Ego Strokes

Boy covered in Post-It Notes

So many Post-Its, so little time.

I’ve been too busy keeping up with various duties, e.g. daily review of 2014, two anthologies, moderating Show Me Your Lits and posting at Write 1 Sub 1, among others, to do much personal blogging. It’s important from time to time to take stock of things and feel good about the work into which we pour our passions (take that, Grammar Police!). So, here’s a quick update from the last couple of months.

I was selected as one of FlashFiction.Net’s Favorite Authors. This may not seem like a huge deal, but even to be mentioned in the same breath as writers like Raymond Carver and Kim Chinquee, Steve Almond, and Bruce Holland-Rogers (OMG!) is pretty life affirming for a struggling artist. By my count I’ve now published just over 100,000 words in the past five years, representing something like 150 stories. It’s nice to be noticed now and again.

My fantasy story “Men Are Not Dragons” received both the Editor’s Award and Reader’s Poll Award at Fiction Vortex. This is a story that I wrote many years ago and abandoned. I returned to it late last year, chopped it down, rebuilt and polished it, and sent it to a market that seemed a good fit. I used to give up too easily.

“The Sea as a Sickness” was singled out in a review of Apocrypha and Abstractions, one of my favorite flash sites. They like it weird, which is right in my sweet spot.

“This is the kind of writing you’ll want to linger over–phrases so finely turned they’ll make you smile (“The beach was the texture of beef tongue”) and a situation so existentially piquant, you’ll want to read it again just to make sure the life guard in the story is real, and whether or not that lifeguard is really you.” – Michael Alexander Chaney, Top 10 Literary Magazines for Surreal Flash Fiction.

Perhaps the most important news is that I’ve sold a 9,000 words story to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. It should appear in the coming year and I am hopeful that reaction will be positive. The story, “Seeing,” takes place in the world of the fantasy novels now being shopped by our agent.

That’s it for now–have to get ready for work (sigh). Thanks for reading along. I hope you have a great day ahead of you.

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About Stephen

I live in beautiful New Castle, Pennsylvania with fellow writer, Susan Urbanek Linville, and a herd of reformed feral cats.

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3 Responses to Ego Strokes

  1. susan tepper says:

    Steve, I’m thrilled to hear about all these amazing things you’ve managed to accomplish, while doing so much for everyone else. It’s astonishing, really. You are the Bionic Man of Writing. Wishing you so much Good Luck with the forthcoming story and of course THE BOOK!!!!!

  2. Russell says:

    Congrats Steve and thanks for sharing. Your successes (on top of all the work you do as editor) inspire me to press on. I don’t think I’ll look at a beach the same way again.

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