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Bubble Off-Plumb

So excited have participated in bringing this anthology together. I think my contribution, Good Thoughts, is one of the best stories I’ve written.

bubble off plumb cover

What do stories about ephemeral Martian settlers, fascinating dimensional rifts, Spanish-speaking hummingbirds, Loki’s children, WWII twins, hitchhiking swamp cats, a steam-punk octopus, Arkham card-games, using bad luck for fun and profit, demon home security systems, alternative criminal justice, workplace time travel, marketing to body-snatchers, alien attraction, and way too many barns all have in common? Simple: in one way or another they are all Bubble Off Plumb.

This genre-busting collection is meant for readers who prefer an odd story with their tea and biscuits. So sit back and let these 26 tales delight, confuse, and surprise you!

Featuring original stories by Marie Brennan, David Tallerman, E.E. King, Art Weil, Sarah M. Lewis, Pepper Hume, Karen Ovér, Liz Schriftsteller, Mariah Southworth, Mickey Kulp, Robert Millet, Valerie Manwill, Beth Winokur, Simone LW Mounsamy, Buzz Dixon, James Campbell, Frank Kozusko, Ellen Denton, Jill Hand, Veronica Brush, and Tim Jeffreys. Joining this stellar group are in-house authors KG Finfrock, Sarah Kalin, and Dan M. Kalin.

Available for Pre-Order Now at Amazon

On Sale December 14th

 

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Top 5 Reasons Why I Rejected a Story

It was a pleasure and an honor to be on the committee that selected the stories for the Cover_Change_front_120-683x1024new anthology Bubble Off-PlumbCongratulations to the twenty-six authors whose stories were accepted. Competition was high as  921 stories were submitted. Kudos to all the authors who pulled up their boot straps and sent their stories in. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It takes courage to submit your story knowing full well that it may be rejected. Until you develop the scar tissue over thicken skin, that rejection hurts like hell. As Kim Dickens once said, “It’s like a kick in the cooch.”  So yay, to those authors who stood tall and tough and took the kick.

But why did the story not get accepted?

Here’s my five top reasons why  I did not nominate a story.  There was a committee of three that nominated a story. Please note that this list reflects only my thoughts on the subject and are not the opinions of the other members.

#5   Did the story meet the theme requirements?

Bubble Off-Plum theme was original fiction short stories of such a nature; odd, unsettling, full of twists, etc.  A story submitted fell under the romance genre. It was a good story. It was sweet and loving. That’s a big compliment coming from me because I do not care for romance and love stories and this story still moved me. BUT it did not meet the requirement in my opinion. There was no twist or oddness to the story.

#4  This and That and Very

How clean was the story you submitted? By clean, I mean did you edit it first by removing the filler words and removing redundant words? I would be lying if I didn’t say to myself, This is going to be a pain in the ass to edit. I don’t want to.  Two stories could have equal value story-wise; the cleaner version is going to get the extra point.

#3  Did the story ramble or do multiple time jumps?

How long before you got to the point of the story? Did you fill it with backstory or flip between present and history multiple times? When faced with the job of reading hundreds of stories in a short period of time, Multiple characters and time jumps are going to task the reader. One story comes to mind and, it had a kick ass ending that I loved, but it took too long to get there.

#2 Three Act Requirements

A story needs to have three simple parts. Beginning, middle, and end. And I’m still pissed at one story specifically. Act one. The Beginning was awesome. Fabulous exciting build up. I couldn’t put it down. I was excited for this story. And then it was over. First Act only. No middle. No end. Just done. WTF??

I suppose it’s possible the wrong file was sent by the author, the incomplete file. But we aren’t going to follow up and ask where’s the rest of the story.

#1 Weak or Flat Ending

I’m sorry to say that a lot of stories had flat or weak endings. A shame really because the beginning and middle were excellent. It felt like the author either got tired or didn’t know how to bring it to a close. Story was just done and I felt blah afterward or I had questions about what just happened. I liked the endings that had a twist at the end or made me gasp in awe or surprise. I liked the endings that made me laugh.

All in all, the stories submitted  were good. With a few tweaks here and there, I hope the authors continue to submit their stories. They will find a home.

 

 

 

 

 

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Distractions are not a bad thing.

Maybe this wasn’t the right time to escape to my room to write. She found me and to beIMG_6641.jpg honest, listening to Paw Patrol is not inductive to the creative flow. Nor is the kid asking “Are you done?”

And this was actually a good thing. I set the paper aside and went to do some chores and while doing those chores, I remembered an important fact or better said I remembered an important question that needed to be answered. That question being… what is the newspaper article saying about the individual characters. There was a book of newspaper clippings in the first novel. There must be an additional similar book in the second novel.  Knowing this question will help when writing the character’s personal story.

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A blank sheet of paper

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Starting the day off with a fresh sheet of blank paper.

The word flow was going pretty good and then this little one decided to join me. I asked IMG_6634.jpgher if she wanted to practice her letters and she was reluctant. Once she discovered she was using the pen, not a pencil,  she loved how the pen flowed. I gave her a notebook of her own and she started with single lines slow and steady. She soon forgot about me as  the ink streamed from page to page creating large oval circles within circles.

It reminded me of how I feel when I look at the blank page. It’s hard to find the words, but once you start, once you really start, one word follows another and it feels euphoric. Unlike other days when the words do’t flow and I end up pulling my hair or worse cutting it all off.  The good days make it all worth it. And deep in my heart, I’m hoping to be witness to a future writer in the making.