A Trove of Fabulous Short Stories over at Curious Fictions!

If you’re looking for short stories to read, be sure to check out Curious Fictions. This little known gem is a platform for short story reprints. The site will ask you for credit card information up front, but all the content is completely free, though tipping is encouraged. You can also subscribe to your favorite authors.

It is a great option for short story writers who too often see their previously published stories vanish into a kind of oblivion a few months after being published. I have uploaded a few stories there and like having a no fuss place to give these stories a second chance to be seen.

Most recently, you can find my story, Short Straw, on the site. It previously appeared in the Lost Worldsanthology by Flame Tree Press (print only). The link for Short Straw in the sidebar will now direct to Curious Fictions.

While I hope you’ll enjoy the stories I’ve posted there, I know you won’t be disappointed with the site: it is stuffed with amazing stories, easy to navigate, and easy to read on a variety of screens.

Here’s a little teaser for Short Straw:

“Don’t tell the trees your name,” the wild grasses whispered as they batted their bearded heads against the linen skirt wrapped around Nina’s thin hips. Her great grandparents, the first colonists, had brought rice and wheat, barley and rye, and crossed their seeds with the new-world plants. But the grains they produced were inedible. Still, they abandoned grasses persisted, and the wild meadow won a few more inches of ground every year.

She looked up, past the settlement to where the tallest branches of the forest canopy snared the sinking sun. “I have to go,” she said.

“If you must go, take us with you,” they whispered.

Nina closed her hands capturing two fistfuls of seed heads, pulled them off their stems, and shoved them into her skirt pockets. “There. Happy?”

“No.

Save the Date Writing Butterflies, This Year’s Armadillocon Writing Workshop is Friday, August 3!

 Crack your knuckles and warm up your keyboards, it’s time to polish up your short story or first chapter for the annual Armadillocon Writing Workshop!

 Submissions are DUE Friday June 15, 2018

This is an excellent, low-cost workshop for writers who want to:

 Work with professional writers and editors familiar with speculative fiction, science fiction, and fantasy. 

  • Learn how to give and receive critique in a small-group, face-to-face setting
  • Find out if workshops and in-person critique groups are useful to their writing progress
  • Find their tribe and make connections with others that will serve their writing year round.
  • Take their writing to the next level.

The workshop will be Friday, August 3, 2018 

We will spend the morning in panels on the craft and business of writing and doing a writing exercise or two. Then, lunch with the professional writers and fellow students in your breakout critique group. The afternoon will be spent in in-depth, collaborative critique sessions where you will be both giving and receiving critique. 

Just $90 gets you the full-day workshop and a full convention membership to attend all of the activities for the entire weekend. ArmadilloCon is an excellent regional literary convention, which means there will be lots of great panels about writing, reading, and the state of the genre (there are also panels about movies, tv shows, gaming, and everything geek). 

Sponsored seats for writers of color!

We are committed to promoting diversity and access for all workshop attendees. Writing in a genre centered on exploration and encountering the Other must include voices and visions from writers and readers of all kinds. The Workshop actively seeks to include students, faculty, visiting scholars, and volunteers from a variety of backgrounds including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, and ability. 

To that purpose we are offering a limited number of sponsored seats to the workshop for writers of color. To apply for a seat, follow the link on the workshop page.

 If are interested in sponsoring a seat for a writer of color, contact me at armadilloconwritersworkshop@gmail.com

Fantastical Fictions Bookclub: The Door to Lost Pages by Claude Lalumière


It seems fitting that we’ll be meeting at one of Austin’s most unusual bookshops, Malvern Books, to discuss lovely mosaic novella centered around an idiosyncratic bookstore. Although, Malvern has 100% less dogs than the bookstore featured in Claude Lalumière’s The Door to Lost Pages, it has some of the magic.

But don’t take my word for it, swing by the store to pick up a copy of this lovely little book, and then come back on Wednesday, July 12 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss The Door toLost Pages.

