Posts Tagged ‘Zombies’

[T]his anthology is looking for well-written, spine-tingling tales of horror infused with black humor (gallows humor).  We are open to all categories of horror:  gore, psychological, killers, monsters, and occult/paranormal.  Twisted and tacky is a plus.  This is from the original call for MADAME GRAY’S CREEP SHOW and what’s not to love?  The guidelines said “original stories” and it just so happened I had one I’d written some time back, but the one market it had clicked with went belly up before it could be published and after that it just sort of languished . . . well, you’ve heard this sort of sad story before.  The title was “Wormbreath” and it’s about the joy of being dead — especially if you’re somewhat of a practical joker who’s had a bad marriage and don’t much like your daughter either — so “why not?” I thought and off it went.

Today brought the answer:  HellBound Books is pleased to accept “Wormbreath” for inclusion in MADAME GRAY’S CREEP SHOW!  With it was a contract along with details about sending a bio (already done!) and how page proofs for vetting should come around early October and to be ready for them.  Madame Gray would not be the kind to want to let grass grow under her feet.

Well, fair enough thought I, I like to see things published on schedule too, so just a couple of hours ago I completed step one, reading and signing the contract, and sent it back.

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it’s listed fourth from last in the contents although, due to some late term editing, the title there is now slightly outdated.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.

Except he’s been demoted to just any “Prisoner” and beware of Episode 40 that went up today too.  In fact, timewise, #40 showed up in my email before the real McCoy, #39.  Such are the mysteries that roam the Interwebs.  Nevertheless the one titled “Prisoner,” née “The Third Prisoner,” originally published in LVWonline.org (as Honorable Mention, Ligonier Valley Writers 2008 Flash Fiction Contest, “Zombie Stories”, November 2008) as well as in Brazil in I ANTOLOGIA LUSIADAS (in Portuguese as “O Terceiro Prisioneiro,” Ediciones Lusiadas, 2009), along with a few other places in English, is now up with its slightly shortened title in FLASH IN A FLASH, EPISODE 39.  If you’re a subscriber, just plunk your email announcing the fact (cf. January 20, 14, et al.).

But if you’re not, there may still be time, and subscriptions to FLASH IN A FLASH are free. To try it out, press here.  Or if you prefer, I understand episodes are eventually gathered up for a future FLASH IN A FLASH anthology — except that that one probably won’t be free (of which more will be here when/if it becomes known).

Just a quick reminder, if schedules hold up my “The Third Prisoner” should be tomorrow’s FLASH IN A FLASH feature (cf. January 14).  But to read it one must subscribe (it’s free — for two stories a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays!) which one is invited to do by pressing here.

Flash in a flash is a bi-weekly* newsletter of bite-sized stories from every genre under the sun.  New, professional, and experienced authors all bringing you their best in less than 1000 words.  So begins the FLASH IN A FLASH blurb, which can be seen/signed up for by pressing here.  And the thing is, it’s free.

But that’s not just the reason I’m noting it here. Today word came that my story, “The Third Prisoner” (see January 8), will be published there in the near future and the thing is, if you’re a subscriber you’ll be able to read it.

So, January 8’s acceptance email from Publisher Jason Brick put the 21st of this month as the planned publication date, so check here for the news.  Or, if you’re a subscriber you’ll probably get an email as well, but either way it’s a very short story and, as said above, will be able to be read for free.

 

*That is to say twice a week, I believe, not every two weeks.

They seem to be coming just days apart (one wishes!), acceptances first for “The Reading” from DEEP FRIED HORROR: CTHULHU CHEESE BURGER, then “River Red” for APPLES RED AS BLOOD, and now, yesterday evening, an email from Jason Brick re. FLASH IN A FLASH:  Thank you for your patience in how long it took to work through our massive pile of submissions. We are thrilled to accept PRISONER for our January 21st episode, if it’s still available. Just let me know, and we’ll get you set up.  The story in full is “The Third Prisoner,” like this month’s other two sales a reprint having first appeared in LVWONLINE.ORG in November 2008, on political repression in Latin America and . . . zombies.

Jason Brick, we may recall, was editor of the anthology ITTY BITTY WRITING SPACE that included the debut of my “The Junkie” (see August 28, July 9, et al.), another flash piece (with, also, a zombie).  As for “The Third Prisoner,” this acceptance is for “use in the FLASH IN A FLASH newsletter,” but also potentially publication in a FLASH IN A FLASH anthology for which there would be additional payment.  I might add also that “The Third Prisoner” has been around, including translated into Portuguese (as “O Terceiro Prisoneiro”) in the Brazilian anthology I ANTOLOGIA LUSIADAS (Ediciones Lusiadas, 2009).

Well, what a coincidence!  Wednesday I posted about an anthology, FORBIDDEN!  TALES OF REPRESSION, RESTRICTION, AND REBELLION, that had been delayed but was now finally released.  A collection, one might surmise, that might include musings on political topics, real or imagined.  Perhaps even a bit of political satire which, by its nature, would likely displease at least some of its potential readers.

So fast forward two days, and a here-and-now piece of satire, a tale I was hesitant to send out at first but at last took a chance on, a reflection of fast-moving current events — has someone just been impeached for some reason?  But not the ones described in this story! — a 1000-word flash piece called “Steel Slats” has just gone live on the prestigious and relatively high-circulation (and free!) DAILY SCIENCE FICTION (see August 23, 17; also April 21 2015, et al.).  A little bit of “if this goes on” one might say, but SteelSlatshopefully, too, with a touch of humor.

To back up a moment, I’ll quote from myself, from the email I’d sent submitting “Steel Slats” and which also appears now on DAILY SF:  There’s a certain class of stories I think of as “the devil made me do it” stories, when the news of the day starts sounding so wacky it seems to demand some kind of response.  This is one of those stories.  To read it for yourself — and remember, it’s free! — press here.

Maybe not that new, it actually was posted last May, but that just shows I don’t check Goodreads as often as I probably should.  The reviewer is James Agombar and what’s especially nice is he offers a detailed story by story description, though admittedly with possibly one or two spoilers.  Also some stories don’t go over as well with him as others — two going as low as two stars out of five! — though he admits that those might be a matter of taste.  And, best of all, his overall score for the book is a full five!

As he concludes:  . . . I love the way James Dorr crafts his stories and the strangeness fuses well with his style and clarity.  This mixture represents just what he is capable of in terms of diversity and I’d recommend this anthology to anybody if they are wanting something different to the run of the mill blueprint that publishers seem to want with short stories nowadays.  An excellent and strange journey awaits you in top literal form.  But see for yourself by pressing here (from which you can also click the book’s title at the top for its main Goodreads page, including links for purchasing should one so desire).




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