Reworking a Draft

when do you just have to let it go?

Everyone knows nothing’s perfect after the first draft.

But how many drafts are you supposed to write? Where is that fine line between honing a work and polishing a turd? When do you accept something as a failure–nay, a learning experience?

I think the answer is when it is holding you back.

Perhaps you’re too focused on that one piece that you’re neglecting to think of others. What you imagined was your opus is now your albatross. Something a colleague once said to me in the editing room, “You just have to let it go, man.”

Let it go.*

Sounds easy, sure. But, wow. It’s not.

Continue reading “Reworking a Draft”

Reviews are in for Redwing!

The first review came in for Redwing: Speculative Fiction Takes Flight. It is a glowing review from fantasy magazine Black Gate that also includes an enlightening discussion about the increasing visibility of small presses and what that means for niche readers and writers.

Be sure to check it out and discover other amazing authors in Redwing!

Quarter Castle Chronicles… chronicled

I am extremely thrilled and humbled to share that Quarter Castle Chronicles, Volume One, is now available in print and e-book!

Quarter Castle Chronicles ~ Volume One showcases 13 short stories by 12 Canadian authors. They take place in settings across the country, both in the present and the past. From the rugged coast of Newfoundland to the streets of Vancouver, we are flung to far off places like Romania and Swaffham Prior. The authors spin tales of life, survival, death and the realm beyond.

The Chronicles include the winners and honourable mentions of the 2014 Quarter Castle Short Story contest. My piece, Working Title, was the winning story, which humbles me so greatly I’m sitting on the ground as I write.*

Please, check it out and be still my pride.

*That’s a lie. It’s an office chair. But I’m on the setting closest to the ground. You’ll just have to trust me on that.

Consider the Working Title Worked

I’m happy to share that one of my works has been included in the latest issue of WomenArts Quarterly Journal.

Based out of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, WomenArts Quarterly Journal (WAG) is:

an initiative of Women in the Arts, aspires to nurture, provide support, and challenge women of all cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and abilities in their role in the arts and seeks to heighten the awareness and understanding of the achievements of women creators, by providing audiences with historical and contemporary examples of the work of women writers, composers, and artists.

And thus I am really proud to be included in their ranks.

Continue reading “Consider the Working Title Worked”

Unmasked with Crab Fat!

A short story of mine – a slightly awkward New Journalism-inspired piece – is up online at Crab Fat Literary Magazine.

Unmasked! is an expose of the long-since retired superhero as he at long last reveals his true identity to the world.

I’m quite pleased with this piece, but I’ve been sitting on it for a while. It’s such an odd little number that it’s been hard to place with a publication. (Naturally, a magazine called Crab Fat seemed the logical solution.)

The Review is in!

The first review came in for Redwing: Speculative Fiction Takes Flight. It is a glowing review from fantasy magazine Black Gate that also includes an enlightening discussion about the increasing visibility of small presses and what that means for niche readers and writers.

“Ticker Tape Kings” by Ashleigh Rajala is next, a time travel story unlike any I’ve read. It plays around with tenses and with conventions — not so much conventions of time travel, but of time travel stories. Elegantly written, it gives the protagonist a difficult character-based choice to make, and follows her as she makes it.

Thank you so much, Black Gate!

Presenting Redwing

2aceedf2-c678-4d53-9ed0-bfac020cbad0Ah ha! The much awaited publication of Redwing is here!

Redwing: Speculative Fiction Takes Flight is available as an e-book for Kindle and Kobo. With ten stories for $2.99, that’s mere pennies per mind-blowing experience!

Somewhere within that epic of majesty is my piece, Ticker Tape Kings… a strange meditation on time travel and the realities of the past. I hope you enjoy it; I’m rather proud.

A ROOM of My Own… Bad Puns

37.1-web (1)I have a short story in the latest issue of Room, Canada’s oldest literary journal by and about women! This print journal is available at bookstores around Canada (if you’re lucky enough to a.) live in Canada, and b.) frequent bookstores, and c.) be capable of reading things undeliverable via an electronic device).

The piece is called Kings Cross, a short segment I had been working on for a while, and seemed perfectly at home in this issue about Fashion, Trend, and Personal Style 37.1.

Please check it out as there are many other great pieces by other exciting writers, such as the lovely and talented Taryn Hubbard!

Fiction and Festivities with Sassafras Literary Magazine

The pleasure is mine to announce – imaginary megaphone in hand – that I have a piece published in the most recent issue of Sassafras Literary Magazine.

In their sixth issue, Sassafras, have gathered an excellent collection of other short works of art, poetry, fiction and non-fiction that I am proud to be in the company of. They are all far too talented to end sentences with prepositions, as I have just done.

skc3a4rmavbild-2013-11-25-kl-16-15-19The piece is the first page of a novel that I completed a first draft on almost two years ago and have left to quietly simmer in the distance ever since.

Coal Dust is narrated by a recently deceased teenager, Jamie. But it is not a fantasy. Jamie is not in heaven, is not a ghost, is not anything of the sort. He is simply dead. This is also not Jamie’s story. It is the story of Jamie’s two half-siblings, Caroline and Stuart (step-siblings to each other), and how they struggle to redefine themselves after the death of the one person who might have made them a family.

Jamie as narrator began as an experiment. Is it possible to have a narrator simultaneously omniscient and first person? I think it turned out quite well, but as a writer, I have that horrible affliction where I am completely unable to be objective.

Alas, I ramble. Such is my right and my shame.

Please do not judge Sassafras because of my arrogance. They are awesome.

Scary monsters lurk in jungles like the

So I got a message today from Lulu, the self-publishing megaliths that currently have my book, The Savannah Stories. Normally, to put your book on it costs money. Either you sign your life over to Lulu, who act as your agent, and thus lose some of your property rights (which I wasn’t that stoked about doing), OR you simply pay a nice little fee to Amazon (which I also wasn’t that stoked about doing). Well, it seems that they have selected my book, for whatever godforsaken/godblessed reason to put up on Amazon for free! No strings attached! No skin off my back. Book is the same price, I get the same percentage, they’ve taken the cut. Hm. And I still have copyright control. Simply too good to be true? Have I missed some fine print? I didn’t have to do anything? It’s available there as we speak. In the immortal words of Keanu Reeves: “Whoa.”