Writing Wednesday — Faint

So, Monday I collapsed.

I turned out to be nothing major, which is of course the most important thing. But it was frightening at the time (especially for my husband, who had to watch it happen), but it turned out that the migraine I’d had on Saturday left me dehydrated, I already have low blood pressure, and the combination made for a fainting spell first thing in the morning on Monday.

This is why I give my writing goals so much wiggle room. Migraines I’m used to. Fainting? Not so much. But lesson learned. When I suffer migraine headaches (and especially when I have migraine headaches complete with multiple episodes of vomiting), I need to replace the liquids.

So that was my week so far. How’s yours?

Triad Magic

To no one’s surprise, I didn’t write much on Monday/Tuesday, what with the collapsing and the doctor’s offices. I’ll make it up. I’m not even upset with myself. I freaking fainted. It’s allowed.

Faux-Ho-Ho

I’m on track with this today, and if I get my word count in place, I may see if I can do a couple of writing sprints elsewhere, too, to catch up a bit, or to make the catch up less work for later. Either way, like I said, I’m not upset with myself.

Other Short Stuff

This is where I’ve dropped the ball this month, and this month is more than half over now, so… Some focus will likely be needed here. I haven’t submitted anything yet for January. Last year, it was my strongest month. This year? Not so much.

There are some great calls, and I have ideas, but I’m just sort of zoning-out when I’m done the big projects for the day, and while that’s okay, I’m still going to try for at least one thing on the following list of open calls for submission.

Open Calls for Submission

I also try to list off calls for submission I find (and find tempting) every week on Writing Wednesdays, so without further ado:

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul—Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
  • Mischief Corner Books—Open to submissions for various themes, including Legendary Love, Everyday Heroes, Cowboys and Space; these are open rolling calls, so no deadline.
  • NineStar Press—Open to submissions for various length prose, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and horror; Click “Currently Seeking” header for details; word count limit variable.
  • Spectrum Lit—This is an ongoing Patreon flash fic provider, 1,500 hard word count limit; LGBTQ+ #ownvoice only; ongoing call.
  • A World Unimagined— Left Hand Publishers; 4,000 to 9,000 word count limit. Speculative fiction, deadline: January 21st, 2018.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to F*** Them—Circlet Press; Erotic short stories with magical beasts and shapeshifter tropes; 3,000 to 7,000 word count limit; deadline February 1st, 2018.
  • Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction—Uncanny Magazine; Doesn’t require stories to explore issues relating to disability, but encourages them; 750 to 6,000 word count limit; deadline February 15th, 2018.
  • Multipartner Anthology—ERWA/Excessia; Multi-partner erotica; 4,000 to 10k word count limit; deadline March 1st, 2018.
  • War on Christmas—ChiZine; Deranged and demented stories and poems that snap back against holiday schmaltz; 500 to 5,000 words; Deadline March 4th, 2018.
  • Tru-Romance: Love in the Age of PrEP—Beautiful Dreamer Press; stories involving the impact the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis regimen has on the standard model of romance fiction; 4,000 to 7,000 word count limit; deadline April 15th, 2018.
  • Lost—NineStar Press. LGBTQIA+ romantic pairing. Both HEA and HFN are acceptable, Click “Lost” header for the theme. 30k to 120k word count limit; deadline April 30th, 2018.
  • Happiness in Numbers—Less than Three Press; Polyamorous LGBTQIA+ anthology, non-erotic polyamorous stories that explore the idea of “Family”; 10k to 20k word count limit; deadline April 30th, 2018.
  • MLR Press—Quite a few different themes are open; 10k to 40k word count limit; deadlines vary, but the earliest right now is April 30th, 2018.
  • Artefacts and Alchemy—Edge Books; Tesseracts 22 is doing a historical magical realism theme; 5k word count limit; deadline May 15th, 2018.
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Monday Flash Fics — First Moot

When I saw the latest picture from Monday Flash Fics, it made me think of Dale, one of the wizards from the “Craft Night” group that pops up in Triad Blood and Triad Soul. In Triad Blood, you don’t learn a lot about these wizards, but more of their purpose becomes clear in Triad Soul. I thought I’d write about the first time they all got together, just after the events in “Bound” occur. So, very minor spoilers (ish?) for Triad Blood and Triad Soul.

