Week Five

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This is the fifth week of the 365 Writing Challenge. I’ve written a grand total of 2,100 words this week and had one of my short stories that I subbed to Fantasia Divinity rejected. 😔

Lost, is however in the works, and will be released by the end of February.

I’m still hard at work on my fifth and final contest entry. It’s proving harder than I thought to get right, but I’m persevering.

Until next week.

 

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Lost, a Collection of Short Stories

I told you good things were on the horizon, didn’t I?

Lost, is a collection of my own short stories. Within the pages you’ll find every story I’ve ever had published in the last eight years, plus a few new ones.

Title: Lost
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Release date: 28 February 2019
Cover designer: Nicky Montgomery
Blurb: Where will you go once you are lost?

Who will you seek?

What will you find, awaiting you in the shadows?

Enter… if you dare, into worlds where faeries, werewolves, vampires, gods, angels and demons collide.

January

So, January has drawn to a close and while it’s been a productive one it’s also been a little bittersweet.

Not only did I start the month with a rejection but, I’m ending it with one as well.

It’s okay though because I do have plans for the two stories that were rejected. So keep your eyes on my blog for an announcement soon.

And, somewhat surprisingly I’ve managed to write a massive 10,556 words. All of those words have been accrued through penning various short stories.

It’s actually nice to complete something for once. As much as I love working on my various novels, there’s a lot more involved in completing a novel.

At this stage I’m not quite sure what February will bring story wise but whatever it is, I’m looking forward to it.

What are you all looking forward to in February?

Week Four

Today marks the end of the fourth week of the 365 Writing Challenge during which I’ve written 2,100 words, which is the bare minimum to get by. But it is words on paper so I don’t care.

I’m busy working on my 5th contest entry for Fantasia Divinity Magazine & Publishing and trying not to go stir crazy as I await scores from previous rounds.

All in all a good week, writing wise. I hope to be as productive next week.

I promise I’ll keep you all posted.

Week Three

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This is the third week of the 365 Writing Challenge. I’ve written a grand total of 3,392 words this week and had one of my short stories that I subbed last week accepted for publication, I’m hoping I’ll hear back about the second one soon. It would be great to see both stories published.

As for what lies in store this week… we’ll work on my fifth contest entry is going ahead at a steady but slow pace. But some words are better than none, right?

 

 

Week Two

Today marks the end of the second week of the 365 Writing Challenge during which I’ve written 2,878 words, which is a huge improvement on last week and I’ve even submitted two short stories for publication. Fingers crossed they’re well received!

I’m currently half way through writing my 4th contest entry for Fantasia Divinity Magazine & Publishing, which is proving to be an interesting little tale, just as the last three have been.

My scores are even half way decent and I’m holding my own quite well it seems.

All in all a good week, writing wise. I hope to be as productive next week.

I promise I’ll keep you all posted.

Week One

I’m writing this retroactively, because it’s just ticked over to January 8th.

In December, I signed up for the 365 Writing Challenge. It’s something I’ve participated in for a few years now, but this year I’m determined to write every day. It’s something I haven’t quite managed to accomplish in previous years.

It’s the first week and I set myself a goal of 300 words a day. So far, it’s not going well. I wrote 1,296 words out of 2,100. But I did manage to write a little each day, so that’s a huge plus and ultimately what I set out to do. Write each day.

Fingers crossed I do better during week two.

New Years Resolutions

Every year I set goals and every year I just don’t quite make it. Do, this year is the year I will. (Remind me to look back on this post on January 1st 2020)

So, what are my New Years Resolutions?

Well…

1. Write 300 words a day. No I don’t care that the word count is minuscule because it’s all that I can realistically handle without burning myself out.

2. Publish… something. Okay, this one is vague for a reason. Simple because I’d like to see the first three books in The Eldritch Series out before December 31st but I’m realistic and sometimes editing just isn’t in the budget.

3. Write weekly blogs. I’m open to ideas, do leave a comment about what you’d like to see.

4. Read more. Self explanatory, I think but I have quite a few books on my to be read pile that I didn’t get to in 2018, so I’m going to get to them in 2019.

New Years Eve

So, as 2018 comes to a close it brings with it an acceptance. My Drabble WINTER was accepted into Trembling With Fear and will be published sometime in the New Year.

The signed contract was sent off today, so now I just wait.

And… in other writing news, I’m almost finished with my third contest entry and have a flash fiction story half done. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone a little in December and I think it’s paying off.

Bring on 2019 and more writing and submissions.

I can’t wait!

