Friday, December 31, 2010

Free SF

For those of you who are into science fiction, there's a publication called Daily Science Fiction that started up September 1. They publish a story every day, M-F. You can subscribe to get the stories in e-mail each night, or you can go to their web site and read them there, a week's delayed. I subscribed to it early and have gotten all of them so far. They're generally good, ranging from "Okay, whatever," to "Whoa, awesome!" There aren't that many on the low end of the bell curve, which makes it at least as good as any SF mag I've ever gotten.

And it's free, did I mention that? :)

Highly recommended.

Also, I wrote a science fiction romance called The Gift for the M/M Romance Group's Holiday Stories event, on Goodreads. It was posted to the group on 25 December 2010, but I just put it up on my web site. Enjoy!


PS -- hope everyone has a great New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cool Videos and a Potential Nab

Hey, all. [wave] I've been distracted by other things lately (who hasn't?!) but I've run into some things I want to share.

First, this is a great video. It's a medley of Village People songs, which is fun in and of itself, but take a good look -- there's only one performer out there. :) Thanks to Syd McGinley (and Charlie!) for sharing.

And another one, while I'm in a video mood. (It's pretty rare, so I need to take advantage before it passes.) A friend who's more into music than I am sent me this one. It's a group called Straight No Chaser doing the Twelve Days of Christmas. They're an all-male a capella group, and they rock -- great singing and they're funny too. Definitely poke around YouTube and watch more of them.

And a third. This one is more of a geek thing. :) There's a camera attached to the end of a long sword toward, and it's used to film several swordsmen doing sword-type maneuvers. What's cool about this one is that the sword stays still relative to the viewer, since the camera is affixed to it; it's the swordsmen and the room that are swooping around. I've never seen a better demonstration of relative motion. The husband sent me a link to this on BoingBoing; thanks to them for sharing it.

And finally, some excellent news reported by the Washington Post. Auditors from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) are questioning TSA's spending, saying they've been writing checks for technology which hasn't been proven, or for which there might not be a need. Nice to know someone in Washington has finally noticed.

They mention the puffer booths from a couple of years ago, which were supposed to detect explosives by puffing shots of air at travellers and screening the resulting whatever for explosive residue. TSA spent $30 million on those, and they're currently sitting in warehouses, "abandoned as impractical." The taxpayer in me is angry that the backscatter scanners, which cost more than the puffer booths and have more costs coming down the road, might end up similarly abandoned and warehoused. The citizen who still values my constitutional rights is hoping exactly that happens. :/

I loved this one, though:

Some say the fact that the United States hasn't had another 9/11-level terrorist attack shows that the investment was money well spent.

Whoever these "some" are, I hope they don't have any spending authority; post hoc ergo propter hoc isn't exactly a solid foundation for decision making. Hey, I'll bet if we'd tossed a human sacrifice into Mount St. Helens every year since 1980, these same "some" would take the fact that the volcano hasn't blown up again in all that time as proof that the sacrifices work. [sigh]

At any rate, I'm keeping a few pairs of virtual fingers crossed on the GAO reining in TSA. Someone needs to do it, and if they get zapped for misspending, the way Al Capone was finally zapped for income tax evasion, well, I'll take that.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Speculative Law

I've recently found a really wonderful blog written by a couple of attorneys, and I have to share. It's called Law and the Multiverse, and it's full of great legal discussions of questions you'll never run into in a law review.

For example, what are the legal issues related to being immortal? I have an immortal character in my Hidden Magic series, so that post was particularly welcome.

Another post was about characters who are invulnerable or otherwise incredibly difficult to kill -- how would that affect crimes committed against them, such as murder and assault? Is it actually attempted murder if you knew at the time that your victim wouldn't die when you shot him 72 times?

There's a discussion of outlawry that starts with its historical precedents and projects it into a present or future where there are criminals conventional law enforcement can't deal with, and another discussion about resurrection, probate law and insurance.

The blog is oriented around comic book universes -- superheroes and supervillains -- but the info here would be useful for an SF world too, or a world where paranormal creatures or powers exist, or an urban fantasy type setting. And besides, it's just fun to read. Highly recommended.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Review of Unfinished Business

Cryselle reviewed "Unfinished Business" and gave it four marbles. :) Here's what she said:

This was fun -- the author expanded on a little scene in a larger work (A Hidden Magic). Cal, the apprentice, gets a really funny, sexy lesson on paying attention under duress, and Aubrey, magical adept and Cal's master, provides plenty of hot, hot duress. If every lesson was that much fun, Cal will be an adept in no time at all!

I'd read A Hidden Magic a few months back, so I remembered the set-up for the whole asses-ears business, and that was my only quibble with this story. The beginning feels like a scene that was removed from the book for flow, and it doesn't really capture the purpose of the ears or why they even existed -- as a stand alone story they come sort of out of the blue. As a read with, it just follows right on. Following Cal around the restaurant at the beginning establishes that he's got a life outside magic, but it doesn't set up the rest of the story as well as it could. Asses ears --> creme brulee --> asses ears might have worked better than creme brulee --> asses ears.

All the same, the sex was hot, the relationship between master and apprentice was both loving and responsible, and the ending sweet.

You know, that one bit -- figuring out how much of the set-up from A Hidden Magic to recap, and how to present the info to the reader -- was the one big thing I was headdesking over for a while as I wrote this. I don't know that there's any one solution that would've pleased everyone, but it's a legitimate issue.

