Sunday, November 29, 2009


I just got an e-mail from Shawn, one of the owners of Torquere, saying she read A Hidden Magic and they want to publish it! :D

They said they weren't going to be in the office until Monday because of the holiday, but it looks like they're still working. Not exactly shocking with a small business; I thought it might happen quickly, but I didn't want to really hope, you know?

Anyway, this is awesome. [beam] If you want me, I'll just be wandering around six inches off the floor somewhere.... :D


Friday, November 27, 2009

I Finished a Novel!

I just finished a novel-length story -- a little over 72K words -- for the first time ever yesterday. All the revising and poking and second-guessing is done; I finished it, backed it up to a flash drive, wrote up a synopsis for the submission letter and sent it off to my publisher. Whose office is closed till Monday, but hey, my book is going to be one of the first e-mails they see that morning, right? I hope they have a great weekend with lots of excellent food and go back to work in a wonderful mood. :D

It's an urban fantasy set in the same world as "Chasing Fear" and "Candy Courage," although there's no overlap with any of the earlier characters. I have no idea how long the process takes for something of this length -- either hearing back about acceptance [crossed fingers] or the editing and tweaking after -- but I'm pretty sure at least part of me will be boinging all the way through it.

This was a great Thanksgiving for me, and I'm definitely thankful to have gotten this finished and submitted. :D I hope everyone else had a wonderful day too, and has lots of excellent leftovers.

Positive thoughts and crossed sets of virtual fingers happily accepted. [grin]


PS -- am I the only one who gets all anal about chapter lengths? They don't have to be exactly the same length (which is just as well 'cause they're definitely not) but I like chapter lengths to be at least within spitting distance of one another. As a reader, if I'm going along and one chapter is twelve pages and the next is five and the one after that is nine, then fifteen, then three, then eleven... it feels jarring, as though the whole story is off-tempo. I can imagine a structural reason to do this, but if it's not clearly an effect the writer was trying for, deliberately and for a purpose, then I get uncomfortable while reading, like listening to a song where the musician can't keep the beat. So I spent most of the last day or two of my tweaking working on the lengths of a few chapters, trying to haul the worst of the outliers a bit closer to the bulk of the bell curve. Some came out better than others -- I'm not about to pull necessary info out of a chapter just for length, or add six hundred words of pointless padding -- but it's better than it was and I kept going until I hit diminishing returns. Anyone else obsess over that sort of thing...?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Harlequin Horizons

Sarah Zettel over at Bookview Cafe has the best summary I've run into of the Harlequin Horizons blow-up. Briefly, for anyone who hasn't heard, Harlequin has partnered up with Author Solutions to form "Harlequin Horizons," a self-publishing imprint. This has gone over like the proverbial lead balloon, resulting in RWA, SFWA and MWA scratching Harlequin off their list of approved publishers. Sarah summarizes the issues wonderfully well.


PS -- I'm leaving tomorrow to spend the week with my Mom for Thanksgiving. I also have a novel due by then. [flail] If I'm not around much in the next week or so, that's why. Everyone have a great holiday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

No Pledge of Allegiance

...until there actually is liberty and justice for all. That's what ten-year-old Will Phillips says, and he's acting on it, declining to stand for the Pledge at school because his family has gay friends who aren't being treated equally under the law -- who are being deprived of the right to marry, or to adopt children.

Predictably, Will is being harassed for his stance, first by a substitute teacher and (of course) by some of the more nasty and ignorant students at his school. (Although to be fair, this is only elementary school and I'd bet cookies that the students who are taunting and harassing him are just reflecting the views and behavior of their parents, so the shame is on them for not setting a better example.)

Will's parents support him, though, and got the school administration to admit that he's not required to stand for the Pledge, that he does have the right to sit through it.

