Tag Archives: shortstory

Out now: You Left Your Biscuit Behind

I wrote a thing! (Another thing). If you want a GreenSky crime story, there’s a story in this anthology that’s set in Reyan and involving biscuits. Of course, there’s also excellent stories from other people – I can’t review the anthology because I’m in it, but I love it.

Available from Amazon in ebook and paperback, and you can find links to independent bookstores on the Fox Spirits site. And if you want a review copy,  contact Aunty Fox!

biscuit cover

New Anthology: You Are Here

you are here coverI’ve got a short story published! If you’ve met Ghost (which you have, briefly, in No Man’s Land snippets) and you want to see more of what she’s like….well, go and have a read of Mapping Out The Future. It also involves sarcastic protagonists, Gods, fairyland, thefts and a tattoo if any of those catch your interest!

This entire episode really started when I got a note from a certain Molly Parsons. I knew her by reputation – could be a model for the M&S catalogue as long as their criteria is “owns most of their clothing already”, do-good charity supporter, definitely-not-wicked sorceress, and soccer mom who drives a minivan and supports her kids with all the ferocity of a maternal dragon who’s just had her clutch threatened. That sort of reputation.

Information on the anthology can be found on the website, or you can get it on Amazon UK, Amazon US or Smashwords. It’s also on GoodReads if you want to add to your TBR pile!

There’s also a short from (amongst others) Lindsay Buroker in the collection, who is a rather awesome self-pub indie author. If you want a review copy, let me know and I can have an e-copy winging your way asap.

Maps define our lives as they define our world. 
 
What were once the priceless resources of a brave and lonely few as they set off into the unknown are now carried in the pockets of billions around the globe. But they were never merely lines on paper – while depicting our geography we infused them with our intelligence, our desires, our imagination, and our memories.
 
Yesterday, we mapped the world only after we discovered its secrets. Today we map the mind and the body and slowly unveil the universe before we set off into its infinite domains. Maps may have changed, but they are also changeless: they will always guide us.
 
This anthology charts eighteen worlds which are beautiful, frightening, alien, familiar – sometimes none of these, sometimes all. These stories cover every corner of the speculative map, featuring horror, science fiction, steampunk, high fantasy and more, in styles ranging from the literary and the lyrical to the pulpy and the thrilling.
 
Wherever you find yourself, there’s only one thing you can ever know for sure:  
YOU ARE HERE
 
Now go explore…

Steampunk Universe: an anthology of diverse fiction

Steampunk UniverseLike steampunk? Like the GreenSky series? Like short stories with diverse characters? Like anthologies? Like supporting my writing? (Well, I hope you like that one, as you’re reading my blog).

Well, you’re in the right place!

I had a short story, On The Clockwork Trail, accepted for the anthology Steampunk Universe – and the Kickstarter for it is now live!

You can also find it at http://steampunkuniverse.alliterationink.com

I really enjoyed the prompt for the submission call; a steampunk world, but with a disabled or aneurotypical main character. If you know anything about my writing, you’ll probably have twigged that I do tend to branch out when it comes to characters…GreenSky features a lot of disabilities and my main character for No Man’s Land is trans (not that it has anything to do with disability, but hey, it’s not ‘normal’). So I got to write a short story, in the GreenSky universe, exploring an area and a character that I hadn’t previously looked at…win! Can you tell I love my story?

Anyway, if you want to read it – and, y’know, stories by other people who obviously are excellently wonderful as well – go have a peer at the Kickstarter page.

Writing challenge: a soppy romance

My challenge was to write a soppy love story…well, sort of soppy. This is me, after all. The main criteria were that I wasn’t allowed assassinations, bloodshed or erotica…

This is definitely a first draft. I’m not entirely happy with it; the first section needs tightening and I want to end on something a little more poignant – it doesn’t currently have an ‘image’ for me. But it’s a start!

Ok, I admit it. I wasn’t looking where I was going, and I was texting as I walked. But it’s not my fault.

