Open Call for Submissions

Hey, guys, I forgot to mention that I hold a position as Submissions Editor at Bedlam Publishing. The reason I'm mentioning this is that we publish an online magazine quarterly, and we still have some space if you'd like to submit for the April issue. There's been a lot of work I've had to turn down recently (which is depressing me), and I know you guys do phenomenal stuff. So if you'd like to see your work in print and bulk up your publishing portfolio, send us your stuff! The submissions page is here:

We accept any genre. I have seen it all, and I can say that with all honesty. Just make sure it's compelling and well-written. We actually get a lot of poetry, so for all you poets out there, I'd like to encourage you to take a shot. There's a team of people who look at your work and decide, so it isn't up to me on my own, but the editor-in-chief is extremely kind and sends out personal letters to everyone so you are guaranteed not to get a form rejection. It's a great submission experience no matter what. So I'd like to encourage all of you guys to please send in your dusty old work you've had lying around that I know is high quality. Just make sure to take it off LJ first--we check for that! But I'd love to see some high quality stuff and give you some literary credits to boot. Check us out if you have the time!

Hey guys! I hope everyone here is doing well.

I try to comment as often as I can on all of your journals. I definitely read everyone's even if I don't always leave a note (to wit: one of you is going to Budapest, several of you are excelling in the martial arts, just about all of you are killing it at APAD this year, one of you is exhausted from applying to lengthy job apps at night, someone has had a migraine forever and one of you is doing great with a new form of braiding clay on EBay). I realized that I pretty much never make personal posts, so it probably seems as if I am never around, and I have stopped posting stories here, which really cuts down on my LJ presence. But I'm still hanging out here more than it might seem.

In my personal life, I'm having a lot of troubles with my hands. I don't want to get into a long medical post, but it makes it difficult to comment individually or as effusively as I'd like. But with time and patience I'm working on typing, and I am looking into voice software to help with that.

In more fun news, I'd like to announce that my website is working. It's been up for awhile, but there are still some flaws in it, so I've been hesitant to ask anyone to visit. But then I figured there's no time like the present, and also it would help if I got some feedback from people who are clicking around to point out bugs or who could give suggestions for useage. So I am going to be posting my stories there from now on, and I am inviting everyone to read my work there. I would be delighted if you'd come over and check it out! You don't have to sign up, but if you do it would also be great for me to know how that whole system works. It's completely free, and all of my 200+ stories are there in a library. I update as regularly as possible, with the exception of work that is awaiting publication or that I have signed a contract on.

I'm not trying to bug anyone or guilt anyone into anything; it's always bothered me when friends use their connections to ask people to buy things from them. This is NOT the case here, and no one should feel pressured to go to the site. I'm not tracking anyone or anything like that! It's just to let you know that I'm transitioning my work to my own independent place, and if you are interested in following me there, that would be great! Please check out if you like what I'm doing and don't be shy about sending feedback!

Also: I am interested in the idea of an agent. I know some of you have been down that path and I was wondering if you had any advice/feedback/recommendations in that regard. I have met a few in the course of my publishing who might be okay to deal with, but I thought I would pick your collective brain first and see if you've had a good experience or if you have any words of wisdom on how to proceed in this case. I am not too proud to admit that this is out of my area of expertise. So any advice is appreciated.

I hope everyone is well, and you guys have a great day!


Title: The Blinding Brightness
Author: keppiehed
Word Count: 484
Prompt: this pic: here and "glare"
A/N: Written for musemuggers, Challenge #538, Option # 2 and brigits_flame

I’m reading a book about dying. It reminds me of you, although I didn’t choose it for that reason. I thought it was going to be a mystery, or maybe a thriller. The cover was blue and the title was cryptic, and it seemed like one of those stories that people read when they are in the mood to figure out something. Instead of a wizened detective, the first page was full of pathogens and microbes, and I knew I’d wandered far afield from fiction, but I kept reading anyway. The words are dry as wood, stacking higher and higher, where you wait. I don’t want to see you peeking down, but I can’t stop each unwanted letter from soaking into my consciousness until I climb to meet you.

We say nothing for awhile. I watch you pick at your nails, an old habit that I find suddenly endearing. It’s a bit of a relief to know that I haven’t forgotten everything. “Is it as bad as they say?” I finally ask.

“What, the end?” you ask. “Nah. Well, yeah. I guess.”

I don’t have to tell you that I don’t understand.

You sigh. “I can’t describe it. You’ll just have to see.”

I am embarrassed that the tears start so soon. I was never one of those beautiful criers; my face swells red and snot flows. In the absence of a tissue, I wipe the mucous on the back on my hand but it just leaves a trail of slime on the skin. We both ignore it. “I don’t want to wait and see.”

You shrug.

“I miss you,” I say, but even that, in all its yearning, seems inadequate.

“I know,” you say, and I know you do.

I sniffle and try to stop crying, but the fear keeps rising. That book has put thoughts in my mind that I have tried to smother, and now I can’t. “I have to know that it didn’t hurt. They said you didn’t feel it, but it looked like you did. It looked like you were awake. Were you scared?”

The wind blows a strand of hair across your face, obscuring your eyes. “You know I can’t say. Ask me something else. But we only have a minute now.”

I blurt out the first question that comes to mind. “What’s your favorite memory?”

You smile, and it lights up your face. “That day with you on the lake.”

“In the boat?” I ask.

You nod, still smiling. “I’ll never forget it.”

As I reach for your hand, the light behind you intensifies in to a glare. My eyes water and I close them against the blinding brightness.

“I love you,” you say. “I love you.”

I wake up alone in darkness, your name on my lips. “I love you, too,” I say, and I imagine that wherever you are, you hear me and know it will always be true.