That said, though, it sounds like she enjoyed the story otherwise, and that's always very cool. :) Thanks to Cryselle for taking the time to review; I'm glad you liked it!

"Unfinished Business" is available here.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Anthology Markets

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

November Stuff

This is going to be really short, 'cause I have two pressing deadlines and I'm actually late on one of them. [flail]

First, this is a great video of Ian McKellan talking to a film festival audience about filming the balrog sequence in Rings. It's very short -- a minute and a bit -- and funny. Check it out. :)

Second, NaNo pretty much fizzled halfway through, but I got almost 20K words on the book, which is a great jumpstart. The Goodreads M/M Romance group is doing a holiday promo where writers write a story based on a photo and a request posted by a reader. One of the photos spawned a plot-bunny, so I volunteered. It's taking a lot longer than I thought to write it (so what else is new?) but I like the story, and it'll eventually be a stand-alone free read for my web site, which I've needed for a while. Also, for doing this I get a book-of-the-month promo slot in the group later in 2011, for a book of my choice, which I'll admit was attractive. I decided it was worth setting Emerging Magic aside for a bit to do this. I'll post here with a link when the story goes up.

Oh, I had a new story released and didn't even post about it! Gotta love the holidays.... [facepalm] Hell Is in the Details is a funny short story (okay, it's kind of long for a short, but it's a short on a technicality) about Benioth, the Demon of Laziness, who hasn't read his memos for a while -- like, decades. He's missed a few changes in policy and is in trouble with his boss. :)

November stats:

Writing 21,562 words -- 9 pts.
Editing 17,106 words -- 3 pts.
Wrote 1 synopsis -- 1 pt.
TOTAL = 13 pts, woot!

Koala Challenge 9

Monday, November 22, 2010

Some Book Recs

I'm up at my mom's doing Holiday Stuff, plus trying to write, and (kinda-sorta) keep up with online stuff only not really, so this is going to be short.

Judy Tarr has published a collection of her horse blogs in a book called Writing Horses -- The Fine Art of Getting it Right. This is a book about writing horse stuff the right way, by a writer who also breeds horses. I've been reading these blog posts all along over at the Book View Cafe, and I definitely want this book so I can have all the good stuff in one place. The info is presented in a way that particularly serves writers who are writing about horses. I've written a bit of horse stuff using horse reference books intended for people who have and/or ride horses, and Judy's method is definitely better if you're writing instead of riding. Highly recommended.

I know I've mentioned Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Freelancer's Survival Guide here before. She started posting chapters on her blog for free back in early 2009, believing that the economy made it imperative that the info get out to people immediately, rather than in the year or three it would've taken to shop a proposal around, write the book, then wait for the steady but slow gears of New York publishing to get it into bookstores. This is an awesome collection of info, experience, do-and-don't lists, things to think about, assorted resources, and things you never knew you absolutely needed to know. It's useful for freelancers of every kind, but examples pertaining to writers turn up fairly often. :) The link above goes to a page where you can buy the paperback version (580 pages!), but it's also available as an e-book, and it's still up on Kris's blog in chunks for free. Any writer who's making or hoping to make money on their fiction should read this, in whatever format. Me, I'm going for the paperback.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Review of Chasing Fear

Dawn posted a great review up on Love Romances and More of Chasing Fear, my first Halloween short story. I've always liked this one and it's great to hear that someone's enjoyed it.

Thanks, Dawn!


CHASING FEAR is a short story that will keep the reader intrigued till the very end. I don’t want to give too much away but have to admit, this was a perfect story to get my manlove fix one afternoon. Short, sweet and oh so sexy, CHASING FEAR is a delight to anyone who wants to experience this author’s writing style. Ms. Benedetti is a talented author who definitely knows how to make the reader get intrigued by having a unique character as a Greenman. I haven’t read a story that contained this type of character before and found myself wishing the story was a bit longer as it whetted my appetite to know more about Emilio and Martin. The writing was tight and the story was fast paced as it raced to the sexy ending.

Meet Emilio, a man who is in a relationship with a greenman, a man who can wield nature magic. Scared to show he is in a gay relationship, he finds himself forced to confront the issue when Martin finds him in the forest. Can Emilio let go of his hang-ups to enjoy the exquisite desire Martin inflames in him? Martin is a greenman and one who enjoys showing the world he is openly gay and in a great relationship. Knowing Emilio is holding back, he finds his lover dawdling in the forest on their annual date night-Halloween- and Martin takes measures into his own hands as he shows Emilio that pleasure can be just as enjoyable in the open as it is behind closed doors. These two are great characters to read about. Different and unique, they also step off the pages to captivate the reader till the very end. I was hoping Emilio would let go of all his fears and let Martin show him how pleasurable desire is out in the open. The sex scenes were tasteful and got your motor running. I was eager to see what exquisite delights Martin had in store for Emilio once he caught up with him.

CHASING FEAR is a wonderful story that will leave you hankering for more. I raced to the author’s website to see if there were some more stories set in the Hidden Magic world. If you want to try this author’s writing out, this is definitely a way to do it. This is a great paranormal tale that will leave you longing for more.


If you've read and enjoyed "Chasing Fear," there's a free sequel up on my web site called Catching Courage.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Anthology Markets

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.