And what about the substitute teacher who tried to bully him into participating, even threatening to get his mother and grandmother (whom she knew, although obviously not very well) on his case? Since he hadn't broken any rules in refusing to stand for the Pledge, Will's mother asked when they could expect an apology from that teacher. Well, the principal didn't see that as "necessary." Of course not. [eyeroll]

Will has an excellent sense of right and wrong, though, and I applaud his stand, and also his parents for supporting him in doing what's right. Read more about Will and the Pledge incident in this Arkansas Times article, and more commentary by John Brummett, a columnist with the Arkansas News. If nothing else, Mr. Brummett's suggested alternate Pledge is entertaining, and unfortunately apt.

Thanks to Indigene on The Phade for the original link.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Anthology Markets

I've been getting a lot of hits on these posts, so if you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple antho guildelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.

I've been posting these early-mid month, with listings through the end of the following month, plus the first of the month after that just because. That gives about three to six weeks, which I figured was good for a short story if you saw something that pinged an idea right away. There are a few anthologies asking for novellas, though, and 20K-30K words is a bit much to bang out, proof and submit in a month, so I've decided to add another month to the listings, to give a bit more notice. Let me know what you think.

Non-erotica/romance writers: quite a lot this time. Check out The Four Horsemen, Greek Myth/Urban Fantasy, Trafficking in Magic/Magicking in Traffic, Warrior Wisewoman 3 and Panverse Two, which is still open. (Yes, I keep tabs on the "Until Filled" entries. :)


30 November 2009 -- Love and Fables -- Queered Fiction

A collection of tales featuring fable (legend/myth) elements in a uniquely queer way; stories about mythical , lengendary or supernatural beings or events combined with Romance...and a HEA (Happily Ever After). Your submission should be a short story between 3,000 and 20,000 words. We are seeking fiction with positive images of queer characters. We’re not looking for clichés. We do not want reprints. We are seeking first world rights for this anthology which will be published as an eBook and in Print format. Your submission should be via email to with Love and Fables Anthology submission in the subject line. Please embed your short story within the body of the email and provide a brief author bio. Payment will be a 40% royalty split of eBook sales between contributors and a 20% royalty split of print sales.

Submissions open: 1st September 2009 to 30th November 2009
Reading period begins: 25th November 2009

As a queer publisher, QueeredFiction would like to have an emphasis on the queer community as a whole, rather than by segments. So ideally the perfect submission would have 'queer characters' in the forefront and in the background ... just mainly prominent!

What we're looking for is to create a HEA collection of tales featuring fable (legend/myth) elements in a uniquely queer way; our fables here are stories about mythical, lengendary or supernatural beings or events for example the grail, Tristram and Isolde, Blodeuwedd, Midas, a seal wife(/lover) even the Emperor's new cetera. I'm not looking for a re-telling of any of these fables/legends, but more an original tale simulating or borrowing from these.

Queries can be directed via the QueeredFiction Blog The contract is available upon request for your inspection.


1 December 2009 -- I Do Two -- MLR Press

The anthology, titled I DO, TWO, is a sequel to the January 2009 charity anthology I DO! All authors donate their stories to benefit the Lambda Legal Fund. The collection covers a range of times, places and people, and illustrates the universality of love and commitment.

To date, I DO! has raised over $1500 for the cause of equal rights in marriage. I DO TWO will be a similar, companion volume, published by MLR Press. (Contracts will be in line with their standard contract.)

We’re looking for stories between 1,000 words and 10,000 words long. M/M, F/F, Bi and transgender stories are welcome. There is no strict theme, but we have certain things we do not want to see, for example stories which undermine the purpose of the anthology -- that is, no stories which are about how gay people do not want to get married or do not deserve to get married. We do not want anything that reinforces negative stereotypes -- no snuff fiction, scat, golden showers, necrophilia or underage sex. Because of the potential copyright issues, we cannot accept fanfiction, either.

If you possess the copyright for your story and it isn’t currently under exclusive contract to anyone else, we are happy to consider stories which have been published before. Please make a note in the covering e-mail.

As long as your story follows these guidelines and comes within the word-count, please send it to Your story does not need to have an explicit marriage-related plot or even a happy ending! Any story that celebrates the theme of love as valid, no matter the genders of the players, is welcome.

