Living the Fictional Dream

Erin M. Kinch’s musings upon the writing profession

Archive for the 'E-zines' Category

The Apprentice

Well… I am blushing right now. I had my short story, “The Apprentice,” accepted at Residential Aliens a few months ago, but, somehow, in all the holiday and vacation madness, I missed the publication date (12/2/12). But, despite that, the issue of RA that the story was published in is still on the website, so you should head on over there and check it out!

“The Apprentice” is a prequel to a story that RA published a couple of years ago called, “The Sorcerer’s Wife.” TSW a story about the end of Brand’s life, and TA is a story about the beginning. Viola, the antagonist in TSW was such a vibrant character that she inspired me to write another story, this time from her point of view.

If I ever thought of a concept big enough, this would be a fun world to revist for a novel. TA goes a little more in detail about the Game, but there is still more to learn.

Anyway, I don’t want to say too much else or I’ll give away the story, but head on over to RA today to read “The Apprentice,” and if you haven’t read “The Sorcerer’s Wife,” you should check that one out, as well (in fact, I’d recommend reading that one first.

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Email vs. Website

Today I unsubscribed from Every Day Fiction’s email list. Felt kind of weird. I’ve been on that list for several years. But I just realized that I never read the emails anymore, so why bother having them come every day? Not that I don’t read the stories. I enjoy going to the website and reading the stories. I usually go and read a bunch in one fell swoop, get my flash fiction intake for a few days. And the website also has the rating and commenting features, and I like giving the authors of stories I like some love.

I guess that’s why there are so many options for accessing content. Everyone can find the one that works for them.

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RIP ATF

I was so sad to find out this week that A Thousand Faces, the quarterly journal of superhero fiction, has ceased publication. I’ve known other markets that folded in the past, including some that folded after printing my stories. Even one that folded when they wanted to publish one of my stories and had not done so yet (which sucked!). But this one hurts the worst. And I didn’t even have any stories out to them at the time.

I’m probably late to the game finding out that they ceased publication. I don’t know when they closed their doors. What with the toddlers running about, I’ve had next to no time lately for writing, much less checking out all my favorite short fiction markets. But I was feeling a need for some superhero fiction this other day, went to my bookmarks, and the link didn’t work.

My sadness is two-fold. First of all, I’m sad because I really loved the stories that Frank published. He focused on the man (or woman) behind the mask, and brought the heroes into the real world. And yet, the writing was always fast paced and packed a punch. Are there other places out there to find similar fiction (especially that I can read online for free)? Maybe there are. Despite both liking superhero fiction and writing it, I’ve never been much into comic books, so I’m not up on what’s current there. If you know of any good markets, hit the comments and give me a link!

The other reason I’m sad is that of the four superhero stories I’ve had published, ATF published three of them (EDF published the other, Frigid). My first ATF story (Zero to Clean in Ten Minutes or Less) was my second fiction acceptance ever. And one of the other two (Bridge Club) is one of my favorite short stories I’ve ever written. And the third (Dinner for Three) was just good fun. I actually had a couple more superhero story drafts set in that universe that I thought I might get polished up enough to send over there sometime soon (Supersonic and his wife have a baby, and a superhero’s wife wants a divorce). Sadly, that’s not going to happen now. Not that I can’t submit them elsewhere, but ATF was, thus far, the home base for my superhero ‘verse.

Short fiction markets come, and short fiction markets go, but I have to say, A Thousand Faces, you will be missed! (But, I did notice that you can still get print issues of the old issues here. So, that’s something. :-) ).

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Vote for your favorite ‘Zine

Happy 2010, readers! I hope the new year is treating you well so far, and that the writers out there have already begun to garner plentiful word counts and loads of acceptance letters!

The Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll is live. It honors print and electronic publications that published in 2009. Click here to vote for your favorite ‘Zine.

There are a lot of good ones nominated this year. I had a hard time choosing! If you’re a fan of 10Flash, Residential Aliens, Everyday Fiction, or a score of other magazines, go over there and place a vote for your favorite.

To elminate ballot stuffing, you have to give your email address and click a confirmation link to make your vote valid, but that’s understandable. I hate polls where the same person can vote as many times as they want to.

Well, I have to run. The day job beckons, as do plans for my sister’s wedding. It is going to be a busy January at my house!

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New Flash Fiction Blog

The folks over at Every Day Fiction and Every Day Poets have started a writing blog specifically devoted to flash fiction. If the quality of the blog is anything like the quality of fiction and poetry these publications offer us on a daily basis, the blog should be a must read.

Today’s entry was written by my writing group mate Alex, and discusses the effect of exposition and world building on flash fiction stories.

Here’s the link so you can go check it out:
Flash Fiction blog

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Playing With Time

I’m always fascinated by stories that approach time in something other than a linear fashion. The movie Memento is a stellar example of this. The main character has a condition where he can’t make long-term memories, so once they leave his short-term memory, they are gone forever. To illustrate this, the movie progresses in reverse.

Another example of stories that play with time well is the TV show How I Met Your Mother. I truly believe that this is the best-written sitcom that I have ever watched. Their grasp of continuity is amazing. Something is mentioned in a throw-away line in season 1, and it comes up as a huge plot point in season 3. And the stuff that they put in for viewers with a sharp enough mind to catch it makes the show really fun to watch.

