This is my second story to appear in Gil Williamson’s admirable little online periodical Mythaxis. It’s a story slightly from the vaults that I enjoyed revisiting before submitting–the trickiest part being not to endlessly revise the story in order to try and preserve something of its original intent.
My story “Squidge” appears in Issue 13 of 4StarStories, a great little site with just enough cheese to be charming and all the dedication and attention to getting things right that make these sites a pleasure to be a part of. 🙂
I promised a friend’s son a bedtime story and allowed him to choose what it would be about. He was going through a phase obsessed with animals, particularly wild cats. He picked up a toy tiger and asked for a story and this was the one I came up with. After telling him the story, I wrote it down and told it again at an Open Mic event in Madrid. I recently showed my friend’s son the version in Spider Magazine: it was nice to come full circle… 🙂
29. Redeye Stopover
The story as it appears in the publication features a radically changed and appended ending which I wasn’t told about prior to its appearance. Clearly editors have the right to adapt a story for what they feel is right for their audience but this is the first instance I wasn’t shown the changes prior to the story going to print. I’m putting this down to a lesson learned and think I’ll leave it at that.
28. Waiting To Be Seen
The story scene set-up happened to me. I was due to go to work in Zanzibar (Tanzania) for two years and needed to get myself checked out before I left. I’d had kidney stones a couple of times before and so…
The story came from a note I’d written about waves cresting and the surf being thousands of screaming heads. Some of the rest is a standard sci-fi trope (yes, yes, I’ve seen Inception too, but I wasn’t consciously thinking about it when I wrote this), but I like the mixture of the supernatural and sci-fi when I can shove them together.
26. Bunker Blues
A few writers I know are self-publishing and a year of submissions didn’t seem complete without submitting to someone stepping out on that same, uncertain path. Alternate Hilarities popped into my sights and I had a story that fitted their requirements, so I thought what-the-hell… you might reach the same conclusion…
25. Just One Question
Sometimes stories come out of stray comments/observations and this was one of them. I was riffing to one of my students on the theme of spooky goings on in a business school where I teach. I mentioned a phone in reception that no one would answer when it rang. A bathroom mirror in a downstairs toilet that showed the reflection of someone who died in the toilets…and the central image of this story. My student urged me to write the rest of the story and I said I’d think about it…and then surprised myself one day by actually sitting down to write it out and find out what the girl wanted to ask.
24. Walking The Dead
I originally wrote this story in response to a call for Zombie stories for Penumbra e-Magazine. Although it reached the final shortlist, it didn’t get in. I recently had a chance to read the issue it was meant for and had no complaints. My story was just shy of the maximum wordage allowed and those featured far better fitted the balance they wanted for the issue. I had fun writing the story and the ending took me home…
This light little flash was from a batch of stories I mentioned some time ago, that I’d initially written with the intention of submitting to those women’s magazine that still do recipes and knitting patterns. 🙂 Thanks to EveryDayFiction for giving it a home.
20. The Wiser of Oz
Appeared in Stupefying Stories, helmed by the incredible Bruce Bethke (I don’t know where he gets the energy from). Some timely online research revealed that MGM still hold the copyright for terminology used in the original movie that differed from that in Baum’s wonderful books. Thus, as much to honour the original creator (and avoid any nasty letters from MGM or Disney), we went with the Baum originals. So “Munchkinland” appears as “Munchkin Country” and the “Ruby Slippers” appear as the “Silver Shoes”. One extra trivia point is that the choice to go with Ruby Slippers in the movie was to take advantage of the impact of Technicolor 🙂
Appeared in Cast of Wonders, including an audio by the excellent reader Graeme Dunlop.
SCREAM appeared in Liquid Imagination. The issue was edited by the talented AJ Brown.
My short sci-fi story Berryblack in the excellent Fiction Vortex.
13. Hold My Hand
My flash story Hold My Hand in the wonderful Perihelion SF, steered as always by the incredible Sam Belletto Jnr. Unfortunately, Perihelion currently only have the current and previous 4 months stories available online. But check out the magazine anyway because it’s GREAT.
I pictured the walk up as being up onto the South Downs — my own childhood haunt.
12. Ears, Eyes, Nose…and Throat
My second story for the excellent Perihelion SF. Unfortunately, Perihelion currently only have the current and previous 4 months stories available online. But check out the magazine anyway because it’s GREAT.
11. Time Heals All
To write something out of my usual comfort zone (and because every writer i know seems to be trying their hand at erotica these days), here’s my own humble offering. Yes, erotica means sexually explicit, so don’t click the link and complain after Circlet Press is a busy (and admirable) little site that specialises in scifi and fantasy-erotica: Circlet Press
I don’t write many stories that might be defined in the “romance” genre. However, quite a few years ago I had this idea to write some stories aimed at the women’s magazine market of the Take A Break type publication. I plotted out some tales, even wrote a few down… then forgot about them. Fast forward to the start of 2013 and my first great submission blitz where I was tying up stories in my files to possible online markets.
6. Comes The Shape of Things
Appeared in Perihelion SF. Unfortunately, Perihelion currently only have the current and previous 4 months stories available online. But check out the magazine anyway because it’s GREAT.
Perihelion is another great, labour-of-love publication — chock-full of fiction and other interesting morsels.
My original title for the story was ‘The Shape Thing That Comes’. I have a problem with titles in that a) I generally dislike titles because I hate even the vaguest indication of what the story is going to be about and b) I can never think of titles, and c) even when I have thought of a title I never know if it ‘works’. So, always happy to accept another’s choice
5. Faye’s Day
My flash story “Faye’s Day” appeared in 69 Flavors of Paranoia .Even if you don’t check out the story, have a look at their website and Facebook page – they’re a lot of fun.
The original story I had in mind was something quite different, but it got a bit gooey when I wrote it so I submitted it for a call for Valentines Day stories. One rewrite later (in order to make the ending clear to ANYONE who would read it) and…
2. The Gift
The Gift appeared in Another Realm. Apt periodical for the story…
The original was called “The Box” and was longer. I shortened it to fit the ‘Flash’ requirements for the magazine.
Unfortunately, I misread the submission rules, so this ended up being the only story here that got “posted” rather than “accepted” (i.e. that all stories received got posted on the site).
1. The P’s Cat
My (very) short story “The P’s Cat” appeared in the inaugural edition of Penumbra, a literary magazine founded in Madrid. Find it lurking on page 53.
The ridiculously talented Jessica Quick/Stark co-founded a magazine in Madrid and threw open an invitation for submissions. This piece actually occurred to me half asleep on a Saturday morning and got scribbled on the nearest piece of paper to hand.