Something for Everyone

A few months ago I had the honor of being published in a new anthology, Mythic Orbits Volume 2 (I also had a story in the first Mythic Orbits You should read them both!).

So anyway, I thought you’d like to know what to expect if you decide to get the book—and of course you should. All the stories are speculative fiction tales by Christian authors. The stories themselves may or may not have Christian content, but they were all written by Christians, including yours truly.

First up is “Living History” by Steve Rzasa, set in the future where humans have been subjugated by aliens and the main character works as a historical re-enactor of Earth’s past. It’s a fascinating glimpse of what it might be like to be the losers in a contest with alien invaders.

“Her Majesty’s Guardian” by Donald S. Crankshaw comes next, featuring a more medieval setting and a protagonist who works as the queen’s guardian. I can’t say much about the plot because I don’t want to reveal the twist at the end! It’s a short little gem of a story.

Following that is my own story, “Dragon Moon,” which you will have to read for yourself to decide if you like it. It involves a tattoo.

“The Other Edge” by C.W. Briar comes next, a relatively hard sci-fi story about astronauts who are the first to board an alien ship and who get a lot more than they bargained for. A gripping read.

“Seeking What’s Lost” by Cindy Koepp is set in the world of video gaming, where a bereaved mother is doing a final run-through of her game program and grieving for the loss of her children at the same time. Touching and relatable for anyone who’s had kids.

C.O. Bonham’s story, “Recalled from the Red Planet,” is probably the most overtly Christian of the stories in this anthology. A teenage boy living on Mars is forced to evaluate his life when a stunning Biblical prophesy fulfillment occurs, changing his world forever.

“The Workshop at the End of the World” by Kristin Janz is a fresh take on the lore surrounding Santa and his elves. A fun holiday read.CC

William Bontrager’s story, “They Stood Still,” is much longer than most of the others and will require more investment from the reader. A combat vet suffering from PTSD experiences the surreal sensation of being the only living, moving being in a world where time has frozen. This one also has a Christian message, one that many will be able to identify with.

“The Memory Dance” by A.K. Meek starts with a car crash during a blizzard, leaving a man and his young daughter trying to find shelter before they freeze to death. What they find is rather unsettling.

Keturah Lamb’s story, “Unerella,” asks the question, what if you were one of the girls in “Cinderella” who went to the ball but didn’t get the prince? I love stories like this with a fresh take on a familiar tale.

And finally, “Mark the Days” by Kat Heckenbach is another heavy-hitter and one of the longer stories. This one also has a Christian theme, and an intriguing premise. I struggled with the ending, though. I felt like I was too stupid to understand it. I don’t normally think of myself as stupid, so I will probably reread this one and see if I get it the second time!

All in all, this collection of stories is well worth your time. Everything from medieval fantasy to futuristic sci-fi and magic realism are represented here. Some of them will no doubt spark your own imagination—and that’s the point, isn’t it?

Genre Jumping

In my last post I mentioned a poetry project, and also several short stories that have been published or are about to be. I focus on fiction a lot, because I love it, but here’s the thing: what I really love are stories. Stories and words. So I don’t just write one thing.

I write poems, and that particular activity feeds a part of me that nothing else can satisfy.

I write short stories, and for some reason that I don’t know, my short stories almost all fall into the category of “magic realism,” though there are a couple of science fiction tales in the bunch.

I write novels, all of which are either fantasy or science fantasy.

I write essays, many of which incorporate a true-life story and what I learned from it, because stories are such a powerful way of learning something about yourself or about your world.

Finally, I write memoirs, because I am arrogant enough to believe that I’ve lived a life worth remembering. I don’t want my memories to be lost. I want my descendants to know what kind of technology-free childhood I had, growing up in rural Africa. I don’t think I’ve mentioned lately that my Africa memoir is still available. This particular book deals just with my life at a small mission boarding school in Zambia, but it’s also ultimately about being a kid and learning (one hopes) not to be jerk. Treat yourself for Christmas!

http://www.lulu.com/shop/linda-burklin/this-rich-wondrous-earth/paperback/product-20566208.html

 

Bad News, Good News

I haven’t updated here for a while. The last few weeks have been insanely busy, so rather than report on every detail of my writing life, I’ll just hit the highlights.

  • I attended the DFW Con (a writers’ conference) for the second time late in April. I had three agents request my work. Two asked for the novel I was officially pitching, and the other for a novel I asked for help with. One agent rejected me within hours and I have yet to hear from the other two, but it hasn’t been ridiculously long yet.
  • One of the fellow writers I met offered to critique the beginning of a novel I was having trouble with, and she gave me some very helpful feedback which made revising so much easier. Furthermore, she got back in touch with me recently to ask how things are going. I really appreciate that.
  • While waiting to hear from the other two agents, I decided to send out some short stories a week ago. One was rejected quite quickly—but I was invited to submit again, so I believe that means the quality of my writing was acceptable.
  • Today when I returned home from church I found an email from the editor of a publication I had sent one of my stories to. She likes the story but asked me to make a tiny little change, which I was happy to do because she was right. She is seriously considering it and will let me know if I make it “in” sometime in the next few weeks. This is good news!
  • I have some teenage girls reading that new novel beginning I worked on, and am eagerly awaiting their feedback.
  • I am also working on improving the class I’ll be teaching at a local writers’ conference next month. My daughter is helping me put together an image that I dreamed up to help people remember the basics of world building.
  • I am gearing up to plunge into writing the rest of the first draft of the book I started during National Novel Writing Month. I am really jazzed about this story. I can’t wait to get back to it.

So, as you can see, although I might have been silent on this blog, I have not been idle! I am encouraged by the fact that I seem to be making at least a little bit of headway. I have several other short stories that I intend to send out over the next few days. I am going to try to commit to sending stuff out on a continual basis, in hopes that eventually some of it will be accepted.