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A Road Not Taken

Originally published at Jennifer Thorne. You can comment here or there.

It’s finally coming out. One month to go, and almost to the day, in fact.
You can pre-order it at Samhain, or through Amazon.

But, what took me completely by surprise was the review in Publishers Weekly, which was very complimentary. There was a little flurry of activity because of it- a publicist contacted me to ask if I needed her services- not something I can support with such a small backlist, but it was a nice surprise. Plus, I got a request to have the tv/movie rights for this story listed in some sort of pay-to-access database. I still own those rights, so, no point really.

A very minor sound and fury… But, it was fun, anyways.

So, back to writing. I’m 4/5 of the way through another novella. I’m at the in-filling and tightening stage. My fluffy cat-companion is sleeping on the desk beside me, the sun is shining, and I have a big glass of ice water to get me through the afternoon.

Not a hard life, really.

Originally published at Jennifer Thorne. You can comment here or there.

Second big ‘ol no. This time from the Knight Agency.

The first time I had that same feeling you sometimes get, I hear, when going to Vegas. I got all excited because I *could* win. Maybe. The let-down was a lot worse, and it took me a month or so to get up the energy/nerve to try again.

Ok. So. Looking up another LGBT-friendly door to knock on.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

A Road Not Taken

Originally published at Jennifer Thorne. You can comment here or there.

Well, I got the ARCs. Now it’s just hurry up and wait until early September.

In the meantime, I’ll keep wrestling with the short story that is demanding to be longer. It’s jumping up and down in my brain and demanding more writing time… It started off as another fairytale spin-off, but it’s morphing into high fantasy before my very eyes.

And, I sent The Ancient Music off to another agent. I hate writing query letters. I feel like such a dope.


My name is Jessica Porteous and I recently joined BU. I've been enjoying
reading your emails and getting to know the group a little bit. To introduce
myself, I've been occasionally copy-editing some YA fantasy, sci-fi, and
paranormal books over the past few years, and I'm now doing it more regularly
and co-editing an anthology of short stories. While I've been writing my own
stories for many, many years, I'm just now getting brave enough to share them
with the world! :)

If any of you are interested in submitting a story for the anthology I'm
co-editing, I'll put the info below. The basic premise is looking at holidays
from different perspectives or changing the origin story of the holiday or
giving an alternative interpretation of a holiday tradition or somehow
re-imaging the holiday. The call for submissions is open to anyone and we have
been having a lot of fun reading the wide variety of submissions already! If
anyone has any questions about it, I'm happy to answer them!

Happy Writing!


jporteous@spencerhi llpress.com

To view the call for submissions online, click below:
http://www.site. spencerhillpress .com/Holiday_ Magick.html

Call for Submissions for

Holiday Magick: An Unconventional Anthology of Holiday Stories
a short story anthology

We are looking for stories that tell alternative explanations or interpretations
of the classic traditions and/or origins of holidays. Stories in the anthology
will come from a variety of viewpoints, including the mythical, the magical,
and the supernatural. No holiday is too small to be seen from a different
perspective. Just think:

Easter Egg hunts teaching survival skills to militant bunnies.
A groundhog sharing his shadow to pay an ancient debt.
St. Valentine creating a holiday to stave off vampire attacks.
Halloween as the demons day off.
You may think you know the truth, but you havent heard the real stories yet!

Suggested Length: 3,000-7,000 words. Up to 10,000 words is possible, but it will
be a HARD sell.

Due Date: June 25, 2012

Editors: Richard Storrs and Jessica Porteous

Submission Guidelines: Please email your submissions to us at
anthology@SpencerHi llPress.com
Put your story into the BODY of the email (no attachments, please!) and put
"Holiday Magick" in your subject line, along with the title of your story. You
are welcome to submit multiple stories; stories will be selected based on
quality and on achieving a balance of holidays and story genres within the

Legalese: We can only accept previously unpublished stories. Please do not use
licensed characters or any trademarked or copyright-protected material without
written permission in advance of submission (This is NOT the place for A
Christmas Carol for Jabba the Hutt). Were also not looking for stories that
use holidays merely as settings, without any connection to holiday traditions.
Contributor compensation will include a $10 advance paid upon publication, a
contributor copy of the paper version, a royalty percentage split among all
contributors, and, of course, bragging rights. Stories should be appropriate
for adult and teen readers (age 14 and up) please, no explicit sex or graphic
violence, and be sensitive to religious or cultural beliefs about some holidays.

For accepted submissions, Spencer Hill Press will take first print and
electronic publishing rights, which are exclusive publishing rights for as long
as the anthology remains in print. This means that authors will not be able sell
or publish their stories elsewhere, and when the rights revert to the authors
after the anthology is no longer in print, they will only be able to market the
story as a reprint, which in nearly all cases is a harder sell and has a lower
pay rate than first print. We at Spencer Hill Press hope that the anthology
will have strong sales that will result in healthy royalty payments, but we
want authors to go into this with eyes open, knowing how acceptance to one
anthology limits the marketing of the same story down the road.

http://www.site. spencerhillpress .com/Holiday_ Magick.html

It’s a pickle, for sure.

Originally published at Jennifer Thorne. You can comment here or there.

