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New Anthology Story Published! – Winter’s Grasp

More great publishing news! My story "Snow Tracks" is now out in print as part of Fantasia Divinity Magazine's "Winter's Grasp" Anthology. The book is available for purchase on Amazon and Createspace. Like my other recent publications, this story takes place in my Valley of Magic fantasy world. It deals a bit more with the … Continue reading New Anthology Story Published! – Winter’s Grasp

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A New Story is Out! – NEW REALM vol. 05 no. 03

NEW REALM V05 N03 Ain't that some great cover art? And look at whose name is right up top--that's right, yours truly. I am very happy to announce that my story "Frithigorn's Birds" has been published in the newest issue of New Realm. If you like my writing--or even fantasy in general--I humbly urge you … Continue reading A New Story is Out! – NEW REALM vol. 05 no. 03

Born of Flame

Another great piece by my new favorite fantasy blogger, Esther Davis. I love how natural the exotic mythology comes off here. She clearly did her homework on this one. Plus grumpy dragons, what more do you need?

Esther Davis

by Esther Davis

“Paddle down the creek,” the Phoenix Spirit said, “until the cherry grove mists over, and the waterfall’s tumbling deafens your mind.”

For forty-nine years Feng paid his dues in the Land of Spirits. Now came his second chance.

Jade and opal carpeted the creek bed. Only the occasional stir from Feng’s paddle reminded him that water, not air, separated his sampan from the gemstones. Pink cherry blossoms lined the shore.

Feng let his eyes feast on his surroundings one last time—the green carpeting, the double suns shining above, the creatures and spirits eying the curious traveler. He imagined returning from his mortal voyage, this time entering the Land of Spirits with a clean conscious.

He mustn’t fail.

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A Simple Trick That Makes Your Fiction Much More Sticky And Relatable

I have to agree with Victor here, though I would lean more towards the idea of being realistic with your writing and expectations, rather than idealism v. normalcy. You should always consider how realistic your characters actions are; this, of course, includes the way they talk and interact. There is a bit a leeway in fantasy since it is a different world than our own–no one doubts Legolas can shoot as fast or as accurately as he does because the world suggests it to be true. I am currently exploring the idea of exceptional skill and its implications in my book. In addition to asking yourself what are the realistic limits for this character and world, it is also interesting to ask: what are the implications of failure?

Victor Poole

Utilize the ugly normal to revitalize your fantasy narrative.

Science fiction and fantasy need to be thrilling, adventurous, and invigorating. Too often, in our efforts to write super-exciting genre fiction, we elevate our characters and the action onto stilts of heroic perfection.

Though laudable, these efforts can backfire. Readers need a bridge, a measure of safe relatability to help them cross over and fully inhabit the worlds that we write.

Idealized fiction:

Hornby drew, in one swift motion, his shining broadsword, and beat away the advancing hordes of screaming elves.

“You will never take our city!” Hornby bellowed. He hacked away limbs, and lopped off the heads of his seemingly-endless opponents.

“Keep them back while I conjure the great death!” Moriven cried. The wizard’s two slave girls propped him up on a high chair of bamboo, and Moriven’s beard spun like ice down his knees as he conjured a spinning…

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Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Proper Profit (1028 words)

Though this piece does not have any significant speculative elements, it does have an air of fantasy and mystery to it. And it is adventurous, and well written, so I figured it was worth sharing. This piece is a good example of how props can been used for significant effect. Props that have a deep meaning attached to them can be vehicles for examining the characters. It is probably a technique I do not use often enough.

apprentice, never master

Elida knew every creak in the expansive apartments. She had watched Ness invent them eight months before when they moved in.

It had been pure entertainment, watching him on his hands and knees, teasing floorboards and stair railings and cupboard hinges into making their little noises. He tested them and he memorized the distinctions at the same time. Each was a little warning bell when anyone moved inside his apartment. When Elida stepped forward to help him, he gave her a look the equivalent of slapping her hands away, and laughed at himself after. He trusted her. But he trusted himself more.

So, she just watched him engineer squeaks and groans and creaks out of polished elegance. She hadn’t purposefully memorized them, too, but she liked the look on his face when she arrived in all her usual silence even while he rattled in the spaces he created.

Creeping down the stairs now, Elida had no need to see his…

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The Amber of the Moment

A nice little piece with a sprinkling of fantasy. I like how it is powered by dialogue throughout.

Flash 365

A dream sits heavy in my head. I’ve had two cigarettes without getting up to pee. I really have to pee. It’s one of those mornings.

My third alarm goes off.

“Oh, die. Just die,” I tell the alarm. It only sings. I tap the snooze.

“Why can’t time just stop for, like, just a few hours? Only a few. I’d give anything,” I moan, closing my eyes against the morning.

“I bet if you add up all the minutes you’ve spent bitching in your life it’d add up to at least a couple hours,” a light voice muses. I open my eyes.

A girl sits at the end of my bed. She is pale and hairless. Wings of countless clock hands lay across her back. They touch my toes. It tickles. I jerk my feet up and sit, staring.

“Who the hell are you?”

She turns. Her eyes are…

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Signs of a Past Life – 3LineTales

Storm Hamilton paced around the large dining room of the old country manor; he rarely came this far out of New London, but today the policework demanded it. The room was grandly decorated with sterling silverware and expensive china plates covered in dust, a finely embroidered and mold-stained table cloth, and decorative vases which held long rotted flowers--a … Continue reading Signs of a Past Life – 3LineTales