Writing

Released today: Renewal Anthology

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I am so excited to share the news about Queer Sci-Fi and Mischief Corner Book’s anthology, Renewal!  My contribution, “Springtime Fae,” was awarded an Honorable Mention!

This exciting and pleasing anthology is available now, in print and as an eBook.

From the Editors:

Re.new.al (noun)

1) Resuming an activity after an interruption, or
2) Extending a contract, subscription or license, or
3) Replacing or repairing something that is worn out, run-down, or broken, or
4) Rebirth after death.

Four definitions to spark inspiration, a limitless number of stories to be conceived. Only 110 made the cut.

Thrilling to hopeful, Renewal features 300-word speculative fiction ficlets about sexual and gender minorities to entice readers.

Welcome to Renewal.

Excerpts:

Because these stories are only 300 words each, we’re not supplying long excerpts, but here are the first lines of several of the stories. Enjoy!

“Griselda pulled the weeds from between the rows of Valerianella locusta plants in the garden, careful not to disturb the buds that would grow into the babies that were her only real income-producing crop.” —The Witches’ Garden, by Rie Sheridan Rose

“I didn’t know how truly the world was in trouble until I went journeying to look for Anisette’s bluebonnets.” —Bluebonnets, by Emily Horner

“The ship’s drive malfunctioned at the worst possible time.” —The Return, by Andrea Speed

“Before we continue, there’s a rather macabre fact about me I should share.” —Rejuvenation, by Christine Wright

“When I died they buried me at the bottom of the garden and returned to the fields.” —Below the Hill, by Matthew Bright

“The world is ending and I can’t look away from your eyes.” —Sunrise, by Brigitte Winter

““Losing one’s superpowers to your arch nemesis sucks donkey nuts, I tell ya. And trust me when I say I suck a lot of them.” —Rainbow Powers, by Dustin Karpovich

“The day I was born again was damp, rainy—a good day for rebirth, all things considered.” —The Birthing Pod, by Michelle Browne

“Intwir’s twelve eyes roved over the container, taking in the cracked outer lock and the elasticated fabric stretched tightly over its exterior.” —In a Bind, by S R Jones

“‘You’ve reached Androgyne HelpLine. Press one to start service. Press two to interrupt or cancel service. Press three—’” —Auto-Renew, by Ginger Streusel

“The doctor tells me that my wife is dying, but I already know.” —I Will Be Your Shelter, by Carey Ford Compton

“‘San Francisco was the first to go dark, followed by Los Angeles.’” —When Light Left, by Lex Chase

“My fingers lingered on the synthetic skin, trailing soft patterns across my work.” —Miss You, by Stephanie Shaffer

Buy Links Etc:

Mischief Corner Books (info only)

Amazon

Kobo

Or in Print:

Amazon (black and white illustrations)

Amazon (color illustrations)

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Pipelines in Paradise Release

I’m so excited to announce the release of my debut novella, Pipelines in Paradise!

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This projected started out on a whim.  I saw the call for submissions from Dreamspinner Press’s States of Love Series, and I was inspired.  The stories I typically write are science fiction and fantasy, so a contemporary romance–set in a state I’ve never even visited–was outside my comfort zone.  However, pushing yourself is always a good thing.  I was happy to get to work on this story, the characters, the setting, the relationship.

I wanted the main character, Palmer Simpson, to be restarting his life.  I was reminded of a quote by the author Haruki Murakami in his short story “Man-Eating Cats.”  It goes, “Once you make up your mind to get rid of something, there’s very little you can’t discard. No–not very little. Once you put your mind to it, there’s nothing you can’t get rid of.”  I tried to channel this idea into Palmer. He lost everything, and with the absence of that fear, he picked up and moved on.

I enjoy the idea of new beginnings, or second chances.  I feel it’s never too late to reevaluate any situation and attack it from a new angle.  For Palmer, this manifested into a trip to Hawaii where he tries to reconnect with his childhood dreams of being a surfer.

Pipelines in Paradise is now available for purchase!  It can be bought directly from Dreamspinner Press, or from Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

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“Flight” Release

flight-fbbanner2-groupI’m so pleased to say that my first work is published!

