Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Project: Independent Women Anthology

I have it on amazing authority that Indie Writing/Publishing is in a sort of "golden age" of the short story. When I first started in the Indie crowd, one of the first anthologies I spotted was one called Synchronic. Within those pages, I read and enjoyed a number of new writers. Samuel Peralta was one, with his lovely story Hereafter, and he has, in turn, created another revival of amazing shorts with his Future Chronicles anthologies (I, of course, was modestly published in the Dragon Chronicles, my short story The Book of Safkhet being very fun to write and nicely received by readers.)

I've also had my short story "Undead Girl" accepted for publishing in an upcoming anthology called UnCommon Bodies, which from what I can see from hanging out in the "staff breakroom" is going to be simply amazing. I can't wait to post more about that as we get closer to its publishing date in November.

So I had been thinking about sponsoring an anthology of my specialty for a long time. Women authors have been something I've been promoting and encouraging since 1998, when I first published the Third Wave feminist web zine Women Writers. (Which is still amazing, by the way-- check it out and read over our stuff there. Some of it might be a few years old but still great.) I've been doing this "promote women authors" thing for a long time-- way before Indie got supported by Amazon and elsewhere, so it seems like a natural fit for me to curate an anthology. 

So I was mulling the idea over when I saw the Dark Beyond the Stars anthology, which released a few months ago. That one wasn't overtly "Feminist" in its title, but it featured incredibly talented women I've come to know online in the "indie" hallways and I thought, at first, that they had covered the market.

Then I thought "no way! There's no way that one anthology covers all the amazing talented writing by and about women out there." So I put up a post about it on FB, asked a few writers I thought might be interested, and sure enough, it seems to have struck a chord with a lot of people. So we're doing it.

The website with the official "call for submissions" is here, at DaydreamsDandelions.com. It's pretty amazing, and I will post more updates as time goes on. Maybe even a blog where I'll have guest authors and other kinds of info... that's coming soon. I plan to host a contest for talented cover artists to try out for the chance to design the cover for us.

I'm footing the bill for the advance stuff, and we are going to pay contributors a modest fee for their work, and then, the rest of any profits will go to the Pixel Project for ending Violence Against Women. That's going to be amazing.

So far, I have interest from a lot of big names in Indie and some Traditional Published authors. I really hope to get a lot of buzz, and some amazing stories. I even sort of half hope we'll have so many stories that we have to publish more than one volume... we'll see about that, won't we? In the meantime, I encourage everyone to think about what it means to live in this culture, where women are freer than they've ever been, but where we often feel like those freedoms are a fingernail away from being taken back, where some people seem to treasure the idea of women being considered inferior, still. Where hard won rights are being fought over, still, after all this time.

I come from a long line of Independent Women. My Great-Grandmother was the community's Midwife, and lived to be over 100, as my Grandmother worked outside the home as a telephone operator and my mom was a Naval engineering tech, a nurse, a bartender, and an all around tough chick who once shamed a guy who had pulled a sawed off shotgun on someone in a bar where she was working to stand down through the sheer power of her "Give that to me!" command.

I hope to encourage more women to try that dream of publication again. That story you've been meaning to write? Go for it. If it's an interesting, well-written, thought provoking idea with something related to women's issues.  Intersectionality, WOC, and differently abled, trans, or GLB/GSD* (Gender and Sexual Diversities) authors and/or story focuses will be especially appreciated. Anything that is well-written and explores women's issues in some creative, interesting way will be considered. Feminism, womanism, life, fun, morality, sci-fi, fantasy, you name it, we'd like to see it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

100 Years (give or take)

Give or take a few, we've got around 100 years on this planet, this blue, impossibly beautiful, swirling living organism.

And guess what?

We're all here at about the same time.

Think about that. There was a long time before and aeons after we are sharing this space together. How incredibly special that relationship between all of us here, alive, right now. Right here, in this space, hurtling through infinity. We're all together. For better or worse, here we are.

Sometimes it's too easy (all the time it seems for some) to forget that. Someone is cruel, hurtful, or just cuts you off in traffic, says something mean to you. Or worse. I know people have it worse, far worse. It's so easy to forget how tiny, how short in the span of infinity, that trip we're all taking through the bright, warm, loud mead hall, sparrows flying through a confused moment and darkness on either side.

All of our differences, our petty and not so petty issues... in a 100 years, where will they be?

How lucky I feel to be here with you. You beautiful human life, you. 

Breathe deeply, love someone, create something, feel the sun on your face today. Won't you? We're here. Now. All of us.