Flash Monday

First Moot

The five of them stared at each other around the small café table tucked in the back of the tea shop. Dale knew the others, of course. With her great-grandfather’s recent death, Mackenzie Windsor’s mother was the new Windsor covenhead. And at the moot to declare her so, the rest of the people here had all been present. Mackenzie herself had a soft little smile on her face, and her hair held up with two sticks. Beside her stood Rebekah Mitchell, a tall black woman who didn’t say much and yet still managed to make him feel like he was doing something wrong just by exhaling in her presence. And beside Rebekah, Tracey Spencer stood a step apart, and looked the part in her expensive couture and perfect manicure, though a paleness to her complexion belied the calm arrogance she was projecting. And then, on the other side of Dale, the guy who’d invited them all here.

Matthew Stirling. The great-grandson of the son-of-a-bitch in chief himself. In glasses and a button down white dress shirt, Matthew Stirling looked like a harmless nerd.

Dale supposed in their own way, they all looked harmless, though of the bunch he was the largest by a not-so-slim margin. Even so, looks were deceiving. But their families—or, more properly, The Families—had the most power of anyone in the city. Ottawa was what it was on the say-so of their families, to some degree or another.

Why did I agree to come here?

“I suppose you’re wondering why I gathered you here today,” Matthew said.

No one laughed. Matthew cleared his throat, looking awkward.

“Maybe you should just tell them,” Mackenzie said.

“Tell us what?” Tracey said. Even her voice was aristocratic. Man, she was just what he expected from the Spencers.

Then again, his own family wasn’t exactly cuddly either.

“I’m pretty sure you’re the next inheritors,” Matthew said.

No. Dale had to clench his hands to stop from saying or doing anything. No no no.

“How..?” Rebekah had to take a breath. “How do you know that?”

“I inherited,” Matthew said. “I don’t know if you know what the Stirling inheritance is, but—”

“You’re prescient,” Tracey said.

Matthew nodded. “As of this week.”

Dale fought off a full body shiver, but only just. So Malcolm Stirling had access to the future? No wonder he always ended up on top. He wondered if his father, or his grandfather, or his great-grandfather knew.

“It’s not soon,” Mackenzie said. “Or at least, Matt doesn’t think so. But…” She looked at Matthew. He nodded. “He’s pretty sure it will be us five. And the thing is…”

“The thing is we’re fucked?” Rebekah said.

Dale surprised himself by laughing.

“No,” Matthew stepped forward. “No, no that’s my point. We could… We could work together.”

Tracey laughed. “To do what? If I… If I inherit, do you have any idea what that will mean?” She shook her head. “Mackenzie gets to heal. Rebekah becomes some sort of illusion-proof abjurist. Hell, even Dale—”

“Don’t,” he said.

She stopped. Regarded him. He saw it then. In her eyes. The same thing he was sure she could see in his.

Fear.

“If we work together,” Mackenzie said. “We could… push the boundaries. Figure out things they won’t let us learn. Before they have us at their beck and call. Maybe we can…” Mackenzie sighed. “Maybe we can make things better.”

She barely sounded convinced herself.

“If they even find out I came to talk to you on my own, they’ll be furious,” Dale said. “I’m out.” He pushed off the wall and started for the front of the tea shop. He eyed everyone on the way. The store was mostly empty, but was it just him, or did the guy behind the counter pay way too much attention to him?

Why had he come?

He was an idiot.

*

He made it home without incident, and back into the mansion without trouble. It didn’t relax him any—he was never relaxed in his family Chantry—but it was where he was supposed to be as far as his elders were concerned, and that meant a modicum of safety.