Note there are a couple of spot shifts -- Jack-o'-Spec was previously under "Until Filled" but now has a (very close) deadline, Warrior Wisewoman has been pushed back six months, and Panverse Three has been filled. If Panverse follows their previous pattern, number four will open for submission within a couple of months. Also, note that I included In Situ because it sounds like a neat project, but I just found it and it's due in less than three weeks. [Edit: make that five weeks -- deadline moved.]

Non-erotica/romance writers: check out Jack-o'-Spec, In Situ, Bewere the Night, The Faery Taile Project, the Historical Lovecraft Anthology, Horror Library and Warrior Wisewoman 4.


15 November 2010 [Formerly UNTIL FILLED] -- Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy -- ed. Karen A. Romanko, Raven Electrick Ink

Submissions open 11 October 2010; closing date will be announced when the book is close to full.

Jack-o'-Spec: Tales of Halloween and Fantasy is a planned paperback anthology of speculative short stories, flash fiction, and poetry about Halloween and the traditions and legends surrounding it. All works must contain an element of science fiction, fantasy, or supernatural horror. If it's not speculative, I'm not interested. Also note that this will not be an all-horror anthology. I want to see science fiction and fantasy in a variety of sub-genres. In addition, please be mindful of the caveats about gore, as stated below.

Nothing sexist, racist, or above a "PG" rating; no gore (i.e. no cannibalism, evisceration, "skinning," severed body parts, dead babies, etc.); no simultaneous submissions.

Length up to 2500 words (word processor count ) for new fiction. Length up to 3500 words for reprints. For reprints, include story's publication history.
Send one story. (It's okay to have one poem and one story under consideration at the same time, as long as each is sent in a separate e-mail.)
E-mail fiction submissions to:
In the subject line, type "Fiction Sub" with your last name, e.g. "Fiction Sub: Asimov."
Send the story in an attached .rtf file.
Use black text only.
Include your biography in a brief cover letter.

TERMS: By submitting your work to Jack-o'-Spec, you agree that:
The submitted story or poem is an original work; you are the author of the submitted original work ("the work"); you own the copyright to the work; no other publisher holds exclusive license to the work at the time of submission to Jack-o'-Spec.

New fiction: 3 cents per word (rounded to the nearest 100 words) for stories to 800 words, $5 minimum and $24 maximum. Flat rate of $25 for stories 900 words to 2500 words.
Fiction reprints : 1 cent per word (rounded to the nearest 100 words) for stories to 2400 words, $3 minimum and $24 maximum. Flat rate of $25 for stories 2500 words to 3500 words.

Also looking for poetry; see submissions page for that and other details. Query address:


1 December 2010 -- Male Model Anthology -- ed. Neil Plakcy, Cleis Press

Who hasn’t experienced a pang of lust or longing at a photo of a male model? Whether a hundred times life size on a billboard, or romping through the pages of a glossy magazine in his Calvins, Tommys or Ralphs, the male model is the gold standard for masculine beauty.

But what happens behind the scenes at those South Beach photo shoots or Manhattan runway shows? When the students put away their sketch pads, and the photographers shelve their lenses? Model Men will show these men at their handsomest and sexiest moments.

The editor of Hard Hats, Surfer Boys, Skater Boys and The Handsome Prince is looking for great stories focused on male models. Hand models, silver foxes, and locations around the world are fair game for Model Men. I’d love to see stories set in the traditional locales of New York, London, Milan and LA as well as other, unexpected places. Surprise me, romance me, get me hot and bothered!

Story length: 3,000 – 5,000 words

Publication Date: 2011

Payment: $60.00 per story, payable on publication, plus 1 copy of the book

You may forward this call to other erotica writers you know. Submit your story to Neil Plakcy at as a MS word attachment.


15 December 2010 -- Dancing -- Torquere Press

Three-story mini-anthology of short, sexy m/m stories on the theme, 3-7K words, 35%/25% of cover price from publisher's site/vendors, divided among the three authors. Send attached file to


15 December 2010 [formerly 30 November] -- In Situ -- ed. Carrie Cuinn, Dagan Books

We will respond with acceptances after December 15, 2010, once all stories have been reviewed. Some rejections may be sent prior to the closing date. Payment will be 2 cents per word, up to $80 US, paid within 30 days of publication.

We're looking for stories of between 2,000 and 4,000 words. "In situ" is a Latin phrase meaning in the place. According to current archaeological usage, in situ refers to an artifact that has not been moved from its original place of deposition. In other words, it is still where it was left. An artifact being in situ is critical to the interpretation of that artifact and, consequently, to the culture which formed it. Once an artifact's 'find-site' has been recorded, the artifact can then be moved for conservation, further interpretation and display. An artifact that is not discovered in situ is considered out of context and will not provide an accurate picture of the associated culture.

But what if the artifact isn't from a human culture? Could we, as humans, possibly understand it? If not, what might we mistake it for? Whether it's 19th century scholars finding an alien artifact at an a dig site in the Mediterranean, or 25th century explorers uncovering ancient ruins on a recently discovered planet, far out in space, In Situ seeks to unearth something new.