I did a google search for ‘gay fantasy’, wondering what all the books were out there. There’s a good number, but ‘all’ might be a relative term.

Of course the Nightrunner Series pops up, along with Mercedes Lackey’s Magic books, and Sarah Monette’s harrowingly interesting trilogy (although not in the Wikipedia entry on LGBT spec fic- someone ought to fix that). But, I couldn’t seem to find much mainstream in the last six years. The usual romance suspects came up (again, of course). One of the better lists that I found was on Autostraddle. And it’s so cool that Tamora Pierce comments. She made a couple young people’s day (:

This is getting a bit ramble-y, but I’m trying to cobble my thoughts together into something that looks like a coherent whole. Or a plan. The Ancient Music is still in the slushpile at Tor, and it will be another few months at least. I just got my first rejection from an agent.

What my research seems to conclude is- unless you’re an established author, or you write like the gods themselves… good luck getting your LGBT fantasy story published… Unless you want to sex it up. Then, it’s not so hard. (Er, difficult). But, it won’t be mainstream. I mean, seriously. Sex is great. But I don’t want to write about it ALL the time ;p

I really believe in the story, and those characters. So, what to do?

Keep on swimming, I guess. And find a Beta reader that is good at structure. I may have to end up paying someone professional to kick the story around a bit and point out the weak points. And keep on trying agents. One at a time.

With all the foo-fera in the States about legalizing same-sex marriage I wonder if that’s going to have any effect on the market, or on readers in general?

Tired but happy

Originally published at Jennifer Thorne. You can comment here or there.

I spent the afternoon at a green living fair in Toronto today, and got some green street cred by carpooling down there with friends in a small car. (pats self on the back in a smugly self-congratulatory way, knowing that it’s smug and being fine with that :) The two things that stood out for me were the ‘nanodot’ solar panel paint from the University of Toronto and the waterbuffalo cheese from Monforte Dairy. A very earnest and helpful grad student explained to my friend and me how this ‘paint’ worked, and the cheese was strangely pungent, but it reminded me of adventures and trying new things. I also had no trouble at all finding food booths with gluten free samples, which kept my energy up quite nicely.

Yesterday I got out on my recumbent bike for an hour and a half, and sweated quite a bit. We stopped for tea and hid from the short rain shower under an awning. I removed the pad from my seat so I wouldn’t have to lie prone on a squelchy, cold, wet cushion for the entire rest of the ride. Lovely sunshine and company, and a good, healthy workout.

The stories are puddling along quite nicely, and edits on the one to be released in September are also proceeding well.

It’s been a good weekend, but I’m tired now. Hot shower and bed.

Happy Birthday (:

To Vesta_Venus!

Whew. That took a few clicks.

Happy spring, everyone!

Originally published at Jennifer Thorne. You can comment here or there.

The weather has turned, and so has the worm! (Now that I’m thinking about it that’s a strange saying, isn’t it? I’m wondering if it’s meant to be maggots or Ouroboros? Hmmmm. Something to look into for later).

All first edits are done for A Road Not Taken, and we’re getting closer to the perfect cover. It’s hard to find good pictures of guys with dreadlocks. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I have two more fairytales underway- one on the theme of Sir Orfeo, and another one that’s a retelling of an Itallian witch folktale. The Italian one is bogged down right now, but the other should be done by the end of the next week. *whew* And to think that I started writing short stories thinking that they would be impossible. It’s good to laugh at myself sometimes.

The Ancient Music submission package has been put together for Tor, and a good friend is going to chip away at the manuscript over the next few weeks. The second half of the manuscript is still quite rough, but I have at least four months before I hear back in *any* way. That ought to be enough time to fix it up nicely.

Big Scary Deadlines are a good way to get motivated!

So is beautiful weather and playing in the garden. Yay for planting peas and spinach! And the purple hyacinths have all come up under my window. I can’t quite see them from where I’m sitting. I might have to do something about the placement of my desk. Also the placement of some of the flowers. I seem to have put some daffodils in deep shade. They’re barely making greenery right now, let alone flowers. It’s a new backyard and a new learning curve. I should get my husband to take pictures and do another before/after like the last place. It won’t be quite as dramatic, as this backyard didn’t start out covered in dirty socks and broken pallets (I kid you not), but it’s going from bare, patchy grass to cobblestone pathways, 8x the garden space (at least), a small pond and a grape arbour- which won’t have grapes on it, unlike the last place, sadly, but the trumpet vine should cover it nicely in a few years.

Well, back to writing.

(Thank goodness we were able to replace my stolen iPod. Music. I can’t write without it. I tried, and it was painful. Thank you Norland Wind and Loreena McKennitt. You make all this possible.)

Completely contrary to what I wrote before

Originally published at Jennifer Thorne. You can comment here or there.

Instead of working on something that can get released quickly… I’m working on an epic historical fantasy set in Bronze Age Mesopotamia.


But. But. But. It’s so shiny! There’s angst, betrayal, war, love, assassinations, evil crazy gods of chaos, the end of the world as we know it… What’s not to love?

Oh, right. The fact that it’s going to be about 100k long and I work full-time and have a family. And I’m only 4k in so far.