Of a sort.

He wandered the halls. What he wanted more than anything was to tear off his tie, change into a sweatshirt, and maybe hit the punching bag for a while. Matthew and Mackenzie should have known better. The Families didn’t work together. Not across their covens. It was insane to even suggest it.

He wouldn’t be excused until after dinner. He wondered how many of his aunts and uncles (and great-aunts and great-uncles) would be visiting for dinner, and if any of his cousins would be there. Sometimes the massive table was set for thirty-six.

Sometimes it was set for eight.

He rarely interacted with his great-grandfather. Dale did everything in his power to go unnoticed. Stay below the radar.

He approached the study. He could hear them in there, talking.

I’m pretty sure you’re the next inheritors.

Some things you couldn’t avoid, though. Not forever.

Dale glanced behind him. No one around.

A few words of magic, whispered under his breath, and a prickle of magic flushed across his skin. He crouched, and looked through the keyhole of the study.

Whatever they were doing, he could feel the power from here. And more than that, he could feel something inside him stirring, as always.

Matthew had inherited. Prescience, apparently. If Rebekah, and Mackenzie, and Tracey also inherited? If he did, too?

They were barely in their twenties. His own great-grandfather would never give up his position just because his “gift” had moved on to Dale. No, he’d shackle Dale to his side. He’d probably even call it “grooming.”

Inside the room, magic twisted, and Dale could almost hear a voice.

He pushed away from the door and started for the gym. He could shower and get dressed again before dinner. He needed the punching bag.

*

After his shower, his knuckles raw, and still breathing heavily, Dale tied his tie in the mirror. Once it was knotted, he took a deep breath and picked up his phone.

The original message inviting him to meet at the tea shop was still there. He hadn’t deleted it. On some level, it occurred to Dale not deleting it the moment it had arrived already spoke volumes.

He tapped out a message.

When’s the next meeting?

Before he could change his mind, Dale hit send, slid his phone into his pocket, and went to the Family dinner.

The magic inside him stirred again. There was another whisper of voices just quiet enough he couldn’t make out the words.

Dale ignored them.

For now.

 

 

Friday Flash Fics — Checkout

For Friday Flash Fics today, there was an image going around Twitter that was definitely sparking a lot of conversation and we decided as a group it was worth using as inspiration. I’m so glad we did, because it’s not just an awesome image, it’s a stereotype smashing image and I love those.

Flash Friday

Checkout

He was at the desk.

Jeremy tightened his grip on the books, and took a long, deep breath.

Maybe this was a bad idea? It was totally a bad idea.

He had decided to leave, to go put the books back, but he took one more glance and…

The librarian made eye contact.

Oh crap.

He’d been seen.

Jeremy started for the desk.

This was officially the world’s worst idea.

*

“Oh my God,” Jeremy said, and stopped walking. “No way.”

Wyatt walked right into him, and then grabbed him for balance. “Dude.”

“Sorry,” Jeremy said.

“What’s wrong?”

All around them, the parade was in full swing. Music, dancing, signs, floats and rainbow balloons—especially the purple, blue, and pink of this year’s focus on Bi Queers—slipped further ahead of them.

“Nothing,” Jeremy said.

“You look like you’re about to pass out,” Wyatt said. “Spill. What is it?”

“That’s him. There.”

“Him?” Wyatt stared to where Jeremy was pointing, across the street where others were watching the Pride Parade go by. “Could you be more specific?”

“The guy. From the library. The librarian.”

“Oh! Mr. Button-down beard man of the title-reading?” Wyatt redoubled his efforts. “Where? I don’t see him. Is he near the scary guy with the tattoos and the beard?”

“That’s the thing.” Jeremy swallowed. “I guess now I know why he always wears the long-sleeved button-down shirts.”

