Saturday, December 31, 2011

W1S1 2011 Report Card

It's the end of 2011 and the W1S1 challenge for 2011 is coming to a close. Somehow I managed to keep up and produce at least one new story per month. November and December were particularly unproductive. Burnout, I think. Bottom line: I wrote 15 stories and 13 of those are published or forthcoming. Thank you W1S1 for pushing me.

For next year, I want to stay with the story a month challenge but put more energy into some longer works, that is a novel and some novellas. Time to reload for 2012.

MonthStoryWord CountStatus
January"A Mother's Gift"2900 Published in Silver Blade Magazine
February"Why the Squonk Weeps"1300Published in Digital Dragon Magazine
March"Shafts to Hell"1300Published in How the West Was Wicked (Pill Hill Press)
April"The Crooked House of Coins"3700Published in There Was a Crooked House (Pill Hill Press)
"The Fletcher's Daughter"1500Published in Residential Aliens
May"Tapestries of Betrayal"4000Published in Greek Myths Revisited (Wicked East Press)
June"Blood and Beauty"4680Forthcoming in A.J. French's Songs of the Satyrs (Wicked East Press)
July"Wilson's Thicket"4200Forthcoming in Beneath the Pretty Lies (Wicked East Press)
August"Sixpence and Rye, and a Snake in a Pie"2400Forthcoming in Father Grim's Storybook (Wicked East Press)
September"A Creature of Words"670Published in Avenir Eclectia
October"A Daughter for a Daughter"10,500Forthcoming in Tales of Suspense (Wicked East Press)
"Under the Bridge"975Published in Apollo's Lyre
November"Soul Thief"1015Rewriting
Chapter One--City of Souls1570Novella in progress
December"A Fortuitous Stumble"670Forthcoming in Avenir Eclectia
"The Hermit's Cache"tbdFor Avenir Eclectia
Chapter Two--City of SoulstbdNovella in progress

Image Credit: Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on

Friday, December 30, 2011

Word of the Week: Gun

Big Bertha.
In the interest of sending 2011 out with a bang, the word of the week is gun, a weapon that fires projectiles at high velocity with a relatively flat trajectory. The modern word derives from the Middle English gonne or gunne, first used in the fourteenth century. The Middle English word is possibly a shortened form of the feminine name Gunilda. Middle English sources use gonnilde to reference cannon and a Latin document from 1330, giving an inventory of Windsor Castle munitions, references a specific gun as "...una magna balista de cornu quae Domina Gunilda ...". Gunilda derives from the Old Norse feminine name Gunnhildr, which is a combination of gunnr and hildr, meaning battle-maid. Both parts of the name mean battle or fight. The name was often shortened to Gunna. A couple well-known Gunhilds from tenth-century Viking history include Gunnhild--the wife of Eric Bloodaxe, King of Norway from 930-34--and Gunhild of Wenden--a Slavic princess who married Sweyn Forkbeard, King of Denmark from 986-1014. Both women appear in Icelandic and Norse sagas. Gunhild of Wenden was the mother of Cnut the Great, who ruled England from 1016-1035.

It's not known why a woman's name would be associated with a weapon, but the practice is not uncommon. Big Bertha refers to a super-heavy howitzer used by the Germans during World War I. Mons Meg is a medieval bombard which fired twenty inch caliber cannon balls.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stories Out

A couple of my stories have been published in December. "Why the Squonk Weeps" appears in The Winter Issue of Underneath the Juniper Tree. This online magazine combines custom illustrations and stories in a beautiful and sometimes stunning layout. The overall feel of the magazine is macabre. My story appears on page 49 and features illustrations by Elizabeth Rose Stanton. "Under the Bridge" is out in Apollo's Lyre as part of the magazine's focus on the Write One Sub One challenge.