Oh and if anyone is looking for submission opportunities check out Iron Faerie Publishing‘s website for more details.

Happy New Year!

Tips for Surviving NaNoWriMo

Yep. It’s November and you know what that means. It’s NaNoWriMo.

I had hoped to get this post out earlier, but illness kind of prevented that, so better late than never, I suppose, right?

It’s the morning of Day #9 and my word count isn’t where I want it to be, but I still have hope.

Having participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) since 2005, I like to think I’ve picked up a tip or two along the way.

So, I’ve decided to share.

Tip #1: Pace yourself. Writing 50,000 words in 30 days may seem like a massive undertaking and leave you feeling completely overwhelmed, but the truth is it doesn’t have to. 1,667 words per day is completely doable, and if you break it down into even smaller goals… say 834 words in the morning and 834 words at night it’ll be an even easier goal to smash.

Tip #2: It’s never to early to kill off a character. In NaNoWriMo… anything goes. I once killed of a main character in the first chapter. Surprisingly, it worked and pushed the other characters forward. Death scenes take up a lot of words. So, does sex.

Tip #3: Editing is for December. Turn off your inner editor. Yes, it’s hard, but completely doable.

Tip #4: Turn off distractions. Procrastinating is the worst enemy to any NaNoer. If it helps set a timer, and turn off the WiFi. Research is fun, but time consuming.

Tip #5: Have fun. Because if you’re not having fun while writing, there’s really no point.

 

Book Reviews

7E755D2F-CCE7-4A15-96B9-1F4B3E6ED016Calling all speculative fiction authors!

I am the Review Co Ordinator over at The Horror Tree and I’m always on the lookout for new books to feature in the next Epeolatry Review.

If you have a novel or anthology that you think fits and would like to have it reviewed, drop me a comment below! You can also reach out to me at: sj_mcintosh@yahoo.com

I’d love to hear from you!

I Just Hit Publish!

I just hit publish on the kindle version of my short story Morrighan and I’m so impatient that I’m literally sitting at my computer compulsively clicking refresh hoping that it’s gone live in the last five seconds. And, finally it has!

So, why did I decide to publish a few short stories? Well, because I’m still working on the edits of The Winter Princess I wanted to share something instead of appearing idle to the publishing world. And hopefully build up a bit of a readership along the way.

The first story, Morrighan, deals with a retelling of the Arthurian Legends from Morgan le Faye’s point of view with a paranormal twist.

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It is available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords for 99c.

Here’s an excerpt from the story…

The wind whipped through her hair, tossing the dark strands over her face and obscuring her vision. High above the sea, on the rocky crag the aerie was full.

Nemain settled on Morgan’s shoulder; the bird’s talons digging into the soft leather pauldron. She had become so used to it now that she didn’t even wince as the bird took its time hoping about on her shoulder before settling down.

As she turned her head and looked Nemain straight in the eye, the bird cocked its head to one side, its beady onyx eyes staring back at her. “Where are your sisters?” Morgan asked.

Nemain cawed once before raising one wing upwards, just as two more birds few in, circling once around Morgan’s head; the beat of their wings echoing in her ears. Badb and Macha landed one after the other on the leather gauntlet that covered her left arm from her fingertips right up to her elbow.

Smiling, Morgan gave a brief nod to each bird in turn. As she picked up the reins in her right hand, she nudged the dapple grey gelding on with her thighs, while being careful as she navigated her way down the steep path, that that had been worn into the cliff face after years of repetitive use and headed across the field for home.

It was true that she could have spent all day up at the aerie, looking out at the sea below while observing the hatchlings, but Morgan knew if she did she was only putting off the inevitable. That eventually she would have to see Arthur, and while she quite enjoyed the solitude, in having only the birds for company, she feared his wrath more.

Arthur, like most fey, was deathly afraid of birds, ravens in particular. It was said to see one was a bad omen, to lay eyes on three signified one’s own death. So superstitious was Arthur that when he and Morgan had been presented the murder of ravens as a wedding gift he’d threatened to spill their blood then and there in the reception hall.

What had been seen couldn’t be unseen, however; Arthur was destined to die.

Had it been anyone else but the Queen of Camelot’s kin that had presented such a gift to the newlyweds, the lives of Badb, Macha and Nemain, wouldn’t have been spared at all.

Pressing her thighs to the gelding’s flanks she worked him up to a trot before she gave the animal its head and allowed him to lengthen his stride until he was pacing at an even canter. Spying Arthur not far from the castle she brought the horse under control, knowing full well what was in store for her, should feathers wind up shedding on his clothing.