“What?” Wyatt turned back to him. Then it clicked. He looked across the street again. “No way. Him? But… He looks like… I mean…” He tilted his head. “Are you sure that’s him? I mean, a librarian? That’s… That’s a biker.”

As they watched, a pair of women walked up to the man in question, arm in arm, and tapped his shoulder. They spoke for a few seconds, and then he nodded, turning to follow them.

The snug black shirt the guy wore had a skull on the back, half made up of words.

Across his broad back, the shirt read, “Librarian: The hardest part of my job is being nice to people who think they know how to do my job.”

Wyatt turned to Jeremy.

“Okay. I guess that is him. Dude. He’s scary.”

“You think?” Jeremy could think of a few different words.

None of them were “scary.”

*

It had started with the beard. That was always a weakness, but that wasn’t the only thing. Jeremy had liked the way the librarian smiled. And he did smile. Genuinely, and kindly. Also, he quietly read out the titles as he scanned them, which was not only kind of endearing but he did it carefully, so no one else would hear but whoever was checking out the books. It was almost a whisper. When Jeremy was second in line, he’d enjoy just listening to the low rumble of the man’s voice, but he never made out the words.

And the librarian wore glasses to work—but not to Pride parades, apparently—and as Jeremy approached the desk, he had a silly thought about a kind of Clark Kent persona thing going on, except instead of a blue suit with an S, if the librarian ripped off his shirt he’d reveal all that ink and…

Was it hot in here?

The button-down long-sleeved shirt in question was brown today. Like his eyes. And his beard.

“Hello,” Jeremy said, nearly choking on the word.

“Hi,” the librarian said. They didn’t wear name-tags, and Jeremy had never quite gotten up the guts to ask him his name, and since they usually had less than a minute of interaction at the end of each of Jeremy’s visits to the library and the librarian already knew Jeremy’s name because it was on his library account, it wasn’t likely to happen.

So, the plan.

The stupid, stupid plan.

The librarian gave him a little frown.

Right. The books.

Oh this was such a stupid plan.

Jeremy put them down, carefully. Checking for the hundredth time he’d gotten it right.

“Okay,” the librarian said, dropping to his low whisper. He scanned Jeremy’s card, then started scanning the books. As always, he read the titles in his sotto voice.

“Happy People Read and Drink Coffee.” Beep.

“How Do You Like Your Coffee?” Beep.

“Coffee Date.” Beep.

“Sure,” Jeremy blurted. “I’d love to.”

The librarian blinked. It was the first time Jeremy had ever seen him look anything other than professional and kind and sort of Zen. He looked up.

“Did you just..?”

“I did,” Jeremy said. “Or, technically, you did. I just accepted.”

The librarian let out a little laugh.

“Smooth,” he said. He didn’t seem freaked out. Or offended.

“Do you like Bittersweets? In the Village?”

“Yeah,” the librarian said. His smile was a full on grin now. “I do.”

“Are you free Saturday, maybe?”

He rubbed his beard. “I am.”

“Okay. Saturday. Eleven?”

The librarian nodded.

Jeremy picked up the books. “Before I go, can I, uh, return these books and get something I actually want to read?”

 

Monday Flash Fics — Falling

I often dream in short story, and the picture for this Monday Flash Fics prompt reminded me of a recurring dream I’ve had a few times, about waking up in the same place I fell asleep, only not quite. I flushed it out into a spec-fic piece.
Monday Flash Fic

Falling

I jolt awake, and do the thing I always do: reach out a hand to see if he’s there.

He is.

The warmth of him is always a comfort, even though the rest is completely unknown.

He’s awake, too.

“Are you okay?” Emmitt says.

There’s a sadness in his voice, and hearing it tells me he knows.

It’s a relief. And it’s frightening. I can never decide if it’s kinder to him when I end up in my little cottage alone, or when he’s there and has no idea, but this time? He knows.

There’s guilt when I touch his skin, but when he kisses me, I’m so grateful. We both pretend there aren’t tears.

