Tooting my Horn Tuesday for Fiction365 and a Trade for Treasure

You know how stories are like children?

You birth your ideas and mold ’em a bit, then fix them up all pretty and send them out in the world, hoping they’ll succeed in some small measure.

Now, with my stories, as with the Junior Halls, I don’t like to play favorites. I love them all the same. But sometimes, I like a story just a smidge more than the others. I don’t like to say that too loudly, because I don’t want the other stories to get their feelings hurt. Because really, I love all my stories (just in case any are listening).

Anyway, here’s a little fable I wrote called “A Trade for Treasure” that’s appearing today over at Fiction365. I’m not saying it’s any more special than any other story. Not like it’s a favorite or anything (Psssst. It is.)

Fiction365 is a website devoted to sharing a story a day, 365 days a year. It’s a simple premise; a bold promise (I kinda borrowed that from the website), and I love dropping by each day to see what story’s up. You can like them on Facebook, too, and then you’ll see the day’s story pop up when you’re doing your socializing. And P.S. If you’re looking for my story after April 5th, just click on the calendar and “A Trade for Treasure” will pop up.

I hope you’ll like the story and the website. Maybe you’ll even find a nice home for one of your (favorite) stories. (You might want to keep that “favorite” part on the down low. Because if your stories are anything like the Junior Halls, they can always tell if you’re playing favorites.)

Monday Mail: Cougars on the Prowl

Way back in 2010, I gave you a heads up about this fun anthology call-out over at Mozark Press called A Shaker of Margaritas, Cougars on the Prowl. But if you’re like me, you la-ti-da’ed around, forgetting all about the story you were going to write.

And now, yeeeooow! According to an email I just opened, it’s last call for the Mozark Press stories! There is absolutely no time to piddle around. You must pounce on that idea. Think cougar. Think Boomer Lit. Think Heavens to Murgatroyd!

And if you don’t have any idea what Heavens to Murgatroyd! means, you’re probably not a person of a certain age. You probably remembered to write your 1500 to 3,000 word story way back in 2010 when I told you about this submission opportunity.

But for the rest of us, it’s exit, stage left (to write)!
(Thanks to Harlequeen at Flickr for the photo!)

To Market, To Market, To Find Fairy Tales

If you visit here often, you know that I love fairy tales. I fell in love with the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen once upon a time and long ago. When the Junior Halls came along, I loved revisiting my old friends and making a few new ones. And now, I try my hand at writing a tale, or putting a new spin on an old one.

That’s why I love this market, Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine. I’ve been hard at work on the latest issue’s call out for Rumplestiltskin stories. And I cannot tell a lie. I’ve spelled Rumplestiltskin about 27 different ways in the last week. But I think I finally have it down. I just call him Rump in my story.

This market has recently upped its pay-and the editor’s throwing a swell contest to increase its readership. Now, if there’s one thing I like as much as fairy tales, it’s contests. (Although technically, I like winning contests.) You can have a chance to win EC’s contest if you spread the love about this wonderful market.

Whether you enter the contest or want to try writing a story for the next issue, you’d best hurry. Contest ends February 18th and submissions are accepted February 21 through the 24th only. But I can get you started on that story with a surefire opening.

Once upon a time…

Finding Something Friday: Flashlight Memories at Silver Boomer Books

When I was looking for the Market of the Month, I came across a note I’d made about Flashlight Memories. But alas (and alack, even), submissions are due by March 15th! Technically, that would be a Market for the Half-Month.

But why should I let a few days keep you from submitting to a delightful anthology? Especially one by my friends over at Silver Boomer Books? And most especially for an anthology that’s so dear to my heart.

Flashlight Memories will features poems and prose re: childhood reading. Oh, it makes me smile, just thinking about “A Pickle for a Nickel.” Or the Just So Stories. Or reading in my secret hideout with- you guessed it- a flashlight. In fact, I have so many childhood memories about reading, it’ll be hard to choose just one to write.

So, I have to run. By the time I decide what to write, the month will be half over!

What Not to Do Wednesday on Finding the Write Market

About 47 minutes into my work day here, I thought of something I used to do when it came to finding the right market. Notice, grasshopper, that I said used to do. As in the past, way back when, long, long ago.

Okay, maybe it was just last year. That’s not the point. The point is, I have learned my lesson when it comes to finding the right market for my work. And now, I’m passing along that lesson to you: Research, Research, research.

Here’s what Used To Do Cathy C. Hall did when it came to finding a market:

Step 1. Thumb through market listings in Writer’s Market, or Duotrope’s Digest, or any market newsletters I might have on hand. (So far, so good.)

Step 2. Find a market that accepts what I’m looking to place. (Sounds reasonable, right?)

Step 3. Go online and check out market for guidelines and such. (Of course, I’d do that. I’m a pro, you know.)

Step 4. Submit. (Wheeeee!)

Well, that plan looks jim-dandy, doesn’t it? Except for one teensy, little thing. It wasn’t working so well. Eventually, I woke up and smelled the step I was missing: Step 2a. Read the market.

See, I thought I’d take a shortcut. You know, scan the masthead, give the market a real good skim, even peruse a page or two.

Don’t do that, grasshopper. Unless you like rejection. Take the time to read the entire magazine or webzine, or at least as much as is available online. Or check out an anthology from the library and read the whole thing.

Yep, the whole thing. That way, you’ll get a good idea of the voice and style of the market. You can get a feel of what an editor likes. And that will tell you whether your work has a chance with that editor…or not.

And yes, grasshopper, it takes awhile. Which is why, here at the end of the day, I’ve only sent out one story. But midway through my market madness, I had to update my website. Which I should have done last month. But that’s an entirely different What Not To Do (Sheesh).