Problem Solved, For Now

Having spent 2 hours updating the Read My Stuff?! lists, all I can say is… I have written (and sold) more weird Western than I realised. Also, looks like a bunch of my stories have disappeared into the publishing ether, so I guess it’s time to-

write more new things? hahahahaha silly child, no, it is time to SELL SOME REPRINTS WOOOOOO GET READY FOR THAT REPRINT SUBMISSION GRIND BABY WOOP WOOP WOOP

Oughtn’t Be Shocking, And Yet

I guess it’s good practice to go through all the links of places to find my stories and make sure the links actually go where they ought. Hum. Well. That will be next week’s project. Since this site has been around for oh god since 2016 it makes sense that some things change. Future Laura’s problem.

Oh Whoops Here’s Some More

Turns out Tales to Terrify had uploaded the audio for another of my stories last month and I am just… not good at noticing things! Shocking! Enjoy When You Love Someone as narrated by Dan Gurzynski, won’t you? Thank you.

Also I am spending part of today recipe testing (which my brain insists on referring to as ‘stress testing’) for a fun promo project for A Quiet Afternoon 2. Last week I attempted to make scaled-down anzac cookies because I had bought various strains of honey and wanted to see if the different flavours would come through in baking (answer: like maybe a tiny wee bit, but not enough to make a habit out of it) and did you know that 4 tablespoons do not a cup make? They were not so much ‘cookies’ as ‘grim mockeries of cookies’, but they did make decent granola. Today’s attempts will be carrot halwa and spice cake (also featuring carrots). Thoughts and prayers appreciated.

(Laura, why are you, the one who once famously greeted her boyfriend with a bowl of sad cookie batter and said “I CANNOT DEAL WITH THIS” and made him not only patch up the cookie batter but also bake the cookies because you had rejected cookie in all its forms by that point, the one who eagerly volunteered to lead the recipe charge? That is a Very Good Question!)

Yes, Now You Can Read Everything

Everything is live and ready for your consumption: A Quiet Afternoon 2 is live on Payhip, Unburied is available at a variety of places, and now Issue 40 of The Colored Lens is ready for consumption here. (And bonus: Looks like my story ((starring an enby protagonist who uses limericks as magic spells)) is first on the docket, so you can even read it for free as the sample chapter!)

That is all the news I have, I am tapped dry. Besides still living in a pandemic, it’s just been a rough few months (I am personally okay, but the state of the world/my particular city is pretty shit) so it’s been difficult to get motivated to work on new projects. That being said, I’m currently picking away at another Sterling Acton (werewolf cowboy/reluctant hero) story involving a carnival, so. There’s that.

…WOW WHAT A DOWNER THIS UPDATE IS 😀

Stuff Continues Apace

CAN YOU READ MORE THINGS YET? No.

WILL YOU BE ABLE TO READ MORE THINGS SOON? Yes.

UNBURIED: A Collection of Queer Dark Fiction is available for pre-order NOW NOW NOW and Officially Launches June 1 2021, with some of that sweet money going towards Rainbow Railroad. The reviews coming in are pretty positive (an especially flattering one for my story at Beauty in Ruins). I’ve crowed before in a previous post about how happy I was to see my story “Open Up and Let Me In” finally find a home, but here’s a fun bit of lore: the marriage in the story had originally been written as hetero. As the years went on and rejections kept coming, I sometimes toyed with the idea of making the main characters lesbians instead, simply because it might make it stand out a bit more in the slush piles, but I never went through with it because, well… that would mean killing a lesbian. With all the violence against queer people in the world, did I really want to kill a lesbian?

So I submitted the hetero “Open Up” to another of AM Ink’s calls and it got rejected. But! A little while later, the editor (Rebecca Rowland) emailed me to ask if the story was still available, because if the main character could change to a woman, it would be a perfect fit for an upcoming anthology specifically geared towards queer horror.

Moral of the story, make all your characters gay.

