Tag Archives: Polu Texni

Writing Update

Okay, someone is sucking time away. I haven’t posted for a while for several reasons. I went to Spain in April and there will be pictures about that eventually but I’m also co-editing The Playground of Lost Toys with Ursula Pflug. Submissions closed on April 30 and we had 150 in all. We’re down to our last 30 subs and there will be between 16-25 stories in the final selection. Right now, we probably will have to cut four more stories from our yes list, but we’re rereading, editing the stories, weighing SF to fantasy, as well as types of toys/games. That’s taking up all of my time beyond my day job. Oh how I wish I could just edit and write all the time.

Top Pet Peeves on Submissions:

  1. Not following submission format. Some stories came without author names, addresses, word count (super annoying) and not double spaced. Editors ask for this for a reason. The next anthology I edit will have a very strict rule on this. You don’t follow–I don’t read, and reject.
  2. Sending a story that had no speculative element in it. If you don’t know what this means, google it. We even said fantasy, SF, horror, magic realism, etc. Really, people, (and some of you know better) did you think we’d just ignore this because your story was awesome?
  3. Sending a story that didn’t have a toy or a game. As above we had specific guidelines that said this must be integral to the story. A wide interpretation was allowed but some people took it down to a thin thread.
  4. Not proofreading stories. I’ll allow some grammatical issues, especially in newer writers who are still learning their craft, but everyone can run a spellcheck. Rereading your piece helps, and it can save aggravating your editors. 🙂
  5. Both too many stories of stuffies and dolls, when there are worlds of possibility. We were worried at first that people were just not using their imagination to think beyond the box. There were some very good stuffy and doll stories; and there may be one or two in the anthology, but remember this whenever you’re submitting to any themed anthology: there are popular tropes and you have a better chance if you go for something unique.

Besides the editing for the anthology, I had a rewrite to do, and planned to get my novel manuscript off to an agent before I left for Spain. I did that! But! Turns out the agent wants old school, which means printing the massive tome (folks, make sure you use proper manuscript format if you ever submit to an editor or an agent). But the agent also wanted an outline for books 2 & 3. When I emailed everything I was told, that they should be synopses, not outlines. So…I still have to do that. When I’m done editing. I’m also working on 50 new poems by September. I have the roughs but next will be researching and refining, after the editing, after the synopses.

poetry, myth, fantasy, fairy tales

Walter Crane

Now, I do have a few things that have come out recently or are due up in the next couple of weeks. You can read my poems “I Dreamed a World” up at Polu Texni, and “Morrigan’s Song” up at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Both are free to read. The story “Shaping Destiny” is available at Black Treacle and there is a free Smashwords version. The site should also have it in the next couple of weeks. And out of Scotland is the new ezine, Shoreline of Infinity. My flash fiction piece “Symbiosis” will also be up by June. You’ll have to pay for this one but you will get other stories as well.

Recent stories that have been published are my erotic noir story “Pearls and Swine” in New Canadian Noir, available through Exile Editions, and “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” republished in The Best of Horror Library, Vol. 1-5. This story originally received an honorable mention in the Year’s Best Horror, and I was recently contacted by an agent. But I have no horror novels, so guess what is on my list as well?

There are other poems and stories coming out later this year but for now, this is my holdover until I can blog about more.

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Publishing News

horror, dark fiction, short stories, fantasy

Issue #71, only the third all-fiction issue in 25 years.

Okay, this is really sad, and I’m not talking about all the annoying changes WordPress is making. I’m talking about tooting my own horn. Sigh.  The following paragraphs in italics are what I started writing 8 months ago. Good God!

I’ve been so remiss on my updates here that I’ve neglected to mention the pieces that have come out this year and that I’ve sold. In May, “The Collector” came out in Cemetery Dance magazine. From submission to publication, this story took 6 years. That’s a record but it was worth the wait.

Last fall, “Gingerbread People” was published by EDGE Publishing in Chilling Tales 2: In Words Alas Drown I. Unfortunately many magazines and anthologies never get reviewed but there is a short one up at Bitten by Books and Tangent. However, be forewarned that Tangent reviews tend to give summations of the stories as well.