But I especially like it when HIMYM plays with time. They’ve done several episodes where they tell stories out of sequence. Sometimes they’ll split the plot between the characters — do one or two characters’ stories from start to finish, then rewind and go to the next one. Other times, they will throw in flashbacks in creative and amusing ways (my favorite was once when they put in a flashback to 30 seconds ago — and it worked).

The best thing about stories that experiment with time is how the normally linear element is twisted and used to give the reader/viewer a unique A-Ha moment — that moment when everything you knew about the story is flipped on its head and you see it all from a whole new light.

I’ve always wanted to expirament with non-linear time in my stories, but I have yet to really do so. I’m not sure why… Part of it may be that I’ve just never had an idea that seemed like it would work well in such a structure. And part of it might be that I seem to have a bias in that a more visual medium seems more appropriate for these types of stories.

I know that second limitation is all in my head, though. I’ve read print stories that did a fine job of twisting time. There was one in particular that I remember enjoying at Every Day Fiction — sadly, I have long since forgotten its name. I just remember it was a story about a guy in prison that was told backwards Memento style, and it was pretty good.

I will have to put my mind to this time twisting conundrum and see if my muse has anything to say about it. It would definitely be a challenging project.

What about you guys? Any recommendations for good time twisting stories/shows you want to share? Have you ever tried your hand at such a story? If so, how difficult was it?

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EDF Anthology

The Best of Every Day Fiction anthology is now available for ordering. This anthology includes 100 pieces of flash fiction — EDF’s best from Sept. 2007 to August 2008. Jens, Alex, Stephanie, and myself from Writer’s Ink are included, as are other great authors like Gay, Kevin, K.C., and more.

Alex is setting up a reading/signing for the EDF authors in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. If you’re an author in this area and want to join us, comment and let me know. If you’re in this area and want to come up to the event, I’ll post all the details when they are settled. It looks like it will be a Saturday in January — after the holidays but before Jens heads back to S. Korea in early February.

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Busy November

Sorry if I’ve been neglecting the blog lately — one of the hazards of NaNo, I fear. My novel is progressing OK so far… I’m in that early stage of semi-hating it, but that’s not the story’s fault. The plot hasn’t actually fallen apart or anything, so I think we’re still good. I’m just about about 6K, so under quota, but I have two write-ins today, and I’m looking forward to a day off tomorrow and then a weekend at the cabin (no Internet!), so much progress should be made. (And, if the plot is going to fall apart, well, I should know by the end of the weekend!)

Work is gearing up again. Only two projects left for the year, both that should be more update than writing new stuff. But we’ll see. With the holidays coming, I have to get into high gear on those or they won’t be out by year-end.

I proofed the .pdf pages for my story in the EDF anthology today. I always love doing that — there is something about looking over proof pages that makes a publication so real!

EDF sister site, Every Day Poets, has been interesting since it’s 11/1 launch. I’ve been checking in on the poems fairly regularly. Some I’ve really liked (”School Uniform”!), and some, not as much. But that’s true of any publication. Poetry is always a little harder for me to wrap my prose-bound mind around, but sometimes a poem will just click.

All right… enough babbling for today. I have work to do, and then a write-in to prep for.

Happy writing, everyone!

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E-zine Closing

I found out this morning that Arcane Twilight is going on an indefinite hiatus, which really feels like the preface to ceasing publication entirely.

It was a “for the love” e-zine (e.g., it didn’t pay its authors), and such efforts tend to come and go with great frequency. However, this is the first time one that published a story of mine has gone away. (It can’t me my story that did it, though, since it was published months and months ago.) Well, I guess there was that one e-zine that folded before it published the story of mine that it accepted, but this is the first one that ceased publication after my story came out.

Anyway, it just made me a little sad, so I thought I would mention it here. Efforts like this are labors of love for their editors, so if you have a favorite e-zine out there, maybe take the time to promote it on your blog, tell a friend, or even drop by the site and leave an encouraging comment or, if the site has a donation button, donate to keep them around.

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Waiting That’s Less Fun

Waiting is never fun, but right now it seems less fun than ever! A literary flash piece that I wrote a few months ago was accepted by a literary e-zine. It is supposed to be published in their September issue, but that issue still has not appeared on their website. I emailed the editors once to ask about the publication date and was told to expect it on September 15. That day has come and gone, but no new story for me to happily announce on my blog!

Anyway, I don’t mean to complain (at least not too much). I know that e-zines operate without much staff, basically depending on the efforts of the dedicated few who do all the work. I understand that there can be issues and delays.

But, dang it, I do want to see that story out in the world. I’m anxious to know what other people think of it! And, there is also the fear that the e-zine will fold without publishing my story. The last time I had a piece accepted by an e-zine that kept moving the publication date back, it folded and I had to start anew searching for a home for that story. This one took me longer to place the first time (sometimes I think mainstream/literary fiction is more subjective to editors than even genre fiction, but maybe that’s just because I specialize more in the genre fiction), and I would hate to have to start over.

Though, if the worst case scenario happened and I did have to start over, I did eventually re-place the story from the first time an e-zine went under on me. I’m sure I could do it again, if necessary.

Right now, though, I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope that the September issue of the literary e-zine publishing my story makes it out soon. I was impressed with some of the stories in their previous issue, so I would love to see what else they have to offer!

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