*

In the morning, I get up before he does, and cook a simple breakfast while he sleeps in. The smell of coffee brings him into the little kitchen. He’s wearing cotton pajama bottoms, and nothing else, and my eye is drawn to a tattoo over his heart. Six words.

In Every Way, In Every Time.

He catches me looking, and smiles just enough for one dimple to show. “When there was a month, and we thought maybe that meant it wasn’t going to happen again.”

“Ah,” I say, and nod. That month was the longest I stayed anywhere so far. I’d been alone that month, every new realization in that cottage a new sorrow, and I’d hated it. Even teaching had barely helped, though I’d gone through the motions at a job that was otherwise nearly indistinguishable from my own. I’d also wondered if that was the end of my journey. I’d prayed not, fiercely, every night. I’d begged to fall again, sometimes out loud before finally, mercifully, falling asleep. “Did I get a matching one?”

He nods. “You did.”

I serve, and we eat a quiet breakfast. It’s a habit I’ve started after each trip, and I wonder how many times he’s had breakfasts like this.

“So,” I say, once our plates are empty and I’ve filled the sink with hot water. “How’d we meet?”

*

This version of Emmitt and I met the way my Emmitt and I met: a faculty meeting. I’m a physicist again—most of the time, it seems, that’s how my life unfolds—but as this Emmitt tells me of our early days together, there are differences. We hit it off at the faculty meeting, swapped numbers, and went on the same first date: a movie, but in this iteration, the movie wasn’t one either of us enjoyed. Instead of a round of drinks after and falling into bed in this very cottage, we went on more dates, took more time.

He’s a history professor again—most of the time, it seems, that’s how his life unfolds—and that’s useful. As the first day passes, and he walks me through photographs of his history with his Felix, I ask questions of things in the background. Like the flag on Parliament Hill.

It has two blue fields instead of red, and instead of one maple leaf there are three leaves on one stem.

“The Pearson Pennant?” he says, and launches into a story about the three final choices for the official Canadian flag.

“So I guess you don’t sing ‘The Maple Leaf Forever.’”

“It’s ‘Leaves.’”

“That makes sense.”

*

The cottage itself, the little building I inherited and loved and have lived in all my life is almost the same. The roof has its slight sag. The yard walkway is made of the same stones. The garden is slightly different—apparently, the original version of me didn’t care for flowers nearly as much as I do—but inside, if I ignore the photographs of a life that hasn’t quite been mine, it could pass as my own.

I once joked, to my Emmitt, that the cottage would outlast everyone and everything.

School isn’t in session, so we spend the day together in an awkward dance of getting to know each other and old habits we’ve had for over a decade. He smiles the same way. I touch the small of his back the way he likes. I have a slice of a German apple cake I’ve never had before but Emmitt tells me is a favourite, and it becomes one.

Finally, as the sun is going down, something we watch together on the bench in the yard, I ask.

“Have you met him? The one who…did…this?” I need to find a better way to say it, but I’ve yet to think of one.

Emmitt shakes his head. “No. Though one of you told me you’d been working on a theoretical version of what it was he did.” He eyes me. “There are journals. But… he didn’t have a solution.”

Neither do I. But, this other might have had a piece to the puzzle I don’t. This is the third me I’ve heard of working on the problem. “I’d like to read them.”

“Of course.”

*

A week. I’ve read my own notes in my own handwriting and there were a few things I hadn’t considered. Physics is physics, but when you’re dealing with infinite permutations, there’s always something new to consider. Whichever Felix out there it was decided to punch a hole in possibility and hop through, I wonder if he realized he’d displace the rest of us. I can’t imagine doing this to myself on purpose, but at the same time, I’ve woken up in this cottage alone, and found condolence cards. Emmitt will be missed. Emmitt was a joy. Our deepest sympathies on the loss of Emmitt.