This is for a charity anthology, so you will not get paid. All profits will go straight to the Lamdba Legal fund. Through education, litigation and public policy work, Lambda Legal works to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people, and persons with HIV. Since their founding in 1973, Lambda Legal has become an active and vital part of the GLBT civil rights movement instrumental in the fight for same-sex marriage rights both nationally and, most notably, in the fight to strike down California’s Proposition 8.


15 December 2009 -- Welcome to the Jungle -- Torquere Press

From Tarzan to mercs - make it hot, make it jungle-themed.


15 December 2009 -- Toybox: Leg Spreader -- Torquere Press


31 December 2009 -- The Four Horsemen -- Pill Hill Press

Email submissions to:

Please put SUBMISSION: FOUR HORSEMEN in the subject line of your email, followed by the title of the story. Thanks!

The anthology will be divided into four sections: Conquest, War, Famine/Pestilence, and Death. Most genres, including, but not limited to, supernatural, dark fantasy, horror, suspense, crime, mystery, humor and science fiction, are welcome as long as they fit the theme of one of our four categories (conquest, war, famine/pestilence, death). Please note which category your story fits into when you submit.

Stories can be realistic or fantastical. They can take place anywhere - on Earth, under Earth, in Space, etc. They can take place at any time - past, present, future, alternate. We are looking for a good variety of unique stories that fit our four categories!

We are looking for short stories 500-5,000 words in length.

Payment is 1 cent per word + 1 contributor's copy upon publication

Please do not send stories with a strong religious theme. Pill Hill Press does not wish to misrepresent any religion. Also, please do not send rape/torture stories, anything "x" rated or pornographic, pet mutilation tales, fiction about child abuse and/or pedophilia, or submissions that denigrate any race, gender or sexual orientation.


31 December 2009 -- Coming Together: As One -- Phaze Books

Coming Together: As One is a multi-author anthology of erotic fiction and poetry edited by Alessia Brio.

We're seeking poetry and stories up to 10K words with a ménage theme. Exclusivity is not required as long as the author owns the rights. The usual squicks apply (no incest, bestiality, scat, necrophilia). No simultaneous submissions, please!

ALL proceeds from the sale of this volume will benefit ONE, the campaign to end global poverty.


SUBMISSIONS: CLOSE DECEMBER 31, 2009 -- asone [at]

PLANNED RELEASE: APRIL 2010 in ebook & print


5 January 2010 -- Greek Myth/Urban Fantasy -- Drollerie Press

Drollerie Press is seeking short stories for an anthology retelling Greek myth re-set as urban fantasy. The stories should be between 5 and 20k in length, and should be YA friendly, that is, appropriate to a sophisticated YA reader and to adults as well. The protagonist(s), therefore, should be wrestling with issues of young adulthood, and should be between the ages of 17 and 25. This is a general fantasy anthology, so stories may contain cross-genre elements, such as love, science, or horror, but should not be specifically written to that genre. In particular, however, the stories should be creative and intelligent, and show knowledge of the source material and skill at reweaving it for a new audience. How veiled the original story remains up to the author.

Submissions for this anthology should be uploaded on our submissions page, and should contain “GREEK” in the file name.


5 January 2010 -- Trafficking in Magic/Magicking in Traffic -- Drollerie Press

Trafficking in Magic deals with the sale and transport of magical goods and services, including magical beings, artifacts, fortune telling, communing with the dead, and other spells for hire, or the sale of magical energy itself;

Magicking in Traffic deals with magic in the flow of traffic–which could be street traffic, commerce, the flow of energies, or something else entirely–whether to aid, block, or manipulate the flow of traffic, or simply to play in it.

Creative interpretations of the title(s) are also encouraged.

Contributors are encouraged to send 1 short story per anthology or up to 3 poems total. Query first if sending fiction over 12,000 words or poetry over 100 lines. Compensation is an equitable distribution of royalties based on word count. Publication will be in ebook, with trade paperback to follow if warranted by sales.

Send submissions for this anthology only to


10 January 2010 -- Valentines' Day Sips -- Torquere Press

3K-8K words, m/m or (a few) f/f, Valentine's Day theme.


