Posted tagged ‘Simone Press’

“where late the sweet birds sang” debuts, somewhat

April 24, 2017

My One-Match Fire story “where late the sweet birds sang” has now appeared in the real (virtual) world. It was accepted (last summer?) for the Selected Places anthology put out by Simone Press, a British publisher seeking stories where place is a dominating factor. My story takes place at the family cabin in the Missouri Ozarks (and in the protagonist’s mind), and I suspect (not having read the anthology yet) that I am the “exotic” component to the anthology, the rest likely being works set within the United Kingdom.

I’ve written about this here and here (when the story was still titled “The Death of Superman” and the anthology was still titled Pulled by Place).

The anthology is an ebook, available through Amazon. As a contributor, I will get a free copy to download to my Kindle, which rests forlornly on the shelf beside me. There is actually a window (late next month) when I will be able to download my free copy. And I shall.

But when I went to the site recently, I saw that there will also be a print edition. And surely I needed to have that to hold in my quaking hands! (The shelf of lit journals with my stories in them is slowly filling; I must add this physical document, n’est-ce pas?) So I began the process of ordering it through Amazon. The cost was displayed in British pounds, and I had no idea what the equivalent amount was in good old American dollars, but that wasn’t going to stop or slow me at all. I made my order and pressed the SEND button. When the confirmation email arrived, I learned that I has just spent $23 (and some change) on a paper copy of a document I will get free in virtual form.

But I don’t mind!


Update 8MAY17: The bound copy of the anthology arrived today.


in the ether

October 10, 2016

You send out your stories to likely magazines and you cross your fingers, and if you’re wise, you get yourself focused on other things so you won’t fret about your darlings out in the world. And then maybe you hear from one of the magazines saying they like your submission and want to publish it. And if you’re wise, you indulge in a little (or more than a little) well earned revelry. But then weeks go by without another peep from the publisher. Weeks turn into months. Excitement wanes. Worry ensues. And you wait for — hope for — some indication that your story is still in the works.

I’ve had enuf stories in circulation to have experienced many kinds of outcomes. High-profile publication. Labor-of-love publication. Disappearing publication. (True. Two of my stories were published online and then the zines just disappeared from the internet.) Denied publication. (One of mine was accepted by a magazine that then went out of business before my story appeared.) And, of course, my full share of rejections, which is something you have to get used to in a campaign like creative writing.

And then there’s my experience over the weekend. My One-Match Fire story “where late the sweet birds sang” was accepted some months ago by Simone Press, an anthology publisher in the UK. My story, about the family cabin that features throughout One-Match Fire, is the first chapter though it takes place late in the chronology of the overall novel. (I’ve been counseled to refer to the collection not as a story cycle but as a novel. I’d long suspected that was the case, but since I was trying to get many of the stories published on their own, I knew that a piece from a “story cycle” probably stood a better chance with an editor than a “stand-alone chapter” from a novel would. In any case, I’m no longer trying to get any of the unpublished stories/chapters published, and I say that half believing that it will cause the one or two currently out there for consideration to be accepted!)

Anyway, back to my narrative. Simone Press had accepted my story a couple of months ago, and I was told I would be hearing from them with a contract eventually. And I wisely got myself focused on other things so I wouldn’t fret about it. Weeks turned into months and I didn’t hear anything, but nor did I worry. Then the email came. The publishing contract for my story arrived. I’ve been asked to complete it and return it. The contract contains all of the usual stuff — there is nothing objectionable in it. So I’ve completed it, signed it, and returned it. Now I must wait for publication, which is scheduled for April of 2017. Somewhere along the way I had thought publication would be at the end of this year, but that’s not really a problem.

I am currently deep in the “final” rewrite of the stories, using the detailed insights from one of my readers as a guide. My spontaneous tinkerings with the stories have mostly subsided, so I think I have them more or less realized. Now for the polish and good wishes. I’ve even been chewing on some ideas for the query letter I will eventually send to agents.


“The Death of Superman” has found a home!

June 7, 2016

I received a happy surprise in my email on Sunday afternoon. My Fathers and Sons story “The Death of Superman” has been accepted for publication in the Pulled by Place Anthology to be published by Simone Press. The story is about the family cabin and how it is intertwined not only in the lives of my three characters but in their actual identities. This is the publication I made veiled reference to in this earlier post. No info yet on when the anthology will come out, and I think it will only be in ebook format, though perhaps it will be in print as well.

This is the second fastest acceptance I have received. I had officially submitted it on May 30 and received the acceptance on June 5: six days! I’m especially pleased since the submission window doesn’t even close until the middle of August, so they must have liked what the saw so much that they didn’t need to wait to see what else might come in to push it out of contention. (The only time I received a faster acceptance was with my locally specific story “The Lively Arts in Kansas City” back in 2008; the editor accepted it only a few hours after I had submitted it.)

This is the story that started it all. I had originally written it years ago as a one-off, with nothing more to it than exploiting the little cabin I have down in the Ozarks for a story (and to give my children a sense of what to do with the thing once I’m out of the picture). I had never intended it to be part of a cycle of stories, but I had tossed in a quick line about the narrator reflecting on how so many important moments of his life had happened at the family cabin (resulting in “When We Were Young . . .” and then logically from that “The Lonely Road” and then the other stories that together now comprise the 19 pieces of the cycle). “Superman” is the sixth F&S story and the 24th of my stories to be published. I’m beginning to feel legit.

I draw a great deal of satisfaction from my Fathers and Sons stories; I am proud of what they have become and where they have taken me as a writer. But I am also ready to be finished with them. (Though see yesterday’s post.) They have consumed the last four years of my creative life. I’ve written a few other things in that time, but F&S has been my focus, and my brain is getting more frequent pings from other story ideas; I’ll be glad when I’ll have the chance to fool around with those. Maybe they’ll result in another cycle of stories to devour me. (It’s happening. I’m already thinking of the things I can do to further the adventures of the character in my story “Travel Light.”)

I’m fooling around with the 19 F&S stories, pretending to myself that I’m honing and polishing them before sending them off to a beta reader (who is more of an alpha writer than I) with the idea that that would be the last effort before I begin the terrifying work of submitting the entire cycle to agents and publishers for consideration.