Monday, August 31, 2015

Off to Write



We made it through the storm okay, and I hope everyone else in the strike zone did too. The biggest problem for us was the lightning, which got scary a few times. All of the unplugging we did kept me from updating PBW, and now I do need to catch up on some work, so I'm going to bail on you all for a few days. See you once I get caught up.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

You Animal You

My daughter loves animals, and during a recent vacation trip with her dad took some amazing pics of the critters she saw. Since I have three jobs to finish this weekend before this tropical storm hits us, I'm going to post some in lieu of a post:



I wonder if he thinks no one can see him.



Gorgeous. And maybe a little cranky.



This big guy looks sad -- and dreamy, too, in a strange way. Maybe it's the pink on his hide and the soft focus.



My writing animal!



Someone needs a baby carrier.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Officially Speaking

I have been booked by clients through the fall and into the winter now, which means I won't have the chance to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. So that's the bad news.

The good news:





I'm going to pep talk, cheer on, post useful links for and otherwise mercilessly nag everyone who does join in. :)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Have to Do

Art quilter Jane Frenke explains her process in this video, which includes many shots of her amazing work (with narration and background music, for those of you at work):

ArtVoice: Jane Frenke from Jack Kelly on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Just Write



Today I'm off to write something new and post it online before midnight. Everyone inclined to do the same is invited to join me.

My link: More on Ghost Writer (click on the title to go to the .pdf), with new material beginning on page 113.

For more details on Just Write Thursdays, click here to go to the original post.

Image credit: windujedi

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Entitled

How well do you remember famous book titles? Take this online quiz, fill in the word missing in the title, and find out.

My results:



What surprised me is how many titles of books that I haven't read that I remembered -- about half of the quiz, actually -- which goes to prove that a memorable title sticks, even when someone doesn't read it.

How well did you do? Let us know in comments.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sub Op

Here's an open call for a charity dark fiction anthology being published by Josh Strnad:

"Stories are powerful—they can open our perspectives to allow us to see things in ways we haven’t before and can be used to provide a voice to those who otherwise would remain silent. With that in mind, I am pleased to announce that I am now taking submissions for the upcoming horror/dark fiction anthology, Silent Screams. The focus of this anthology will be to give a voice to and point public attention toward those who are vulnerable who have no means to speak for themselves—from victims of human trafficking and the sex industry, to the aborted unborn, to third-world sweat shop workers. As writers (and perhaps particularly as writers of dark fiction), we have the opportunity to do some good by shining a light on the uncomfortable truths that our society often prefers to ignore.

WHAT I WANT

I’m looking for unpublished stories (no reprints) ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 words (soft) that EITHER focus of the plight of specific silent victims of our modern world OR that play with the idea of silence in general. (Think of Harlan Ellison’s classic “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream,” or the famous tag-line from Alien: “In space, no one can hear you scream.”) What does it mean to be a voiceless victim, and what could be done to alleviate that kind of suffering?

I want horror stories of pretty much every subgenre, including dark science fiction. My tastes for this sort of thing lean more toward the surreal and uncanny than to the realistic, and most of what I enjoy would fall under the “Dark Fantasy” sub-heading (think the type of stuff written by guys like Robert Bloch and Jeff VanderMeer). I love stories that don’t spell everything out. Feel free to leave some mystery.

I’m a sucker for great writing (who isn’t?) and I love a good twist ending. Even though the overall tone of this anthology will most likely be rather grim, I’m certainly not opposed to a little levity or even humor, where appropriate. I’m big on metaphor and symbolism. A solid moral core and understanding of right-and-wrong is a must. Stories that inspire a sense of compassion are gold.

WHAT I DON’T WANT

Overly political stories. If the entire purpose of your story is to bash a certain political party or ideology (whether liberal or conservative), I won’t be interested. Fair enough?

I have nothing in particular against traditional monsters (zombies, werewolves, vampires, and their undead kin), but unless you have something stunningly original to do with them (or if they just fit so perfectly with the anthology’s theme that your story knocks me down with its brilliance), they will probably be a tough sale. Ditto to Lovecraftian/Cthulhu stuff (although I wouldn’t be opposed to a Lovecraft-inspired piece that took his concept of cosmic horror in a different direction than the typical elder gods route). I’m also not likely to purchase any straight sword-and-sorcery stories.

I’m not easily offended, but I’m also not impressed by graphic sex, buckets of gore, or piles of profanity. Do what you need to in order to tell your story in the best and most effective way possible, but let’s keep it classy.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Even though this anthology is designed to point the finger at real-world social ills, any depiction of sex involving a minor is a no-go.

RIGHTS, PAYMENT AND NUTS-AND-BOLTS

I am seeking first digital and print rights with two-year exclusivity from the date of publication. At the end of the two-year contract period, all rights will revert back to the author.

Silent Screams will be a charity anthology, with all after-costs profit going to The Salvation Army, which provides humanitarian support for the homeless, those who have been hit by natural disasters, and victims of human trafficking. That said, I think it’s important that authors are paid for their work, so I am offering payment of one cent a word for accepted stories. Contributors will also receive a complimentary print copy of the anthology.

The submissions period will end on October 31, 2015. Final selections for the anthology are anticipated to be made in mid-November with a goal of publication in December, 2015 or early 2016."

For more information see the guidelines page.