15 January 2010 -- Warrior Wisewoman 3 -- Norilana Books

"I am looking for stories that shed light on the truth of what it means to be female, that illuminate the wisdom and the strength of a woman, but not in cliche 'goddess' stories. I love action and adventure, grand space opera, thrilling discovery, and intelligent protagonists. Make the story thoughtful, wise, and surprising, not merely the same old metal spaceship hull filled with cardboard military uniforms with female names 'barking' orders and firing at aliens. In addition, the stories in the anthology should appeal to genuine emotions, suspense, fear, sorrow, delight, wonder. The science can be part of the background and the characters foremost, or the science can be central to the story, as long as the characters are realistic and appealing. It is strongly recommended you read the previous volumes to get an idea of what kind of material we're looking for.

"This is science fiction, but I also welcome stories of spiritual exploration, looking at the bond between the scientific and the divine. I want to see how a woman survives tragedy and disaster, overcomes impossible odds, achieves her true potential, or goes on to thrive in a marvelous universe of so many possibilities, using what is inside her, as well as what she finds in the laboratory, the alien planet, or space itself.

"The stories should contain the question of 'what if' on some level. And they should have a woman answer it."

RIGHTS PURCHASED: First English Language Rights and non-exclusive electronic rights. The anthology will be published by Norilana Books in a trade paperback edition in June 2010, to be followed by an electronic edition to be produced later.

PAYMENT: $0.02 a word on acceptance, and a pro rata share of royalties, plus a contributor copy.

WORD LENGTH: Up to 10,000 words, with longer stories having to be exceptional.

READING PERIOD begins on September 1, 2009. Please do not submit your stories before then.

DEADLINE: January 15, 2010.

HOW TO SUBMIT: Submissions are electronic only. Please submit your story as a Word (.doc or .rtf) attachment to your e-mail. The subject line of your e-mail should say "Submission: Story Title, last name of author." Also, include a brief cover letter. It should have your full name, address, e-mail address, title of story, number of words, and brief biographical information in case we don't know you, with most recent publishing credits, if applicable. We are open to new writers and seasoned veterans alike.



15 January 2010 -- Rainy Days and Mondays -- Torquere Press

Think April showers and what boys get up to when the sun isn't shining.


15 January 2010 -- Toybox: Wax -- Torquere Press


1 February 2010 -- Red Hot Fairy Tales -- Samhain Press

How did Belle tame the wild Beast? Did the carriage turn into a pumpkin….or did Cinderella? And just what was going on with Snow White and those Dwarves?

I’m very pleased to announce an open call for submissions for a new, yet-to-be titled Summer 2010 anthology. I’m open to any genre, M/F, M/M, or multiples thereof. I’m looking for your super-hot take on the fairy tales we grew up with and… there must be a Happily Ever After.

The anthology will include novellas from 20,000 to 25,000 words in length and will be released individually as ebooks in August 2010 and in print in Spring 2011.
Submissions are open to all authors, published with Samhain or aspiring to be published with Samhain. All submissions must be new material, previously published submissions will not be considered. Additionally, manuscripts previously submitted, whether individually or for past anthologies, will not be considered either. Please be aware that manuscripts submitted to this anthology cannot be resubmitted at a later date unless by invitation from an editor.

To submit a manuscript for consideration, please include:

The full manuscript (of 20,000 to 25,000 words) with a comprehensive 2-5 page synopsis. Please include a letter of introduction/query letter. Full manuscripts are required for this as it’s a special project. We are not accepting multiple submissions for this anthology, so please only send in one manuscript. If you already have a manuscript under consideration with Samhain and would also like to send in a submission to this anthology, please query first. Also, please be aware that, as a primarily romance publisher, we require all stories for this anthology to fit into the romance genre, complete with “happy ever after” or “happy for now” ending.

As well, when you send your manuscript, please be sure to use the naming convention FairyTales_Title_MS or FairyTales_Title_Synopsis. This will ensure that your submission doesn’t get missed in the many submissions we receive, and makes it easy for me to find in my ebook reader.


