Thanks to the Flash Fiction Challenge, from NYCMidnight, I feel so much better this week about the state of the ‘Nathan. Last time, I made it to honourable mention in the first round of the earlier contest, which… wasn’t far, but like I said last week, it’s a challenge and it makes me stretch, so I put on my big person pants and signed up for another go.
And I loved it. At first, I was nervous: I got “fairy tale,” “a ticket stub,” and “an abandoned railroad car.” I started with the genre, pondering and thinking about what made a fairy tale, which fairy tales I liked, and then had my “click” moment when I remembered Pinocchio and the idea of Toyland.
So, for the contest, I ended up submitting “Pine Puppet & Candlewick,” which was a queer retelling of part of the story of Pinocchio. I have no idea if I’ve shot myself in the foot by telling a queer story, but either way, I really liked what I came up with, and frankly, if it doesn’t make it through the process, I can flush it out from the 1,000 word limit and I think I could find a new home for it.
Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks
More success here. I’ve still got quite a bit ahead of me, but I’m happy with where I’ve set down Cole with his family, with Malik (I wrote the scene where Malik admits to Cole he’s maybe bi, and it flowed well) and I’m soon getting into the very meat of the chase/run/capture/escape stuff, which will be a complete shift in pacing and tone. I’m also really enjoying writing scenes with Cole seeing his parents interact: they’re a loving, supportive couple, which of course is that awful mix of embarrassing and awesome to a teen.
Dad tapped his lips, and my mother leaned in for a kiss. They smiled at each other, and I stared down at the rice steamer because when they looked at each other like that I could never decide if it was the most awesome thing in the world, or if it was really, really gross.
Once they were done being gross awesome parents in love, my dad leaned over and checked the timer.
Five minutes, he signed.
I’ll set the table. My mom almost never spoke when she signed. Then again, she wasn’t planning to be an interpreter like I was. Watching them move around each other while she gathered cutlery and paper napkins was like watching a kind of dance. They touched each other in passing, little touches that weren’t necessary, but made my mom smile and my dad wink. It was adorable.
Really, it was a wonder I’d ever made it out of therapy. Didn’t they know their kid was watching?
The timer flashed, and dad started serving onto the three plates my mother had left for him.
My stomach growled again.
I wondered how many calories it took to teleport.
Of Echoes Born
I didn’t make as much progress here since the flash fiction contest was on my radar for my non-Exit writing time, but this is fine. Not in the “dog in a burning building” way, either. It really is fine.
Open Calls for Submission
Every Wednesday I try to include my list off all the various open calls for submission I’ve found and/or am trying to write for. If you know of any others, by all means do drop them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. If this is helpful for people other than myself, it’s even better.
July to date: 1 submission (1 new).
Previously this year thus far: January was: 6 submissions (4 reprints, 2 new), 1 acceptance; in February was bare minimum: 1 submission (1 new); March brought 1 rejection, and 1 submission (new); April say 1 submission (new) and 1 acceptance; May: 1 submission (new), 1 acceptance. June: BUZZ! (Let’s not talk about that).
- Chicken Soup for the Soul – Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
- Clarkesworld – Currently open for art, non-fiction, and short story submissions.
- Cast of Wonders – Young adult short fiction market, open to story submissions up to 6,000 words.
- Totally Entwined – Many calls, various dates and lengths.
- Erotic Short Romances — Carina Press, an ongoing call for 10k to 17k word count limit.
- The Witching Hour – Mythical creature visitation theme; deadline July 30th, 2017; 10k to 40k word count limit.
- Holiday Stories – Ninestar Press is seeking queer holiday tales; deadline July 31st, 2017; 5k to 30k word count limit.
- Haunted — Erotic stories centered around the theme of haunted, Mugwump Publishing; Deadline August 5th, 2017; 1k-5k word count limit.
- Flint Charity Anthologies – Organized by Vicktor Alexander; deadlines throughout September, 2017; 5k to 20k word count limit.
- Saints & Sinners Short Fiction Contest — Judged by Radclyffe; deadline October 3rd, 2017; 3k to 7k word count limit.
- Futurescape Contest – “Blue Sky Cities” theme; 8k word count limit; deadline October 13th, 2017.