New today is “Flight,” an anthology of 110 LGBTQ speculative flash fiction stories, brought to you by Mischief Corner Books.  The anthology comes from Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest, where authors are able to interpret the year’s theme as they see fit.  It features all sorts of characters, from aliens and AIs, to angels.

Though a printed version will be available soon, currently the eBook is on sale from any of these retailers:

 

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My contribution is titled “The Aviary” and is featured in the Paranormal section of the anthology.

Happy reading!

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Finding Inspiration Everywhere

This weekend, I took a vacation to California. A friend of mine–Jason Denzel–kicked of his debut novel, Mystic, with a book tour. Since he wasn’t coming to my Arizona area, I wanted to go to him. My husband wasn’t able to take the time off work for a long weekend, so I asked my parents if they wanted to go with me. They agreed.

We drove the six hours from Phoenix to San Diego. As we did, I kept glancing out the window and seeing signs along the freeway. I remembered a similar trip I took about four or five years ago.

For our anniversary, my husband I and took a trip to San Diego. At the time, I was going through a small bout of depression. The change in scenery helped a lot. Breathing in the ocean air, new sights and sounds, a swanky hotel room, fancy meals at the Oceanaire (we ate there two nights in a row).

On the way home, I was suddenly inspired to write.

I’ve had aspirations to be a writer since high school. After reading The Wheel of Time series in 1999–up to Path of Daggers was released by that point–I wanted to mimic Robert Jordan’s beautiful and enticing storytelling.

Driving home from San Diego, I came up with the basic plot of a story. I pulled character names and places from the road signs along the way. Japatul became Tul, my main character. Tavern Road became Taver, the main character’s father. Fortuna became one of the nations. There are too many others to list.

When I got home, I typed up an outline. I worked on it off and on for a few months. It was at the end of October that I accidently stumbled upon an event called NaNoWriMo. I was excited. I had just finished an outline and here was a conveniently placed writing challenge. I dove in headfirst.

I wound up winning that year. It was the first time I had actually set out to do something and succeeded. An amazing sense of accomplishment filled me. I got to 83,000 words before I stopped writing on that story, about three-quarters of the way done with my outline. So, I “won,” but didn’t finish. I was fine with that.

That simple experience kindled a love for writing within me. Though it’s only been the past year or so that I’ve buckled down and made writing an everyday occurrence. It was nice to be reminded of that beginning, the time when I saw a change in my life. I can pinpoint exactly where I am right now to that vacation.

Being in San Diego this time had my head filled with ideas and inspirations. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do!

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NaNoWriMo

A little perseverance goes a long way.  Case in point: NaNoWriMo.  For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, is a non-profit organization that encourages everyone to write a novel during the month of November.  Their amazing program–and all the assistance it offers–is completely free!  It’s a fantastic resource to anyone with the slightest desire to be an author.

But there’s more to NaNo than just (hopefully) ending up with a 50,000 word novel at the end of the month.  It stresses the importance of perseverance.  If you sat down in your chair and thought about writing 50,000 words, it can be daunting.  And many people could be put off by that looming number, too intimidated to even try.  But NaNo shows that just doing a little each day (1,667 words a day, in fact) can add up over time.  And this mentality can be applied to other aspects of our lives.

I read an interview with artist Paul Bielaczyc, and he spoke about identifying as an artist, saying, “Well during the course of a week on vacation, I spent about 24 hours total, working on a single piece of art. I was drawing at night, next to the pool at a friend’s house, pretty much all the time. I had never done that before. And when I finished, I finally felt, I am good at this. It was then that I realized that, for me, to truly make a memorable piece of art, it just took time.”

It’s all about how much you’re willing to invest.  With NaNo, you need to spend time each day adding to your novel.  It won’t be the best thing ever written, but the devotion you’ve given to it will increase your skills, increase your stamina, increase your passion.  And at the end, you will have that achievement, that sense of wonder realizing you did something you once thought impossible.

How many other things can we accomplish if we simply spend the time?

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