“Lost Pages wasn’t the only bookshop I frequented, but the books I found on its shelves were… unique. I never saw any of these books anywhere else. Bizarre Bestiaries. Dictionaries of dead, obscure languages. Maps to lands that may never have been. Essays on religions with unfamiliar names. Obscure mythologies. Accounts of wars no history teacher had ever mentioned. Such were the wares of the bookshop that fed my teenage dreams.”

More magical realism than straight up fantasy, this book combines elements of urban fantasy with lonely childhoods and difficult family relationships that are rendered with gritty realism. There are also winged skeleton creatures, dark gods, tentacles  and a shifting pack of friendly dogs. It’s a homey multiverse of myth, folktale, dreams and nightmares. Be warned, the erotic and sexual elements that are often latent in fairy tales are more overt here as the characters wrestle with desires and both visceral and ethereal.

In the true Austin tradition, this is an author that knows how to keep it weird. If you enjoy The Door to Lost Pages, Claude Lalumière will be in Austin for the ArmadilloConConvention on August 4 – 6, and back at Malvern Books to read from his latest book Venera Dreams on August 9 at 7:00 p.m.

Talking with Robert Jackson Bennett


Hello again! I’ve been busy not blogging. Busy doing what you might ask? Well, talking with Robert Jackson Bennett for one. Here’s the first half of our interview at Malvern Books for their Fantastical Fictions reading series. You can read a bit more about him and this event here. And, not to leave you hanging, here’s the link to the second half of the interview.

It was great fun discussing what goes into crafting great stories and creating imaginary worlds. Having read some of Bennett’s work I can vouch that he is excellent at both. 


His newest book, City of Miracles, is about to drop in May. It is the third book in his Divine Cities series (which means you have time to get up to speed with City of Stairs and City of Blades before spring). BTW, Malvern Books should still have some signed copies of City of Stairs and City of Blades.


If you’re looking for something a little more literary in the great American horror tradition, consider picking up a copy of American Elsewhere. 

“Mad and humorous, gory and poignant, American Elsewhere is a sort of mid-20th-century retelling of the embodiment of Lovecraftian Elder Gods by way of Alamogordo’s legendary atomic tests. It’s not to be missed.”  ―Seattle Times


Let’s see, what else? You can also check out my review of Room Magazine over at The Review Review.


And on the home (fiction) front, I’ll have a short story publication to announce soon. I have also finished a rather involved revision of a novella, which will be on it’s way to some lucky editor before the year is out. Then it is on to/back to ‘the novel.’ More about that in the next post – next Thursday.

Listen to Hands of Burnished Bronze at PodCastle!

Bronze hands by Rodin

My story, Hands of Burnished Bronze, is now live at PodCastle! It’s read by the amazing Cheyenne Wright a freelance illustrator who just happens to have a voice made for invoking fantasy worlds. I love the extra dimension that his reading gives this story. 

As I mentioned before, I have been a long time PodCastle listener, so I’m delighted to hear one of my very own stories on this podcast. Do be sure to check out the many other wonderful stories on this site. There is plenty of fantastic fantasy ear candy to help you get through a long commute or whatever tedious chores await you.

See The Elephant Cover Reveal

My story, Fairview 619, is going to be in the fabulous See The Elephant magazine later this month. Check out this fantastic cover and peruse the table of contents here

Also, I’m delighted to announce that I have a brand new story, Hands of Burnished Bronze, that will be available for your listening pleasure later this year from PodCastle! This is one of the podcasts that I listen to regularly. I have heard so many wonderful stories here that I’m really over the moon about having one of my own join the ranks.

Just time for a quick update today. I’m mulling, outlining, and making some big changes to the novel. While doing that, I’m also revising a couple broken short stories that have been laying about too long. Time to get those puppies out the door. My submissions queue has gotten dangerously low. I’m getting lonely as I’m hardly receiving even one rejection per week.

"Naturally, she turned Mike into a dog."

My story, “Naturally,” is now live for your reading enjoyment at NewMyths.com. And yes, it is about a rather creative solution to a difficult relationship.

I tinkered with this one for a long time and am delighted that it found a home at NewMyths. Be sure to stick around are read the rest of the amazing stories in issue 33 and beyond!

This seems to be my month for dog stories. Sometimes it just works out that way.