Saturday, 29 September 2012

Out there

If I'm not here, I must be somewhere else.

There's a little something of mine at Flashpoints, for example.  This gorgeous site offers tiny pieces of site-specific flash fiction. A story written in and about a specific location  is left there. I wrote my story in the library and left it on the Mills and Boon stand (left). A week later it was still there. If anyone noticed they didn't say.

I read a blog recently where the writer ( sorry, but I can't remember who it was or find it now - if it was you, fess up and I'll put a link in!) ) had over 100 submissions awaiting response.

She inspired me to send more stories and poems out - I'm up to 54 so watch this space for yee-hahs or ya-boo-suckses.

I'm also on (at? in?) the Lancashire Writing Hub being interviewed about Poetry24, the daily ezine I co-edit with Martin

Friday, 21 September 2012

My Klingon for a horse...

If you're writing science fiction and running low on plot, it's not unheard of to dip into classic literature and... erm... borrow a story (I'm looking at you, Russell T.)

There are only so many plots, right?

Anyhoo, I was just about to go to sleep the other night when someone on Twitter started up  #SciFiShakespeare - a 'hashtag (or should that be mashtag?) game' with an irresistible combination if ever there was one.

As some of you are not on Twitter and so miss it's more fun elements, I have listed as I sometimes do here, some my favourites (some in the screen grab on the left, and some pasted below).

Do chip in with your own Shakespeare / scifi mashups in the comments below:

: My Klingon for a horse

But soft, what beast through yonder stomach breaks?

(Stolen from Spitting Images a long long time ago) To be not not to be, that is illogical Captain.

Close Encounters of the Richard III Kind

To take arms against a sea of tribbles and by opposing, end them…

And of course, not to be outdone, I came up with:
For in that sleep of Darth what dreams may come? and Don't Panic and let slip the dog of war!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Talk like a pirate day

On 19th September it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day - so don't say I didn't be warnin' you!

Avast behind! (but enough about me).

It's important you be fully briefed on the 'arr's and the 'grrr's but if you don't want to be forkin' out for dusty great tomes like How to Speak Pirate: A Treasure Chest of Seafaring Slang (which at least has a likeness of the great Cap'n Jack Sparrer gracing it's cover) wet your whistle now, for here be Talk Like a Pirate Day's official guidelines on how to actually be talkin' like a pirate:
  • Double up on all your adjectives. Pirates never speak of "a big ship", they call it a "great, grand ship!" They never say never, they say "No nay ne'er!"
  • Drop all your "g"'s when you speak and you'll get words like "rowin'", "sailin'" and "fightin'".
  • Dropping all of your "v"'s will get you words like "ne'er", "e'er" and "o'er".
  • Instead of saying "I am", sailors say, "I be". Instead of saying "You are", sailors say, "You be". Instead of saying, "They are", sailors say, "They be". Ne'er speak in anythin' but the present tense!
Me and the Cap'n at the New Brighton Pirate Muster 2011
There likewise be a whole heap of fascinatin' terminology at The Pirates Realm and at Black Bart's Pirate Glossary.
e.g. Dance the Hempen Jig : a hangin'
Jolly Roger : not what you be thinkin' you filthy-minded lubber
Loaded to the gunnells : dead drunk

And those landlubbin' university boffins have even coughed up this handy, if a bit scurvy Pirate Translator.

Go on! Unleash Your Inner Buccaneer

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Funny Submission Guidelines #1

I wish I'd started this post when I first began sending out poems and stories for publication. But here are a few little gems I've found in submission guidelines recently for your delectation - you may even want to send some of your writing to these markets ...

"Please no poetry, we don’t understand it." The Safety Pin Review (short fiction)

"750 or fewer words. Weird. Surprising. Preferably no elves." Brain Harvest

"We’re just not the best market for doom-laden go-nowhere stories which push the boundaries of the English language into new and unfortunate places." Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine

"We're not looking for poetry. Feel free to submit limericks. We won't publish them, but we might read them. Limericks are cool."  Crowded Magazine  (Who also need to be clear on this point: "No purple midgets, gay pirates, or unicorns. Actually, that's a lie. If you have a great story about a unicorn-riding purple midget battling a fleet of gay pirates, drop it in the queue. Really. We don't see enough of that kind of thing.")

And finally, two favourites from Short, Fast and Deadly:

"We're pretty sure our mothers read this page. Yours might too. We don't mind if she flinches a bit but we don't want her keeling over or anything."


"No Haiku! For the love of God. No Haiku."

Let me know if you come across any other good ones... I feel this may turn into a regular feature!

p.s. And of course, the best place to find out the best places to send your submissions to is the excellent free writer's database and submission tracker called Duotrope which I can't recommend highly enough