Stars AND Garters!

Those of you who plod away, day after day, typing out words and then churning them over and over into the submission/rejection machine will understand exactly what I’m talking about when I tell you about the awesome moment I had today: I was in the middle of printing and signing the contract for an anthology I had just been accepted to when I got the email notifying me of an acceptance to a SECOND anthology. It was a syzygy, a rare alignment of heavenly bodies, and yes, it totally made my day.

Even cooler is the fact that the two anthologies are both Pill Hill Press publications, so when I emailed Jessy Roberts back (whom I worked with on the Four Horsemen anthology that came out this spring) with the contract for Patented DNA, she asked me if I had received my contract for Zero Gravity yet…and I got to tell her I was doing a happy dance on my balcony. Hooray!

Even more coincidentally, both of these stories were penned during the strenuous and soul-crushing (it’s not good if it doesn’t crush your soul a little) Oregon Writers Workshop I attended two years ago with Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Katherine Rusch. How you like them apples?

Yes, two years ago…these stories were fairly specific, and I’d been tossing them against various walls to see if they’d stick. Like most stories written on spec, they were simply looking for the right editor and the right home…I just had to not give up. (NEVER GIVE UP!!!) The key to stories like these is anthologies, most of which are usually based around a specific theme. You have to sit on duotrope or Ralan and wait around for the right one to come along (unless you plan on editing it yourself). It’s a lot like fishing. Cast out your line, lie back in the sun, and just relax. (Or, you know, write another story.)

Here are the two sales I have to report:

“The Way of the Restless” to Patented DNA, Edited by Jessy Marie Roberts — My mom watched “The Young and the Restless” when I was a baby. I knew Nikki and Victor like they were stepparents, and to this day hearing the “Nadia’s Theme” score makes me want to lie down for a nap. The way I figure it, the day that cloning gets legalized, the first people on board are going to be the Soap Operas (so the characters NEVER DIE), and Elvis fans. Cause seriously…how many women out there would still bear Elvis’s child if she could? Exactly. So my main character in this space opera is Elvis, a renegade rascal-for-hire, who gets mixed up in some crazy business that includes…well…everything but a twin brother and a secret baby. However, this is the first story written that includes Dot Stringer, Redneck Spacepilot….so there’s always room for more exciting chapters down the road. Release Date: August 2010

“The Unicorn Tree” to Zero Gravity, Edited by Alva J. Roberts (husband of the above Miss Jessy)– I said once that I was going to bring the unicorn back, and slowly but surely I’m making it happen. “Happy Thoughts” featured a unicorn named Wind, “The Giant and The Unicorn” was a clockwork Aesop’s Fable starring sentient wind-up toys, and I’ve got a fable out there making the rounds that hasn’t sold yet…but it will. “The Unicorn Tree” is another far-future story about a young woman who returns to the city where she was born, on a destroyed planet now occupied only by children. Outside this city is a tree whose pollen makes certain children who have not yet reached maturity hallucinate a unicorn. In her quest to rescue the children, Katie finds hope…and a little bit about herself. This is one of my favorite and more personal stories, and I am thrilled that’s it’s found a good home. Release Date: Late Summer 2011

Now…back to work!