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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Some Fun Stuff

Occasionally, it's nice to just have some fun with writing or the written word. I found this site recently. Nice to stop by and enjoy a little humor about writing.

>Rinkworks: Some Fun Stuff

My Name in PRINT!

Yes, Virginia, there are still paper magazines out there and I'm finally getting a story in one.

My story "The Cattle Drive" has been accepted for the June Father's Day issue of Writers Post Journal. Yeah, you'd have to buy the copy to see it. Here's where you can get a look at the cover and shell out your money if you're so inclined.

Writers Post Journal

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Goading Myself

I found a link on Bryan Catherman's resources list that is a list of blogs by writers. I decided to put this blog on the list to goad myself into writing proper writerly posts rather than just musings and general junk. Here's the blog of blogs list URL:

http://www.authorsblogs.com/index.php

I'll also post this on my links to the left.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Family Matters

I've spent the last month buying a new house for my parents and getting them moved into it. They're now ensconsed across the street from me. It was hard for them to make the change and I hope I didn't force them into something they end up hating.

So far, they've given no indication of that and have said more than once they are grateful that I took up the cause to get them moved from fifteen miles out in the country with only a wood stove to heat their shabby rental house. Their former landlords didn't do much upkeep, but on the other side, they never raised their rent in over thirteen years. Good people on the whole.

I hope I did the right thing, though. It's a huge change for them. I worry about it, although the rest of the family concur with me doing this. My idea, but my younger brother split the costs despite his wife's reluctance to spend so much of their retirement money.

My brother and I feel the same way, though. It's just what you do. End of story. Period. Family matters.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rewrite Accepted at Ultraverse

Definitely on a roll. I just heard back from Ultraverse who requested some rewrites on a story title "First Duty." The email said it looked good, so I'm thinking that's an official okie-dokie.

All the links will be posted as the stories are put up on the zines.

The Bone Hunters - Accepted by Long Story Short

Another acceptance. This is kind of fun in that the editors of Long Story Short also try to sell you a bunch of services. They even send a fill-out-the-form press release for release to your local newspaper. Be sure to make a copy so you, too, can tell the good news when you have a story accepted (be sure to note that I'm telling this tongue-in-cheek).

M E D I A R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: (author’s name)

E-mail: (author’s email)

LONG STORY SHORT Writing Site Honors Local (awarding winning, etc.) Author’s story

(Author’s home city - i.e. Glendale, CA)--The board of editors at Long Story have chose ____________ (author’s) story for publication in the ______________ issue of LSS

(Name of Poem/Story) was conceived when (give a description e.g. - after a vacation, the poet opened her refrigerator door to find several rolls of Pillsbury Biscuits there, their seams popped, fleshy dough peeking from under the cylindrical lids and related the scene to the plight of women.)

Edited by Denise Cassino, Linda Barnett-Johnson, and Susan Scott, Long Story Short features fine writing from fiction and poetry to essays and, unlike many journals, also offers critiques from their submission committee. Their goal is to promote and advance the work of writers worldwide.
The URL to the story is (insert link to page).

(Author’s name) is the author of several poems and stories published by (Long Story Short and any other publications) including _____________________.

Other awards and published work includes ____________________________________________.
Learn more about (author) at ___insert link to personal webpage______.

# # # #

Support Materials available on request.


IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS WHEN YOU FINISH

M E D I A R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jane Doe

E-mail: JaneDoe@msn.com

LONG STORY SHORT Writing Site Honors Local awarding winning Author’s Short Story
Glendale, CA--The board of editors at Long Story Short has accepted Jane Doe’s story, “Happy Days,” for the month of June.

Happy Days was conceived when the author lost a friend to cancer and felt she had also lost her youth.

Edited by Denise Cassino, Linda Barnett-Johnson, and Susan Scott, Long Story Short features fine writing from fiction and poetry to essays and, unlike many journals, also offers critiques from their submission committee. Their goal is to promote and advance the work of writers worldwide.

The URL to the poem/story is www.longstoryshort.us

Jane Doe is the author of several poems and stories published in such publications as AboutTeens.com, Tapestry.com, Garden and Hearth and Reminisce Magazine. Other awards First Runner Up in the Glimmer Train contest, June 2003.

Learn more about Jane Doe at www.JaneDoe.com

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Feast or Famine

I just heard from Green Silk Journal that they will publish my short story "Big Bessie's Place" in their May issue.

This one has an interesting history. Originally, it was one third the answer to a challenge on East of the Web. The challenge was to write three interlocking stories with a theme for each--segue from one story to the next. I pulled this part out into a standalone.

I'll post a link when the story is on-line.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Finally!

I didn't think I was ever going to get another story published, but Scribal Tales came through and will be publishing my fantasy story "The Cursed Valley."

