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.

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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.

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.

Shadow Show / Writing & Submitting

There’s a fabulous collection of short stories out in the wild now called Shadow Show, edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle. Several authors were invited to write stories inspired by Ray Bradbury, as well as share a bit about their own experiences with the man himself and his work. The result is one unbelievable story after another. Each story has a unique beating heart, simple yet powerful prose, and calls up that weird little feeling one gets when sitting down to enjoy a Bradbury classic.

Three of the many stories I enjoyed in this collection are:

The Girl in the Funeral Parlor – Sam Weller

By The Silver Water of Lake Champlain – Joe Hill

The Phone Call – John McNally

If you love short fiction, or love the work of Ray Bradbury, pick up a copy of this collection.


I’ve been submitting short fiction regularly, but am still working toward my first published piece. (Which will be exciting, as it will be the first work of fiction I link to on this site). I’m proud of where the work is, but am not unaware of where it’s falling short. The challenge is exciting, and I’ve made some great progress towards where I’d like my writing to go.

I’m in the process of finishing the third draft of my newest short story. It’s in the hands of a few readers, as well as under the microscope of my wife. She’s brutal, but in the best possible way. The story has really taken off in the 2nd and 3rd drafts, thanks to her honest notes, and backbreaking editing. This is the first new story I’ve written that’s made me this confident, and I can’t wait to add it to my growing list of “Submitted Stories.”



The Thrill of Rejection & A Monster Calls

The Thrill of Rejection

I finally swallowed my pride, held my breath, and submitted a short story to a publication. It was promptly rejected, and rightfully so. I have a lot of growing to do as a writer still, but one step I needed to take was putting the work out there. I’ll continue subbing the story to publications I enjoy, and who knows; maybe one of them will take it.

I tallied all my words since the new year, and in April I’ve surpassed the 60,000 mark. They are spread out between a handful of unfinished stories, and five completed ones. 60,000 words by April may seem like a lot (and yes, it is), but that averages out to only 625 words a day. I tend to write between 1500-3000 words in any given sitting. That means I’ve had far too many days of no writing than I’m happy with. Had I been more disciplined, I could have double that amount. My goal for the rest of April is to aim for 1000 a day, every day. If I go over, fantastic! But if I don’t, then at least I’ve gotten my practice in for the day, and that’s what really counts at this point. Practice, practice, practice.

A Game of Thrones

Season two of A Game of Thrones has started, and I am thrilled. I adore this show. They have done an amazing job of transferring such a massive story to television, and I can’t wait to hit more of my favorite scenes.

For the premiere, Nathalie and Hattie prepared a massive feast for our friends who came to watch.

The menu:

  • Westerosian white bread
  • Dornish cheese flight of fancy
  • Vale of Arryn summer berries
  • The Hound’s cured pork belly
  • Dothraki horse and goat jerky
  • Ghost’s roasted chicken
  • Pentoshi stuffed mushrooms
  • Theon Greyjoy’s white wine mussels
  • Sansa’s cranberry walnut tart
  • Arya’s lemon cakes
  • Night’s Watch breakfast loaves
  • Baratheon boar ribs


A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

“At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting— he’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It’s ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth.”From B&N’s Overview

This book showed up on as recommendation on my Nook Touch a few weeks ago. I had never read anything by the author, Patrick Ness, or Siobhan Dowd, who’s idea the story is based. I was drawn in by the cover and by the large number of positive reviews on B&N’s website so I bought it right away.

I read it in a single sitting, and admit I was crying like a baby by the end. It’s a great story about how children cope with unfortunate life events. If you are looking for a powerful yet fast read, I highly recommend it.


Here we go again


At some point over the last four years I’ve developed a love for football. More specifically, a love for the Baltimore Ravens.

My friend Peter Shipley is to blame. His passion for the game and for the team unconsciously seeped into my brain as we got to know each other, culminating this week with a pact between the two of us; a Fu Manchu pact. We will be sporting the facial masterpiece, a la Joe Flacco, for this weekends playoff game against the Patriots. When we win (yes, WHEN) I will continue to wear it proudly until the last play of the Super Bowl. Additionally, Nathalie and I dropped the coin and picked up Ravens jerseys. I went with Terrel “Ball so Hard” Suggs, the nightmare on two legs. It’s going to be a hell of a weekend.


I set a strenuous goal for myself this year; one new short story every week. Since the new year I have written 20,000 words divided between three stories. Can you read them? Absolutely not. They’re bad, and I mean really bad. But, that’s the point of this entire goal. By the end of the year I’d like to be able to say that the stories are not as bad as they used to be. Practice. Practice. Read. Practice.


I’ll conclude by recommending the short story Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls by Brian Hodge. It was included in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Vol. 22. It’s a strong example of how effective it can be to reveal important details slowly over the course of a tale. I read it on Monday and it’s haunted me all week.

And finally, I am simply tittering in anticipation of Game of Thrones season 2. April 1st can’t come fast enough.