Preview: SOUTHern WRITEmares
Every writer has nightmares. These are plaguing my dreams.
Happy Labor Day
Haven't posted here in awhile. Just wanted to wish you all a safe and Happy Labor Day.
4th of July Myths
What better way to celebrate the fourth than revealing the truth of some common American independence myths:1.) Independence Was Declared on the Fourth of July.Wrong! Independence was declared by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. This is the day according to a letter written by John Adams to his wife Abigail that "will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival." So, why do we celebrate the fourth?First of all, the Declaration of Independence was adopted on the fourth which is indicated on the document itself. It is believed that is where some of the confusion lies. Basically, the day the document was announced has overshadowed the event itself. Americans first celebrated independence on July 8th with a big party including a parade and firing of guns in Philadelphia.Secondly, to add to the confusion, a scholar in the nineteenth century came across the letter mentioned above and quietly "corrected" it. So, Adams festival prediction would take place on the fourth instead of the second.2.) The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4.A canvas painting by John Trumbull hangs in the grand Rotunda of the Capitol of the United States. It depicts the signing of the Declaration ceremony which supposedly took place on July 4th. Too bad it never happened.The actual event wasn't all that spectacular. Most delegates signed the document on August 2nd, the same day a clean copy was finally produced by the assistant to the secretary of Congress Timothy Matlack. Several signed later. Their names weren't released to the public until around January 1777. The truth about the signing was discovered in 1884 by historian Mellon Chamberlain.3.) The Liberty Bell Rang in American Independence.The story goes that a young boy with blond hair and blue eyes was supposedly posted in the street next to Independence Hall to give a signal to an old man in the bell tower when independence was declared. This scene never happened either. The story was made up by nineteenth century writer George Lippard for a book intended for children called Legends of the American Revolution.The bell wasn't even named in honor of American independence. It received the moniker in the early nineteenth century when abolitionists used it as a symbol of the antislavery movement. As for the famous crack … it was a badly designed bell and it cracked. End of story.4.) Betsy Ross Sewed the First Flag.The house where Betsy Ross supposedly lived may not have been hers. In 1949, the Joint State Government Commission of Pennsylvania concluded in a study that there is no proof she even lived there. If that's not true then what else have we been lied to about?The story of Betsy Ross sewing our first famous symbol of freedom isn't authentic either. It was made up by her descendants in the nineteenth century. She was just a simple unheralded seamstress.So, who actually sewed the flag? No one knows. However, we do know who designed it. Records show that in May 1780 Frances Hopkinson sent a bill to the Board of Admiralty for designing the "flag of the United States." While with the hype of the Betsy Ross story he may not get much credit, a small group of his descendants work hard to keep his name alive.Although the flag we know today was designed by a Ohio high school student in 1958 for a class project. There had been no changes to the flag since 1912 and Robert Heft believed Hawaii and Alaska would soon become official states. His teacher wasn't impressed and gave him a B- but later agreed to bump it up to an A if he could convince Congress to adopt the design. He took on the challenge and a year later Heft asked his congressman, Rep. Walter Moeller, to take the flag to Washington after Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the union. Early in 1960, Heft received a call from President Dwight Eisenhower who told him his flag design had been chosen from more than 1,500 entries. Heft was in D.C. on July 4th for the adoption ceremony of his flag. Today, that flag design turns 50 (and yes Robert Heft did get that A)!5[...]
