Flight Anthology Pubbed Today!

front-coverHello everyone!

Guess what? The 2016 Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction anthology Flight is here, and I have a story in it! My scifi piece is entitled “A Sub Mechanic’s Panic.” It’s surrounded by some other amazing stories; I’m so happy to be included!

Here’s a bit about the competition:

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions, and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

Other important details and links:

The book is available in eBook form (4.99), and will soon be available in paperback with b/w illustrations inside (12.99) and in a special collector’s edition with color illustrations (24.99).
Publisher (info only, no buy link yet)
Amazon
ARe
Kobo
Goodreads
Goodreads Series Page
Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Apple: Coming soon

If you like speculative fiction in the LGBT sphere, check out this anthology! I said it earlier but I’ll say it again, there are some amazing stories in this book, and I’m so happy to be among them.

(Also, writing a 300-word story is tough; fellow writers, you should try it sometime.)

I hope you’re having a lovely Wednesday!
Warm regards,
Kellie

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Eight Reasons Why I Write

Hello all!

This week I’ve been doing things like getting ready for Write to Publish 2016—brainstorming cool ideas to pursue in January—and thinking about my novel Finding Hekate more—brainstorming marketing ideas and review places—and napping. There’s been a lot of napping. And watching Critical Role. It’s the week after finals, don’t judge!

I meant to write more this week, but I didn’t. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I wrote a 20-page (double-spaced) paper on fanfiction for finals week. Maybe it’s because I wrote a 9-page (single-spaced) transmedia marketing plan for a digital teen scavenger hunt for finals week. Maybe it’s because I didn’t plan time per day to write. I just know I didn’t write.

But, because of Suddenly Jamie’s post last week, I did wonder why I write. Here are some reasons:

  1. Because I love characterization.
    • I’ve always loved creating the characters. Ever since I was little I always wanted to figure characters out, their names, eye color, hair color, backgrounds, family, friends, who they are, what they want. It was fun to create them, to put a part of myself into them or to be something I could never be. Now, I know from all those motivational posters that I can be anyone I want to be. But a dragon hunter? Technically, I can’t be that. A woman who had to kill to survive? I really don’t wanna be that. But I do want to write about it.
  2. Because I love worldbuilding.
    • Worldbuilding, like characterization, is another one of my favorites. Creating a whole new world, crafting the rules, the customs, the cultures of these new peoples. Of these new races. The history and lore of the world is in my mind (or in my notes) even if the readers never know about it.
  3. Because it makes me feel powerful, in a weird, strange, awkward kind of way.
    • It may (or may not?) be apparent, but I like creating things. Crafting worlds and characters out of nothing. It makes me feel powerful, in a way. I’ve created numerous worlds and characters, for short stories, flash fictions, poems, novels. The readers may never know it all, and probably shouldn’t know it all, but I know it. And that’s a cool feeling.
  4. Because I want to get better at it.
    • Writing is…overly romanticized in some ways. When you say “writer” we all get this image of a figure hunched over a computer in the midst of a creative breakthrough surrounded by coffee and stacks of paper and cats. (Okay, I added the cats part.) In other ways, the romance is spot on, like when you get a burst of creativity. When you write all night long (or all day). When you get that flash of a character or of a world or of some badass weapon this or that character really should use. But it’s not easy by any means. It takes work. And a good portion of why I write is so I can become a better writer.
  5. Because I want to get better at it.
    • I need to get better at it. I need to hone my craft! Practice makes perfect, you know? The way I figure it, the best is yet to come.
  6. Because I want to get better at it.
    • Yes, I know. Three times. But it bears repeating. I want to—no, I will get better at this craft of mine.
  7. Because becoming an author is a dream of mine.
    • It’s a dream of mine to be published. And right now, that dream is coming true! But I don’t want to be a one-hit-wonder. I want to publish a bunch of books. This duology is just the start!
  8. Because it’s fun!
    • Some people build things. Some people compose music. Some people teach kids. There is a whole world of things people can have fun doing. For me, it’s writing!

