The Wordsmith’s Weekly Wramble in Words and Pictures

It’s been awhile, but as I love October, the time seems ripely right. So, another catch-all post. I’m considering doing the 6.66 days of horror fiction at the end of the month as well—and maybe even NaNoWriMo—but we shall see.

Think of this as a kind of Monday Markets, although it isn’t. Hope you enjoy what could be the beginning of a more consistent and beautiful blogging and reading relationship . . .

The Wordsmith’s Weekly Wramble

Publications & Awards (you, me, and any every-body*)

  1. MY SHORT STORY “MUZZLING THE MONSTER” IS BEING PUBLISHED at the end of this month, in a steampunk and horror anthology called Ghosts, Gears, and Grimoires (by Mocha Memoirs Press), and I’m thrilled and honored to be included. I literally cannot wait to see what the ghost-gears-grimoiresother storytellers have concocted for the book. And, in a first in my writing career, there’s even a creepy, cool trailer for this anthology, designed by the talented Terry Phillips. I’ll let you know as soon as I know acquisition details (sounds like something a Ferengi would be interested in, eh?).
  2. THERE’S ALREADY A TON of books out there, right? But you don’t want to waste your time with poorly edited or conceived works either. Thankfully, that is far from the case here. Although I am biased in the sense of having been a beta reader of this book (and her previous one), I am once again happy to champion Sarah Potter’s speculative fiction offering, this one christened Noah Padgett and the Dog-People. (I also hope to have Sarah over to the blog very soon, as her schedule allows!) Although NPATDP is aimed squarely at middle-grade readers (or accelerated 7-10 year olds), there’s every chance as an adult you will enjoy this romp through the world of Canis sapiens, in a dimension something like ours but curiously tipped. Will the human boy, Noah, make it out of Zyx alive? Do tell! . . .  I’ve done a review over at Amazon, and you lucky folks & blokes in the UK can get a deal on the book right now, with free delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. So, whatever are you waiting for?
  3. HAVE YOU READ? Resident WordPress poet Robert Okaji has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, for his poem “Two Cranes on a Snowy Pine”! Even though Bob might profess to be an ordinary person—and they, too, can be nominated for and win a Pushcart!—his diction, structure, and nimble enjambment techniques boggle the brain. Do check out his latest offerings at his blog, “O at the Edges.”
  4. PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR! WordPress humorist and author Hugh Roberts is releasing a book in early December 2016. If you’re a reader of Hugh’s blog, you know that some speculative fiction and otherwise wacky, wild, and wee-urd jellybabies (I mean, stories) await! More on all that Welsh Winter Wonderfulness at Hugh’s post, and you’ll find a slew of other books to add to your lists (chosen by Hugh).


Markets & Other Interesting Things

Depending on your time, desired compensation, experience, genre, word count, and so on, markets are your bread and butter. Your mead and meat. Your nectar and ambrosia. Your cake and icing. Your chutney and naan. Your Dornish wine and saltfish. I really shouldn’t blog while I’m hungry, should I?