So, continuing on from there, just a note that “The Collector” is eligible for a Nebula, Hugo or World Fantasy nomination. Not that that will happen much as I’m still a fairly unknown pea in a pod. I actually had very little published last year. It sometimes happens like that, with sales happening one year and the publication in the next. I did also sell the poem “Family Tree” to They have to Take You in, a book published in Ontario and edited by Ursula Pflug.

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Imaginarium: Best of Canadian Spec Writing

Now, for this year, there is a ton of news! “The Book With No End,” first published in Bibliotheca Fantastica, was reprinted in the current Imaginarium 3: The Best of Canadian Speculative Writing, from CZP. It came out in February, and this month “Pearls and Swine” came out in The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, editied by David Nickle and Claude Lalumière. Polu Texni has also published another one of my poems, “I Dreamed a World,”  which is up and can be read for free.

Later this month (I hope) Burning Maiden will be published and I’ll be the feature poet with three poems. It’s from Evil Eye Press. “Sins of the Father” was sold to Our World of Horror, (Eldritch Press) and “Symbiosis” to Shoreline of Infinity, a new online mag out of Scotland. And “Our Lady of Redemption” should be out in Nameless Magazine sometime soon. There are also a couple of articles on monsters.

Rhea Rose and I sold “Scar Tissue” to Bundoran Press’s Second Contact anthology, about aliens after the initial introduction. “The Hedge Witch” will be published in OnSpec this summer and there are rumors of an interview. And “Persephone Dreams” will be published this summer in the online magazine Eternal Haunted Summer. Also, Horror Library is being resurrected and “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha,” which received an honorable mention in the Year’s Best, will be reprinted in The Best of Horror Library, sometime later this year. There is one other story sold to a dark fiction anthology but more on that later when I’m allowed to mention it. 🙂

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Cover for the Exile Noir book. Available now and a collection of all noir genres.

So yes, I’ve been rather busy. And I’m co-editing The Playground of Lost Toys as mentioned a couple of posts ago. On top of that, I’m trying to write 50 new and dark poems by Sept. That’s a lot so I am working on them now. I’m about to send a manuscript and outlines off to an agent to see what will happen there. And in the meantime I’m also working on a few stories. I’ll be taking a good old fashioned blank book with me to Spain to do some old fashioned writing, as well as a tablet. It will be a vacation but writing will be involved.

I’m off to my best year for published works so I’ll see what the rest of the year brings.

 

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Writing: A Few Free Reads

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Get writing and send us your best.

I’m still compiling the third part of the demographics on Tesseracts 17 but it’s very time consuming and I’ve been far too busy. So, in the meantime, I have several pieces up on different websites this month and they’re free for you to read. I was paid for all of these so it’s a bonus both ways.

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly has my poem “Don Quixote’s Quandary.” Yes, it is about tilting at windmills.

At Polu Texni, I’m the feature poet for August so you will find three poems; “Heart of Glass,” “Father’s Child” and “Illuminating Thoughts.” The last two are Greek revisioning poems and the other is about that age-old dichotomy between stepmothers and the fairy tale princess. There is also an interview where you find out a bit more about what drives me.

Newest is my story “The Driver” featured at ReadShortFiction. Go and read it, and leave a comment.

Don’t forget, you can still pick up a copy of Deep Cuts, Bibliothecha Fantastica or Demonologia Biblica on Amazon. If you do read any of these,

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Colleen hosts the ChiReading Series Vancouver, full of dark and disturbed things.

leave a review. Let us know what you think and what you like.

Reviews from Deep Cuts:

  • Another story that really spoke to the artist in me is “Red is the Color of My True Love’s Blood” by Colleen Anderson. I love that this story is so raw feeling, and so very drenched (pardon the pun) in colors, particularly red (hence, the title).
  • Other stories I really enjoyed included “Hollow Moments” by R.S. Belcher- a chilling tale bent on striking fear in those of us who spend much of our lives thoughtlessly plodding through the routine and not really living, “Red Is the Colour of my True Love’s Blood” by Colleen Anderson – a vividly frightening story that blends colours and associated emotions and states of mind with unpleasant events,…
  • Colleen Anderson’s “Red is the Color of My True Love’s Blood” stands out by showing us that women can be as cold, calculated, and methodical a killer as men without dipping into stereotypes, but overall it’s a collection of brutality against women, dominant/ violent males, motherhood cliché, and weak females. Very disappointing.