Bringing the ravens out of the aerie at dusk was not entirely wise, but Morgan was never one to play by anybody else’s rules but her own.

“Those creatures belong in the aerie not out here by castle walls,” Arthur said facing her.

“And fey belong in children’s story books,” Morgan spat.

I am Morgan le Fay

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I’ve been busy working on expanding a short story that I’m hoping to offer up to the public in the coming weeks…

I’m thinking of releasing it as a series of three short stories – 6,000 words each – totalling 18,000 words… for 0.99c each.

The stories are my take on the Arthurian Myths, complete with new twists and all feed into my forthcoming Eldritch novels.

I’m looking forward to sharing them with you all and it’s because of that very reason, I’m gifting you a sneak peak…

Here it is!

Enjoy!

I am Morgan le Fay – revenge was the very last thing bequeathed to me.
My name was such that it would be written on the wind for centuries to come. A litany that would beat madly in the hearts of all those who’d wronged me.
Morgan le Fay… Morgan le Fay… Morgan le Fay.
Death would not come soon enough.
Once, I’d had a father who loved me as much as I loved him.
And they killed him.
The fair folk.
All for the want of a woman. A woman whose name was Igraine. The Queen of Camelot.
My mother was beautiful. Her fair hair shone like spun gold, and when she let it fall loose it fell almost down to the floor. Plaited, the long braid came to her waist.
I envied those long golden locks as a child, even when they turned snow white with age, I envied them. Anything would have been better than to be cursed with dark unruly curls as I was.
Nobody ever told me I was pretty, only common. How I wished I’d get to receive the type of looks of adoration my mother received. First from my father and then from Uther. I’d spent many a sleepless night as a child dreaming of the day I’d have a love as great as my mother had, had. It wasn’t until he showed up in my life, that I knew I was adored, simply for being me. Little did I know that his adoration would come at a price.

 

Submissions & Works in Progress

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I just submitted a flash fiction piece to a flash fiction anthology moments ago. I have another longer piece that I’m writing and two other short stories on the back burner that I plan to write and submit to other anthologies if I get the time.

I might be juggling just a little too much currently.

Between several novel projects and short story projects, coordinating book reviews, writing up author interview questions (and trying to mix it up a little each time with each new author – not so easy) as well as keeping on top of three social media platforms and a blog. All while trying to keep up with a house, hubby, for kids… not to mention fulfilling job networking requirements when looking for suitable employment for part time work.

That’s the really sad part about this. Having spent the past eleven years raising kids, I’m kind of unemployable. And freelance work… as I’ve said before is kind of hit and miss. The jobs I have gotten, while promising to be ongoing have dried up after a month or two.

That said, I am hard at work making improvements to my novel The Winter Princess. It’s coming along slowly because there’s one PC for six people… and my children have found a few PC games that they like to play on weekends… so stealing time at night is very much my routine of late… unless the hubby beats me to it and steals it for himself.

And because I’m feeling generous, I’ve decided to share a small portion with you.

Here it is, the opening of The Winter Princess

The Winter Queen lounged on an icy crystalline throne as her gown of dark grey silk and taffeta billowed out around her. The hair piled atop her head held a darkness that paled the silk; the tiara of silver and sapphires shone in contrast. Having counted silently on my fingers, one hand held the sum of occasions that I had entered the drafty throne room before now. Setting foot here was unusual for me which led me to be painfully aware of every detail as I approached.

I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, let me know in the comments and maybe I’ll share more.

 

Twisted II Anthology is LIVE

IT’S RELEASE DAY!!!

Title: Twisted II Anthology
Compiled By: Gina A. Watson
Genre: Speculative Fiction

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Where the twisted lurk and the horrors hide, will you find what lies within?

From horrifying demons and witches to ghosts haunting people and places. Strange creatures to strange places. If it’s twisted this anthology has it.

18 equally twisted stories by 19 amazing horror and paranormal authors.

Will you take the plunge into this twisted world?

Featuring authors…

Michael Young * Kelly Matsuura * Kerry E.B Black * Jack W. Finley * Jordanne Fuller * Jakki Hatchet * Liz Butcher * Duncan Swallow * Michael S. Walker * Aziza Sphinx * Shebat Legion * Beth W. Patterson * E.M. Valentine * Stacey Jaine McIntosh * Daniel J. Volpe * Scott Carruba * Carole Weave-Lane * Kerry Lee Holder * Gina A. Watson

Purchase Links…

Amazon AU | Amazon US

Amazon UK

There’s also a Release Party happening on Facebook here. Come along and say Hi!