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Archive for October, 2010

I made my #10bythen goal for October, meaning that I sent at least 10 stories to publishers this month.  I continue to find this a helpful goal in keeping myself motivated to send work out, and not get stuck in endless polishing.

The 10 places I sent stories in October are: A Glitch in the Continuum; Cabinet des Fees; Twisted Fairy Tales v. 2; Gone with the Dirt: Undead Dixie; The Zombie Feed Anthology; The Red Penny Papers; Their Dark Masters; Howl: Echoes of the Hunt; Shadows & Light v. 2; and Wily Writers Speculative Fiction.

Of this group of 10, 1 was accepted; 3 have been rejected; 1 project was cancelled; and 5 are still pending.  I also still have 7 stories pending from prior months.

Wish me luck!  🙂

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Does this happen to anyone else? 

I seem to have spiders on the brain this autumn, and have written several stories with spider-related imagery.  The simplest explanation is that I am finding that I am enjoying writing horror right now, with some Lovecraftian elements, and spiders seem to work in that space.  There is such a lot of interesting myth/symbol/history/science around spiders that you can tap into.  I think spiders started for me with a line from Hughes’ Tales from Ovid – where Pygmalion imagines “Every woman’s uterus into a spider” with her features its net to capture a man.  What an image!  And tied up with all kinds of emotion for me as a barren, womb-less woman (post hysterectomy cancer survivor).  So, my spider stories are about fertility as well.  And are better horror for it.  My spiders of fall.  Mother myths.

Frogs for me (the stories of summer) were about transformation, and about what is beautiful and what is ugly.  Self-image and self-loathing.  With a good dose of fairy tale.  They bridge into horror, but dance back into (mostly) up endings.  They are fundamentally maiden tales.

Pattern recognition forecasts a cronish winter.  I’m putting that title (“A Cronish Winter”) in my ideas file, and telling my subconscious to leave a window open in case some cold wise creature is looking for a home.

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I’m delighted to report that one of my stories, “The Forests Are No Longer Safe For Our Kind,” has found a home in an anthology.  This is one of the stranger stories that I’ve written in the last few months, but I’m quite fond of it.  It has vampires and a werewolf, sincere religious faith, a twisted fairy tale, and a great deal of carnage.

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Yesterday (Saturday 10/9) two things happened. 

I received in the mail my hard copy of Crossed Genres Issue #23 which is the very first story in print ever for me.  I’m particularly pleased by how nice the magazine looks.  I ordered 3 copies.  Will that be enough?  I showed it off to friends last night.  Will that ever get old?

And then, hours later, I saw that my interview for Cthulhurotica posted.  This is my first interview as a writer.

What a marvelous set of milestones!

I keep sending out more work, but it seems like the pace of responses (accept or reject) has definitely slowed down.  Here’s hoping that more stories will find good homes.

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I traveled to Portland for events related to the HP Lovecraft Film Festival and literary con.  The highlight today was Dark Horse’s event for the Lovecraft Unbound anthology (ed. Ellen Datlow).  I was beyond thrilled to have a chance to mingle with writers and editors, including such luminaries as Ellen, Caitlin Kiernan, and Michael Shea who were nice enough to autograph my copy of the anthology for me.   David D. Levine, Camille Alexa, and Felicity Shoulders were also there, and such a thrill to meet!

This was really my first chance to introduce myself in person to other writers as Mae Empson, recently published author (since my first short story published today!)  Everyone was incredibly kind and generous in chatting with someone just starting out like me.   I really envy the Portland literary circle – looks like a very warm, closeknit community.  Now, I just need to find the parallel groups in Seattle, etc.

What a thrill!  This is a day I will remember for a long time.  🙂

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