Six More Weeks of Winter
Saw his shadow. Six more weeks of winter coming our way. Although, I wouldn't really know. We haven't seen snow for weeks. The warm temperatures make it feel more like Spring than Winter. But whatever. Happy Monday
Vintage Vampire Stories Review
Skyhorse Publishing, May 1, 2011Paperback, 320 pagesISBN-10: 1616082348Ordering Information: Amazon.comLong lost to the public in out-of-print pulp magazines, dusty Victorian anthologies, and the pages of now defunct newspapers these vintage vampire stories have truly proved immortal. Resurrected now for the year 2011, this is a stunning collection of nineteenth-century vampire stories by heavyweights such as Sabine Baring-Gould and Bram Stoker. These 15 rare stories are arranged in chronological order from 1846 to 1913 and are compiled by two of the world’s leading vampire anthologists and experts. Also included are rare images of Bram Stoker’s handwritten manuscript pages for Count Vampire (1890) courtesy of the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia.Now, it took me awhile to finish this book but I'm finally starting to get caught up on my reviews. This book didn't grasp my attention as much as I would have liked. I was looking forward to reading other author's interpretations of the vampire pre-Dracula. The way they look. How they feed on human life. Most tales weren't what some have come to known as "traditional". "A Kiss of Judas" written by Julian Osgood Field could easily be the subject of a Supernatural episode. However, this book has a couple of things working against it. Some stories have a rather....long winded feel to them, a lot of telling versus showing. Makes reading them all that more tedious. I must add this collection needs some serious editing. There were way too many misspellings to overlook. I spotted some words that didn't fit with the prose such as "clay" instead of "day" and "of" instead of "or". Each tale was accompanied by a short introduction about the author separated from story except in the case of Morley Roberts' "The Blood Fetish". For some reason, the Appendix font is tiny compared to the rest of the book. Not sure why (maybe to save space?).Vintage Vampire has some interesting versions on this type of monster. However, if this kind of prose is not something you are use to, prepare to fight through it.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
I know it's been over a year since posting anything on this blog. Not offering any excuses. It is what it is. There have been a few changes.
The old blog has a new look. Blue has always been my favorite color. Still working on the design though.
Haven't sent out any stories in awhile but currently, have submitted two.
More to come later....
Pill Hill Press Closed
I received the Ralan newsletter this morning and discovered a surprise. Pill Hill Press closed up shop. Small publishers come and go all the time. Why would I take interest in this closure?
A couple of weeks ago, I received an acceptance letter from Pill Hill. My short short "Final Footprints" would soon appear in their upcoming anthology Daily Frights 2013: 365 Days of Frightening Flash Fiction. First sign of trouble was very few project updates. In the past, they were diligent with updates and response times. One starts to worry when efficiency starts to lag.
Around the beginning of January, I heard news the owner/main editor Jessy gave birth to twins (Congratulations!). By the end of January, Pill Hill Press had closed. The website and forum were shut down. The reason circulating is Jessy decided to be a mom instead of a publisher owner/editor. I'm not certain if that is the sole reason. Supposedly, there was a mass email sent out but I never received it. Learning this news rendered my acceptance letter worthless. It's sad but not the first time it has happened to me.
In other news, I completed my monthly Write1Sub1 goal for January...
If you haven't heard already, the fabulous market website Duotrope has gone from a free service to now available to paid subscribers only. For $5 a month or about $50 a year, you can enjoy all the features you use to get for free. I understand they put a lot of hard work in to the site and was having problems being compensated for it, but I feel they went about this switch up the wrong way.
The supposed "free" features still available are fairly nonexistent. I received the last shred of hope in my inbox this morning in the form of a monthly newsletter. It contained the first three listings for paying and nonpaying markets and not much else. Why go through all the trouble to provide almost no usable information for those who can't afford your prices?
This is me officially saying goodbye to Duotrope. The last couple of years have been fun but it seems you prefer your new/old playmates who have deeper pockets than myself. I wish you well.
Welcome my new best friend.....The (Submission) Grinder
2012 In Review
I wish I could say I came out of 2012 a Write1Sub1 winner but unfortunately not. Didn't write or submit anything for October and November. However, it wasn't a total loss.
For the year 2012, I submitted a total of 12 short stories: 6 rejections, 3 acceptances (received the recent one for Daily Frights Anthology which will be published next year before Christmas) and 3 pending. In 2011, I submitted 3 short stories and 1 novella with no success. While I may not be in the same league as some writers, that's a huge improvement for me.
I say W1S1 kept me on track for the most part. Will I participate in 2013? Definitely count me in!
