Open Pen is now celebrating five years in print with an anthology containing their favourite stories from the past fourteen issues, accompanied by brand new tales by each of those authors. And I am beyond chuffed to be one of them!
Happy email the other day - an acceptance from Sundog Lit for a story I've been shipping around for a while. It's called The Giantess' Daughter and it's a bit of an anomaly for me: I rarely write short pieces longer than 2,000 words and I even more rarely venture into genre - in this case, a sort of literary slipstream/speculative fiction thang. It has a giantess in it, obviously. And a wedding. And an observatory tower.
They told me it would be published in the first issue of 2014 which felt like a world away until I realised it was nearly October and promptly went into complete denial about a) my son's second birthday, b) what to do about my complicated relationship with November the 5th celebrations, and c) the motherflippin' C word that is so prevalent during December. I still put down 2012 when I have to write the date on something - how can I have missed 2013 so completely?
Here in Brighton we're caught between the last thrust of summer and the grateful submission to autumnal layers and the occasional stab of the central heating button. It seems odd to be hanging washing out to dry and collecting my kiddo in shirtsleeves at the end of September. It should be hibernation time, except I've managed to take on a new job and an Open University module and there's no sign of rest any time soon. Novel to edit, Shakespeare to study, children to wrangle, work to monkey down on. Ho hum. Idle hands are not for me.
Issue eight of Open Pen will be available within the month and contains my story, If, Then, which appears alongside an article on "an Englishman's relationship with the word" by Open Pen columnist N Quentin Woolf, Scott Hadley's story, Wank, Akis Papantonis' The Very Short Story of Mr R and Jehovah’s Witness by Alun Evans.
Grab a copy from one of Open Pen's London stockists to read them all.
It's not easy being green ... except when you have a story accepted by Pure Slush and get interviewed for good measure:
My story, Sally Wore Two Petticoats, will be in the March issue, on the theme of 'fashion' ... the sense of which I have very little. It's the most I can do to put on clothes that fit (fairly) properly half the time. Still, I think I have it better than poor Sally, as you will come to see.
And on the subject of Pure Slush (flash ... without the wank), a wonderful writing companion of mine, Stephen V. Ramey, from the online flash group, Show Me Your Lits, has recently had a collection of short stories and flash fiction published by Matt Potter at Pure Slush. It's called Glass Animals, and a beautiful creature it is too. You can buy your copy here. And I thoroughly recommend you do. I recognise a lot of the stories from their conception at SMYL, but my how they've grown... I'm planning on writing a full review once I'm all the way through, so will be posting that soon. In the meantime - go read it.