UNTIL FILLED -- MM and Menage Steampunk Antho -- Phaze

Call: M/M and Menage Steampunk Anthology, Title TBA
Edited by: Leigh Ellwood
Projected release date: late 2010
Format: eBook (with possible print release)
Publisher: Phaze Books
Payment: $50 for one-time electronic and print rights, plus copies

Hey, all you steampunk enthusiasts, grab your goggles and get to writing! Phaze Books is planning an M/M (and bi-M menage) steampunk collection for eBook publication in 2010. If you have a yen for 19th century history with a touch of good humor and technological innovation (and a whole lot of manlove!), we hope you’ll send us your hottest steampunk erotic romance of 10K - 20K words. If you’re not sure about the genre, check out this Wikipedia entry for steampunk ( to get an idea of the style of stories we’re looking for. Think H.G. Wells or Wild Wild West, then turn up the steam factor with an incredible M/M or MMF/MMM match-up!

This call is open indefinitely until the spots are filled. Contributors will offer one-time electronic and print rights to their works and receive a one-time payment of $50 and contributors copies (eBook and/or print, if the book goes to print).

To submit to this anthology, please follow the Phaze Books structural guidelines at and attach your RTF submission to Leigh Ellwood, c/o Phaze Books at submissions @ phaze (dot) com. Please use STEAMPUNK ANTHOLOGY is your subject header.


UNTIL FILLED -- Panverse Two -- Panverse Publishing

Editor - Dario Ciriello

PANVERSE TWO is the second of a series of all-original novella print collections, with publication scheduled for Late Spring 2010.

Interested? Please read the following guidelines carefully. We look forward to reading your work.

The anthology will be open to submissions until we have enough good stories.

Looking for pro-level novellas of between 15,000 and 40,000 words. Stories should be Science Fiction (except Military) or Fantasy (except Heroic/High/Superhero/S&S). We'll also look at Magic Realism, Alternate History, and Slipstream (whatever that is). The story should be original and unpublished in any medium (this includes web publication).

Depth of characterization will count for a lot – however clever the idea, if we don't care for the protagonist, we'll bounce it. We like stories that instill wonder. Subject matter is pretty wide open. If we care, can't put the story down, and find no big holes in the plot or worldbuilding, you've got a good shot.

What we don't want:

Military SF, High Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Horror, RPG, superhero, or shared-universe stuff, etc. Vampires and Cthulhu-mythos stories are strongly discouraged unless you've done something absolutely original with either theme. No gratuitous or wildly excessive sex or violence: what this means is that sex or violence which serves the plot is okay, within limits; the same goes for language. Think R-rated rather than XXX-rated.

NOTE: there are some unusual bits in their formatting and cover letter requirements. Nothing ridiculous, but definitely click the link and read the full guidelines before submitting.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hanging With Wolves

Jim and I spent yesterday (Sunday) at Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, in southern California in Lucerne Valley. Well, at the sanctuary, plus driving up and back with some friends; I think we spent at least half the day in the car. It was worth it, though.

Wolf Mountain is smaller than I was expecting, but Tonya, the woman who owns the place, said that they're working on moving to a larger property. They have several packs which have to be kept isolated from one another -- I got the impression that they might fight if they were kept together, although I might be mistaken -- so while they have several larger enclosures with room for the wolves to trot around and play and bury things, bigger would be better.

The enclosures are behind double fencing; you have to go through one level of chain link fence into a series of corridors which lead to the wolf enclosures themselves. Visitors who are just wandering around and don't necessarily have a staffer paying close attention to them can't stick fingers into the enclosures this way, or do anything else dumb.

Meeting some of the wolvesOnce a staffer invited us back, he said that the thing to do is lay the back of your hand flat against the fence, so the wolves can sniff you. I'm there on the left; on the right is the friend who drove us, one of my husband's co-workers. Sometimes I got licked as well as sniffed, and sometimes they tried to rub the side of their head against my hand, although that wasn't very effective through the fence. Some of them would stand there, leaning against the fence, wanting scritchies, although that was kind of awkward too.

