Call for Story Submissions: PSYCHOPOMPS (An Anthology)

I am excited to announce Misch Masch Press‘ first anthology, which will be published this fall.

If you are a writer (or aspire to be), I hope you will send in a story for consideration. Here are all the sordid details!

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What Are Psychopomps?

‘Psychopomp’ is a real term (I did not make it up!) and refers to any being, creature, or essence which escorts the dead or dying into an afterlife.

Think of these as shepherds of the soul, for example. While many stories in this anthology will necessarily skirt the fantastical and the macabre by dealing with various faith or myth traditions about death from throughout the world, others may deal with entirely new or made up paradigms. I am excited about the breadth of the topic!

Genre Overview

The mood of this anthology is spooky and provocative but not heinously gory, sexually explicit, or anything else annoying.

This anthology comprises a breadth of speculative fiction genres including Paranormal, Sci Fi, Steampunk, Fantasy, and Horror.

Form and Word Count

We are primarily looking for short stories but if you have works in another form, feel free to message us through our form on the MischMaschPress.com site.

Word Count: 3,000 – 10,000 words

If this interests you, please find more detail on this official PSYCHOPOMPS Anthology Description page. Submissions are due by July 31, 2015. 

Will Contributors Get Royalties?

Important: Please read these Misch Masch Press Anthology Submission Guidelines.

For example, at this time, Misch Masch anthologies are not a paying market–meaning if your story is accepted, you will receive no royalties. Basically, Misch Masch is paying for the super awesome cover art from Consuelo Parra, the professional editing, the marketing, and everything else in production so all fundraising for the project and proceeds will funnel back into the Misch Masch machine. That way we can create more cool anthologies! We hope to evolve into a paying market for future anthologies.

However! You will get your name on the cover, contact information and bio printed in the header of your story, access to promotional materials, a free copy and access to as many more as you want to order at cost, and the benefit of building your writing portfolio and circle of contacts with other authors.

We Will Also Be Looking At…

Also, preference will be given to those writers with an online presence. This is something most writers do anyway. We are interested in this because your online platform helps us represent you as a contributor to our book, and quite frankly, it helps us promote the book.

So if you’re just starting out, by all means still send us your story but just know that as we make final selections, your blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other online feeds that feature your writing interests are taken into account.

I’m totally excited about this project. I hope you’ll check it out and send in your story!

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My 100th Post! And Other Fiction Writing Updates

100 Posts on WordPress

WordPress just heralded me for writing my 100th post on this blog…

To celebrate, I am taking a quick break for the month of May as far as writing my usual Monday posts. Actually, I am doing this so I can focus on a few deadlines and such.

In the interim, here are some past posts you might be interested in:

Happy reading and writing!

A Few Stunning Quotes About Imagination

In my experience, imagination is an important part of mental and spiritual well-being. It’s also rather handy for writing fiction!

Here are a few quotes about imagination that inspired me this week…

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I write fantasy because it’s there.  I have no other excuse for sitting down for several hours a day indulging my imagination.  Daydreaming.   Thinking up imaginary people, impossible places.  Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps.  It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.   Making it tell the same tale over and over again makes it thin and whining; its scales begin to fall off; its fiery breath becomes a trickle of smoke.  It is best fed by reality, an odd diet for something nonexistent; there are few details of daily life and its broad range of emotional context that can’t be transformed into food for the imagination.  It must be visited constantly, or else it begins to become restless and emit strange bellows at embarrassing moments; ignoring it only makes it grow larger and noisier.  Content, it dreams awake, and spins the fabric of tales.  There is really nothing to be done with such imagery except to use it:  in writing, in art.   Those who fear the imagination condemn it:  something childish, they say, something monsterish, misbegotten.  Not all of us dream awake.  But those of us who do have no choice.

― Patricia McKillip

Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.

― Gloria Steinem

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I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.

― Dr. Seuss

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

― Sylvia Plath

I imagine that yes is the only living thing.

― e. e. cummings

Lyrics to “Young at Heart”

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you’re young at heart.
For it’s hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you’re young at heart.

You can go to extremes with impossible schemes.
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams.
And life gets more exciting with each passing day.
And love is either in your heart, or on its way.

Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth
To be young at heart.
For as rich as you are, it’s much better by far
To be young at heart.

And if you should survive to 105,
Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive.
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart.

― Johnny Richards (Song performed by Sinatra, Micahel Buble, and others)

My 6 Favorite Quotes from J.K. Rowling

I love much of how this woman thinks, so today I’m celebrating that.

Here are my 6 favorite quotes from Joanne ‘Jo’ Rowling (the K is for her grandmother’s name, Kathleen, if you’ve ever wondered)…

1. “I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

2. “I think writing about the time in Hermione’s life that I write about – growing from childhood into womanhood, literally, I think it brought back to me how very difficult it is. So much is expected of you as you become a woman, and often you are asked to sacrifice parts of you in becoming a girl, I would say. Hermione doesn’t.”

3. “There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”

4. “Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”

5. “I think that perhaps if I had had to slow down the ideas so that I could capture them on paper I might have stifled some of them.”

6. “I’ve no idea where ideas come from and I hope I never find out; it would spoil the excitement for me if it turned out I just have a funny little wrinkle on the surface of my brain which makes me think about invisible train platforms.”

Happy writing this week!

My Panelist Schedule for Life, the Universe and Everything (LTUE) 2015

LTUE Symposium 2015

This has been a busy couple of weeks, but in the best way–with awesome spec fic conventions! Last week was so rewarding because I got to be a part of Salt Lake ComicCon FanX 2015. This week, I am excited to be a part of the Life, the Universe, and Everything symposium (LTUE) 2015.

This conference is a great opportunity to meet with authors, filmmakers, artists, gaming professionals, and other creatives of speculative fiction.

I am of course super interested in what the Guest of Honor Toni Weisskopf of Baen Books has to say.

I am looking forward to speaking on the Madeleine L’Engle and E. E. “Doc” Smith – Space Travel – Warp Speed vs Tesseract panel at 12 pm on Saturday February 15, 2015. What a topic, right?! I love that title, so kudos to whoever came up with it, and I appreciate being invited to this panel!

With my upcoming time travel serial The Salt Sheen Paradox slotted for release in early 2016, I definitely love this topic and am excited to hear what my fellow panelists share. Should be an awesome, mind-bending discussion!

I hope to meet skads of other writers and learn from the incredible programming lineup. Since I am working on some steampunk titles due out later this year, I’ll be like a sponge soaking up best practices and inspiration.

LTUE is less about dressing up than Comic Con or Fantasy Con, but if I see any awesomeness, it will be photographed and reported!

13 Advantages to Dictating Your Writing

I began looking into dictation for several reasons. Like many people, I have experienced back problems which make it hard to sit at a computer and write all day. I’ve also had trouble keeping weight off since becoming a full-time writer. There, said it!

I’ve moved this to TheProductiveAuthor.com, so please click here to read the rest!