W1S1 Update - Month 7
I don't know how much joy July brought other than seeing my story published, but goals were accomplished.
Words were written. Not many, but some. Began editing a short story. I guess I've been doing flash fiction too long because I've forgotten how tedious it is to edit 5,000 words.
I can say I was quite the overachiever with my submissions. Managed to get a whole TWO
sent off. Gave myself some gold stars, a pat on the back and everything.
"Final Footprints" is now in the hands of Pill Hill Press editors for their Daily Frights 2013 anthology. Can't say I have complete faith in it's acceptance but if they do choose it, I hope I get the day I requested. Of course, I chose my birthday. Couldn't think of any other one to choose.
The second story "Sealed With Anguish" hasn't had a lot of luck so far. I've submitted it to like eight different markets and no fish has been biting. Hopefully, this time will be different. The name of the anthology is Down the Rabbit Hole published by Wicked East Press. It's an alternate world type of theme like Neverland and Oz. My story fits the theme perfectly. So, hopefully they'll take it. The bonus would be the $5 paycheck with an acceptance. Got my fingers crossed.
RIP Gore Vidal
Received this one a couple of weeks ago:
Dear Andrea Allison,
Thank you for considering Haunted Waters Press. We appreciate the opportunity to read "Final Footprints." Unfortunately, From the Depths is not the right showcase for this piece. With regret, I'm afraid we must pass, but would be happy to review any of your future work.
Thank you again.
Susan Warren Utley
Editor, Haunted Waters Press
Visit Haunted Waters Press to view our open calls for submissions and to enter the Penny Fiction Flash Fiction Writing Contest:
After re-reading the story, I realized why they rejected it. It would help if the entire story made sense...LOL! Working on the edits.
Weighing the Good with the Bad
I know it's been awhile since I've updated this blog. A lot has happened.
There was a death in the family. Well, there's been several in the last few months. I've lost a few members of the Great Great part of my family, an aunt and uncle. My step-uncle passed away too. We're still uncertain as to what caused his death.
On the writing front, I've stuck with completing my Write1Sub1 goals. However, no more acceptances to report. But all is not sorrow. Remember my anthology acceptance I bragged about a couple months back? Well, it has been released!
No Rest for the Wicked, a collection of stories about haunted objects, is available for purchase on Amazon
for $3.99. My story "Rod's Little Blue Wagon" is #18 on the list! A print version will soon be available through Rainstorm Press' website
. No Rest for the Wicked also has it's own Facebook page
W1S1 Update - Month 3
Wrote and submitted a short short for the month, meeting my goal. But overall, it was not a good month. Hello April!
UPDATE: Received the rejection today. Sums up March pretty nicely.
Another Short And Sweet Rejection
I think this email from Nanoism
pretty much speaks for itself. On to the next... Andrea,
Thank you for submitting. I'm going to pass on this one, but please do try me again.
W1S1 Update - Month 2
So far, I'm staying on target. I can put February down on my goal achievements for the year.
Wrote a short short, currently an orphan with no name. Poor little guy. One of these days, I might actually start breaking the 100-word mark.
Submitted two stories this month. I was feeling spiffy and decided to be an overachiever. Sent "Intruder" to Nanoism
. Wrote it for Tweet the Meat a couple of years ago. They didn't want it. So, maybe Nanoism will.
If you've read the previous post, "Rod's Little Blue Wagon" didn't make the list for Horror for Good. However, after sending it to another anthology market yesterday, I received word today that it was ACCEPTED! I'm so excited and I'm telling everyone. More details to come.
So far, enjoying my W1S1 success!
