Recent Acceptances, Books, and Goals

Recent Accepted stories:

Dusty’s Pint – eFiction HorrorA tale about a man who has told his story to anyone who would listen since the day his wife was taken, hoping that one day, despite the spectacular circumstances of her demise, she will return to him, and they can finish their lives together.
Gremlin – 101 FictionA 100 word horror story.

My 2013 Reading Goal:

2012 was the year of the short story for me. In my effort to improve my own craft, the majority of the work I read was short form. In 2013 I’d like to catch up on a lot of the great novels that were released that I’ve missed out on. So, this year I’m going to read one book a week. Some weeks it’ll be short story collections and others novels, but I’m hoping to strike a nice balance.

So far in 2013 I’ve read Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce, and I’m about half way through The Last Kind Words by Tom Piccirilli.

Some Kind of Fairy Tale was the first novel I’ve read by Graham Joyce, and it was a great read. I’ll be sure to include other works of his this year as well.

12941033 13096307

Speaking of Tom Piccirilli, I think I’m in love with Tom Piccirilli. I’ve only read Choir of Ill Children, Futile Efforts, and Every Shallow Cut (as well my progress in The Last Kind Words), but his writing and stories are quickly becoming some of my favorite.

2013 Social Media Goals:

Reading is an easy goal to meet. I love reading. My writing goals will be challenging, but that’s the way I like it.

Social media? This one’s going to be tough. I am terrible at blogging, tweeting, updating and all that important stuff that is handy in getting the word out there about my work. I use Twitter, @corycone, as well as this blog, but it’s a real challenge for me to update either.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter as I get more accustomed to it, and the blog for any updates about acceptances. For now, however, the blog will likely only be updated with important announcements.

“The Black Pageant” accepted at Grim Corps Magazine

Grim Corps

I am thrilled to announce that I have made my first short story sale. “The Black Pageant” will appear in the debut issue of Grim Corps Magazine, edited by Charles Patrick Brownson. From their website: “Grim Corps is a biannual magazine that specializes in original speculative, dark fantasy, and horror short fiction with an emphasis on promoting both new and established writers.”

The issue is set to release on or before February 1st, 2013. Keep an eye on their website for the full list of contributors in the debut issue.

I had a goal of achieving my first accepted work of fiction in 2012, and it came down to the wire, but I was able to do it! I really like this story and couldn’t be happier that it will be the first one to see publication.

Pretty Monsters

This post is about Kelly Link, and my newly found love of her stories.

I discovered her recently in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy: 2012 edited by Rich Horton. Kelly’s story, “The Summer People”, is included in this anthology, and I fell madly in love with it. The strange toys, the odd relationship between Ophilia and Fran, and the fantastically dark yet hopeful ending all drove me crazy. I read it a second time right away, and then promptly purchased Kelly’s story collections, Magic for Beginners and Pretty Monsters, and the anthology she co-edited with Gavin Grant; Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories.

Aside from the work all being remarkably original and imaginative, Kelly’s stories include some of the most masterful endings that I have read in recent memory. One could even say that many of them don’t end at all, but leave you with just enough mystery or intrigue or excitement that the curiosity of all the possibilities that could come next is better than any concrete ending.

For anyone who has not read her work, allow me to suggest three stories to get your acquainted:

“The Summer People” – The first story of her I read. Great characters. Mysterious and dark premise. Haunting payoff at the end.

“The Wrong Grave” – the opening line reads; “ALL OF THIS happened because a boy I once knew named Miles Sperry decided to go into the resurrectionist business and dig up the grave of his girlfriend, Bethany Baldwin, who had been dead for not quite a year.”    This is the first story in Pretty Monsters, and starts the collection off wonderfully. With a title like that, what could go wrong for Miles?

“The Faery Handbag” – When I read this story I had no idea that it had won a Hugo, a Nebula, and a Locus award. When I finished reading, I was so in love that I looked it up online straight away and was not surprised to learn of its accomplishments. This is a marvelous tale of magic, family, and love.

Kelly’s co-edited anthology, Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories. includes the story “The Summer People”, as well as many equally amazing stories. Two standouts for me were:

“Some Fortunate Future Day” – by Cassandra Clare

“Steam Girl” – by Dyllon Horrocks


Kelly Link’s stories are fearless, emotional, and filled with heart and wonder. I can’t get them out of my head. I’m hoping to channel some of that into my own work from now on. Push that doubting, nagging voice that keeps telling me that this idea is not worth it or that character will never work out, out of my head and take some chances.

Do you have a favorite Kelly Link story? Have you discovered any writers recently whose work inspired you? Leave a comment and let me know.

Sick of Being Sick/ Renn Fest / O’s! / Stories

Last Sunday, Nathalie and I ventured forth to one of my favorite places; The Maryland Renaissance Festival. If you live close enough to go, I can’t recommend it enough. The atmosphere is great, the beer and activities are reasonably priced, and the shows are always fabulous. Like many who go to these fests, Nathalie and I dress up. We didn’t get a picture this year, but below is a photo from last year. We essentially wore the same thing.

We’ll be there two more times this season, our second trip this weekend when our friends Peter and Hattie visit from Seattle.

The day after we went, though, I came down with a pretty nasty cold. I’m still getting over it today, over a week later. Cough Cough. Grumble Grumble.


The last regular season game of baseball is tonight. The O’s are in the playoffs. LET’S GO O’s!


I’ve got my monthly writing critique group tonight, where I’ll be getting feedback on the newest version of a short story I mentioned two posts ago. Since then I’ve cut almost half of the story, (including an entire character). Depending on the feedback I get tonight, I may finally send this one out.

In terms of reading, it’s the beginning of the month, which means many online publications are posting new work this week! This is always a great time of month for short fiction. Three great publications that have updated, or will be this week, are linked below if any visitors want to check them out.


Many more fantastic publications are around the web as well. As I update this blog more regularly, I’d like to highlight stories I’ve enjoyed from many of them, so look for that in the future.

Let’s Go O’s!

credit – jpmath

It’s September and the Baltimore Orioles matter.

I’ll admit it. It’s true. I’m a new fan. I wasn’t there for the last 15 years, keeping my head held high while another season fell away, many times miserably. No, I wasn’t among those Baltimore fans who never lost hope, because I never had any to begin with. I wasn’t a fan of the Orioles, but I wasn’t a fan of anybody. I didn’t watch baseball. I didn’t care about baseball. Heck, I didn’t care about sports.

Now, to be clear, I’ve always enjoyed a night out at the ballpark. But it was for the atmosphere, the crowds, the cheering and oh most certainly for the hotdogs. Before this season I’d been to six O’s games in my 8 years in Baltimore, and in all but 1 of those games they lost. But it was a great time anyway.

But then something happened. Two years ago, my friend Peter introduced me to football. It took one season of watching the Baltimore Ravens for me to realize just what I had been missing. The thrill! The disappointment! The close calls! The living room exploding in cheers when Flacco throws that perfect ball to Boldin. What’s this? Watching sports is fun!

So, after that devastating moment when the city watched our Super Bowl hopes fly wide left, I found myself craving more sports. I figured, let’s see if I can get this amped up about baseball.

Boy did I pick the perfect season to do that. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve startled Nathalie because I’ve leaped out of my seat cheering. I’ve watched Manny Machado’s third base fake throw to first highlight video at least twenty times. I find myself looking forward to every game, and have been all season. Never before did I see myself having baseball on the tv every night, and missing it on their off days.

Well, they’ve just swept the Mariners to stay tied with the Yankees. Every game counts here. Every inning matters.

This Is Birdland, and I’m proud to say that I’m a fan.