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Improbability is in the Details
Abra Staffin-Wiebe's Journal
Recent Entries 
4th-Jul-2013 12:08 am - [sticky post] Where the Abra is at
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Seems about the right time for another game of "Where's Abra?"

Stories!

2015 - A Circus of Brass and Bone Book Release



Would you enjoy escaping into a post-apocalyptic steampunk novel about a circus traveling through the collapse of civilization? A Circus of Brass and Bone is available in trade paperback through Amazon and in ebook format through all major online retailers. Published writing as Abra SW.

Amazon | Google Play | Smashwords | B&N | Apple | and many others

Trade paperback: $13.99, Ebook: $3.99

Discover more stories at my website!


Upcoming conventions I'm attending!

4th Street Fantasy Convention, June 26-28th

CONvergence, July 2nd - 5th

Enjoy an A Circus of Brass and Bone reading at the CONvergence convention in Minneapolis!

11 a.m. on July 5, 2015

There will be donuts!

I will also be speaking on panels at this convention! Exactly which panels ... well ... I'm still waiting to find out.

Online

I'm in a lot of places! Mostly these are all their own thing, but there is some information that I post to all of these, like my market list updates, new publications, and other major news (writing-related or not).

http://www.aswiebe.com/ - My website. Home base for my writing. The best place to find things I've written.

Livejournal - Here! I don't post as often on Livejournal as I used to, but I tend to keep my longer daily life posts and the important life updates over here, along with the occasional photo or recipe post.

Facebook - Short updates about my life, bemused writing-related comments, as well as random links I enjoy or find useful. You know. I use it like most people do.

Twitter - Mostly SF/F and writing market-related posts these days.

Google+ - Personal stuff, by and large. This is where I put most of my little updates about my life and my family.

Goodreads - Strictly business. This is my author account on Goodreads, not the personal one that I deluge with my to-reads.

Etc. - G+, Pinterest, Flickr, and so on. These are other, more specialized social networks.

7th-Feb-2016 10:33 pm - Happy Almost-Valentine's-Day!
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Since we didn't get this out by Christmas ... or New Years ... I suppose this qualifies as a Valentine's Day Letter? Happy Valentine's Day! Hug the ones you love.




Unlike the unusually warm first part of winter, our year has been blessedly ordinary, with no calamities or commotions (knock on wood). Cassius began preschool this year. Theia started talking up a storm and developing one heck of a personality. Phil's work went crazy. All of these changes are the kind that occur as time goes on. We even managed to find a little time to have our first real family vacation (not work-related, not visiting extended family) in November.

For the last few months, Phil has been working more than ever, as his company starts using a new machine to make new products. They've had all the problems and late hours that one would expect from any start-up project. Phil's been working 14- to 16-hour days on a regular basis, which means that I've been doing a lot of single-parenting. Originally, this was supposed to be done by end of the year, but since things haven't been going well, it looks like it will continue on into the new year. Oh, goodie.

Cassius has started preschool. He absolutely loves it, although he is more interested in the toys than in the other kids. We've also learned that he has a fine motor skills delay that makes drawing and writing more difficult for him, and a social/emotional development delay. He'll be getting assistance with that beginning this year.

Although Abra's had the usual two-small-children difficulties with finding time to work on her own projects, she's sold a few short stories this year and there are other developments on the horizon. Most recently, "In Their Image" is up as a podcast AND as text over at Escape Pod! Warning: contains religious philosophy. And fluffy pink murderbear aliens!

Overall, next year looks like it will be a good one, as various work projects come to fruition, the kids grow more independent, and more adventures are planned.

Phil & Abra

& Cassius & Theia

20th-Jan-2016 03:11 pm - Recipe: Ginger Cookies
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Finally posting this so that I can get that piece of paper I scribbled notes on off my desk! Original recipe from Dana as part of her dairy-free, soy-free recipes.

Ginger Cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/4 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. cooking oil
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 c. sugar + 1 tsp. cinnamon (for rolling in)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine half the flour (1 1/8 c.) with other ingredients except sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Beat on medium speed while gradually adding the rest of the flour.

Shape into 1" dough balls, roll in sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place on greased cookie sheet.

