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August 28th, 2014

08:17 am - Sale! “Love in a Chinese Room” to Daily Science Fiction

I’m just about to return the contract for my story “Love in a Chinese Room,” which will be appearing in Daily Science Fiction.

This was my favorite kind of sale: the story sold on its first submission.

Was fun to write too, but I’ll save my commentary on that for the story notes DSF will publish with the story.

When it’s available to read, I’ll link to it here, or you can subscribe at Daily Science Fiction’s website and have it delivered by email (along with many other wonderful stories by other authors.)

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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October 25th, 2013

10:26 am - Sale! “Phantom Heart” to Cemetery Dance!
I’ve just signed the contract and am now free to announce that my story “Phantom Heart” will be forthcoming in a future issue of Cemetery Dance.</p>

Over the years, Cemetery Dance has published Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, Peter Straub, Caitlin R. Kiernan, Poppy Z. Brite, and hundreds of other talented and widely respected authors, and I’m thrilled to join them.

My story *has* been assigned to an issue, but that’s still subject to change. Subscribe now if you want to be sure you’ll receive my story, or else keep an eye out here for another announcement when my publication date is confirmed.


— feeling excited!

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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July 25th, 2013

10:20 am - Support Daily Science Fiction! Get a short story critique from me!

UPDATE: My critique has been spoken for. Don’t let that stop you from supporting the kickstarter, though. Critiques by many other excellent DSF writers are still available!

Daily Science Fiction is running a Kickstarter campaign!

Kickstarter rewards include short story critiques by Daily Science Fiction authors. Including me!

Why would you want a critique from me?

Stories I’ve critiqued for other writers have gone on to sell to many reputable markets and have even been short-listed for awards and… Well, truthfully, that probably has little to do with my critiques and a lot to do with my good fortune at knowing many talented, hard-working writers. There are no guarantees my critique will get you published. Even so, I’m told my feedback is very helpful!

Plus, you’ll benefit from my experience as a slush reader. In the past three years I’ve read about four thousand short stories in the Clarkesworld Magazine slush pile. I can’t promise my critique will get you out of slush and into print, but hopefully it’ll point you in the right direction.

Let me help you and support an excellent venue for short fiction.

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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July 12th, 2013

09:42 am - “Two Men in a Bedchamber, As Observed by the Ghost of the Girl in the Oval Portrait”

poe“Two Men in a Bedchamber, As Observed by the Ghost of the Girl in the Oval Portrait” is now available for purchase!

This is a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Oval Portrait” from, as the title suggests, the point of view of the girl in the portrait. I had a lot of fun writing it and am really pleased to share space in the anthology with so many other wonderful writers.

I also owe special thanks to the editor, Steve Berman, who worked with me through several rounds of edits, some quite extensive. My story is vastly improved by his contributions.

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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May 3rd, 2013

07:41 am - “Chasing Unicorns”

Today, my story “Chasing Unicorns” is available to read on Daily Science Fiction’s web site.

In related news, and directly thanks to Daily Science Fiction choosing to publish this story, I have had some very interesting developments in my professional life, with regards to my novels and the progression of my career as a writer. I’m not ready to say much more than that at this time, but I will say: This has been a very interesting week, so far.

Exiting times! Wish me luck in the weeks ahead.

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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January 15th, 2013

11:51 am - Lucky Seven Challenge

About a million years ago—last June—Eric James Stone tagged me in the Lucky 7 Challenge. At the time, I was swamped, and though I’d intended to post and pass it on, I forgot. It’s going around again now. (Seasonal like a flu?) Anyway, I saw someone post their seven lines and remembered that I’d already been tagged.

The rules are:

Go to page 7 or 77 of your latest work. Read down to the seventh line and then post online the next seven lines or sentences. Then head off and tag seven more writers.

So, the following are the seven lines following the seventh line on the seventh page of “Forgotten Sonnets from the City of Undoing,” a short story I’m currently working on.

Violetta introduced us to the funeral director, easily picked out from the mourners because he wore a nametag and occasionally rearranged the flowers when people brought more. Violetta told him we were out-of-towners, just going to spend one night. Could he recommend a hotel, a hostel, or anyone who might put up two kids in their spare room? We were only passing through on our way to mumblety-mumble, but what on earth— Who was the boy and what had happened to him?

“He was called Sergio,” the funeral director said. “I don’t know what killed him. I’ve forgotten. It’s terrible. It must be terrible. Everyone has forgotten.”

I tag: Beth Dawkins, Allison Starkweather (Alli, your website is down!), Gary Henderson, Katherine Mankiller, Julie Hannah, Sandy Parsons, and Christopher Kastensmidt. If you don’t want to play, or if you’ve already been tagged and don’t want to play again, feel free to ignore. If you haven’t been tagged and do want to play, feel free to tag yourself in the comments and join in.