There was a huge group ahead of us -- about twenty or so people I think, so we just hung out waiting for them to finish. It was a shame in that that many people interacting with the wolves and giving them treats (chicken and turkey legs, dog cookies) got them tired and kind of full, but the good part was that after they left it was nice and quiet and we had the place to ourselves, the four of us. We were shown around and introduced to all of the wolves, told their names and where they came from. (All of which I promptly forgot, because my memory sucks and I didn't have anything to take notes with, so apologies for a lack of specifics.)

The wolves at the sanctuary were rescues of one sort or another. Sometimes people bred them and couldn't keep them anymore. Sometimes people bred them badly -- the dark wolf in the picture above, and a lighter brown mixed-color one in the same enclosure who's not in that picture, were siblings from the same litter, bred from parents who were siblings. That's not a great idea, but people do it anyway. There were other wolves at the sanctuary who were inbred also; Tonya said that one of them was aging more rapidly than he should, that he was twelve but looked more like a sixteen-year old wolf. People get wolves and think breeding them is cool, but don't learn about them or about how to do it properly. All the adult wolves at Wolf Mountain are fixed; the two siblings above are still considered puppies, and just a little over a year old, but they'll be neutered soon. There are barely resources to take care of the wolves they rescue from bad situations as it is; adding more by letting them breed would be irresponsible and Wolf Mountain doesn't do that.

Some of the wolves were rescues from Alaska, where dens were being burned out because wolves were supposedly taking game which "belonged" to sport hunters. The fact that wolves take the very old, the very young, the sick and the injured, none of which are interesting trophies to sport hunters, didn't seem to matter; they made a good try at eradicating the wolves from that area anyway. Wolf Mountain got some cubs rescued from dens in the targetted area.

One of the smaller enclosuresA few of the wolves were in smaller enclosures. Some of the wolves were waiting for a larger one to be built for them -- we could see the construction site off to one side -- but one was there because he'd had an injury and needed to be by himself for a while, and another was there because she'd been fighting with the others and needed to be isolated. The larger enclosures are ideal, of course, but the smaller ones were still a decent size for one wolf, and hopefully most of the wolves in them will be out soon.

Wolf kissesBecause we were patient and quiet -- not difficult in comparison with the previous large and noisy group -- Tonya took us into one of the enclosures where she said she doesn't usually bring any of the visitors. Jim and I sat on a rock and the very handsome boy in the picture here came up to meet us. He wasn't terribly interested in the cookies -- we'd seen him burying a turkey leg earlier, so I guess he was full -- but I got some kisses anyway. That was pretty awesome.

ScritchiesIn one of the other enclosures, one of the wolves was kicking back on top of her platform. (I think it was a female.) You can't see in this picture, but they'd dug a den underneath this platform, which is boxy rather than just flat. I think a couple of the other platforms in other enclosures had dens underneath them too. Whenever we saw the wolves napping, though, they were always on top, or just on the ground somewhere. Maybe they went underneath at night? Anyway, this one had some cookies she was sort of mildly interested in (those are cookie bits in front of her in the pic) and we went up to pet her and give her some scritchies while she ate. I'd started at the base of her neck and was scratching fairly hard down her spine and had just hit her butt, just above the base of her tail. Most dogs like that a lot, and she seemed to think it was pretty cool too, judging by the look on her face. :) Her outer coat was coarse, not terribly soft to pet but good for moving through underbrush and shedding rain.

Oh, and someone did ask about the wolves digging out of the enclosures. Tonya said they bury the chain link four feet down, to prevent any escapes. She also mentioned that some of the wolves had once been frightened by a rabbit; wolves have to be taught to hunt, and if they're not then they have no clue where their food comes from. Keeping them in is as much for their own good as anyone else's. [grin]

This was a great day and we all had a wonderful time. I hope they do get to move to a larger property; I'm sure all the wolves would appreciate more running-around space. If you're ever in the area, check out their web site; you can make appointments for visiting from Thursday through Sunday. It costs $20 per person for a one-hour tour, or $50 for a half-day visit with a private tour, which is what we did. It was definitely worth it, and an awesome experience.