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Writing Update

writing, publishing, collections, story sales, Colleen Anderson, Deep Cuts

Creative Commons: Drew Coffman, flickr

It’s been another busy month with the written word in my world. I’ve done very little writing though I’m percolating a green man story and working on some poems. I am reading through stories coming in for Tesseracts 17, and Carolyn Clink and I are going through a few poems for Chizine.

On top of that, I’ve received word that my story “Red is the Color of My True Love’s Blood” will be in the Deep Cuts anthology to be published by Evil Jester Press in Feb. 2013. As well, “The Highest Price” was accepted for publication in the anthology Artifacts and Relics: Extreme Sorcery to be published by Heathen Oracle. My poem “Mermaid” was put up at Polu Texni on the 8th. It is done in the poetic form called a villanelle (which is also a dance). The villanelle has a particular rhythm and rhyme scheme where two lines are repeated in each verse until they come together in the final verse to possibly give a different meaning. It’s hard to write good rhyming poems these days as most writers are not trained in rhyme, nor even rhythm and the villanelle itself takes work. I’d like to try some other forms in the future.

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Embers Amongst the Fallen, art by Eric Warren

On the writing front, one way or another my book will be available during World Fantasy Con in Toronto. CreateSpace has been more difficult to wend my way through than Smashwords was. They make it a convoluted aspect for searching out royalties and shipping, and while shipping says nine days or five days, it’s hard to find out how long it takes to produce the book first. As it is, I’ll be hard pressed to get the books in time to take to Toronto.

While in Toronto, should you happen to be there, I’ll be doing a reading at the Art Bar Poetry series. It takes place Oct. 30, starting around 8:00 at the Pauper’s Pub (suitable for writers), 539 Bloor St. West. I’ll have copies of my poetry chapbook as well as (I hope) Embers Amongst the Fallen. Watch my blog as there will be a day before the end of the month where I will put the ecopy up on sale at Smashwords. As well, at World Fantasy Con I will be doing a half-hour reading on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 5:30 pm. Now I have to figure out what poems and fiction I’ll be reading. And if you do happen to buy my collection, please leave a review at Smashwords, Amazon or on Goodreads. If someone is willing to do a review now, contact me and I will send you a review ecopy.

So that’s my October so far. Very busy and a lot to do. I’m still trying to get another story up on Smashwords but I haven’t had time. Still looking for that time machine.

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Writing Update: Aurora Award & Smashwords

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Creative Commons: gnuckx, Flickr

I’ve been remiss in mentioning this so here we go. I’m nominated again for the Aurora Award in poetry, one of Canada’s speculative fiction awards. This is for my poem “The Fish Wife” which was up at Polu Texni last year (April 3, 2011). If you’re Canadian you can vote for the Aurora Award nominees in all categories. Up to five people are nominated. There is a $10 fee (I’m not sure why but I think it funds the trophies) but if you already did a nominating ballot that fee covers the voting as well. People can vote until July 23 and the awards are given in August at the When Words Collide convention in Calgary.

writing, anthology, speculative fiction, publishing, science fiction, Third FlatironI also have a story titled “The Brown Woman” in an anthology titled Over the Brink from Third Flatiron Publishing. What’s different about this one for me is that it’s completely electronic version put up through Smashwords and Amazon for e-readers. I’ve not tried this format before but I’m working on getting my reprint collection up for July. Wayne Allan Sallee, a longtime writer in the dark fiction genre has given me a small intro for my book. He compares me to Shirley Jackson and Ray Bradbury, which is flattering.

And speaking of Bradbury, who died recently, he had a great influence on my way of thinking and eventually, writing. When mentioned on SF Canada, the list for professional Canadian writers in the speculative genre, it turns out that he was influential on a number of people. He had a great mind and I can only hope to be as great as he was.