I previously published "Cadida and the Djinn" with them. That link is to the left.

I'll add the new link when the story comes up on their website.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Audio Version of Fair's Fair

Bewildering Stories put out an audio file of this story. The link is in the Published list to the left.

The audio link is right at the top of the page.

This is the first of my stories put out as an audio version. Interesting to hear somebody read the story out loud interpreting it in a way.

Weird.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Acceptance - sort of

I found that Another Realm publishes just about any flash submitted if it doesn't suck entirely. I mean, they do give them a glance but aren't very critical.

However, I'll just take my credit anyway since I have so few. So, here's my flash at Another Realm.


Neighborly

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Good, Honest Dog

This was presented at Wild Child Publishing in February 2006. I won the Editor's Choice for Non-fiction. Since Wild Child doesn't archive like many ezines do, I'll post it here.

A Good, Honest Dog
by Marva Dasef (Copyright 2006)

We walked down the concrete path with chainlink cells on both sides. Shouting to make ourselves heard over the cacophony of barking, yipping, and howling, we examined the inmates of this canine prison.

I looked into one cell and a stocky black and brown pup, only a few months old, sat up and begged. No barks, yips, or howls from her, just a pair of pleading brown eyes. "This one," I said without hesitation. We paid her bail, signed all the papers and took her home--our new dog.

We named our darling puppy Loki after the Norse god of mischief. No matter that she was female, since most people don't know the Vikings' mythology. We resisted calling her Heinz 57, although we couldn't quite figure out her breeding. A bit of springer, a dab of spaniel, maybe those short legs told of a rogue dachshund? In any case, she became our loving dog and we her loving parents.

Her short legs and chunky body, while cute as could be, wreaked havoc on her fetching skills. Toss the frisbee, then wait...and wait. When she caught up with the already-grounded disk, she spent a few minutes examining the surrounding area for stray scents. She loved to play fetch, but often forgot that her role was to return the object to the tosser.

Walking her on a leash was not easy, as her nose led us back and forth on a chase for fading scents. What she lacked in physical skills, she made up for with a nose inherited from some obscure ancestor who must have hunted for a living.

As she aged, she grew too fat and I kicked myself for not exercising her more often. I always had some excuse or other–work, kids, sheer laziness. Besides, I thought, the prednisone the vet prescribed for flea allergies caused her weight gain.

In her tenth year, her hips started to pain her. She loved to sleep on the old sofa, long ago claimed as her own, but she couldn't jump up anymore. She'd walk over to it, then turn her head and look at me with her pleading eyes. "Oh, okay," I'd sigh and go lift her bottom up as she scrabbled with her front legs to gain her throne.

Our vet loved her, or at least she said she did. I think our vet loved every dog that walked, or was dragged, through the door. Nevertheless, I'll always remember her saying, "You know, Loki's just a good, honest dog." That was our Loki, a good, honest dog.

In her thirteenth year, the vet found a tumor in her belly. "She'll be okay for a while. They don't grow very fast."

"Can't you operate?" I asked, mentally tallying up an expensive vet bill.

"It won't do any good, I'm afraid. The problem is that if we try to remove the tumor, it would most likely spread to other parts of her body. We'll just keep an eye on her."

I took her home, my hands cold and heart heavy. "We'll keep an eye on her" simply meant that she was going to die, and it would be sooner rather than later.

I took out the photo album and looked at her baby pictures. I chuckled when I saw her dripping ears at her first bath. For some reason, this dog--just an animal you know--moved into my soul. A happy dog, her butt wiggling her joy when we called her, "let's take a ride!" She loved to go along with us, like dogs do, her head hanging out the back window.

Steadily and relentlessly she grew worse. The tumor became evident, now hanging from her belly; a monstrous thing killing my good, honest dog.

Then, one day, while vacuuming the house and dusting and doing all those housework chores I hate, I went to the sunroom. Loki was laying against the wall, her legs shaking. She had shat all over the rug and she looked at me with sad eyes. Please forgive me, I didn't do it on purpose, they said.

"Oh, Loki," I cried and went to her to pet her, to tell her that it was okay. She began to shake with another seizure. I screamed for my husband and together we wrapped her in a blanket and drove to the vet.

I could hear her in the back, panting. Not just the usual dog panting, but a rasping shudder as she was wracked with spasms again and again.

The vet examined her and looked at us with sympathy. "I can give her a tranquilizer to keep down the convulsions, or..." She left the sentence unfinished.

I looked into those brown, trusting eyes and decided to let my dear Loki sleep. The vet gave her the shot as I held her head in my shaking hands. Her eyes slowly closed and her gasping ceased.

I cry now as I write this. I loved my Loki and will miss her forever. I don't believe in heaven or hell, but I think there has to be a dog heaven for good, honest dogs. I know she is there.