Be prepared, this is going to be a long post. Just so you know.
I'd posted before that I would talk about how I wrote the two stories I submitted, as I had never actually sent anything out before. Although I have been writing for years, since I was a young child, I've never gotten to the point where I would consider actually letting anybody else see it.
As you can imagine, I was pretty nervous about the submissions thing. My finger hovered over that send key for so long, I began to worry about losing internet access and blowing the whole process up!
But, hey, what's the worst that could happen?
Once I had sent the story off, I decided not to check my email for a few days, in an attempt to not drive myself any crazier than I already was. That lasted for two days. Two days. But, when I looked, there was an email from the press, stating that they had accepted the story. Wow.
Or, I believe my exact words were (read in stunned voice to get the full effect): "Oh, my gods! Oh, my gods!" This was slightly muffled, as I'd clamped both hands over my mouth.
"There's Something About Carol", is scheduled for publication in the anthology Splatter: An Anthology of Horror from Sourlane Press, which is due out in mid-May. (I'll put up a link to it once it's available.) The story isn't gory, it's more of a psychological suburban nightmare--and yes, it does have zombies! Although not as you would expect to see zombies.
The other story, "Down Time", was submitted to a contest, which will announce the winners in June. This story is about the end of mankind following a near-miss by a comet. I actually wrote this one first, but ended up submitting it second (on the same day) as the anthology deadline was so close.
I found out about both opportunities on the Absolute Write forums, a place I highly recommend if you are a writer, or thinking about writing. There's some good folks there, full of knowledge--and even better, willing to share said knowledge.
Well, get to the good stuff, I hear you saying. OK. This is it: I see a post about PARSEC and the contest they're running. So, I go to their site and check it out. Hmmm. My favorite thing--how the world ends.
Soon enough, I've got an idea that won't let me go, and I get "in the zone" and about four hours later, it's done. Now, during this process I've been getting up, cooking dinner, sitting down, writing, getting up, checking on dinner, sitting back down...well, you get the idea. The point is, I'm in that zone and I can't stop writing.
I set this story aside to let it mellow for a few days before editing. I knew I would need to edit, as the story is written in a post-apocalyptic dialect and I wanted to be sure the writing was consistant.
Then, I read about the anthology, and go check out their guidelines. And BAM. It happens again. Totally in the zone, can't stop writing this story.
"Down Time" came to me from an image of a young man, ragged, thin, and a dog watching some other people. Once I sat down to write, the whole thing came in a flow, including the dialect. I got the title towards the end, it's a progression from how the people named the day/night cycle.
"There's Something About Carol" started with the title, or more precisely with the name Carol. I think, OK, what is it about Carol? Then I get the rest of the title from that. The actual story came from the first line, spoken in the "voice" of Carol's husband.
So, that's a long-winded recounting of how I came to submit two short stories. I'm still working on my novel, and I've also got another short story and a novella getting done.
Until next time, Gentle Readers.