Posts Tagged ‘Flash Fiction’

By any other name. . .  On the contract the book is called BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR COGNITIVE RUMINATIONS; on at least one set of guidelines, THE FAR EDGE OF NORMAL; on another BEER-BATTERED SHRIMP FOR THE SOUL.  The description:  What?  You were expecting it to be a NORMAL book filled with NORMAL stories?  Nope. Silliness and weirdness will abound.  All I ask is that submissions be happy and silly and hopeful.  Not dark or froggie1scary or disturbing.  Well, maybe a little disturbing.  And one more thing, that the cut-off for length was 125 words.  So, as it happened, I had such a story, “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair,” a tale of fairyland witches and magic.  And also beauticians.

So late last night, possibly while I was still at the movies (see post just below), came the reply from Editor/Publisher Jaleta Clegg:  I would like to publish “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair” in the collection.  Attached is a contract.  Please fill it out and send it back to me as a doc attachment.  If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.  And that is that.  “As Fine as Frogs’ Hair” was originally published in MISCELLANEA:  A TRANSDIMENSIONAL LIBRARY (Eggplant Literary Productions, November 14 2013) and is exactly 75 words long, but more to the point it is silly and weird.  And maybe only a little disturbing.

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Well, not just a “sheet” but a whole 256 page book, ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE (see May 14, March 27, et al.), or at least a Word DOCX copy thereof.  The challenge:  The stragglers are in.  What’s attached is the manuscript proof for our book.  Here’s your assignment.

Step One:  Read your entry carefully (including your listing in the table of contents).
Step Two:  Email me here with either an indication that all is well or exact specifications of changes you want.  This is emergencies only.  Misspellings.  Typos.  Using your real name instead of your pen name.  The time for stylistic “improvements” is long past.
Step Three:  Read the entries immediately before or after yours, checking for typos and similar errors.  If you have the last entry, read the one before and the first.  If you have the first entry, read the one after and the last.
Step Four:  Include suggested changes in the email.

This is the compendium of “100 Stories by 100 Authors,” each story no more than 1000 words long, edited by Dani J. Caili and Jason Brick and with my story in it a 750-word epic, “The Junkie,” about current day medico-socialogical problems . . . and zombies.  And, the challenge further to be getting corrections in by the middle of next week, I made a point of returning mine (just one minor change needed) this evening.  Or as co-editor Brick expressed it, [i]f you can get this done by mid next week, that would be amazing. We’re still on track to ship in June, but we’ll have to hustle a wee bit. 

Two quick bits of news arrived late yesterday and today, the first from Editor Andrea Dawn that payment (ahem!) for my story “The Bala Worm” (cf. April 26, 6) will be coming in less than a week, with the Tell-Tale Press anthology CREATURES on schedule to appear on Kindle on May 23 with stories also available then on the publisher’s website.   “The Bala Worm,” a novelette of dragon hunting in modern Wales, is itself a reprint, originally published in BLACK DRAGON, WHITE DRAGON (Ricasso Press, 2008) and also appears in my collection THE TEARS OF ISIS.

Then today’s note comes from Editor/Publisher Jason Brick that things had gotten a wee bit behind for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE (see March 27, et al.), so to catch up we’re going to . . . skip the step where everybody gets a pdf proof of the copy of their story individually, and roll right on to sending out a pdf proof of the book itself.  Which I’m hoping we’ll send out late next week.  This is an anthology of 100 stories of 1000 or fewer words apiece, “any genre, any style,” including my original flash piece,”The Junkie,” with publication still expected for June.

And so the the second Bloomington Writers Guild “Spoken Word Series at Bears” occurred last night on its new first Wednesday schedule at local (located, in fact, on Third Street) tavern Bear’s Place.  The featured readings started with parts of a 1968 Chicago-set novel in progress by local author and WFHB radio star Mike Glab; followed by a radio theater dramatization of part of a Robert Heinlein novel, THE SAIL BEYOND SUNSET, by also WFHB community radio host Richard Fish; and Indiana poet Steve Henn (most recent collection:  INDIANA NOBLE SAD MAN OF THE YEAR from Wolfson Press) with a group of personal poems including his 2018 RATTLE Poetry Prize finalist entry “Soccer Dad”; interspersed with poetry-with-music sets by SHAKESPEARE’S MONKEY, who we’ve met before (see September 1 2018, March 10 2017, et al.).  For the “Open Mic” part, I led off a series of five readers noting first that last month’s “Casket Girls” (cf. March 6) was just one of about a dozen flash stories concerning these New Orleanian vampires, so why not continue with their adventures for at least the rest of the year, then segueing into this month’s story, “A St. Valentine’s Day Tale,” about a fatal practical joke played by one of les filles on a loving, but sometimes abusive husband.

It was the first new story acceptance for 2019, “The Junkie” (see January 21, 19), a 750 word epic of mean streets, addiction, and urban zombies.  Skid Row with a bite!  And, contracts all worked out, an edited proof copy came back yesterday from Editor Jason Brick for ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE with a request to get it back “by the first week of April.”  The book:  an anthology of 100 stories, each 1000 words or fewer, in any genre and/or any style.

So today I opened the attachment up and found few changes, mostly technical (e.g., changes in the form of dashes), checked them off, and back it went with a note that I had no quarrels.  Thus one more step taken toward publication, with more to be here as it becomes known.

Say what?  Yes, the Itty Kickstarter (see February 3, January 31, et al.) for funding ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE — as well as its authors! — will end at midnight EST tonight.  That’s the book of one hundred flash fiction stories, by one hundred authors, all genres, all styles, including my epic “The Junkie” of (un)life as a zombie on the mean streets of the city.  And Editor/Publisher Jason Brick has added a new reward, an “Ebook Extravaganza” (also included in the “Book Me + Ebook Bundle” option, plus two at the $60 level and one at $85), to wit:  You get everything in “I Love Living In The Future” PLUS a collection of 12 full-length ebooks by our authors!  How cool is that?  It’s like getting a book for a buck twelve times!  How cool indeed!