The cyclist must have wobbled; at any rate, I’m walking in a straight line, and I feel something hit into the back of my shoulder, jarring my entire arm.

My phone, loosely held, falls out of my hands. I wince at it hits the pavement with a clonk, leaning down to catch it and hoping that it isn’t cracked-

And it’s bounced, slithered across the pavement, and gone over the edge of the canal.

“Fuck!” I take a step towards the railing, but all that’s left is the widening circle of ripples.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!”

A girl is now wheeling her bike back towards me at a run; I assume that she was the one that hit me, judging by the fact she has stopped…and is apologising. She’s in a blue dress with white spots, doc martens that look too big for her legs, a baggy raincoat and a satchel. She also looks very flustered and on the verge of tears. “I’m so sorry-”

Even the ripples have faded now, and I let out a whoosh of breath as I turn to her. “Eh, it’s ok. Too late now.” I’ve got insurance on it anyway. I mean, I coulda done without losing my phone, but I can’t be angry with someone who looks that upset.

“I don’t know what I can do-”

“You could come to dinner with me to make up for it,” I try, on a whim. She’s cute, and just the sort of person I’d like to make even more flustered.

The suggestion makes her eyes widen. “Oh! Oh. Um, I…yes, I…I don’t. Um. I don’t have any money, really.” The last sentence is spoken quietly, and some of the animation goes out of her.

“C’mon,” I laugh. “After knocking my phone in the canal, letting me take you out for dinner is the least you can do.”

She’s starting to go red, but she doesn’t seem against the idea. “Um, I…I’d…I’d like that.”

“I would give you my number but,” and I glance at the dark water, “that’s a little impractical.” She gives a little laugh at that, and I feel myself warming to her. She’s got my sense of humour. “Tonight. Ella’s Burgers. 7pm. Ok?”

She does smile. “Ok.”

 

I’m there at 7, sitting at the bar with a glass of wine. I’ve got a silly game on my phone, so I’m happy – for a bit.

By seven fifteen, I’m restless. Did I really think she’d show up for some random woman who’s phone she knocked into the canal?

By half seven, I’ve given up. I drain my glass and head for the door.

But as I step outside into the cold, a familiar figure is hurrying up the street.

“I’m so sorry-” she says to me, as flustered as this morning. “My bike got a puncture – I had to run-”

I’m just staring at her, feeling a smile touch my lips. She’s got flushed cheeks and wild hair, her lips red in the outside lights. She’s got a pink dress on now, dark in the yellow streetlights, and the same doc martens. I really want to take her home with me.

But instead I widen my smile as she looks even more worried. “Hey, don’t worry. Let’s get some food.”

Her name is Anna. She’s lived here for four years, on the outskirts, and works in something to do with manufacturing. Once I’d reassured her that I wasn’t bothered about her being late – as opposed to actually having stood me up – then she relaxed, and I relaxed, and we had a good night.

A good enough night that as we stood out in the cold again, I pull my new phone out of my pocket. “So, can I get your number?”

She laughs, and reels it off.

A novella in four days: result

Well, as with all best-laid plans…I sort of failed.

The first 20k is written, and the outline is done. I’ve got sections to fill in (and getting those, or generally plotting, is usually the hardest part for me). I’m happy with my characters; they’re mostly “talking” to me. And I know where the story’s going and what the main themes are.

After a slightly productive Saturday, I only got about 500 words done on Empty Skies on Sunday. But. BUT. I did lotsa wurds! I wrote a 5000-word short story that I’m really happy with; I re-wrote two sections on another submission, and have the fourth section planned out; and I swore at my Dresden writing for about an hour (plotting issues). I got some really good feedback on a short story too (the lovelies @DrSteelsberg and Jenny are amazing). So even though I didn’t actually finish what I wanted to, I was super productive!

So I’m happy. I’ll continue writing Empty Skies over the next few weeks (I have until the summer to finish it) and I feel like I have taken a few steps forward with it and other things. Happy writer!