Wednesday, October 27, 2021

ShaNoShoStoWriEdSubMo 2021

I wasn't able to post last week, because our internet was down. To get the podcast up, I drove around until I found free wi-fi at a Carl's, Jr., then stayed in the parking lot long enough to get the podcast up. It was 2:30 in the morning, and I learned that McDonald's is surprisingly busy at 2:30 in the morning, at least when it's right off the freeway. I also learned that Starbucks shuts off their wi-fi at night, and when you try to sign in, they tell you to come back during business hours. The below picture is a tired me waiting through the drearily slow upload.

So this week you get what would have been last week's updates before I get to my ShaNo plans. (And for those who aren't familiar with my annual twist on NaNoWriMo, an explanation.)

First, I had a short story come out in a mystery anthology with a sense of humor. 

Available from Amazon in both paperback and Kindle

I also did a reading for Stories Live! which can be found on YouTube. This was the Halloween episode, so most of the stories are dark and twisty. It's always fun to do this!

Okay, ShaNo time. For those who don't know, because my main focus has long been short stories, I've always set my own relevant goals for the month of November, which has allowed me to hijack the energy for the month while getting things done that will matter to me in the long wrong.

ShaNoShoStoWriEdSubMo stands for Shannon's Novel and Short Story Writing, Editing, and Submitting Month. 

Funnily enough, this year my primary project happens to be a book, though it's non-fiction. I'm over halfway done with it, so that will be reflected in my goals.

25,000 words on current non-fiction WIP

Write 2 new short stories (we'll approximate 10,000 words for this, though the actual word count will vary)

Finish 2 in-progress short stories (approximately 5,000 words)

Turn around any short stories that get rejected

Edit 2 stories waiting for edits

Submit at least 2 additional short stories

Do you participate in NaNo? Do you do your own version? What are your writing goals for November?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Submission Roundup Oct/Nov

Time for the roundup of places accepting submissions with deadlines between now and mid-November! Bear in mind that I'm not endorsing any of these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Hellbound Books is seeking short stories for the anthology The Toilet Zone: The Royal Flush. These are NOT meant to be stories about the bathroom. Instead, they're short enough to be read while on the toilet. 2500 to 4000 words. Pays $5. Deadline October 31.

Untreed Reads is seeking short stories for the anthology I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight. This is a mystery/crime anthology where each story must be based on a one-hit wonder. 3000 to 5000 words. Royalty split. Deadline October 31.

Lostboys Press is seeking submissions for their anthology Heroes. These should be retellings of known characters in a different setting. 3000 to 9000 words. Pays $50. Deadline October 31.

Ghost Orchid Press is seeking stories for Beyond the Veil: Queer Tales of Supernatural Love. Must have dark and/or supernatural elements. 1000 to 6000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline October 31.

Madhouse Books is seeking stories for the anthology Dark Secrets. These should be short stories about "sinister secrets and hidden evil." 3500 to 7000 words. Pays $10. Deadline October 31.

Eerie River Publishing is seeking horror stories for It Calls From the Veil. Supernatural elements. 2000 to 6000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline October 31.

Other Worlds Ink is seeking stories for Save the World. Must be cli-fi (climate science fiction) about hopeful futures involving solutions to help climate change. 2500 to 15,000 words. Pays a flat fee between $50 and $100, depending upon word count. Deadline October 31.

Table/FEAST Lit Mag is seeking stories between 1000 to 4000 words. Pays $30. Deadline October 31.

Death in the Mouth is an anthology seeking horror stories by people of color. 1000 to 6000 words. Pays $.08/word. Deadline November 1.

The Future Fire is seeking speculative stories with a noir flavor. Up to 17,500 words. Pays up to $50. Deadline November 1.

Queer Toronto Literary Magazine is seeking stories by queer individuals. Up to 2000 words. Pays $15. Deadline November 1.

JANK is seeking submissions for Solarpunk Sunscapes: Optimistic Visions of the Future. 500 to 7500 words. Pays $.02/word. Deadline November 1.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking stories with the themes Kindness, Humorous Stories. Up to 1200 words. Pays $200. Deadlines are for between October 31 and November 20.

Dragon Soul Press is seeking stories for Rogue Tales (dark, sexy fairy tales) and Everlast (couples who meet due to time travel). 7000 to 15,000 words. Pays royalties for the first year. Deadline November 30.

The Gravity of the Thing is seeking stories for Stranged Writing: A Literary Taxonomy. Written pieces must showcase defamiliarization. 6 to 3000 words. Pays $5 to $25. Deadline November 30. 

Anything to add? Any of these sound interesting? Are you submitting?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

IWSG-October Thrills

 It's the first Wednesday in October, so it's time again for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.

Created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, this group serves to seek and provide reassurance for our insecurities. Anyone can join. Simply click on Alex's name and put your blog on the sign-up list.

This month's co-hosts are: Jemima Pett, J Lenni Dorner, Cathrina Constantine, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, and Mary Aalgaard!

This week's optional question is: In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?

I don't have many hard and fast lines. In writing horror, there are lines I'll cross that others might not, but there are also places I don't want to tread, such as pedophilia. In terms of language, I won't say words I wouldn't say in real life, such as racist terms, and I don't aim to put in a bunch of profanity, but I do cuss in real life, so it will show up in my writing some. I tend to keep it mostly clean except for the lesser cuss words, though. Short version: I try not to set too many hard limits in advance. If I write something that makes me too uncomfortable or that won't sell, I'll remove it.

As far as insecurities, October tends to be my busy month for appearances (horror and all...), and this year is no different. But I've found that being home for a year without really going anywhere or seeing anyone undid all the progress I'd made with being around other people. It doesn't come naturally for me to be outgoing and be able to talk to people. I'm very introverted, though I enjoy presenting, which makes no sense. So my insecurities are about whether or not I can still pull off the appearances and make them look natural, rather than being stressed. I think I did well at my first appearance of the month this past weekend at MileHiCon, so that's good.

Speaking of which, I had three panels and one reading. The reading was in a genre I don't write (utopian), so I wrote a flash piece that was utopian, but still had a touch of horror (utopia gone wrong). I was nervous all weekend until I read it, but got positive feedback, so shew. The panels all went well. I was moderator on two of them, and we had some good conversations about overused tropes, short stories, and revisiting childhood favorites.

I've got two more online appearances this month, so if you're interested you can attend from anywhere. I'll be doing a reading (story TBD) online via Stories Live Wednesday, October 20, at 7:00 PM, along with several other people. This is FREE on YouTube! You can access the page on my appearances tab, and I'll post about it on my Facebook that day. It does stay online, so I'll add the video to my appearances tab once it airs, too. Also, I'm doing a horror panel Saturday, October 16, from 12:30 to 3:30 PM with some awesome horror writers, but this one is $20 and will be via Zoom. The link for this is also on my appearances tab, if you're interested. It's put on by Pikes Peak Writers.

Time for stats! I post my submission stats each month to keep on top of things. In September, my stats were:

10 submissions

10 rejections

Sent 2 queries on stories that had been out for a long time

Pulled 1 story after not hearing back on the query (the other one was a rejection)

Currently have 24 submissions out

Not a ton to report, but it feels good to be back in the groove. Work is progressing on my NF WIP and I finished one short story and one piece of flash fiction. I'd like to get a short story done each week on top of the non-fiction book work, but there's been a lot going on, so I'm not going to beat myself up.

How about you? Are you getting work done? Any submissions? How about acceptances? What are your insecurities?

May you find your Muse.