February Check In…

Time for the February check in and it looks like…failure. Or it feels like failure. I’m not sure it was, just not…what I was hoping.

February

Last check in. I wanted to clean up. Yes, and no. I’ve been dealing with hacked bullshit all month. Trying to secure the site, bopping it over the head when it happened again, and addressing the next exposed nerve. Unfortunately, one of the things I was planning to do (spend my best brain power on writing) got co-opted by spending my best brain power on my website.

The other thing a lot of my good, especially creative brain power went to was a large work project that sucked all the creative out of me. But the good news is that it is like 92% done and will be done by the end of March. Woo. It’ll just be uncreative projects after that…? Something along those lines, but I hadn’t realized how much energy that was taking until I put the doneish stamp on it this week and I felt that terror/relief when you send something out into the world. (I hope I’m not the only one who feels terror/relief.)

More visuals! I actually did pretty well at this. Well enough that I got the scary email from Canva saying, Hey! You’re making a lot a lot of pictures. I have been, I’ve also been liking Canva for making them quickly, I don’t want to start spending all my writing time on this, so being able to easily make them is important.

Audio? I did very well, I finished up another story for the Monsters anthology. A handful of podcast episodes done. (I’m very excited to head into Season 2 with some amazing returning authors and wonderful new ones too!)

Writing. 🙁 I just want to leave this as a sad face and call it a loss. Get internet forgiveness and start fresh in March. Speaking of…

March

Writing. I’m putting it at the top of my list. I really want to get back to Stranded. It’s a fantastic story and it deserves my attention. I’m going to carve out some regular time to work on it and actually put it on my schedule. Turn off distractions and dive into working on it. It’s been easy to push it aside when everything else feels more urgent and pressing, having time actually blocked on my calendar for writing Stranded will help a lot.

Visuals! Keep at it. I’m going to be trying to make sure that all my posts and podcasts for Season 2 have images.

Season 2! Starts the first Friday in April. Prep, plan, get excited! Submit! Listen! Enjoy!

Also working toward more of that fantastic terrelief and need to reach out to my cover artist to start working on the set of covers for the Smoke Jumpers series since the first one of that should be ready in April. I’ll need to get the cover done so when everything is back and ready I can compile and send it out into the world.

Is that enough? How was your February?

S1.49 A Chance Encounter

A Chance Encounter

 

A Chance Encounter by Jennifer Deese

Jennifer Deese first officially joined the writing world and became a published author in 2013 with her inaugural novella, The Orchid Keeper. Miss Deese is fond of writing shorter stories versus full sized novels. Her first book will eventually be the prequel novella to a series of short books called The Osipian Chronicles. From childhood her mother has foster her imagination and love of reading…which Deese sees as the roots of her love for writing, especially fantasy. As a lover of nature it is not surprising that it tends to play a part in many of her writings. A mother and a Nana, Jennifer Deese looks forward to spending time with her loved ones. She resides in Pennsylvania with her two dogs and boyfriend James and his son.

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A Chance Encounter
“The woman flashed a welcoming smile, waving as if they were old friends.”

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S1.48 The Currents of Life

The Currents of Life by M L Moos

M L Moos writes YA fantasy and is currently working on a magical trilogy featuring three young heroines and an undersea treasure hunt adventure. To learn more, go to her Facebook page.

She lives in Washington with her husband, two boys and one country cat with a cougar alter ego. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s either baking, volunteering at her church or watching Jane Austen movies to make up for the overabundance of testosterone. On the rare occasion she makes it out into public, though, she’s always sure to be glamorous in her mom hair and yoga pants.

You can find her on Facebook @mlmoos or at her blog.

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.

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S1.47 Space Mountain

Space Mountain by Lacy Lalonde

Space Mountain by Lacy Lalonde

Space Mountain was originally published in Gravel Mag.

Lacy Lalonde has work published or is forthcoming at Five 2 One Magazine, The Blotter Magazine, Gravel Mag, Crab Fat Magazine, WOLVES Magazine, The Fem Lit Mag, The Maudlin House, and Little Fiction. She is an East Coaster who fosters cats and dogs, and sometimes writes fiction. She tweets @lacylalonde

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.

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S1.46 Job Opportunity

We are looking for a liaison. You appear to have a natural aptitude that is...very rare.
Job Opportunity

Job Opportunity by Mariah Avix

Mariah Avix is the creator of 600 Second Saga. A space for developing authors to explore the realms of science fiction and fantasy in 10 minutes or less every week.
Mariah writes magical tales of how technology will change our world, and technologically laced tales of magic, that probably isn’t real.
She is currently working on a series of novellas about shapeshifters who fight wildfires, a trilogy about a woman who refuses to admit that she has the M word (magic), and endless flash fiction.
When she’s not writing she walks along the rivers and parks throughout her city looking for inspiration.