Send all stories to submissions (at) daganbooks (dot) com in .doc or .rtf format. You must put the following in your email subject line:

[In Situ] "Name of your story" LastName

For example, our editor might submit a story with the following subject line:

[In Situ] "Alien Archeology" Cuinn

Use a common font in your submission, like Courier or Times New Roman, 12 pt, and if you need to note any funky formatting or spelling, please do so at the end of the document. Thank you.


31 December 2010 -- Fire and Ice: Short Gasps of Romantic Suspense -- ed. Jessy Marie Roberts, Pill Hill Press

Email submissions to:

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

This anthology will feature SUSPENSEFUL short stories with a STRONG ROMANTIC THEME. We want interesting submissions where the protagonist(s) FALL IN LOVE through the course of the story, all the while facing incredibly SCARY situations. Love scenes are acceptable, as long as written tastefully and are integral to plot development (think romance novel sex, not Penthouse sex - we are not looking for erotica or pornography).

Most genres are acceptable as long as they contain strong elements of both suspense and romance. They can take place anywhere (Earth, outer space, other planets, etc.), at any time (past, present, future, alternate. Stories should be written in the third person.

We prefer short stories in the 4,000-6,000 word range, but will consider stories from 1,500-15,000 words.

Payment is 1 cent per word (up to 6,000 words or a $60.00 cap), plus 1 contributor's copy upon publication.


31 December 2010 -- Bewere the Night -- ed. Ekaterina Sedia, Prime

I'm looking for stories dealing with any were-creatures; werewolves are welcome, of course, and the stories should be in a general urban fantasy vein. I'll need the stories by the end of December 2010, and I'm looking for reprints as well as originals. Reprints pay 1c/word and originals 5c/word, and the length should be between 1,000 and 7,500 words. Also, please suggest reprints by other authors if you happen to think of any.


31 December 2010 -- The Faery Taile Project #2 -- CatsCurious Press

There are two sides to every story... And we here at CatsCurious Press think that our readers deserve to read BOTH! Again!

A Call for Submissions... of the Faery Taile Kynde! CatsCurious Press will re-open to submissions starting October 1, 2010 for all well-written, humorous fairy tale re-tellings (except red riding hood, but that's because we've been there, done that)! But there's a catch -- these stories must be written from ONE POV only... the protagonist's.

Why would we be so strict, you ask? Because Anton Strout, author of Dead To Me, Deader Still, 'Dead Matter and Dead Waters has already gotten on board to write a counterpoint story! That's right -- once we have plowed our way through the slush, Anton will review our favorite stories and then choose ONE from among them to write a counterpoint to.

The end result will be a double-sided book with two covers (one featuring artwork for Anton's story, the other featuring artwork to coincide with the protagonist's point of view). Stories will be printed upside-down from one another -- flip the book over, and start fresh from the top! I can't wait to see the end result! Check out Faery Taile Project #1 to see what we have in mind.

Here are the requirements:

Story length must be between 7500 and 12,000 words
Stories must be humorous
Stories must appeal to a broad range of folks -- from twelve years old to adult (so no raunchy humor, please!)
Stories must be single POV, from the protagonist's point of view (this will take some finesse -- leaving enough details to the imagination that Anton can create a counterpoint, yet creating a rich-enough world that the reader won't be left wanting)
Submission period: October 1st, 2010 to 11:59:59pm December 31st, 2010

Any fairy tale is fair game (except red hood of course, for obvious reasons)!

The payment? $.06 per word and seeing your name next to Anton Strout's!


1 January 2011 -- Red Velvet and Absinthe: Gothic Tales of Erotic Romance -- ed. Mitzi Szereto, Cleis Press

A trade paperback to be published by Cleis Press, USA. Publication date: Autumn 2011. Deadline: January 1, 2011 (I’ll be selecting stories on a rolling basis, therefore earlier submissions are strongly encouraged, though I’ll still consider stories that make it in by the deadline).

Word count preferred: 3,000 to 6,500.

What I’m looking for: Well-developed story lines and well-crafted prose told in a unique voice and containing interesting characters and settings. Think atmosphere, passion, desire… imaginative stories that send a shiver up your spine and make your heart beat faster. Readers should be able to feel the red velvet beneath their fingertips and taste the absinthe on their tongue! Tales that contain supernatural beings such as ghosts, vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters, demons, and other entities of a paranormal nature are welcome, as are those of the Wuthering Heights variety with tormented heroes and dark secrets. Stories may be set in the past, present, or future. Stories from female and male writers are welcome, as are those written from the POV of characters of any gender and containing characters of any sexual orientation (including those that haven’t yet been created!). Take your inspiration from the pens of the Brontë sisters, Mary Shelley, Daphne du Maurier, Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Poppy Z. Brite, Stephenie Meyer, Laurell K. Hamilton…

Note that sexually explicit content is acceptable as well as a more subtle approach; however, no stock sex scenes or formulaic writing/terminology. Please refer to my previous anthologies to get an idea of the variety and style of content I look for. No excessive gore or violence. No reprints.

One-time payment in the range of USD $50-70 (payable on publication) and 2 copies of the anthology.

Submission requirements: Stories should be formatted as follows: double-spaced Arial 12-point black font Word or RTF document. Indent the first line of each paragraph by half an inch. Do not add extra lines between paragraphs or any other irregular spacing. American spelling and punctuation only (i.e. quote marks, etc). Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), postal address, and a fifty-word maximum author bio written in the third person. Contract is for one-time, non-exclusive anthology rights with one year’s exclusivity from date of publication. (This may be waived if your story is selected for a “Best Of” collection). No simultaneous submissions please.