There are many other reasons why I write, but these are some pretty good ones! So, why do you write? Or, why do you do the thing you’re most passionate about? Let me know in the comments!

Have a safe and happy holiday season!
Warm regards,
Kellie

Submissions Update, Plan #2

I recently found out that I was not accepted into graduate school. Disappointment, confusion, annoyance, all these emotions ran through me at first but I’ve been mulling it over for a bit and I realize that maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all. I went over some facts…

Fact 1: There’s always next year.
Fact 2: I get to spend more time with my family and friends.
Fact 3: There might be a better opportunity later on down the road.

…and have since then decided that, while disappointing, it’s not the end of my literary career. I made a Plan #2 ToDo list a while back anyway just in case this was the outcome and have been following it quite diligently. I won’t bore you with the specifics of this Plan but one thing that I want to do is submit my writing to more contests.

To that end I have:
Submitted to F Magazine (short story)

And will:
Submit to Running Out of Ink (poem)
Submit to the Sword & Laser Anthology (short story)
Submit to the Writer’s Digest 82nd Annual Writing Contest (short story)
Submit to the Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Contest (flash)

And will also:
Look for other contests I can submit my work

If you hear of any writing contests, let me know!

Until then, have a wonderful weekend.
Warm regards,
Kellie

What the Heck is a Flash?

There is something of a “new” phenomenon going about the writing world these days, catching eyes of both writers and readers alike. It’s called a Flash. I mentioned it in one of my previous blogposts and honestly though people knew about it by now. But when I submitted one of mine to my local creative writing group I received some questioning stares. They hadn’t heard the term before and didn’t know what basic ground rules applied to it. And, since I shared with them, I figured it would be best to share with the blogosphere as well. For those of you who don’t know…

Actual Definition:

Flash – verb, to rush or dash, to break forth in or like a sudden flame, to appear suddenly

Writing Definition:

Flash – a very short story (other specificities depend on the writer or contest)

Other Names:

Micro-fiction, Sudden Fiction, Postcard Fiction, Short Short Story, A Smoke Long Story (Chinese, fabulous, right)

Basic Guidelines:

1)      It has to make sense. That being said, the shortest ever known was written by Ernest Hemingway, it went “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” Yes, that’s a story; the reader gets to fill in the gaps. Other examples are Aesop’s fables, if you are more familiar with the classics.

2)      It has to have the classic elements of a story – protagonist, conflict, complications, and resolution. But, because it’s so short, most of the bulk of the story is unwritten. Take, for example, the 6-word Hemingway flash – almost the entire story is left up to the readers, did the parents give up the child? Did the mother lose it? Did an overenthusiastic aunt give the would-be parents an early present only to have it be a false positive? I’m certain he had a specific world built around these few words, but we will never know the rest of Hemingway’s tale because it was never written. We are forced to make up our own. As a writer, it forces us to leave out details, to hone our craft, to leave the reader with a sense of mystery… simply because we were not given enough words to tell the tale.

Important (not so little) Little Quirk:

(There is only one slight quirk defining the Flash from the rest of the styles of literature…)

There will be a horrible word-count.

It will be tiny – I’ve seen flash contests with a 300 word limit.

It will seem impossible to fit an entire story into that word count.

It’s not.

I’ve also seen a word limit of 1,000.

It depends on the contest the story is for, or the amount of torture writers want to put themselves through. (Personally I’ve done both ends of the spectrum and, although it may feel like someone’s stretching your mind on a rack, it’s fun to write a story in 300 words.)

After that, it’s just writing.

Interested? Find a contest online by typing ‘Flash Fiction Contests,’ see if there’s a prompt (it depends on the contest), write one out and submit! It’s a pretty interesting way to challenge your writing skills.

Annnd, that finishes up my What the Heck is a Flash post for the week. 

Warm regards,
Kellie