A Good Rejection
I kind of expected this letter. Wasn't too confident about the length of my story. Oh well. I hope they raise a lot money for AIDS Research. You can follow the progress of the anthology via their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/horrorforgood
Dear Andrea,I'm sorry to say this, but we're going to have to pass on "Rod's Little Blue Wagon."We had a lot of submissions to consider and as a result we had to let a lot of good stories go. We feel you shouldn’t have a problem getting your story placed in another anthology and we can’t thank you enough for allowing us to read your tale.We hope you will still consider supporting the anthology and its cause. Thank you again for submitting and we wish you luck in all your future endeavors.Sincerely,Horror For Good Editors
It's been awhile since I've opened my inbox and found an acceptance letter. So, I'll definitely take this one! Congratulations Andrea,Your story, "Broke Down" has been selected as "Today's Story" on OneFortyFiction.com.As you might know, we allow visitors to critique stories once they've been posted. If you'd like to follow the critiques our readers choose to make, you can do so at http://www.onefortyfiction.com/archives/broke-down.Thanks so much for contributing, and please, don't hesitate to send us more stories in the future.-Editor@OneFortyFiction.com
Free Shock Totem All Week
The all mighty Gods of Shock Totem
magazine have been so generous as to offer free digital downloads. Each issue will be listed as free on Amazon.com
from Monday to Friday.
You may have missed grabbing a copy of Shock Totem #1 yesterday, but you can get Shock Totem #2
today. Issue three will be free tomorrow, issue four on Thursday and the holiday issue on Friday.
It's a great magazine with excellent artwork and content. If you're a writer looking to break in to this market, I suggest you take advantage of this promo to see what they are all about.
W1S1 Update - Month 1
The first month of the Write 1 Sub 1
challenge wore out its welcome and has since left the building. I am proud to say I have been knighted in to the League of the January Juggernauts!
While I did meet the goal for the month, I wish it was something more than just Twitter fiction. I'm in a procrastination funk. My to-read pile is growing by the day. I'm slipping on my blogging and writing duties. This is not the way to start out a year. But I refuse to give up. I have the next 29 days until the next goal to start proving it.
BTW, while I have your attention, J.A. Konrath, Black Crouch, J. Carson Black, Lee Goldberg, and Scott Nicholson are hosting a Big Kindle Boogie. They're giving away Kindle books, Amazon gift cards, Kindle Fires and library donation today and tomorrow. Please check out the website for a list of free ebooks and more information on the giveaways - http://bigkindleboogie.blogspot.com/.
I have to make a confession. I HATE this new Blogger interface...thing. The whole thing is a mess. I would like to switch back to the old one but the link has mysteriously disappeared. Sneaky bastards! They tricked me with pretty candy. It's the story I'm sticking with and no one can prove otherwise. Hopefully, with enough people complaining, they'll return the option but I doubt it.
I should be excited we are starting a new year but all this talk about apocalypses has made this year such a downer. Is it December 21st yet?
As you can see, I have signed up for the Write1Sub1 Monthly for 2012. I reviewed my writing productivity for last year. Long story short....it's nothing to brag about. Currently, I have a submission out from last month to a charity anthology. I'm anticipating the rejection. With every announcement of a well known writer joining the project, I'm losing faith in my little story. It's great that Jeff Strand, Jack Ketchum and Joe R. Lansdale are contributing. I was among the famous with the last charity anthology I was involved with. Not feeling confident the lightning will be striking twice this time around but we'll see.
An Expected Rejection
I submitted my little short short to One Forty Fiction the Saturday before the week of Halloween. Actually, I may have sent it twice. My first attempt to send it ended with our power going out (It was raining). Sent it again when the power came back on...a few hours later. Since it was a themed week and my story wasn't chosen to be published, I was expecting this. Happy Saturday!
Dear Andrea:Thank you for giving us the opportunity to read your work. Unfortunately this particular story, "No More Cute," was not the right fit for One Forty Fiction.Thank you for trying us. And we welcome any submissions you might make in the future.-Editor @ OneFortyFiction.com
One Day Left
I can't believe Nano is one day away. October seemed to speed by pretty fast on his Harley. Somebody should give that guy a ticket and tell him to slow down next year.
After four years, I'm kind of burned out on Nano. I think I'll skip this year's fun. But I don't have a problem sitting on the sidelines with my foam finger, cheering everyone else to the finish line.
GO WRITERS!!! Woot! Woot!