Writing is filled with hope, imagination and sometimes rejection. It’s been a hard few months for me where I’ve had four stories make it through all the readings and cuts for different anthologies only to be cut in the final selection. It means the stories have merit but having so many not quite make it, when I had my hopes pinned on them, has been depressing. My writing doesn’t stay static. I’m always trying to improve, be more creative, be unique, but it’s a tough road sometimes. While persevering both in my skills and in submitting, it’s still hard to swallow a lot of rejections a once. So what I need right now is something to be accepted, just to lift my spirits. I have to remember my accomplishments while taking the rejections in stride.

So I continue to write, having finished one new story a week ago and working on another that will need to be done this month for submitting to an anthology. And I’m still trying to come up with a superhero/supervillain idea. Once more, into the breach.

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Writing Update: Aurora Nominee

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I’ve been really busy for the past few weeks with some freelance editing, and I’ve had little time to post. On top of that, the Rannu competition is open until May 31. It is run by Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi and affords a $500 prize to the winner in each category of short fiction and poetry. I’ve been a runner-up and shortlisted in the past, and a judge but never a winner so I’ll try again. The entry fee is small $5, and it supports a Canadian fund so it’s one of the few paid contests I bother to enter. Anyone in the world can enter as along as the work is in English.

So, this gives me a week to write a story from scratch. While it’s taken me 15 years to finish a story, it’s also taken me a day. I have the plot worked out in my head and as soon as this post is done I’ll be working on it. Sometimes the plot in the head ends up with holes once it’s down on (virtual) paper. I’m hoping I have enough conflict and get the pacing right, because that is still my bane. A writing friend was up for a visit recently and she’s only been writing for about five years and says she’s sold almost everything she’s written. I was stunned. It tells me I still have a way to go. Of course she can write full time, while I squeeze it in around a full day but that’s not an excuse for excellent or poor writing.

One story to finish in a week, and the reprint collection is with a friend for editing. By mid June I hope to start formatting it and writing, awards, rejection, story process, short stories, fiction, speculative writinghave it up on Smashwords by July. My story in Bibliotheca Fantastica “The Book with No End” should come out sometime this summer and I still haven’t heard when Bull Spec will publish my poem. “The Book with No End” was written rather quickly and I tried a template because I often put too much lead-up into my stories (which, coincidentally, is very much how I talk). Even with the template the editor cut out the first two pages. I’m still learning after all these years. And unfortunately there has been a flurry or rejections. When they come all at once it’s ego flattening. But I persevere and continue to hope some stories will find a home.

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Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall won the Aurora last year for best fan organization for the SpecFic Colloquium.

And…just to keep the ego floating, I’m a nominee in poetry again this year for the  Aurora Award. If you’re Canadian (even ex-pat) and care to spend $10 you too can vote for your favorite in Canadian speculative fiction. The list of nominees as well as registering to vote are all on the site. My poem, “A Good Catch” can be viewed at Polu Texni (Apr. 03, 2011 on the site).

I was also out of town this week, visiting an uncle. It turns out I can trace the Norwegian branch of the family (by way of Rovang Gaard and South Dakota) to the 1600s. I’m curious now about the Danish and Italian branches. But that took time, wandering through the memory lane of pictures. There is a book on the Rovang-Nelson descendants called Wilderness Home and I’ve borrowed it from my uncle to read up on my ancestors. I might get a story out of that as well.  Now I go to start the story for the Rannu competition.

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Writing: Aurora Award Nominations

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Creative Commons: Drew Coffman, Flickr

Again this year, I’m eligible for the Aurora Award, one of Canada’s speculative writing awards. My stories or poems have to first be nominated, and the top nominations in each category are put onto the voting ballot. That’s usually 3-5 nominees per category. To nominate and vote, one must be Canadian or ex-pat Canadian and must pay a $10 registration.

Nominations close on March 31st, and voting begins on April 16th. If you’re interested in registering, you can go to the Aurora site. To view a list of eligible Canadian works, go to on of these two sites:

http://www.canadiansf.com/node/161 or http://friendsmerrilcontest.com/2011-can-SF/

My works are listed here. Reprints are not allowed but fiction or poetry published in other countries is and two of my stories and two of my poems were published in the UK and US respectively.

*Anderson, Colleen. “A Book By Its Cover.” Mirror Shards. Thomas Carpenter, ed. Bad Moon Books, Aug. 2011.

Anderson, ColleenIt’s Only Words.” The Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies (England). D.F. Lewis, ed. Nemonymous Press, June 2011.

