Posted tagged ‘Penduline Press’

“Travel Light” will reappear next month

September 7, 2022

My story “Travel Light” will appear in the second volume of Made of Rust and Glass, an anthology of Midwestern fiction, next month. The official release date is October 4.

“Travel Light” is an older story of mine that first appeared in Penduline Press in 2013. The story is about an office float trip on the Kaw River near my home. I had considered it the foundation for an entire novel about the character featured in it, but then along came the characters in my One-Match Fire stories, leaving no space in my brain for other stories, and that original idea never developed.

Made of Rust and Glass is a print anthology, though there is an e-book version you can buy. I won’t be able to share a link here, but the story is still up at Penduline Press.

“Travel Light” travels again

March 21, 2022

I learned over the weekend that my old story “Travel Light” has been accepted to be reprinted in the Of Rust and Glass Anthology. It will appear in the ezine in the fall edition (though they do have occasional printed editions).

Or Rust and Glass publishes work by writers from all over the American Midwest. “Travel Light” happened to be about an uncomfortable overnight float trip on the Kaw River just west of Kansas City (based on my experience). It had first appeared in Penduline Press in September of 2013, and I was proud of it then, but I didn’t see it traveling any farther than that.

When I found the (open) submission call for Of Rust and Glass, specific to Midwestern writers, I sent it in about a month ago and got the good news on Saturday.

Two weeks and news of two reprints. Now my fingers are crossed for a new story finding a home soon.

a couple of things

June 12, 2017

I mentioned sometime back on this humble blog that I had snuck the word “enuf” into my One-Match Fire story “where late the sweet birds sang” and so was proud to be doing my part to evolve the language in print, in the Selected Places anthology. And I think I also mentioned that I felt I ought to read all of the stories in the anthology. Thus the other day I took down the anthology from the shelf by my desk to begin reading it. But first I wanted to see that word “enuf” in print. So I went to my story in search of it. And I couldn’t find it.

The editor, apparently, didn’t think it was an appropriate neologism to include in her collection. Then I began to wonder what else she might have excised. I started reading the story side-by-side with the file for it on my laptop. And in nearly every paragraph I found differences, mostly in the cases of verbs that were less “powerful” than the ones I’d written. But there was a whole paragraph of nice descriptive detail (the smell of a forest in November) that was gone.

I acknowledge that an editor can do whatever she wants with a story, but generally if it’s something drastic (such as this) then the writer gets a chance to review the changes and even withdraw the story if it’s too much. I was surprised that I hadn’t been given the chance.

It was only when I came upon the name of the dog that I began to understand what I was seeing. I had originally named the dog Jack (which was a name I was considering for my own dog, Flike), but a subsequent story in the cycle included the dog, Jack, as well as characters named Joe, Jon, and Jerry. A friend who read that story commented on the clumsiness of the names, and my wife tried to figure out what great literary shenanigans I was up to with them. So, Jerry became Lee and Jack (the dog) became Buddy.

But obviously this change had happened after I had submitted the draft of the story to the anthology. And then I realized that all of the discrepancies between my draft and the one in print were likely due to revisions I had made to the story subsequent to its submission. I found the original email when I had sent the story, and attached was the draft of the story at the time. And everything lined up. Mystery resolved. Still, “enuf” didn’t make it into print.


I received an email recently from the editor of If and Only If Journal saying that the publication had suffered an unexpected hiatus but that it was going to begin publication again after all. This journal had accepted my submission of “Travel Light” a long time ago. “Travel Light” first appeared in Penduline Press, but If and Only If was looking for such stories and would accept reprints. Thus my story would find a second home. But I hadn’t heard from the editor and the journal online hadn’t posted any news or updates. I assumed that though it was a valiant effort, it had folded as many lit journals do. But then came the surprising good news, reaching my inbox while I was out at my little cabin for the weekend where I am off the grid. Thus I didn’t learn of the email until I got home.

“Travel Light” is available for your reading pleasure

September 23, 2013

My story “Travel Light” is now up at Penduline Press. Surf on over there if you’d care to read all 5,290 words. They had a call for submissions dealing with the Seven Deadly Sins, and my story addresses gluttony (though self loathing would have served had it been one of those sins).

This story began its life as chapter two of my failed novel Larger than Life. It is out of tone with the rest of the story, which is part of why I think the novel never gelled. It was never as good as its start.

I actually wrote “Travel Light” to be no more than a short story, but it seemed that there was more to the Chris Newton character, so I began exploring that and thought I had enuf story for a whole novel. Chapter one, which is admittedly a fantasy inside the mind of Chris Newton (or is it?), was also out of tone. And the last chapter, which was going to tie all of this disparity together with an upbeat ending, was also more fantasy than the center of the novel. But the center did not hold and the thing fell apart.

The story takes place during a float trip on the Kaw River, which is an actual river that pours into the Missouri River at Kansas City. I had floated it some years ago with my sons’ Scout troop, and it really is as wretched a float as I describe in the story. Whether the river is a metaphor for the character’s life is your call, of course.

“Travel Light”

September 2, 2013

When last I reported in, I’d said that one of my stories was being considered by an editor but that she wanted to see the longer version of it, having intuited somehow that there was a longer version of it. Well, there was, and I sent it to her.

Then I went away for the weekend (to the cabin in the woods) and came home to find an email from the editor saying she loved the longer version and wanted to use it in the next issue of Penduline Press. This is the magazine that published my story “The Lonely Road” last spring. This time around, the magazine’s theme was the Seven Deadly Sins. Mine happened to be gluttony.

“Travel Light” was originally to have been chapter two of my abandoned novel Larger than Life. It and chapter one, the only parts I thought were successfully completed, were very much out of tone with the rest of the novel as I was writing it. That should probably have been my sign early on to give up sooner than I had. In any case, I thought “Travel Light” was a good piece on its own, and I’d been shopping it around for a couple of years. I’m so happy that it found its home with a publication that I respect and have been associated with in the past.

I don’t know when the issue will be out, but you can be sure I’ll shout about it when that happens. Warm fuzzies, everyone!

“The Lonely Road” is published

March 14, 2013

A day earlier than expected, but just in time for Pi Day, my story “The Lonely Road” has come up at Penduline Press. It’s in Issue 8, and once again, it is accompanied by a photo that I grabbed randomly off the internet. (Really.)

“The Lonely Road”

March 4, 2013

And then, out of the blue, the acceptance came!

Over the weekend an email popped up in my box from Penduline Press. They’ve accepted my story “The Lonely Road” and it will be coming up on their site later this month!

I’m proud of this story. I think it may be the best realized of my Fathers and Sons stories. It’s one of those that I read through and can’t think of a single word I would change. Penduline Press had put out a call for stories with a theme of “Bound.” While I think themes can be helpful for targeting submissions, they are also generally vague enough to let anything or nothing apply. My story features a character who is struggling with some of the bonds in his life — at least that’s how I pitched it. And I guess the editors saw it that way too. This is the first of my Fathers and Sons stories to see print.

The stories in this cycle, however, have all been evolving as I’ve come to understand the universe they’re set in, so occasionally I will tinker with this or that detail in one of them to make it comply with the back story or some future event or character development or whatever. In a way, I imagine that whatever I’ve had to say about that universe in “The Lonely Road” is now carved in stone since it’s (going to be) in print. So it becomes the stillpoint in that universe, and however I tell the stories going forward will have to comply with whatever I’ve said in this story. Or not. I suppose I’m over stressing this.

I spent a good deal of time withdrawing the story from simultaneous submissions elsewhere. I hadn’t realized how many places I’d sent it.

Once the story is up, I’ll post a link.