Posts Tagged ‘Crystal Lake Publishing’

As promised, SHALLOW WATERS VOL. 5:  A FLASH FICTION ANTHOLOGY is officially out on Kindle, at least for the present at only 99 cents for approximately 84 pages with 23 stories. For more one may press here.  My tale in the tote bag is called “Midnight Dark” (see April 8, March 24, et al.), officially blurbed as “A woman journeys north for survival.”  But the question is why she must travel, no?  And it’s listed fourth from last in the contents although, due to some late term editing, the title there is now slightly outdated.  So these things sometimes happen (in this case the “old” title is the one it had for the original competition).

To quote from publisher Crystal Lake:  SHALLOW WATERS is the official monthly flash fiction challenge hosted by the award-winning Crystal Lake Publishing.  Every month a new challenge is posted online, with authors submitting via email.  The best submissions are then posted on Crystal Lake’s Patreon page (an exclusive behind the scenes community of readers and authors), where patrons read daily entries and vote for the winner.  What you’ll find in these SHALLOW WATERS anthologies include the winners as well as the most popular of our finalists.  Stay tuned for more volumes in this series, or find Crystal Lake Publishing on Patreon to enter or vote on future challenges (or gain access to our STILL WATER BAY series).

Volume five includes suspenseful stories of horror on the road, war, graveyards, Karma, and Halloween.

Includes:
Introduction by Joe Mynhardt
“Driving On” by Guy Medley (winner)
“Dichotomy” by Jason Parent
“Babysitting for Writers” by Kevin David Anderson (winner)
“The Good Samaritan” by L.F. Falconer
“Of Debris and Duty” by John Boden
“The Visitors” by Mark Allan Gunnells
“Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave” by Richard Thomas
“The Knights of Cold Days” by Dave Jeffery
“Travel Bag” by Bryan Miller
“In the Desert, In the Night” by Pedro Iniguez
“Grievance” by Christine Lajewski
“Fuel for My Fire” by Linsey Knerl
“The Dead Lands” by Anthony D Redden
“Welcome to Gothmart” by David Bernard
“The Mascot” by Jennifer K Carstens (winner)
“Wasteland” by Sheldon Woodbury
“All’s Fair” by Michelle Mellon
“Stay Away” by Michael Patrick Hicks
“The Road Home” by Rand Eastwood
“Midnight Sun” by James Dorr
“The Wind Stakes Its Claim” by Kris Kinsella
“The Forest of Skin” by Esteban Vargas
“Second Chance” by Alex Ebenstein (winner)

Its full title is SHALLOW WATERS VOL. 5:  A FLASH FICTION ANTHOLOGY and its Amazon description begins:  With 23 Dark Fiction & Horror tales diving beneath the surface of life, death, and the mystery that lies beneath.  Elsewhere it’s noted of shallow waters that that’s where “nothing stays buried.”  So what exposed treasure might I have therein (cf. March 24, October 15, et al.)?  A story of zombies, vampirism, and Christmas called “Midnight Dark.”

The theme to write on, I recall, was “travel,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean all the tales will relate to that subject — the twenty-three chosen will have come from several of these calls.  But in any event the Kindle edition of SHALLOW WATERS 5, with new story “Midnight Dark,” will be available a week from now, Wednesday, April. 15, with more information including pre-ordering to be found by pressing here.

So today the governor of Indiana has ordered residents, with a few exceptions, to stay holed up at home until April 6.  That is, for two weeks (well actually thirteen days), with April 6 also the tentative date for the public library to reopen (see March 16, 14) — though when the time comes both closures could of course be extended.  Meanwhile the writing life, even if curtailed, continues.

Thus yesterday, from Crystal Lake Publishing Editor Joe Mynhardt, came the email:  I’d love to publish “Midnight Sun” in the next SHALLOW WATERS anthology, out around Mid-April. . . , but with one small catch.  We may recall that “Midnight Sun” scored last fall in a three-way tie for third place in Crystal Lake’s Flash Fiction Contest for “Travel Horror” (cf. October 15, 11, et al.), part of the prize being prospective future publication.  So the time has come, but the catch was an up-front request for possible editorial changes.

Well, that’s part of the writing life too and, as I looked the story over, I did see one thing that bothered me about it, a passage justifying the title that otherwise didn’t seem to make that much sense.  So I changed the passage — but also the title, the story of a Los Angeles vampire’s Christmas journey to the far north now renamed “Midnight Dark.”  Then a round of small changes from the publisher’s side, my okaying some, re-changing some others, all taking far longer than they otherwise might have due to the underpowered Cave Computer at this end.

But then nobody said it would be easy, right?  The changes went in Monday night, a contract came today (more problems for the Cave Computer), and a photograph of the signed contract plus an RTF copy of “Midnight Dark” with its final changes went back to Crystal Lake this evening.  The book, when it comes out, will be SHALLOW WATERS:  A FLASH FICTION ANTHOLOGY, VOL. 5, with more to come here as it becomes known.