For crispy cookies, bake 11-12 min at 375 degrees. They will still be soft when removed from oven. Let sit on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before moving to cooling rack. (For softer cookies, bake 8+ minutes until sugar starts to crack.)
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Market List Logo

http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html

The next update of Aswiebe's Market List will be after 1/15/2016.
Permanent link to this newsletter in the archives: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/archive2015.html#121315


Random Thoughts
Writers often divide the elements of a story up into categories: plot, character, theme, subtext, symbolism, setting, action, and so forth. The strictness of those divisions, however, is at least somewhat artificial. As I write, I'm going to try to remember the ways I can make one category do the work of another.

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Market List Logo

http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html

The next update of Aswiebe's Market List will be after 12/15/2015.
Permanent link to this newsletter in the archives: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/archive2015.html#112115

Random Thoughts
Many writers feel like time is a limitation on their writing ability. With two small kids at home, you can bet I'm one of them. I often try to squeeze in a little distracted, multitasking writing-related work wherever I can: on the bus, at the library while the kids play, waiting for preschool to open, and so forth. Recently I realized that sometimes this leaves me feeling more burnt-out--and less productive--when my actual dedicated writing time comes around. The moral of the story? I'll let you know if I figure it out. It seems finding balance is a constant, ever-changing struggle.
What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
Thinking about 2016! I've got several things in progress.
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This is what the numbers look like after a few years of writing and occasionally getting things published.

Important dates and numbers

First publication: 2003
First pro publication: 2009
First super-pro publication: 2014
First child born: 8/2011
Second child born: 11/2013

(And yes, the dates my children were born absolutely matter to the chronology and amount of things have been written and published!)



Publications by year (includes reprint sales and micro-fiction)

2003: 2
2004-2005: 0
2006: 1
2007-2008: 0
2009: 3
2010: 3
2011: 1
2012: 7
2013: 2
2014: 4
2015 (to date): 2
2016 (sold to date): 1

Current status of sales and stories (does not include micro-fiction)

2 short stories accepted, publication pending (one of these is really old and will probably never happen, but it's a non-exclusive reprint sale, so ::shrug::).
1 recently published short story, still in the exclusive post-pub period.
11 trunked short stories/nonfiction articles, some of which were never published, some of which were published but which I think aren't worth the hassle of trying to get reprinted.
1 trunked novel.
1 novel to edit that is halfway trunked.
1 independently published serial novel.
10 short stories to edit.
21 short stories/nonfiction to submit as reprints, previously published.
1 short story in the long-tail afterlife.
6 short stories currently out for submissions.
1 short story to finish (not currently working on).
2 novels to finish (not currently working on).
2 novels to finish (writing RIGHT NOW).*

Actual published stories can be found here: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/biblio.html

*
Not exactly what the half-dragon, half-succubus in the fluffy urban fantasy I'm writing actually looks like, but quite representative of what you find if you try googling such things. Also, a surprisingly large number of such illustrations resemble Angelina Jolie. Just sayin'.
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Market List Logo

http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html

The next update of Aswiebe's Market List will be after 11/15/2015.
Permanent link to this newsletter in the archives: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/archive2015.html#101515

Random Thoughts
Someday, I'm going to get around to properly organizing and sorting my social media using all those useful tools out there. Today is not that day. Ironically, I bet that social media would have lots of good suggestions, too.
What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
The Journal of Unlikely Academia's newest issue is all about unlikely academia! Librarians, monsters, teachers, metaphysics, and more. It includes my story, "And Other Definitions of Family," about a xeno-anthropologist who takes a very intimate approach to field research.

Excerpt:
She didn't have a client appointment scheduled, but they all knew she welcomed drop-ins. She checked the peep-cam. Optimal lighting, background soundscape, clothing level, hairstyle, and pheromone spray all depended on the client's species. Her eyebrows lifted involuntarily when she saw the bat-like Bitocktee male at her door.

"You are the female human who rents out her reproductive system?" his translator chirped.

Read more (free!) in The Journal of Unlikely Academia online or sign up for their free newsletter to download the issue as an ebook.

Things Shiny or Useful
Archive of all shiny or useful links: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/shiny.html

The Five Free Tools of Social Media Success for Writers [social media]: http://services4authors.com/2015/09/16/the-five-free-tools-of-social-media-success-for-writers/
A Map to Get Out of Writer’s Block [motivation]: http://nybookeditors.com/2013/03/a-map-to-get-out-of-writers-block/

Featured Market
Apex's Christmas Invasion is a flash fiction contest all about, well, Christmas invasions!

That’s right. This year our flash fiction contest is all about Christmas invasions. Whether your invaders are robots, aliens, or sentient Christmas ornaments is completely up to you, but if you want to win, you must write us a story no longer than 250 words that deals with an invasion and Christmas.

