March: A Recap

March is nearly over which is both a blessing and a curse. I wanted to finish edits on a slipstream short story I’m working on called Wife Is Such An Ugly Word today but life got in the way, thanks to one of the cats having an “accident” all over a live 8-plug extension cable. Don’t know how many plastic molecules I inhaled but it wasn’t a great way to start the morning.

My Goodreads Books list (the one that contains everything I’m in as either contributor or author) looks set to expand from three distinct works to about seven, which does nothing really except make me feel good whenever I look at it.

Sent back my final edits for Babymaker, a short sci-fi piece about a woman living in a dystopian society that encourages women to have as many children as possible in order to support the ongoing war with North Korea. It will be appearing in GIVE: An Anthology of Anatomical Entries from When The Dead Books. It’s great to read a story you’ve more or less forgotten about and find that, hell yeah, you still love it. The book’s release was delayed, but huh, that only heightens anticipation in my eyes.

Grimdark 3Grimdark Magazine Issue #3 is out after an early release – it’s our biggest yet, with short fiction from the likes of Kelly Sandoval, Siobhan Gallagher, Peter Fugazzato, excerpts from novels by Luke Scull & Mike Brooks and an article on Grimdark in gaming by myself and Jeremy Szal. Plus the second part of R. Scott Bakker’s story The Knife of Many Hands. The fabulous cover (see left) was produced by Aussie artist Austen Mengler, and you can find more of his work here.

We also had another writer’s group last night, with me leading the charge and organising a few activities. I asked everyone to bring their favourite book, one that had a strong voice or style. Over a few glasses of wine, we each read a page out loud and picked a scenario from short scenes I’d clipped from a magazine. We wrote for 10 minutes in the styles of our chosen books, then swapped books and tried to write the same scenario again, but in a different style. It was a fun experiment and it pushed everyone out of their comfort zones.

Sent out six submissions, got one acceptance, so a quiet month in that respect. April’s nearly here, have dusted off the Big Story (can’t bring myself to call it a novel, it’s just too scary) and am planning to have a read through before I go to Ireland. Am terrified. If anyone has any tips for jumping back in to a manuscript after leaving it for a long time, please leave a comment!

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