The authors included are Ahmed A. Khan, Craig English, Randy Attwood, Cathy Smith, Halli Lilburn, Jean Harkin, Ian Jedlica, Karen Eisenbrey, Russell Nohelty, James Dorr, Ali Lauderdale, Melissa Dull, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lisa Love, plus Jason Brick according to a recent email, actually a few more than

“At midnight it all turns back into a pumpkin.”

12 if I have it right, but there is one disclaimer.  My entry, anyway, is in the just over 30,000-word range which is a bit short of novel-length by most standards, so if it counts as a “full-length ebook” may be in the eye of the beholder.  The title is A JAMES DORR SAMPLER:  SEVEN STORIES OF FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION, AND HORROR, and it consists of one story each from my early collections STRANGE MISTRESSES and DARKER LOVES (for more on all of these click the book’s picture in the center column), two from my Stoker(R) nominated THE TEARS OF ISIS, two from my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, and one uncollected extra, all in a somewhat “rough and ready” PDF format.

Seems like a pretty good deal to me, bit then I do have a rat in the race.  But check out the kickstarter for yourself by pressing here — and remember to hurry, it all ends at midnight!

***NOTE: The Library Benefit extends until Thursday (Jan 31) at midnight, PST.  If you back at the $25 or $50 level, we will match you and give books to a library of your choice.***

Thus starred and noted comes the announcement from publisher Jason Brick concerning the “Itty Bitty Kickstarter” (see January 29, et al.) special feature, that certain pledges of $25 or $50 made during the first two days will include a donation of the anthology ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE to the local library of your choice.  This is an anthology of flash fiction, 100 stories of 1000 words or less, by 100 authors — a style and a writer for every taste! — including even a story by me, “The Junkie,” of zombies (well one anyway) and drugs.  And now one more thing:  We have a specific cut off time for those willing to donate one to their library, midnight (PST) Thursday — today!

For more, press here.

You want some fiction?  We got your fiction right here!  A hundred tales of derring-do, introspection, love, hate, joy, fear, science fiction, mystery, romance, fantasy, and all manner of other things for your reading pleasure.  That’s 100 stories from 100 authors with 100 voices at under 1000 words apiece.  It’s ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE (see January 27, et al.) and today the Kickstarter has begun!

And one special feature:  Certain pledges of $25 or $50, provided they’re made within 48 hours, include a donation of the book to your local — or other favorite — library.  Check it out by pressing here, then scroll down the pledge levels to the right for the ones that have the library option, but, again, pledges for these must be made today or tomorrow — within the Kickstarter’s first 48 hours!  But other options exist as well, and whatever is given will help ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE get published (if all goes well, to be out around June) as well as helping the authors get paid.  That is to say, me, and 99 others.

My part in the pack, incidentally, is a new tale called “The Junkie,” of mean streets and drug addiction and . . . zombies.  Or at least one zombie, insofar as it’s only about 750 words long.  So reading is addictive too, and to help this book meet the people who need it, for the Kickstarter again press here, check the options out, and do pledge what you can.

Hopefully not to the former!  But the question does come up, what about Valentine’s Day for those people you don’t like so much?  And with less than a month left, here is one answer courtesy of Angel Orona on Facebook’s SHIT JUST GOT WEIRD, “Delivered in Hate: In the Victorian Era, People Sent These Grotesque ‘Vinegar Valentines’ to Their Enemies” from VINTAGE.ES (a.k.a. VINTAGE EVERYDAY).  Or, possibly better, maybe you shouldn’t be hanging around so much with people like that in the first place.

Nevertheless we are into horror and, who knows, one could be on the receiving end too.  So as the February feast day approaches, if only to be forewarned press here.

Then back to business, it was an odd sort of contract, an interactive one in a way, but contracts are contracts and this was received from ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE Editor Jason Brick earlier this afternoon (cf. just below, January 19).  I hope you’re still jazzed about this anthology.  The team and I sure are.  Today, though, we’re mostly about business.  More fun stuff comes later, but it’s always best to get the money and contract stuff done early so everybody’s on the same page and nobody’s feelings get hurt.  It was followed by a preview of what would be covered, and then:  If this still sounds like your idea of a good time, click the button below.  It will take you to a Google form where you sign off on this plain-English agreement.  From there, you’re in and we’re all set to move forward.

And there, step by step, one could check the “yes” boxes as each point came up, finally typing one’s name and the date — all easy and neat and uncomplicated, an interesting idea!  Be that as it may, I did as required, and back it went.

Well, at 750 words my flash piece “The Junkie” is an itty bitty story so, when the call went out for an anthology called ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE, who was I to resist?  The idea is, as I understand it, that one hundred stories at 1000 or fewer words each will be accepted for the book, “any genre welcome, just keep it awesome.”  Pay — and perhaps even just publication — will depend on Kickstarter success in the near future, so watch these pages for an announcement and link when I know it.

But I get ahead of myself.  The point is that in less than a day’s time, at 9:37 last night according to the time stamp, the email came:  I am thrilled to accept “The Junkie” for the book.  You are now officially confirmed.  This was followed by information on a mailing list for further details plus a request for my confirmation that I was still interested, which I returned.

So, again, check back here for future info and, when the Kickstarter is announced, be aware that generosity will be appreciated by ninety-nine authors as well as me.  And then, when the time comes, enjoy an all-new story (hint:  it does have a zombie in it) by me.




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