Short Fiction Monday – A Rant OR Douche bags, Get to Steppin’

Today, on this cold and cloudy Short Fiction Monday, I am pissed the fuck off.

Many of you know about Asfixia – and if you don’t, go here. SUBMIT! – and the submissions are finally coming in. Some great, some not so great, and some that I couldn’t even get through because, honestly, I don’t think they were serious submissions.

I’ve also gotten some pretty interesting hate email.

I know. Sounds ridiculous, right? HATE mail for putting together an anthology of short work – a medium that not only is hard as hell to write, but just as hard to market. But I love short stories, so I’m willing to put in the time and work that goes into crafting a fantastic anthology of fantastic work from fantastic authors. I, however, am NOT willing to listen to cocky, whiny, amateur writers tell me how it is. 

Because I am professional enough to not send each of them a reply email stating exacting what I think of their complaint, instead I will post this. Call it a PSA.

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If you have a problem with a publication’s guidelines, payment arrangements, or the editors of the publications themselves, DON’T SUBMIT TO THEM.

I’ll say it again.

If you have a problem with the PUBLICATION’s guidelines, payment arrangements, or the editors of the publications themselves, DON’T SUBMIT TO THEM.

We (and I mean a collective “we” – the people who sit and read submission after submission looking for magic) don’t care that you think your work is worth more than what we are offering. We didn’t come to you. You decided that you are TOO GOOD for us, so do the mature thing and move on. Don’t email me with semi-clever remarks expecting me to do something about it. All that we are going to do is make a note of who you are, and make sure that should anyone come to us with your work looking for an opinion, we’ll be sure to recount your little hissy fit.

If you became a writer to make money, you’re in the wrong industry. You may make money. You may make a lot of money. But most likely, you won’t. That’s just how it is. If you don’t care about your work being read then PLEASE stop polluting the market stream with your shit. 

This has been your Monday morning PSA. Enjoy your day, everyone. Read something.

Short Fiction Monday – Excerpt AND Contributions?

‘allo, dearies. 

Here is your short fiction fix on this lovely Presidents’ Day Monday. It’s like a double-whammy of shit, isn’t it? It’s Monday, AND you can’t go to the bank and get laundry money because they’ve closed for some obscure holiday that doesn’t really mean anything anymore. Never fear, Crunchy-Smooshy is here for you.

Excerpt from a yet-to-be-titled WIP:

 

There’s a formula for gauging phone calls before the other party has answered. One ring, and they’ve been waiting for something important that isn’t you. They’ve been staring at it, playing with it, willing it to ring. And then finally, FINALLY, it comes to life. It’s better to just hang up without introducing yourself, lest you send your own hide in for verbal slaughter. Four or five rings, and you’ve torn them away from something; dinner with the family, an engrossing novel, a homemade explosives project. Take these on a case by case basis. Women are more likely to turn you away than men, especially if you’re me. I’ve been told my voice is sultry when detailing the many uses of a telephone book.

Three rings, though, that’s the sweet spot.

This isn’t something they teach you when you answer an anonymous internet ad looking for people who wish to ‘work from home!’ ‘All you need is a computer and a telephone! It’s EZ!’ You learn by doing.

Three rings and they’ve been waiting for you to call. No, really, they have. It’s their day off and nothing interesting has presented itself as a suitable distraction. You are their distraction.

Don’t worry about selling, the anonymous emailer attached to the anonymous ad tells you. Just log your calls and collect your money.

Sometimes I don’t even market what I’m supposed to. The spreadsheet in my weekly email will call for entertainment magazine subscriptions; I sell them slippers made in the likeness of their favorite United States President. God bless America!

Sometimes, a girl just wants to have some fun.

 

I’d had a productive morning. One entry left on my daily spreadsheet, and it was just past two.

One ring. Two rings. Three rings.

“Hello?”

Perfect.

“Good afternoon. Would you be so kind as to connect me with the matron of the home?”