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.

 

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Horror

First a theory on horror then my own (mild) horror.

Do you like horror?

I expect that you can tell if a person likes horror or not by what happens when they have a benign scare. Like when a person taps you on the shoulder, or comes up behind you, or opens a door, or the like. Not when they are intending to be mean, but when they are just going about their business or trying to politely get your attention.

If that happens and after you jump or scream, you laugh? You like horror.

If that happens and after you jump or scream, you’re not laughing? Don’t like horror.

Anyone have any other information? Contradictions? Which kind of person are you?

I recently had a moment like this when I and another person surprised each other. It was totally unintentional. We both had a panic moment. The other person laughed, I did not. I wonder if you could force this response and if that response would eventually become automatic, and then at that point would you start to enjoy horror?

Hacking horror

My site was hacked yesterday, I cleaned it up. Today I took the site entirely offline and started over. There was no malicious code, but I just wanted to make sure everything was clean.

It should be back up and running at full capacity. I have some back end things that aren’t working (and some of the old freestanding audio isn’t uploaded again, so listen to the podcast instead! :))

I’ll keep working on getting the color and look and feel back to what I am aiming for, suggestions welcome!

S1.45 Infinite Stupor

Infinite Stupor by Konstantine Paradias

Decommission? Preposterous! We still haven't brough back the dodos!
Infinite Stupor

Konstantine Paradias is a writer by choice. His short stories have been published in the Dystopia-Utopia Anthology by Flame Tree Press, The Curious Gallery Magazine and  the AE Canadian Science Fiction Review, among many others. His short story, “How You Ruined Everything” has been included in Tangent Online’s 2013 recommended SF reading list and his short story “The Grim” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His short story anthology, “Nowhere Stories” is published by Mad Paradise Press.

Konstantine is on twitter @KostantineP

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You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.

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S1.44 Make Arnos Great Again

Make Arnos Great Again by Eddie D. Moore

Eddie D. Moore travels extensively for work, and he spends much of that time listening to audio books. The rest of the time is spent dreaming of stories to write and he spends the weekends writing them. His stories have been published by Jouth Webzine, The Flash Fiction Press, Every Day Fiction, Theme of Absence, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Adventure Worlds. Find more on his blog: https://eddiedmoore.wordpress.com/.

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.

How can I help?

I wrote earlier this week about writing for my niece. The second piece of this is something I’ve been struggling with for a while.

Why me?

I created a podcast. (You might have heard of it, 600 Second Saga.) This makes me a gatekeeper of sorts. Not a super fancy gate wearing gatekeepers (that’s what real gatekeepers do right? wear gates?) but one nonetheless.

I read a lot of other submission guidelines along the way to creating mine. Some of them said something about accepting or soliciting work for underrepresented groups. A few called out specific populations. Some didn’t. I thought, only a monster wouldn’t want that. Only a person who is a garbage person would need to even say that. Of course, I want a range of experiences and stories.

Not a monster

And then Trump got elected. On a wave of people who think that it is more important to have false change and loud shouting than to disavow actual Nazis. So…here we are today. I would like everyone who reads my blog, listens to the podcast, or reads my books to just know, of course, I’m not a monster. Just like the day after the election at work, even though I didn’t talk about it at all before directly, everyone knew how I felt. Because when someone needed to say, hey it’s not cool that we only have white dudes as avatars, that was me. When someone had to say it’s not ok to say that word/thing/etc it was usually me. And eventually, they just stopped saying them (around me at least). Because they just knew that about me.

I wish everyone here knew that I wasn’t a monster. And I wish that everyone felt free to say, hey! Not ok! Every time I said something out of line (if I do, please do, I try hard, but I screw up often).

So here I am. Saying I am not a monster. I do, of course, want work from underrepresented groups. Especially groups that are going to be feeling the pain the worst in the next few years. I want to help lift your voices. I want to do what I can. And that is the absolute bare minimum that any decent person should be doing.

I want work that is about being who you are. I want work that edges on political. (Not that I haven’t already got that, just wait for the inauguration day episode, which was written and recorded before election day.) I want work that doesn’t file off your edges.

I don’t get demographics on authors, but I know for a while I had more authors outside the US (this is the easiest demographic for me to keep track of, though I’m not 100%, but if your email is clearly outside the US I have a hint) than from inside, which is a good component. But I want to keep doing better.

My offer

What I think I can do is make this tiny little offer. If you think your voice isn’t welcomed, isn’t heard, and isn’t represented and you are struggling and aren’t sure if your story is a fit, or is ready, or you want feedback? Let me know. As long as it meets the other guidelines (link at the top but basically, ~1K, no swearing, sff) reference this post in your email, and I’ll do what I can to help, make suggestions, etc.