Keys and Taxidermy


In January I took part in the Shock Totem bi-monthly Flash Fiction contest for the first time. It’s a fun contest hosted by one of the best horror magazines publishing today. You have one week to complete a flash story based on a prompt, and then all entrants spend three weeks reading, critiquing and voting on the top three. The story with the most points (based on votes–5 for 1st place, 3 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd) wins for that month and is entered into the running to have their story published in the magazine.

For the January prompt I wrote a short story called “Shut In” that received not one single vote. Granted, I did get lots of fantastic feedback, and saw that more than one person had it shortlisted as a contender, but still, in the end, it wasn’t enough to garner even a single 3rd place vote.

Well, for March I really wanted to write something that would get me at least one vote. I figured if I could get one person to vote for me, I’d feel pretty good. The prompt was the image at the start of this post.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up to find I had won first place! There were 30 stories this time around, and several could have equally placed first as well. So many good stories. I’m honored to have received votes from these amazing writers.

Very exciting. My story, “The Better Magician” is now in the running for the grand prize later this year–publication in Shock Totem.

In other news, Rhonda Parrish’s anthology “A is for Apocalypse” is coming along well, and will include my story “T is for Taxidermy.” I’ve received a lot of great feedback and comments from my first readers on this story, and Rhonda’s edits were amazing. I can’t wait until this is released and people can check out the story. And the line up of other authors is simply amazing. It’s going to be good.

Besides the contest win, I’ve got little other news to share. Lots of 2014 rejections so far, though one story, a personal favorite of mine, is being held at a market I really enjoy. That’s all I can share about that, but even if it ends up not making the cut, I’m hopeful it’ll find a home in 2014.

Oh, and Game of Thrones and Orioles baseball is back. Life is good.

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