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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January 6th, 2013

07:52 am - “Arrhythmia” chosen for Best of Penumbra, vol. I

I learned of this a few weeks ago, and what with the holidays and all, I forgot to mention here when it was announced by the publisher: Good news! My story “Arrhythmia,” published in December 2011 in Penumbra, was among the stories chosen for Penumbra‘s first annual Best of… anthology.

This is where I’m going to stop, rather than go on to explain about how this is among my favorite stories I’ve written. (It is, actually, but I’m trying to learn to resist the urge to say that, because somehow I find I want to say that about all my stories. Because they are all my favorites. Hah!) Anyway, I’ll post here again when the anthology is released, though at the moment I have no idea when that might be.

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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January 4th, 2013

10:08 pm - Recommended Reading: “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain” by Cat Rambo

I don’t usually fangirl like this. I hope you’ll forgive me, but I just can’t help myself this time. (Actually, I’ve long wanted to begin a regular feature on this blog, writing public fan letters to my favorite writers. Maybe this could be the impromptu inauguration of that tradition. Fan Letter Friday, anyone?)

Anyway. “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain” by Cat Rambo. Whoa. I can’t believe I’ve had this story in my possession since Worldcon in Chicago and not read it until tonight! I can’t believe it’s been available free online since Christmas Eve, and Cat said she felt it was her best story this year (and I’ve loved so so many of Cat’s stories), and even then, I still only just got around to it. In my defense I’ve been swamped. I had to retreat to the bathtub with the book to finally make time to read it. But I wish I’d read it months ago. I want to read it again, right now.

I loved this story SO much. I want to say that I love it so much I have no words, the way people sometimes do, but it’s not true at all. I have tons of things I want to say. About how the first page or two made me think perhaps this one wasn’t going to be a story I’d love, probably wasn’t really going to be my kind of story at all but that was okay I’d read it anyway. After all, I can enjoy a story that’s well-told even if I don’t fall in love with it. But then it snuck up on me, made me sit up out of my bathwater at the end, my heart beating fast and almost painfully because of a thing I didn’t see coming. Because some lessons in life—my life anyway—have to be learned over and over and over again, apparently.

I don’t know why I was so surprised.

Cat’s done this to me before with other stories. She has this way of writing things—situations and characters—that feel so true, almost more true than real life sometimes, as if the stories are a distillation of real world experience, sort of like perfumes or essential oils, and I want to stick them under people’s noses. “Smell this! It’s so intense! So good!” and “I know this feeling! Do you? People are really like that, aren’t they? That really happens! Have you felt this emotion too? She gets it exactly right, doesn’t she? Amazing!”

But I can’t have these conversations with people unless they’ve read the stories too, particularly because I can’t ever seem to summarize Cat’s stories to anyone and do them justice. I certainly couldn’t do it for this one. All I can do is tell people to read it. Read it.

I have more I want to say, but I don’t want to spoil the story for those few folks who are likely to read this post. Go read Cat’s story “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain.” Read it all the way to the end. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. I read it in her collection Near + Far, but you can read it on her website here.

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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December 21st, 2012

02:37 pm - The End of the World is Upon Us

Lots to talk about and no time to write it all up, but I did want to make a quick post to link to my end of the world story at InterGalactic Medicine Show. It seems appropriate to post a link to it today, since the end of the world is all everyone’s been talking about.

Although it’s worth mentioning that this story’s not about the kind of end of the world that you’re probably thinking of.

Here’s the link:

Paper Airplanes into the Void

at InterGalactic Medicine Show

           The end of the world was pretty much what Jared had been told to expect, which was rather disappointing, all things considered…


P.S. If you are eligible to nominate or vote for the Nebulas or Hugos and would like to review the story, please feel free to drop me an email request and I’ll send it out to you. My email address is my name at gmail dot com. Or you can comment on this post with your contact information, if you’d prefer.

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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October 16th, 2012

04:48 pm - German Chocolate Cupcakes

I’ve been craving German Chocolate Cake since my birthday, almost a month ago. It’s my favorite kind of cake, but I’ve been on a restricted diet for health reasons. Today, I finally broke down and whipped up some German Chocolate cupcakes. I’m sure I’ll regret eating them, but sometimes the pleasure is worth the pain.

Recipes adapted from here and here.

Simple Chocolate Cupcakes (makes 1 dozen)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa.)
1 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white vinegar.

Whisk together all ingredients until lumps are left. Pour the batter into a lined or pre-greased cupcake pan and bake at 350 F for 22-25 minutes.

Coconut Frosting
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-8 ounces coconut flakes
1/2-3/4 cups chopped walnuts or pecans.

In a pot, stir together the yolks, sugar, corn syrup and evaporated milk. Heat over low heat, and don’t to allow the eggs to cook too quickly or they’ll scramble. Add butter, stirring until melted. Heat to a low boil, stirring continuously for 10-12 minutes as the mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in shredded coconut, vanilla extract, and chopped walnuts or pecans.

Originally published at Rarely Tame. You can comment here or there.

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