In the subject line of your email, please state: Red Velvet and Absinthe

Send to: submissions @


3 January 2011 -- Historical Lovecraft Anthology -- ed. Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles, Innsmouth Free Press

What We Want: historical fiction with a Lovecraftian twist. Stories should be set in a variety of places, cultures and time periods. While we might buy one story set in 1920s New England, we want to stray far from the normal Lovecraft milieu. If you’re going to do 1920s, why not ship us off to China and tell the story from the point of view of a native of Shanghai? Please note that for our purposes we consider historical anything up to 1937 (the year of Lovecraft’s death).

Length: from flash fiction (1,000 words or under) to novelette (10,000 words). Keep in mind we have a payment cap of $50 CAD, so your long novelette might be better served by finding another home.

Payment: one cent per word up to a maximum of $50 CAD. One physical copy of the anthology and one e-book copy. Payment made via PayPal or Canadian check upon acceptance. We are purchasing first English print and electronic rights for the anthology.

Reprints: considered, with a few caveats:
1. Indicate where and when the story was originally published in your cover letter.
2. Reprints offered should not be easily available in print or online.
3. Payment is a flat $25 CAD for reprints.

If you published it in a small collection in 1985 and it’s no longer on the market, that’s fine. If it was published in a German magazine and never translated to English, we’d like to see it. If it appeared in a now-defunct zine, that’s okay, too. If it was in a recent issue of an English-language zine that is currently online, no.

Submitting: e-mail us at innsmouthfp AT Subject line: Historical Antho, [Title of your Story, Author's Name]. The subject line is important; otherwise, the story might go into the wrong pile.

Do not send simultaneous submissions. Do not send more than one submission. If we reject one story, you can send another one.

Include a cover letter with the story word count, salient writing credits and any reprint information (if applicable). Yes, we do read cover letters, so please include the information (Paula gets cranky when stories arrive sans byline, title or cover letter).

Attach story as RTF (preferred) or Word (doc, not docx) document. Use standard manuscript format. Italics as italics, bold as bold. No fancy fonts.

Stories can be sent in English, French or Spanish.

Submissions are accepted from September 1, 2010 to January 3, 2011. Do not send anything before or after that date.

We will reject some stories as they come in and send others to the hold pile. Final story selection will take place in January 2011. Check back for updates.


15 January 2011 -- Canes -- Torquere Press

Three-story mini-anthology of short, sexy m/m stories on the theme, 3-7K words, 35%/25% of cover price from publisher's site/vendors, divided among the three authors. Send attached file to


[UPDATED] 31 July 2011 -- Warrior Wisewoman 4 -- ed. Roby James, Norilana Books

Warrior Wisewoman is an annual anthology series of science fiction featuring powerful and remarkable women, edited by Roby James. The first volume was published by Norilana Books in June 2008, the second volume in June 2009, and the third volume in August 2010.

The anthology was conceived as a sister volume to the classic Sword and Sorceress fantasy series originally edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley, with the main difference being that the story themes will involve science fiction instead of fantasy, and they will be intended for a more mature audience, allowing a mixture of serious contemporary issues and reasonable sexual content (but no erotica) in addition to action and adventure. The stories will have a stronger focus on the interface between scientific exploration and our sense of wonder.

Editor Roby James says "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. 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 2011, 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 15, 2010. Please do not submit your stories before then.
DEADLINE: January 15, 2011 July 31, 2011.
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.

EDITORIAL ADDRESS: roby dot james at comcast dot net.

[EDIT: Note that Norilana is postponing most of its upcoming anthologies by six months, so the deadline is later, although the guidelines still say reading began on 15 September 2010. They're open, but it'll take a lot longer to get a response than originally indicated.]


UNTIL FILLED -- Horror Library, Vol. 5 -- Cutting Block Press

Cutting Block Press is pleased to announce an open submissions period for the 4th Volume of its Horror Anthology Series, +Horror Library+, to be published in trade paperback during 2011.

We're looking for the highest quality examples of all forms of Dark Fiction, running the gamut from traditional horror, supernatural, speculative, psychological thriller, dark satire, including every point between and especially beyond. No Fantasy or Sci-fi unless the horror elements are dominant. Read +Horror Library+ Volumes 1-3 to see what's already pleased us. Special consideration will be given those pieces that we find profoundly disturbing, though blood and violence on their own won't cut it. While we will consider tales of vampires, ghosts and zombies, we tend to roll our eyes at ordinary ones. They're just too plentiful. Your best bet is to surprise us with something that is different, while well conceived and tightly executed.

Guidelines: Stories will range between 1,000 and 6,000 words, though we'll look at longer works of exceptional merit. In that case, query before submission. Buying 1st worldwide anthology rights. No reprints. Paying 1.5 cents per word, plus one contributors copy. For established authors, rates may be negotiable. Response time: six months or sooner. Deadline: We will accept submissions until filled. All Queries to

Manuscript format: 12 point courier font, standard margins, left side of header: name, contact info, right side of header: word count, top of first page: title, author

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Subject box: Short Story submission - title of story

Attach story in MS Word Document or RTF (only). Please paste your cover letter in the body of the e-mail. Send submissions to

[See the web page for a special offer on copies of Horror Library Vol. 1 for writers doing market research.]