Would I care what flag flew over Parliament if got Emmitt back? Even if he wasn’t my Emmitt, but an Emmitt in a world similar.

Even if he was an Emmitt I stole from some other me?

That’s the worst part. Maybe I can imagine. Maybe it’s too easy to imagine. I had a whole month in a world like that, where even knowing he wasn’t my Emmitt was barely enough to get through it.

I add notes to the journal, a few new numbers and ideas. It’s not enough, but it’s also not the first time I’ve done this. It might not be me who solves this particular problem. Any Felix will do. There’s a way to send us all back where we started, and slam the door shut forever. There has to be. Even him, the one who set this all in motion.

There’s no locational drift, and that’s one point every version of me who has left notes agrees upon. Stay at the cottage. If we stay where we began, at the cottage, our chances improve.

Of course, he must know that, too. Maybe he’s left. Maybe that’s why we’ve never found him?

There’s no way to know. Just like there’s no way to know why he keeps punching a new hole, and making us all fall through.

The bedroom in the tiny cottage is almost entirely filled by the bed. I slide in beside Emmitt, and kiss the back of his neck. We settle down, warm, and like I do every night I sleep in this bed that is mine and isn’t mine, with a man I love in every way, every time, I hope that if I fall again, I’ll land where I belong.

*

I jolt awake, and do the thing I always do: reach out a hand to see if he’s there.

 

Writing Wednesday — Re: Solutions

I used to be a bigger fan of resolutions when I was younger, and I generally kept them, but the older I get the more I try to think of them more as solutions to things that are impeding me in some way. So, last year I managed something pretty amazing: I completed writing two book-length works in one year.

And I shouldn’t have tried.

OF ECHOES BORN - 4

So. Pretty.

Don’t get me wrong, one of those was a collection, Of Echoes Born (and yes, I’m going to post the cover again because Inkspiral is freaking amazingly talented), so really it was like I wrote a novel-and-a-half, but I knew going in that it was maybe pushing my limits. Then we renovated part of the house, my head decided to have a bad year, and…

Yeah. I got them done. That’s fantastic. But the new limit is firmly in place: One novel (the pitch for which I’m working on now, so hopefully it’s accepted); a novella project (without a contractual deadline); and short fiction in between as I can. No overload. Lots of wiggle room. If my head melts down again, there will be breathing space.

Solutions. Not resolutions.

Triad Magic

Speaking of the novel writing part, the next goal is to bring the Triad boys home with Triad Magic. Writing Wednesdays is when I check in with how things are going, and things are going well. I’ve not sent off the official pitch yet, I’m still working on the synopsis, but I’ve more-or-less decided on the blurb, which is this:

The law of three is everything: three vampires for a coterie, three demons for a pack, and three wizards for a coven. Those who travel alone or in pairs are vulnerable to the rest. Luc, Anders, and Curtis—vampire, demon, and wizard—sidestepped tradition and formed a bond that continues to defy those who have ruled for centuries.

When a series of kidnappings target those who can glimpse the future, the powerful do what they’ve always done: close ranks. But for Luc, Anders, and Curtis, the missing include members of their chosen family, and they alone seem willing to risk themselves to seek whoever might be capable of such a feat.

Outwitting an enemy who can seemingly get the drop on the prescient is no easy task. The powerful of Ottawa scramble to take advantage of the chaos, leaving Luc, Anders, and Curtis to find a way to undo a darkness far crueler than anything they’ve faced before.

The triad of blood, soul, and magic is their greatest power.

The future might not care.

Word-count wise, I’m ahead of the goal (that always happens at the beginning) but the more cushion the better. And on the theme of solutions, I’ve packed more wiggle room in there, too.