Speaking of how happy I am to see a story finally find a home, one of my beloved Weird Westerns has finally found a home! “Open Up” had been the previous champion, coming in at 30 submissions, but “The Last Limerick Out Of Dirt Rut” rises to the challenge with 32 submissions! Not only that, but “Limerick” racked those up in only 3 years! Good job, Limerick! You have been putting in the work! “Limerick” was accepted by The Colored Lens, making it my second sale to them. The first was in 2012 (though “Leavings and Remains” was published in the 2013 Winter edition, which still exists and you can find it through my Free To Read! page). Out of the three stories I’ve sent The Colored Lens, two have been accepted, which means 1) 2 out of 3 is a pretty good acceptance rate 2) I should submit there more often.

Last bit of news: A Quiet Afternoon 2‘s production is ticking along nicely and because my brain is a sieve I don’t remember when its release date is BUT it is in fact ticking away nicely! The first AQA had, what, 13 stories? AQA2 has twenty-seven. That is so many stories. That is an aspirational number of stories. We absolutely should not have that many again. Enjoy it while it lasts. EDIT: hahahah so right after I published this post, Victoria goes and puts up the pre-order link for AQA2, here it is, please appreciate the pretty cover she worked so hard on, Official Release day July 1 2021.

WITH OUR POWERS COMBINED

At some point (last year? Two years ago?) my friend Victoria Feistner suggested writing snowballs together – exchanging emails where one of us would start a story, write a paragraph or so, and send to the other person to add another paragraph or so. It was a low-stakes way to keep us writing and keep us interested in writing. (My major flaw as a writer is that once I know what my story’s ending is going to be, I get bored and stop writing. After all, I already know how it ends. The surprise is gone.)

Victoria and I do not write the same way at all. She/they loves worldbuilding and just sitting that stool down and milking the worldbuilding cow for all it is worth. I, however, just want my characters to talk-talk-talk the whole way through. She/they loves science fiction and time-travel and digging into ancient civilizations; I… do not.

AND YET.

And yet we snowballed a story and she/they polished it up and sent it out and through the magic of ‘huh’ sold SIDE HUSTLE to Typehouse Literary Magazine and it contains every instance of the word ‘poot’ and all of its verbings.

When Victoria showed me the finished story, I could not remember who had written what. (I am assured that every pooting was mine, or at least I was the originator of the primal poot.) Which, considering how different our writing styles are, is pretty darn cool.

…I feel like I should be espousing a moral at this point but all I’ve got is ‘write however you want to write and let the editor sort it out but if you disagree with the editor that is totally fine and also see if you can sneak a poot in there, because it may go unchallenged and that will be very satisfying.’

poot.

Well Checka Checka Me Out

Just signed a contract for my story, “We Was Here,” with Welkin, a new magazine of fantastic literature. I hope that cover art is indeed going to be that spyglass dude on a mountain, because I do love me some classy black and white art. “We Was Here” is similar to “Love Finds a Way” in that they’re both kind of sexual but not in any way that encourages sex.

(The joke Derrick tells is one I heard from a Romanian friend many, many years ago and when I repeated it back to her recently she was HORRIFIED.)

“We Was Here” took 23 rejections (plus a withdrawal due to non-updates), so it does feel a very fitting title. We was here, and now we been seen.

OH ALSO Grace&Victory are open once again to quiet, cosy, NON-MURDERY speculative fiction submissions until December 31 2020. Full details in the link, but the pertinent details are: 500-5000 words, $0.01CAD/word (capped at $30 or 3000 words, so keep that in mind when you’re spinning your yarn), and DON’T DO A MURDER IN YOUR STORIES, GEEZ. Also don’t bring babies or the joy of motherhood into it, I simply do not give a shit (and as I am one of the slush goblins, my shits are worth something). We are looking for low stakes, reasonable resolutions, talking as a way of solving problems, and a sense of quiet satisfaction at the end of the story. It can be sad and give you feels, but seriously. Don’t do a murder. (Or be racist, sexist, ableist, sizeist, etc.) We would LOVE more science fiction.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Woo Makin’ It Official

With the contract signed, I can now say that LOVE FINDS A WAY has found its home with Perpetual Motion Machine’s Dark Moon Digest, huzzah! It’s a tale of carnival workers and genetic manipulation with vaguely giallo undertones. It’s also got very fun dialogue and is overall a jolly good romp. Consider LOVE FINDS A WAY, won’t you? Thank you.