Thursday, November 4, 2010

More Plagiarism, Because the Internet Is All Public Domain

Cooks Source managing editor Judith Griggs has just tanked her career with great energy and enthusiasm.

For folks who don't want to wade through the sea of links above, or the many more below, the basic story is this. A writer named Illadore on LJ (whose post is the first linked above, under "managing") wrote an article on the history of how apple pie has developed, which was posted on a web site for historical reenactors, back in '05. Recently, a friend pointed out that the magazine Cooks Source had the article, and asked her when she'd sold it. Illadore went, "Huh?" She figured she'd contact the Cooks Source folks and straighten this out:

So. I first phone the magazine then send a quick note to the "Contact Us" information page, asking them what happened and how they got my article. (I thought it could have been some sort of mix-up or that someone posted it to some sort of free article database.) Apparently, it was just copied straight off the Godecookery webpage. As you can see from the page, it is copyrighted and it is also on a Domain name that I own.

After the first couple of emails, the editor of Cooks Source asked me what I wanted -- I responded that I wanted an apology on Facebook, a printed apology in the magazine and $130 donation (which turns out to be about $0.10 per word of the original article) to be given to the Columbia School of Journalism.

Sounds reasonable to me, particularly since she wasn't asking for any kind of cash restitution for herself, but rather as a donation to a school which, presumably, teaches its students about copyright law. [cough]

Ms. Griggs responded (in part) thusly:

"Yes Monica, I have been doing this for 3 decades, having been an editor at The Voice, Housitonic Home and Connecticut Woman Magazine. I do know about copyright laws. It was "my bad" indeed, and, as the magazine is put together in long sessions, tired eyes and minds somethings forget to do these things.

But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me... ALWAYS for free!"

So... right. Not only is anything posted to the internet automatically public domain (?!?) but Illadore should be paying Ms. Griggs for the editing! After all, Illadore now has a nice piece for her portfolio, so Illadore's come out ahead, right?

I think it says something about Ms. Griggs's knowledge of English and her editing skills (or research skills, since this is easy to look up if you can't tell from the context) that she was unable to recognize through a reading of the actual article she stole that the recipes were from 14th and 16th century cookbooks, and their language was perfectly appropriate for their time, and for the historical reenactor audience. Instead, it apparently just looked wrong to Ms. Griggs, bad writing that Illadore should've thanked her for fixing. Wow.

But seriously, this is a woman who is taking a paycheck for her work as a magazine editor, and she honestly -- really?? -- believes that anything posted to the internet is in the public domain? She's so sure she's right that she feels comfortable taking a patronizing tone with someone she's ripped off. Clearly it couldn't possibly be Ms. Griggs who's in the wrong here; that's completely outside the realm of possibility. Right? Right?!

This woman is in dire need a a few good smacks with the cluebat. Luckily, the internet is giving them to her.

Aside from the above links, on Making Light (in a nearly useless link because it's an open thread and only a few of the hundreds of comments are on this topic, and there's a sidelink but I can't link to that, but anyway) there are reports in comments of Ms. Griggs also having plagiarized Martha Stewart, Weight Watchers, The Food Network, CNN and WebMD (per James MacDonald, citing a Facebook page), Martha Stewart (again) and Cooks Illustrated (per Tom Whitmore, citing the Washington Post), and Disney (per Jon Meltzer).

Paula Dean (linked under "career" above) has been notified on her Facebook page of a recipe theft and has said that she's forwarded the matter to her legal department. You don't mess with Paula, folks, seriously.

I've also seen mention in several places that Neil Gaiman has Twittered about this, but I couldn't get his page to come up when I tried the link. Seems Mr. Gaiman's feed is even more popular than usual today for some reason.

Massive stupidity, seriously. This isn't some newbie webzine we're talking about here; Cooks Source is available online but it's also a paper magazine, supported by ad revenue, distributed on newsstands. How did someone this ignorant of copyright get to be the managing editor? And just how much do the people who hired her for that job regret it right now...? [Ahh, found out the answer to the second to last question at least -- Ms. Griggs owns the magazine. Well, there you go.]

I have to include the title to John Scalzi's post (which is linked under "tanked" above): The Stupidest Thing an Editor With Three Decades of Experience Has Said About the Web Today." Also BoingBoing's (linked under "energy"): "Today's Web Justice Driveby." Incisive commentary right there. [wry smile]

How about a quote from Judith Griggs's Twitter feed: "I don't know why everyone is so angry." Umm, yeah. That's kind of the problem, hon. [EDIT: Cindy Potts has pointed out that this Twitter feed looks like a spoof account. All I can say is it sounded like her. [wry smile]]

And the Bitchery has declared a Googlebomb of their definition of the new verb "to griggs" -- Judith Griggs. I'm contributing a link, because when you've been in the business for thirty years you get zero sympathy from me for not having yet learned the most basic laws that govern your industry. When you take money for your work, you're declaring yourself to be a pro and it's your responsibility -- nobody else's -- to have all your ducks in a row. Especially when you get snotty at other people over their supposed ignorance. [eyeroll]

Any bets on how long before Cooks Source is going to be out of business? If it were owned by some conglomerate, they could just fire Ms. Griggs, replace her with someone who knows what copyright means, and move on after some groveling. Given that it's completely her enterprise, though, I don't see it surviving. Maybe if it were only a bunch of blogs griping, but with the LA Times and Washington Post and who knows what other mainstream news sources picking it up, they're doomed.