I cradled the phone between my shoulder and ear while fingering a copy of Little Women. I’d finished reading it over lunch and was itching to try it out.

“Who’s calling, please?

Her voice was calm but reserved.

“Jo March, madam. I’m calling to invite you to participate in an unbelievable opportunity in literature.”

I wished Jo March had a British accent. I loved doing British.

Shuffling against the speaker on the opposite end. She was switching ears.

“Is this a joke?”

“Fiction is no joke, ma’am, unless of course you’re reading comedy. Then all of it is a joke! Unless it’s bad comedy, in which case it’s better used as kindling in my humble opin –“

“Just get to the point, please.”

“Yes, yes, of course. I am offering escape in the form of words. Penny Dreadfuls, specifically. For the cost of a typical novel you will receive five stories in which you are taken through perilous adventures, one after the other.”

I paused.

“Hello?”

She’d hung up.

Unfortunate, since I hadn’t had the chance to tell her about the imaginary friend that accompanied every purchase.

Classic characters are always a risk.

I logged the call, sent my end-of-day email using an out-of-date but perfectly useable desktop computer, and considered my options for the rest of the afternoon.  

 

CONTRIBUTIONS?

Would you like to contribute a story to short fiction Monday? Email me at authorlady22@gmail.com. 

Submissions are also STILL open for Asfixia. Send me ALL THE WORDS!

ASFIXIA – Need Some Inspiration? Also, A Deadline, Kinda.

My dear writers,

Are you, like me, hopped up on cold meds and finding the brain fuzzies a little difficult to combat in your quest for alternate truth? No? You’re just stuck? 

Oh.

Well, we can fix that.

A good writer friend of mine, Vero, has one of those minds that requires large cajones (figuratively – or literally. I don’t judge) to enter. Recently she offered the idea that the internet is self aware, but not in the way that you’re thinking. You can read the entire post here:

http://www.veronicasicoe.com/blog/2013/01/what-if-the-internet-became-self-aware/

Do with that what you will, and bring us some stories!

ALSO

Some of your have been asking about a deadline for submitting your stories to Asfixia. Here’s my response: March/April -ish. The final deadline will be determined by how many and of quality stories we receive. I’ll let you know when we have a concrete date.

Happy writing!

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – Asfixia, a short speculative fiction anthology

What if…

That is the question fiction seeks to answer. Speculative fiction goes one step further and attempts to answer what would happen if this world were different. If people were different. If people didn’t exist.

Do you write stories in which you explore an alternate reality and deliver a tale that makes the reader think or feel? Your story might be right for ASFIXIA – a new short fiction anthology to be published early 2014.

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GUIDELINES:

• We’re looking for speculative fiction – sci-fi/horror/fantasy/dystopian/super-hero/alternate history – the stranger, the better.

• Maximum word count is 3,000 but we are more likely to accept stories that blow us away with fewer words. There is no minimum. If you can tell a story in 100 words, we’ll consider it.

• We are especially interested in stories that explore human nature and challenge standard ideas such as “good always defeats evil” and preconceived notions about love.

• We (and when we say “we” we mean Katrina. Henry may convince her otherwise) are NOT interested in stories centralized on artificial intelligence aspiring to be human UNLESS you can present it to us in a way we haven’t seen.

• Stories involving religion, erotic content, LGBT themes, and profanity are acceptable – but stories involving sex and f-bombs for the sake of sex and f-bombs will be set on fire.

No YA, please. NA will be judged on a case by case basis.

• And, please, no sparkly vampires.

TECHINCAL STUFF

Send stories meeting the above criteria to asfixiabook@gmail.com with Submission – Title in the subject line and your story as an attachment. Please include a brief (1-2 lines) bio in the body of the email.

Authors with accepted stories will be paid $3.00 per piece upon acceptance and signed contract returned.

Simultaneous and multiple submissions are accepted, but no more than two per email. We would also appreciate a heads up if your story is accepted elsewhere.