Faux-Ho-Ho

My other project, which I’m writing without a home and no plan to look for a home until it’s done, is another holiday novella. I loved, loved, loved having Handmade Holidays out there in November/December, and I won’t lie: it was a selfish love. I got to talk about the holidays they way they are for queer me, and it was an actual joy. I don’t think I’ve felt that way about the holidays in a very long time, and I want more of that feeling, so I’m working on a “fake-relationship” holiday story. I’m still going to try and hit some of my key focus points: queerness, chosen family, and making your own way, but this time it’s going to be more about how we sometimes navigate toxic people to keep the people we love in our lives, and maybe there are better ways.

It’ll be different not to do a vignette style story, too: this one is going to happen over the space of a week or so leading up to the holidays and a family wedding, rather than over the course of fifteen years. And Ru (at least) will have a cameo.

Also there’s a really hunky kickboxer-type who agrees to pretend to be a boyfriend over the holidays.

Writing for this project is also more-than-on-track.

Short Stuff

I’m going back to my usual goal of submitting something short once a month for the year, and also trying to remember reprints are a thing. I haven’t submitted anything just yet, but January has barely begun.


Open Calls for Submission

I also try to list off calls for submission I find (and find tempting) every week on Writing Wednesdays, so without further ado:

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul—Various titles, various themes, various deadlines, 1,200 word count limit.
  • Mischief Corner Books—Open to submissions for various themes, including Legendary Love, Everyday Heroes, Cowboys and Space; these are open rolling calls, so no deadline.
  • NineStar Press—Open to submissions for various length prose, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and horror; Click “Currently Seeking” header for details; word count limit variable.
  • Spectrum Lit—This is an ongoing patreon flash fic provider, 1,500 hard word count limit; LGBTQ+ #ownvoice only; ongoing call.
  • Best Gay Erotica for the Year, Volume 4—Cleis Press; 2,500 to 5,000 word count limit. Original stories strongly preferred; deadline January 5th, 2018 (but the earlier the better).
  • A World Unimagined— Left Hand Publishers; 4,000 to 9,000 word count limit. Speculative fiction, deadline: January 21st, 2018.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to F*** Them—Circlet Press; Erotic short stories with magical beasts and shapeshifter tropes; 3,000 to 7,000 word count limit; deadline February 1st, 2018.
  • Lost—NineStar Press. LGBTQIA+ romantic pairing. Both HEA and HFN are acceptable, Click “Lost” header for the theme. 30k to 120k word count limit; deadline April 30th, 2018.
  • Happiness in Numbers—Less than Three Press; Polyamorous LGBTQIA+ anthology, non-erotic polyamorous stories that explore the idea of “Family”; 10k to 20k word count limit; deadline April 30th, 2018.
  • MLR Press—Quite a few different themes are open; 10k to 40k word count limit; deadlines vary, but the earliest right now is April 30th, 2018.

January Flash Fiction Draw

Happy New Year, everyone!

So, as I mentioned a week or so ago, I decided to throw together a Flash Fiction Draw challenge once a month, patterned after the NYCMidnight Flash Fiction contest I entered a couple of times. I didn’t like the two day limitation (or, less, really since I’m not one to stay up until midnight to find out my assignment), so I figure giving a solid week to put the three pieces together would be more fun.

So, I sat down and did the draw. I even made a video of it (you can go check that out on my Facebook page if you want).

The chart from which the draws were made was this:

Screenshot 2017-12-19 10.22.17

And the result for January? Three of clubs, eight of diamonds, and two of hearts. Which means anyone who wants to play along is going to write a flash fiction piece of 1,000 words within the following guidelines: a fairy tale, involving a tattoo machine, set in a prison.

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with, and if you’re willing to share, by all means drop by my Facebook page above on the 8th, or here, and link back to your pieces.

Most importantly? This is supposed to be fun and inspiring, not hard work that leaves you feeling frustrated or angry. If it’s not working for you? Don’t sweat it. There’ll be another challenge next month, from the remaining twelve items on the list.

Which I just realized I said wrong on the video, because there were thirteen cards in play for each suit, not ten. Sheesh.

Flash Draw with Words