The Best of Friday Flash 2 Launch Day and My ABC’s

Launch day for Best of Friday Flash, Volume 2 is here.

This is the second anthology of works by authors that post and tweet links to their stories via the #FridayFlash hash-tag on Twitter. Friday Flash is an awesome Twitter community of writers who work together to help each other grow creatively. We read each others stories and comment on them. You don’t just get feedback on your stories through Friday Flash, though, you build relationships with other authors. And in this gig, you need to build relationships.

When I started posting stories on Friday Flash just a little over two years ago, I didn’t know a soul. Now, I have a ton of friends from FF on Twitter and many of us have also connected on Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, and even Linked-In. So, if you’re reading this and you are a new writer looking for a) a venue to get feedback on your work; and b) want to virtually meet some of the most kick-ass writers on the net, head over to Twitter and get started.  The Friday Flash web page has more information.

Now for the good stuff…the book! I just missed out on getting into the first volume of Best of Friday Flash, so when it came time for the second one to collect submissions, I had no doubt which story I wanted to send in to Jon and the gang.

The ABC’s of the Apocalypse was originally published in an anthology for Static Movement called Cosmic Catastrophes. I had sent the rough draft to my friend, writer and editor Jim Bronyaur, who sent it back with the words “I F**KING LOVE THIS!” written in black marker at the top. Now, Jim’s a horror guy. For him to say this about a science fiction piece of mine…well, I felt pretty damn good about it. So I sent it to Static, and they published it in Cosmic Catastrophes. After it was published, I posted it for the Friday Flash crowd. It was one of my best loved stories from Friday Flash and garnered the most positive comments of any Friday Flash story I ever posted.

The concept of the story is not a new one. I borrowed the style from a creepy fantasy story I read and liked by Tim Pratt, called Annabelle’s AlphabetAs for the theme, I was inspired by Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon, except that Amy in ABC’s has the opposite problem that Charlie Gordon had.

I am happy that BOFF2 liked ABC’s and included it in this anthology alongside some of the best flash stories around.

I will be getting an extra copy of BOFF2 delivered to me in a few days and will be giving it away during a contest soon.

Stay tuned for more information…and you can order a copy here, if you don’t want to wait for my lottery: Order BOFF2 .

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2011: The Year of the Roller Coaster

Image courtesy of Fotolia

2011 was a year with more ups and downs than a roller coaster for me, and I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. The job hunt was not going well, I got way behind on a lot of bills, got broke, and ate a crap-load of Raman noodles. All while waiting for student aid to come in. I finally got a student job at the college right when Fall Term started. YAY. It’s part-time and does not pay much, but it’s something. And I’m learning a great deal about the administration side of how a college works, information I’m sure will be useful when I finally get to be a professor.

As for writing, 2011 saw my first paid short story, “Nowhere Land” from Literary Mix Tapes “Eighty Nine” anthology. This was one of my best stories to date. Another of my best, also appeared in a 2011 anthology: “The King and His Twenty-Three Subjects,” a fantasy story appeared in the Florida Writer’s Association all-dialogue anthology “Let’s Talk.” I also wrote my first collaborative story, an apocalyptic short story titled “The Blight” told completely through emails with my friend zombie-master Jim Bronyaur. Speaking of zombies, I published a story in the Zombie Survival Crew’s anthology “Undead is Not An Option” about four foul-mouthed teenagers whose zombie role-playing game “Crunch Time” suddenly becomes a real struggle for survival against the undead horde. I started the year publishing a science fiction story that I also posted as Friday Flash and submitted to their Best of Friday Flash Volume 2, and hope to hear about that soon. Literary Mix Tapes also gave me a great writing start to 2011 by publishing my story “Sophie Solitaire: Confessions of an End-Time Girl” in the “Nothing But Flowers” collection.

I started an e-mag, The Were-Traveler this year. The first issue was released on Halloween. I’m looking forward to continuing it.

I taught my first class…a lecture for PINAWOR on the benefits of social media for writers. They were very social media shy writers, so I’m not sure I made much headway with them. But I learned what I ought to do and ought not to do the next time I make a presentation.

I fell short in some areas of my writing:

  • I wanted to have my first e-book collection released by the end of the year. Stuff came up. Mostly school work.
  • I did not blog as much as I wanted to, even though I got an award for Versatile Blogger. *smh*
  • I did not complete my novel that I started during NaNoWrimo 2010. I worked on it a little. Added a few words here and there.
  • I left a few stories hanging on the back-burner that really need to get finished as they are going in the collection.

All in all, an okay year.

But okay is not good enough. I want to be better than okay.

And for that, you’ll have to read my upcoming post about how I plan to set 2012 on fire!

It’s been awhile…

Just realized I’ve been very lazy in the blog posts department.

Sorry. Life’s been kind of challenging, as it can get sometimes. I’ve been suffering from the kind of exhaustion that only copious amounts of coffee seems to cure. Thyroid medication has been increased, so there is hope for an improvement in this area soon. Plus, I’m eating better and exercising more…and that should help to raise my energy levels, too.

There’s been a lot going on.

I’m working on two (well…really, three) projects right now. I can let you know about two of them at this point anyway.

Project Numero Uno is my literary short story for my Creative Writing class. It’s called (tentatively) “Drowning in Shallow Water” and it takes place in Tampa Bay, Florida, where I live. The story centers around Dalton Shay, a poet/writer coming to terms with his addiction to smoking heroin. Dalton’s character is actually loosely based on a person I used to know.

Project Numero Dos is a short story that was sitting on my back-burner for awhile called “Nightjar.” Some writers insist that their back-burner stories are dead and they can never revive them. I don’t find this to be the case with me. At least I’ve been able to go back and complete a couple of back-burner stories.

Nightjar” revolves around a shapeshifting sorceress seeking revenge on the magic-hating, off-world invaders that executed her husband. I started it, then put it aside when I got stuck in a place with no clear idea on how to move forward with the plot. A few nights ago I went to bed, and as I normally do when I lay down to sleep, I let my mind wander…and lo and behold, the way forward was revealed to me. My muse likes to get me in bed sometimes. 😉 So, I’m interested to know: Do you have back-burner stories? Do you ever complete them?

Publications: My story, “The ABC’s of the Apocalypse” has been released in the anthology “Cosmic Catastrophes” by Static Movement. Currently, I’m looking to either submit it again somewhere or find a way to bring it to audio and perhaps also post it as a Friday Flash. It is one of the best stories I’ve written so far.

Aoife’s Kiss magazine (through Sam’s Dot Publishing) has published my science-fiction poem “Before I Was Numb” and they used it to advertise their March issue. I describe it as “android angst that rhymes.” This poem is my first-ever sale. I will receive $5 and a contributors copy of the magazine.

Soon to be published is my short story “Crunch Time.” It will be published in Zombie Survival Crew’s “Undead Is Not An Option” zombie anthology. I’m very proud of that story, too, although it is probably the most profanity-laden tale I’ve ever penned.

It’s Spring Break this week and I’m trying to catch up on some writing projects that I know will probably get put aside once school starts again. I hope to find enough free time here and there to say “Hi” to my friends on Twitter and Facebook and update this little blog a couple times.

You can also keep up with what’s going on in my writer world by visiting my Facebook Author’s page and clicking “Like.” I’m going to be having some give-aways and contests in the future and you don’t want to miss out! Click here: Maria’s Evil Facebook Empire.