The basics: SF/Fantasy/Horror, less than 250 words, winners receive $.06/word. Guidelines at http://www.apexbookcompany.com/blogs/frontpage/46103937-apexs-annual-flash-fiction-contest.
Market List Updates
To see all the details about these new listings and what they're looking for, as well as hundreds of other listings, go to Aswiebe's Market List and download the latest version of the spreadsheet.

Name What they want Pay Per Word – Fiction Flat Pay – Fiction (Lowest) Website
Apex's Annual Flash Fiction Contest - due 10/15 - 11/16 ONE-TIME theme: Christmas invasion $0.0600
http://www.apexbookcompany.com/blogs/frontpage/46103937-apexs-annual-flash-fiction-contest
Stiff Things ONE-TIME ANTHOLOGY - DUE 3/1/2016 OR UNTIL FILLED Erotic horror $0.0300
http://www.cometpress.us/books/stiffthings/guidelines.html
Division By Zero ANTHOLOGY SERIES All spec-fic $0.0100
http://www.mifiwriters.org/submissions/
Space and Time Magazine All spec-fic, especially mixed genre $0.0100
http://spaceandtimemagazine.com/wp/submissions/
Cyclopean Spec-fic $0.0100
http://www.cyclopeanpress.com/#submissions
What Dwells Below ONE-TIME ANTHOLOGY - DUE 1/1/2016 Horror themed to sewers
$25.00 http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/open_subs.htm
There Will Be War ONE-TIME ANTHOLOGY DUE UNTIL FILLED Hard SF, adventure, and space opera themed to war
$100.00 http://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/the-evils-of-the-day-accepting-submissions-for-there-will-be-war/
Book Smugglers Novella Initiative ONE-TIME OPENING - DUE 5/30/2016 Spec-fic novellas
$100.00 http://thebooksmugglers.com/2015/09/book-smugglers-publishing-announcing-the-novella-initiative-and-open-call.html
2016 Climate Fiction Short Story (Arizona State University) ONE-TIME CONTEST - DUE 1/15/2016 The future as impacted by climate change
$1,000.00 https://climateimagination.asu.edu/clificontest/
Eldritch Press (Online) - DEAD MARKET (no short stories) All spec-fic $0.0300
http://www.eldritchpress.com/submission-guidelines.html
Insatiable (White Cat Publications) - DEAD MARKET Paranormal romance $0.0300
http://www.whitecatpublications.com/?page_id=1995
West Pigeon Press - DEAD MARKET All spec-fic $0.0300


Aswiebe's Market List
* Aswiebe's Market List is a searchable, sortable spreadsheet of paying fantasy, science fiction, and horror markets. This way it's easy to find, for example, only horror markets that accept reprints greater than 10,000 words. For more information on what it is and how to use it, see About Aswiebe.com's Market Spreadsheet.
* If you find it useful, please consider donating via PayPal to help support it.
* To help prevent these from being flagged as spam, please add this email to your contacts. Thanks!
* Feel free to forward this email on to people you think might find it useful. If you're so moved, go ahead and link to Aswiebe's Market List on your blog or webpage.
* To report a new paying market, go to my contact page.
* To unsubscribe, simply reply to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.
* You can also get market list updates through social media by following my RSS feed, Livejournal, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account. But social media sites come and go, so the email newsletter is probably the most reliable method.

Links
Aswiebe's Market List
About Aswiebe's Market List
Abra Staffin-Wiebe's main website
Abra Staffin-Wiebe's blog

Keep writing, keep submitting, and good luck!

Abra Staffin-Wiebe, Compiler of Lists

Feel free to share this newsletter with others by whatever means you like, as long as you include all of it. If you want to subscribe to this email newsletter, go here. To unsubscribe, simply reply to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.
4th-Oct-2015 04:01 pm - Unlikely Academia
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Stories about unlikely academia! Librarians, monsters, teachers, metaphysics, and more. The Journal of Unlikely Academia includes my story, "And Other Definitions of Family," about a xeno-anthropologist who takes a very intimate approach to field research. And big congrats to the publishers, Unlikely Story, on becoming an #SFWApro qualified market.




Excerpt:

She didn't have a client appointment scheduled, but they all knew she welcomed drop-ins. She checked the peep-cam. Optimal lighting, background soundscape, clothing level, hairstyle, and pheromone spray all depended on the client's species. Her eyebrows lifted involuntarily when she saw the bat-like Bitocktee male at her door.