The results are in:

1st: “Driving On” by Guy Medley
2nd: “Hook-Hand Man’s Last Night on Lovers’ Lane” by Patrick Barb
3rd: “Travel Bag” by Bryan Miller &
“Turkish Delight On the Blue Line” by Shoshana Edwards &
“Midnight Sun” by James Dorr

These are the results of the Crystal Lake Flash Fiction Challenge (see October 11, September 25) on the theme of Travel Horror, my entry being “Midnight Sun” on the wisdom (among other things) of heading north when threatened by a zombie apocalypse.  At least, that is, if it’s almost Christmas.  These were voted on by Crystal Lake Patreon subscribers (is that the right term?) of which I am not, so I can’t read the stories myself — but a win (even if in a tie for third place) is a win, yes?  And that’s not a bad thing.

And there’s more as well.  The e-announcement, received yesterday from Contest Coordinator Joe Mynhardt, went on:  After every challenge I check with the authors of stories I really like (or stories that were quite popular with the patrons, even though they didn’t win) about what they want to do with their story.  I’m looking for some stories to fill our SHALLOW WATERS anthologies, and would love to include your story.  These books roughly 20k words, eBook only, and selling at only 99c.  It’s basically just a cool way to promote great flash and our Patreon page, while bringing in a bit of funds for our bigger projects.

So “Midnight Sun” will have a home too, my having just sent back my “yes” this afternoon.   More details to come as soon as I get them.

Then one more item.  Today the proof copy came for STAR*LINE 41.4, for Fall 2019, with corrections going back later today.  I have three poems in this one (cf. October 4), “Parents,” “The Frugal Vampiress,” and “Gourmet Warning,” to appear on pages 13, 28, and 29 respectively.

This was the deal.  This month’s theme is Travel Horror, so any stories taking place on planes, trains, boats and goats.  Or any other medium of travel you can think of.  The prize includes a $20 token payment, publication in an upcoming SHALLOW WATERS anthology, and an Author Spotlight on the Crystal Lake Patreon page and newsletter.  Patreon supporters would vote on these stories, thirteen in all as it turns out (see September 25, below), with mine being last to be posted.  Lucky number thirteen!  And now its time has come.

The story in question is “Midnight Sun,” the tale of a Los Angelino night nurse with a secret, and a need to journey far, far to the north.  Those interested can find it by pressing here, along with, I assume, the twelve that preceded it.  Even better, they can vote for it and, even if it doesn’t come first, if it gets enough support it, too, may be chosen to be in SHALLOW WATERS, Crystal Lake Publishing’s periodic flash fiction anthology.  But there is a catch:  If folks ask, they need to be a $5 Fans of Fiction tier patron, or any of the higher tiers.  Authors who want to read and vote but also want to see our author related posts will have to join the $7 or higher tiers.  If they only join the $5 Author on the Go tier, they won’t be able to read these stories.  Again, information, including how to join should the spirit so move (and, remember, vote “Midnight Sun”), may be found by pressing here.

Also Facebook brought word that ABYSS & APEX Editor Wendy S. Delmater’s “how to” book WRITING THE ENTERTAINING STORY is currently out on Kindle.  So why mention if here?  Well, I get mentioned/supply an example in a discussion about how a writer can use a few broad details to induce readers to flesh out a scene by bringing their own memories and experiences to it.  The story in question — a science fiction flash piece of almost exactly 1000 words (I’d had to cut it down from 1200!) — is called “Nanoflakes,” about a young boy in a future that includes interactive breakfasts, and was published itself in ABYSS & APEX in its Second Quarter 2006 issue.*  Information on the Kindle edition can be found here.
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*”Nanoflakes” was reprinted in UNTIED SHOELACES OF THE MIND ANTHOLOGY (cf. September 10, May 6 2011), but also — and here’s the lagniappe! — can still be found in its original outing in the ABYSS & APEX archives by pressing here.

This was the pitch:  This month’s theme is Travel Horror, so any stories taking place on planes, trains, boats and goats.  Or any other medium of travel you can think of.  The prize includes a $20 token payment, publication in an upcoming Shallow Waters anthology, and an Author Spotlight on the Crystal Lake Patreon page and newsletter.  Stories had to be under 1000 words and sent by September 19 at the latest, so why not thought I.  Other information from Crystal Lake Publishing’s Joe Mynhardt included:  For those not familiar with the challenge, it’s open to all authors, and you don’t have to be a Crystal Lake Patreon supporter/patron to enter.  I’ll personally read the stories and choose the best stories, which I’ll then post to the Crystal Lake patrons.  They’ll read and vote for a winner.  And even if you don’t win, the most popular stories will be invited to one of our Shallow Waters anthologies.

So Wednesday the word came:  Congrats, James, your flash fiction story is moving on to the Patreon voting stage of our flash fiction challenge.  A list followed of thirteen titles (of about 40 entered) with mine the last of them, which means it will be the last to be posted on the Crystal Lake Patreon page.  So those who are patrons take notice, and perhaps think of giving my tale your vote (though, alas, I cannot vote for it myself, or even I think read the rival stories, not being a Patreon member myself).

But it’s the thrill of the chase that counts, no?  My story is titled “Midnight Sun” and is the tale of an ER night nurse’s pre-Christmas journey to the far, far north.  But why, one might ask (hint: it’s not to meet Santa)?  For that you will have to read it yourself, with a link to come when the story is up which will be posted here.  But as publisher Mynhardt also reminds us, [p]lease take note that only subscribers/patrons can read and vote.  Hopefully folks who follow your link will like what they see on our Patreon page and join (and vote for your story, of course).




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