythic Delirium!

/swoon