Alien males were generally as keen as human males on sticking their dick or other species-appropriate appendage in new and interesting places. Representatives of most other species with a culture-and-commerce post on Nueva Nova had found their way to her door, but this was her first Bitocktee. A burst of interest shot through her. Then she got a better look at him, and wariness tempered her first reaction.

She'd studied alien body language at Berkeley. This male's leathery wings curved tightly to shield his abdominal pouch, his claws peeked out of their sheaths, and his cheek quills quivered in the defensive erect position. Human xenologists had large gaps in their knowledge of Bitocktee, but that was aggressive, not amorous, posturing.

May tightened her robe, in case he might find a glimpse of human mammaries disturbing, pulled her hip-length black hair up into in a bun, pasted a nonthreatening closed-mouth smile on her face, and opened the door. She held an alarm buzzer just in case. Nobody called her stupid, not unless they paid extra for the privilege. In advance.

"You are the female human who rents out her reproductive system?" his translator chirped.

Read more (free!) in The Journal of Unlikely Academia online or sign up for their free newsletter to download the issue as an ebook. If you like the story, tell a friend or comment on the issue page.
park
Market List Logo

http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html

The next update of Aswiebe's Market List will be after 10/15/2015.
Permanent link to this newsletter in the archives: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/archive2015.html#091515

An Iota of Interest
One of the pieces of writing advice that is often heard is, "Focus on one project. Finish what's in front of you first." That's all well and good until you're deep in the weeds of editing and your writer's soul is crying out for something! anything! more creative to do.

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
Gritting my teeth and plowing through edits on my main project. Of course, this has left my creative side running in circles like an insane gerbil. As a sanity-preserving measure, I've started up a side project to write on for half an hour on those days when I don't expect to get to the writing part of "writing." It's a fluffy urban fantasy about a half-dragon, half-succubus in a magic traveling hotel. I don't even plan to submit this to any major book publishers unless my writing group (unexpectedly) adores it. However, right now it's just what I need to write. A little. Sometimes. When I can't write on another project.

Things Shiny or Useful

Shinies will return next month.

Archive of all shiny or useful links: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/shiny.html

Featured Market
Metaphorosis wants fantasy and science fiction, broadly defined.

Nothing is out of bounds; we don’t want to set limits on imagination. However, we’re less likely to be interested in military SF, time travel, vampires, or zombies.

Vegan bonus points!
The basics: SF/Fantasy, any length, pays $.01/word, no reprints. Guidelines at http://magazine.metaphorosis.com/guidelines/.


Market List Updates
To see all the details about these new listings and what they're looking for, as well as hundreds of other listings, go to Aswiebe's Market List and download the latest version of the spreadsheet.
Read more...Collapse )
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park
Market List Logo

http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/markets.html

The next update of Aswiebe's Market List will be after 9/15/2015.
Permanent link to this newsletter in the archives: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/archive2015.html#081915

An Iota of Interest
Every moment is the beginning of something. That thought helps me when I'm stuck in the middle of the writing process.

What I've been up to lately, writing-wise:
Weeell, the Jack Sparrow "faces of writing" sums it up pretty well. I moved from the writing draft stage to the editing stage. Picture not inserted here because of copyright, but you can see it here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/462041242997659735/

Things Shiny or Useful
Archive of all shiny or useful links: http://www.aswiebe.com/writing/shiny.html
* 225 Hashtags for Writers [marketing]: http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2015/04/225-hashtags-for-writers.html

Featured Market
Farstrider Magazine wants fantasy of all kinds, especially lighter fantasy. The current submission period closes 8/31/2015.

We are a Fantasy magazine, and we welcome submissions of all types that can fall under that umbrella.  We may become more selective over time, but as we get started here I'd like to cast as wide a net as possible and see what mysterious and unique stories can be pulled out from the deep.  Of course, we still have our preferences.  We are partial to lighter stories of whimsy and wonder, and would love to see stories with a sense of humor along the lines of Terry Pratchett, Gail Carriger, or a World of Warcraft quest about lost dwarven ale.   These are the stories that will likely rise to the top, but don't let that keep you from submitting something outside the boundaries of this guideline if it is one that you are particularly proud of.
The basics: Fantasy, 1,000 - 4,000 words, pays $.03/word, no reprints. Guidelines at http://www.farstridermag.com/submit.html.

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