Not that I'm crying over it. This is an example of blatant ignorance and arrogant stupidity. Good riddance.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Artist Wanted

For anyone with an artistic bent, Josh Lanyon is looking for a cover for a short story. He's getting the rights back to an anthology story soon and plans to self-publish it. Drawing/painting/photomanipping isn't his thing, though, so he's holding a contest -- if he chooses to use your cover, he'll pay $50 for it. (I know that's not a lot, but it's pretty much the going rate on this end of the industry.)

Luck to anyone who gives it a shot. :)


Monday, November 1, 2010

October Stuff and Cetera

I hope everyone had a great Halloween? This was our first Halloween in the new place, so we had no clue how many kids we'd get. There's a school right next to our little group of buildings, though, and an apartment complex on the other side, so we figured we'd probably get quite a few.

None. Nada. Zip. Not a single kid rang our doorbell, and we had good candy, which the husband and I will just have to eat ourselves. [heavy, theatrical sigh] Seriously, though, that's really sad. Trick-or-treating is one of the best rituals of childhood, and the idea that it might be dying out sucks massive quantities of swamp water. :(

Writing-wise, I actually did pretty well in October -- 9 points in McKoala's challenge, which is a great improvement over any of the last few months.

Writing 8250 -- 3 pts.
Editing 17,102 -- 3 pts
Synopsis -- 1 pt
Submissions -- 2 pts
TOTAL = 9 pts

Koala Challenge 9

One of the submissions was accepted, yay! And one of the stories accepted earlier was published on the 30th, also yay! :)

Most of the writing was in the last couple of days. I've been working on a fanfic novel that I started just over two years ago. I was originally thinking it'd be a long short story, or maybe a novelette, but it just kept growing. O_O Eventually, in early '09, I just had to set it aside to get back to work on my commercial writing. My readers have been saintly in their patience, but I've felt this hanging over my head, and sort of cringed inside whenever I thought about it. I finally broke through a difficult scene toward the end, though, and from there it just flowed. Gotta love when that happens. [beam] I don't usually mind half-done projects -- I have more partial stories than I want to think about on my hard drive -- but something I've started posting, that has readers waiting for the next chunk, is a different story. Finally getting it done feels like the classic huge weight fallen off my shoulders.

And... just in time for NaNo. :) I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year, after having skipped last year. If anyone else who's NaNoing wants to buddy with me, I'm at AngiePen on the NaNo site. (Which is currently not responding -- I'm sure Chris Baty is howling in pain over the demolition of his bandwidth, as happens every year at this time. [grin])

Speaking of which, I have an awesome NaNo icon I got from someone on LiveJournal. The credit was "Lesley." I have no idea who Lesley is, but the person who gave it to me assured me it was okay to share, so feel free to grab it if you like it. :D

Animated NaNo

Enjoy! And best of luck to everyone else NaNoing this month!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Free Halloween Stories

I'm driving the bus over at Torquere Social today, on LiveJournal. I'll be posting throughout the day, and for every one of my posts you comment on between now and noon (Pacific) tomorrow (to allow for folks in other timezones), I'll throw a slip with your name on it into a bowl. The drawing is for a bundle of my Halloween stories -- three short stories, all set in the Hidden Magic universe, plus my ghost story "A Spirit of Vengeance," which is a novelette. Two of the shorts, "Chasing Fear" and "Candy Courage" are from years past, but "Reach Out and Touch" is brand new, just released yesterday.

I have two posts up now, and will be posting more later on. Come over, hang out, chat, and enter to win free fiction. :)


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Wonderful Play on Language

How I Met My Wife -- This is today's Jumbo Joke, but it's not really a joke per se. It's a wonderful play on language, originally published in the New Yorker, according to a note on the site. It begins:

It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate.

I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled, and she moved in a gainly way.

Definitely read the rest. :)


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Free Cornwall!

I have to share this 'cause it's too much fun to keep to myself. Chris Dolley blogs at the Book View Cafe -- a collective of SF/F authors both blogging and publishing together, worth reading -- and for the last month has been relating the story of how he, as a university student, conspired with a number of his fellows to stage a revolution to free Cornwall from the shackles of the English. No, really! :)

It was a prank to raise money for charity, but it's something that never would've gone over in the hyper-paranoid atmosphere today. It's a great story, though, and well worth reading. Check it out. The link goes to Part Five, but Parts One through Four are linked in the first paragraph.

Today he posted about what they did the following year, which was bury a body in a flowerbed for charity. It's not quite as giggle-worthy as the Cornish Revolution, but it's short and fun and definitely worth reading.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This Is How it Happens

Harriet Jacobs at Fugitivus made this pretty awesome post about how most women in our society are socialized, how we're taught to behave and relate to others in social situations, and how that leads to a culture where way too many women end up getting raped and then blamed for it. I'm going to quote the core list, because it really needs to be spread around, but I encourage you to read her whole post. I had to stop myself from just going on and on and on with the copy hilighting, because it's all true and it's all important.