Anderson, Colleen. “Tasty Morsels.” Polluto #8 Magazine (England). Victoria Hooper, ed. Aug., 2011.

*Anderson, Colleen. “A Good Catch.” Polu Texni. Dawn Albright, ed. April, 2011.

Anderson, Colleen. “Darkside.” Chizine. Sandra Kasturi, ed. May, 2011.

Anderson, Colleen. “Shadow Relams.” Witches & Pagans #23. Anne Newkirk Niven, ed. BBI Media. Aug. 2011.

Anderson, Colleen. “Sundance.” Chizine. Sandra Kasturi, ed. June, 2011.

And you can read my poem, “Queen of Heaven and Earth” now up on the Eternal Haunted Summer site.

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Writing Update: January 2012

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Creative Commons: Drew Coffman, Flickr

It’s been a while since I did much in the writing department. Last fall slowed down for various reasons. So here’s a recap of last year. First I have several works from last year eligible for this year’s Aurora Award, one of Canada’s speculative writing awards. If you’re Canadian (current, expat or living abroad) you are both eligible for works published and able to nominate or vote. I believe the $10 fee now covers both nominating and voting. A list of works by Canadians is viewable at the Canadian SF Works Database. My eligible works for last year are:

Short Fiction

Poems

  • A Good Catch.” Polu Texni. Dawn Albright, ed. April, 2011. (can be read online)
  • Darkside.” Chizine. Sandra Kasturi, ed. May, 2011.
  • Shadow Relams.” Witches & Pagans #23. Anne Newkirk Niven, ed. BBI Media. Aug. 2011.
  • Sundance.” Chizine. Sandra Kasturi, ed. June, 2011.

There were a few other things published last year but they were reprints. You can nominate me or any other Canadian writer until March 31st and you can vote starting on April 16th. Along that line there is a short review of the Mirror Shards anthology, and Des Lewis has gathered all the reviews for the Horror Anthology of Horror Anthologies.

In the world of new, some time this year my poem “Visitation: Leda’s Lament” should be coming out in Bull Spec. “Gingerbread People” in Chilling Tales 2 has now been postponed until 2013. 😦 And my poem “Queen of Heaven and Earth” will be coming out in the spring issue of Eternal Haunted Summer.

I’ve been trying to finish my German steampunk story but still cannot come up with a good resolution, though it’s mostly done. I’m working on a tale about skin and psychopaths for another anthology if I can work out the structure. It’s being elusive. And still chipping at the novel. I also made January submission month and sent out quite a few poems and stories. Now I have to buckle down and get more

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Writing: March Update

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Want to read one of my poems, besides the one listed here? Well you’ll be able to in a month or so at Polu Texni. http://www.polutexni.com/ “A Good Catch” about a mermaid gone awry will be published in this online magazine. The poem was an honorable mention in the Rannu competition (two honorable mentions are given and equivalent of second place).

I’ve also just sold a story “Tasty Morsels” to Polluto #8, a British magazine. http://www.polluto.com/ I think it will be out in late spring but I’m not sure yet.

As well, “Exegesis of the Insecta Apocrypha” published in Horror Library Vol. IV has made Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year. Of course having a story selected for the anthology would have even been better but hey, it’s nice to be on that list again.

In other news I’m still judging the poems in the Rannu competition. I’ve done my second read-through and narrowed my list down. Now I’ll have to compare to the other judge’s and then we have to pick a winner and two honorable mentions. That should be done in the next month.

I’ve also finally finished my steampunk/blimp story and have it going through a few readers to catch those technical glitches. I’ve been up in a hot air balloon (the smallest possible airship) once but it was many years ago and the blimp (the next size up) in the 1800s has some different mechanisms that took getting my brain around it. It’s good to have someone who’s an ex-air force pilot and fan of airships look over it. I’ll work on the rewrite and hope to send that out in the next month.

Which means, my plate is cleared to work on another story. But I’ve also made a commitment to finish the languishing novel this year so it’s moving up the list. And slush, I still have slush to catch up on and gotta get going on that one. Maybe I’ll have plowed through enough slush before going to the World Horror Con in Austin at the end of April so that my conscience will be free. The pen never goes dry.

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