  1. DeadLights magazine. This is a new market. They have hatched a nonpaying weekly short fiction market, called “Shotgun Horror Clips,” as well as a paying short-story one for the DL magazine. Citing influences from King and Straub to Barker, Jackson, et al, they clawed their way high up my horror-writing market list. The specifics about submitting paying short fiction, flash, art, and CNF for the magazine can be found here. For the Shotgun Horror Clips, check this link.
  2. More horror: Pseudopod, dubbed “the sound of horror,” is seeking your first-form, A-level, Big League, Premier League speculative fiction in the weird, gory, dark, violent, thrilling/unsettling vein. Got a time-traveling Jack the Ripper? Oh, wait. That’s been done already. But give them your absolute best, with emphasis on the dark and macabre (less comedy, more tragedy), and see if you can hit the really high notes with this HWA and soon-to-be SFWA approved market (professional rates, mind you!). Before you do submit, do get a really good feel for what they like. One of the writers I enjoy and follow, fictionist Aeryn Rudel, recently had a piece called “Night Games” converted to audio and featured on Pseudopod here. Think vampires and the desolation of the pitcher’s mound in baseball and you might harness a scintilla of this story.
  3. Interesting things:
  • Eavesdrop on F/SF writer Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn series et al) as he instructs on topics ranging from the business of writing to plotting to world-building and more. It’s as if you’re taking a master class but you can be introverted at the same time!
  • #HoldontotheLight: Did you know that 100+ authors of SF/F are blogging about mental illness and wellness this month? The matters touched on range from PTSD to anxiety to suicide. I can attest that these issues surface time and again in the science fiction and fantasy communities. If you’d like to join the movement, as a reader, commenter, contributor, or otherwise, one fitting place to start is writer Gail Z. Martin’s link round-up.
  • You might not know it, but there’s a campaign to create an exhibit and anthology of women’s science fiction writing, with confirmed participants as illustrious as Jane Yolen, N.K. Jemisin, Seanan McGuire, and a bevy of others thus far. As I write this, the “Catalysts, Explorers & Secret Keepers: Women of SF” project is raising funds and in the process of kicking off a call for submissions by or featuring strong female protagonists, including those from the stellar authors mentioned above. Now here’s a campaign to fund, if ever there was one!

It is time, or far past it, for me to close this post. *If you’d like to plug your own latest publication in the comments, please feel free.* Just don’t try to sell Russian watches, Cialis, or other male enhancement paraphernalia there.

See you in the funny papers . . .


For those times when you want to look like Freddie Mercury with a sore shoulder. Maybe it’s under pressure?


Remember these console record-players? You never know what you’ll find at Goodwill.



16 thoughts on “The Wordsmith’s Weekly Wramble in Words and Pictures

    • Thanks, Joe. It looks awesome; I hope it will be enjoyable for everyone. From what I understand, there are 16 stories in there, so there’s almost certain to be something to love! Hope writing & music & life are going well for you these days.

  1. More great news and information there, Leigh. Congratulations on the inclusion in the anthology. I checked out the trailer, which is cool – a buzz of excitement when your name came up!

    • Thanks so much, Curtis. As you know, the worst thing as a writer is to rest on one’s laurels (well, I’m still trying to acquire some laurels, but . . .), so, once I get a rejection(s), I send out more. On another note, hope you and Mrs. B are now safely moved/settled in!

      • We all get used to rejections, I guess – it’s a prerequisite if we’re not to give up. But I’m delighted you’ve got a yes this time – may the laurels accumulate! Yes, we’re safely back, thanks, and just about as busy as before.

      • Yeah, I’ve since snooped around your blog and saw how y’all are safely (I don’t want to say evacuated, but Magali’s story has planted that word in my mind!) moved on from Mayotte.

    • Hugh, as you will be publishing a book very soon (and doing a book fair, too), I’d say you’re way ahead of the professional writer curve! I’m excited to know that your book will have all that new stuff I’ve never read from you but also include the Truth App story(ies). Guess you won’t need or have time to do NaNoWriMo this November. Maybe next year? Cheers. Leigh

      • I’ve never competed in NaMoWriMo, Leigh. I’ve always thought it a little stressful to have to write so many words a day, but I can see its benefits. For me, I write when I get the urge; when that story comes into my head, or when somebody has said something that triggers an idea. Although I hope to have the book ready for publication by end of October and I’m planning on pushing it as much as I can during November, I think NaNoWriMo might take my concentration off the big launch on Dec 9th. Good luck with it, though. I know many people participate and find it very rewarding.

  2. Congratulations Leigh! So exciting about the publication. Doing a dance of joy on your behalf.
    That console record player is like doing a little time travel. iPod meet your ancestor. 🙂

  3. What a cornucopia of goodies Leigh, it seems it’s the season for horror, but then that’s very appropriate. I finished Sarah’s book last night and it was great fun, I did notice you were her beta reader again! And many congratulations on the publication – I love the title and the cover and I’ll be sure to read it when it’s available 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Andrea! I’m finally enjoying autumn, although (thanks, climate change) we’re having 90s and upper 80s temps this week. Ugh. The grass is growing/green, and the weeds are still coming up to some degree. (But I finally got around to weeding our neglected garden.) Happy writing!

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