If women are raised being told by parents, teachers, media, peers, and all surrounding social strata that:

* it is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed (“mean bitch”)
* it is not okay to appear distraught or emotional (“crazy bitch”)
* it is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others (“stuck-up bitch”)
* it is not okay to refuse to agree with somebody, over and over and over again (“angry bitch”)
* it is not okay to have (or express) conflicted, fluid, or experimental feelings about yourself, your body, your sexuality, your desires, and your needs (“bitch got daddy issues”)
* it is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries (“dyke bitch”)
* it is not okay to raise your voice (“shrill bitch”)
* it is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you (“mean dyke/frigid bitch”)

If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.

And we should not be surprised when they behave these ways during attempted or completed rapes.

Most of that crap never took with me. I've always been loud and agressive and out there, even as a kid. Most of the times I got punished, it was for something I said rather than something I did. If I didn't like someone, or what someone was saying or doing, I made it really clear. That made for a lot of awkward social situations. I've never been The Popular Girl, never had a lot of boyfriends, never really fit in perfectly with the people around me. But you know what? I've never been raped, I've never felt unsafe out in public with strangers, even late at night on lonely streets. I know where to draw lines, I know how to say no, I know how to make it clear from the start that I'm not interested in talking to someone. Polite women are the ones who get raped, and I never have been; I can't regret that. :/

Ironically enough, the only time I've ever felt unsafe in that way was at a party at my mom's house. I was in the kitchen doing dishes and a sort of second-tier family friend (Gusto? I think that was his name) was drunk and insisted on getting close and touching me. He was feeling "friendly" or whatever, and wanted to hug me and press against me. I gritted my teeth and let him have one hug, but he wanted to keep on hugging and after the first one I wasn't having any. He was sort of a friend, though, and I didn't want to make a fuss. (Don't get loud. Don't set boundaries. Don't be mean to someone who's just being friendly.) I was saying no and backing off, but I ended up cornered against the counter with a big wooden meat platter with spikes on it between me and him like a shield, spikes out. He was kind of confused for a minute or three, like he was trying to figure out how to get to me around it, but he finally got a fucking clue and wandered away.

You know, I knew nothing "serious" was going to happen. There were like a dozen people around and I knew I wasn't actually going to get raped or anything. But it was frightening anyway, and I can't even really explain why except that this guy I had no interest in whatsoever, even as a friend because he was frankly a creep from pretty much all angles, was trying to touch me and get way more in my space and way more intimate than I wanted to, and I didn't know how to make him stop without making more of a fuss than would've been socially acceptable. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to be groped, but what do you do about it when it's someone's friend and you're right there and there are people around and no one else seems to think anything is wrong? It's exactly like the paragraph in the post above about the woman at the bus stop who's being hit on by a guy. My brother Sean was right there and didn't do anything, didn't say anything to Gusto, even though he was his friend (I think he was; I know he was the friend of someone in the family, and it wasn't Mom or me; maybe he started out as a friend of a friend, but he came to our house a few times over the years) and afterward, after Gusto staggered off, when I expressed that that'd been upsetting and kind of scary, Sean was very eyerolly and dismissive. He said that if anything had "really" happened he'd have stopped it, but nothing happened and there was nothing to be upset about. It was just a hug after all, nothing to make a fuss about. He sounded kind of angry, just a little, that I'd even vaguely imply that Gusto might've done anything wrong, even though Sean was there pretty much the whole time I was being stalked around the kitchen and trying to fend the guy off with no luck.

But that's the problem -- unless it's some stranger jumping out from behind a bush to drag a woman into a dark alley and rape her, it doesn't count. Nothing less than that is worth making a fuss about. And if a woman does make a fuss about something not worth making a fuss about, then you're back to "Mean bitch," and "Crazy bitch" and "Stuck-up bitch" etc., all that social pressure to be Nice and to be Polite and to be Ladylike and to not upset anyone, to just put up and deal and smile and pretend it's all okay, because you're the woman and that's your job. I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that if Gusto had tried to stick a hand into my bra or down my pants, Sean would've been right there to haul him away and maybe smack him around a bit. But just wanting to hug me, to touch me in a way I didn't want -- that doesn't count and I had to be pressured into agreeing that it was no big deal. So I'm supposed to be nice and polite and go along when some drunken creep wants to touch me against my will. Keep doing that and eventually you do get raped, and everyone around you is saying, "But you didn't protest when he groped you!"

And this was ME. Loud, aggressive, social-bull-in-a-china-shop Angie, who (usually) takes no shit from anyone, and still I ended up in a situation where I felt pretty strongly the social pressure to go along, be polite, not cause a fuss in a crowd when some creep was trying to touch me. My fear of the social consequences with my friends and family if I'd shoved him away or cussed him out or raised my voice at him took away effective options, made me seriously afraid because I couldn't think what to do, and reduced me to a passive defensive action behind a spiked cutting board until the guy trying to grope me gave up and went away. What kind of a chance do normal women have, the ones who've actually been successfully socialized in all the nice, polite, ladylike behavior, when some determined, smiling guy wants more than a drunken hug and grope? Not much.

This is why rape happens as often as it does, and this is why so many people jump in to deny that it was "really" rape, because the woman didn't yell, didn't punch or kick, didn't tell him to leave her the fuck alone, didn't even protest too much when he first groped her. This is how it happens, and this is how it's dismissed.

Angie, who's very glad all that quiet-polite-ladylike stuff never really took

Monday, October 11, 2010

Anthology Markets

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