I hope everyone had a most excellent New Year! Can you believe it's 2013? Gosh. Last year was pretty good, though there were a few family trials towards the end that caused a fair amount of stress, particularly for my parents (nothing dire, more of a "black sheep" issue with my half-brother). I find it hard not to absorb the stress of those around me, and there were many days of frustration in Nov and Dec.
To balance out the negativity, my good friend (and regular beta reader) Dabs came to stay for four days after Christmas, which took care of any post-Xmas lethargy. It was so great having her here and I really miss my houseguest. Roll on 2014 when she might return to the UK!
Positive writing-related news: The zombie story I mentioned a few weeks ago was just picked as Editor's Choice at the Online Writing Workshop for February's newsletter. As before, this both thrills and terrifies me. The story is currently out on submission and I know I won't be able to adjust anything for the market that has it right now, which is a shame as they're a really good market. But it's OK—getting feedback from a pro writer on a story at any stage is wonderful, and if this market rejects it, I'll have another critique to help weed out the weaknesses.
There's also a shoe-centric blog post coming soon (can you guess where my Xmas money went?). It's been ages since I've mooned over footwear here on LJ and I miss the shoesquee.
And I know I mentioned this already, but since it was on a busy holiday day I figure another link won't hurt. I sold one of my micro fictions to Nanoism: The Clockmaker's Heart
. A tiny and bittersweet steampunky piece.
♫ Be My Animal
, by The Good Natured.
In November I passed my getyourwordsout
challenge of 150,000 words during 2012, so December is really just extra as far as my target is concerned. Hooray! I'm glad I didn't choose 200k, though—there were a couple of months where I got very little new writing done. I may go for 200k next year, if I'm feeling frisky at sign up time.
I've also been micro-ficcing again, and I have a short ghost story up at 50-Word Stories: "The Thinning
Speaking of short-short fiction, there's this cool website TypeTrigger
that offers an instant form of flash fiction. Using the text box at the top of the page and the trigger word or phrase, you type up to 300 words of a story or poem, and hit publish. You can also search through the triggers
to find things to read. This is such an awesome idea! I wish there was a speculative fiction version.
And I really want to write a blog post about EXO
, that Korean/Chinese boyband I (very briefly) mentioned a couple of months ago. Remember I said I was trying to resist them? Yeah. I failed. :/ But it's going to take me a while to put it all together. Still, expect that at some point (you could consider this a warning, perhaps…)
♫ One Way or Another
, by Blondie.
Was going to read this out at the slam, then ended up reading something longer. I wanted to post the photograph this is based on but I don't own it so unfortunately I can't (it's a really cool pic of an old phone). It's a shame because I think this works better with the pic. Anyway, flash time.
by Jennifer K. Oliver
Short and speculative, 156 words.
Many thanks to Dabs for checking over this!
She doesn't know why she keeps the old phone. At first it was because its faux-metallic body represented some space-age 60s bourgeois dream, the ultimate in retro cool. But it doesn't have a cord—its severed spiral wire hangs limply like a lone gut over the back edge of the table.
Her friends keep telling her to, "Junk it," tell her to, "Throw the damn thing away." They tell her it just catches dust, doesn't fit with her décor anyway.
Easy to say, but the phone doesn't ring for them, now does it?
When you lose people, the world becomes hollowed out, husk-dry and quiet, and yet it's heavier, too. The phone rings, and she knows the receiver will be leaden.
But she doesn't fear recognisable voices that shouldn't be there, crackling down the line—it's not that.
What she fears is the static pulse of silence, repeating through her ear and through her bones forevermore.
A small blog about a very small story. My latest micro-fic has gone live @onefortyfiction
. You can read it and post comments (if you like) here:
" - light-hearted sci-fi, general audience.
I'm so impressed with the rapid turn-around with this one. I submitted it late last night, and got the acceptance this morning. One Forty Fiction's editor must have super powers!
I don't know where my mind was last month—in the clouds, maybe, or simply buried in novel and offline stuffs and things. Anyway, I forgot to mention that I had a piece of micro-fiction published in 5x5 Fiction
Issue 4, which was themed 'smoke'. My piece can be found within the issue .pdf:
," PG. 25 words of angsty speculative fiction.
I also want to mention how cool the idea behind 5x5 Fiction is. From their website:
Complete stories (not rantings or poems) must be exactly 25 words long, told in exactly 5 sentences, with each sentence comprised of exactly 5 words.
Much like the Twitter-based magazines, it's a fun challenge coming up with something readable in so few words, but if the Twitter stories are just too short for you, this one might be a better option. I'd also highly recommend reading the other issues, as they're all reasonably short and easy to gobble up, plus they're full of imaginative stories and concepts from a variety of genres.
Wishing everyone a very Happy Holidays! If you don't celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a fabulous day anyway, full of good food and much cheer and other shiny things.
I'll be here most of the day writing and plotting and generally messing about, as I rarely do big, busy Xmases, so if you're also online tomorrow and want to chat, drop me a comment or an email.
I just saw an ad on TV for a new show set to air next year, Eternal Law
. I'm not a massive fan of law shows, but this one has angels and other supernatural elements. Plus, it's written by the same team who put together Life on Mars
and Ashes to Ashes
, which is enough to pique my interest.
Then there's The Hobbit
. I'm terribly excited about the whole thing, but there's one detail from the trailer that made me boggle—the apparent Galadriel/Gandalf squishies. Does, um, anyone remember a load of unresolved sexual tension in the books? I read them too long ago. Then again, this may simply be some sneaky, misleading cutting on the part of the people who put together the trailer. Time will tell! But oddly, I kind of like the idea. IS THAT WRONG? She's older than she looks, you know.
And since this is literally the only time I can post this, here is a short piece I wrote for my writing group, purely
for entertainment. Warning for some gore. And possibly the obliteration of childhood dreams and wishes.'Tis the Season to be Exanimate
By Jennifer K. Oliver
Festive silliness, with a grotesque twist. 1,800 words.Many thanks to Dabs for eyeballing this. Any remaining mistakes are my own.( The big man works us to the bone three-hundred-and-sixty-four days a year under extremely stressful conditions. We're not allowed out of the workshop. Ever. And we get paid in candy canes. I have zero sympathy… )
Another small update to mention my second Twitter story has gone live the fabulous @trapezemag
," sort of a tongue-in-cheek thriller (sometimes it's difficult categorizing my stories). I hope it entertains, even if it is a bit morbid!
I haven't had much chance to submit other Twitter stories lately, as I've been working on a few web designs and tending to a couple of longer fics. It sounds easy enough to write something good in 140 characters or less, but it takes a great deal of care and thought to pull it off and make it worth reading. Hopefully my little offerings aren't too dire! I'm going to keep practising with them when I have the time.
ETA: I'm trying to backdate these posts, but they seem to be showing up on my f-list right now anyway. Apologies if you just got 4 posts in a row from me! I'm done now, I promise. :)