“Accepted & Rejected stories”

February was a month that “crashed & burned” from a writing perspective.

Other than my foray into flash fiction, nothing got accomplished. My NaNoWriMo novel sits unedited, a short story had little added, and my writing nook didn’t get organized.

Like most, juggling real life and its numerous commitments often pushes passions and pleasures to the back burner. However, a couple emails I received today might be enough to light a fire for March.

Email one was a rejection letter from a publisher for a short story I had submitted for their anthology. Rather than a basic form letter however, I received words of encouragement saying that while they enjoyed my story, it didn’t meet the theme for this anthology. They suggested a future collection would be a good home and to resubmit it then.

The second email made the smile on my face even wider. My short story “A Troll by any other name…” found a new home as a reprint for a year with a small press publisher in Manitoba, Canada. Only eight stories made the cut for this anthology, mine included.

A new month brings new goals, and motivation to see them through, wish me luck!


Adventures in creating “Flash Fiction”

A regional publisher (Engen Books) along with a local photographer (Kit Sora Photography) have offered a series of  contests entitled; “Flash Fiction Photography Contest”, and I tried my hand at it.

Flash Fiction is something I haven’t tried before, so a little homework was in order. As best as I could tell, anything between six (6) words and 1000 words is “Flash Fiction”, though there seems to be several sub-categories within that limit.

The rules seemed simple enough, write a piece of fiction inspired by the supplied photo in 250 words or less, seemed simple enough right? I should have known…

Draft 1: 458 words

  • I could tell right off that I was way over the limit, but I wrote it to the end. I felt finishing a complete story would give me a firm idea of what was important to the tale and what was unnecessary.

Draft 2: 336 words

  • My first major cutting was easy enough, I tend to “babble-write” so with some simple editing and liberal use of the red pen, I felt good about where it was going.

Draft 3: 269 words

  • This was by far the hardest draft for me to work on. I scrutinized each word to see if there was a way to convey meaning with fewer words, losing none of the impact. I also found that I swapped words (one for one) often in this edit, to find the “perfect” word.

Draft 4: 247 words

  • Three words under the limit, Hooray!!! I’m done right? Well, I thought so. Somewhat pleased with myself, I reached out to a writer friend (thanks Jenn) and asked her opinion. She suggested I cut the first 25% of my story, and to use those “extra” words to expand upon the ending.

Draft 5: 247 words

  • After cutting out the first quarter of my story and expanding upon the ending, I’m feeling good about my first piece of flash fiction. I will sit on it for a day or two, then give it a final “polish” before sending it off to the publisher.

This has been quite the experiment for me, one which took little time to do, but had big payoffs in skills learned. A worthy exercise for authors of all skill and ability, try it!

Returning Rocker: Peter J. Foote announced as returning for ‘Chillers from the Rock’!

My latest published story has just been announced.

Engen Books

Fantasy from the Rock, coverEngen Books is proud to announce the triumphant return of author Peter J. Foote to this year’s From the Rock collection, Chillers from the Rock.

Foote is the first of our announced authors to have performed a ‘hat trick,’ with his submissions gaining entry into each of the three modern From the Rock volumes. His story ‘The Silence Between Moons’ appeared in 2016’s Sci-Fi from the Rock and ‘A Troll by Any Other Name…’ in 2017’s Fantasy from the Rock. Foote has proven himself to be a renaissance man of genre fiction, capable of rising to the occasion of any challenge thrown his way. As competition over placement in the From the Rock series has improved, so has Foote steadily grown in his authorial abilities. His newest story in titled ‘A Friend in Shadow.’

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My year in review


Since I call myself a “hobby” author, my world was filled with things other than writing, but I was able to be productive.

In January I created a Facebook group “Genre Writers of Atlantic Canada”, as a supportive place for genre writers of ANY skill or ability to ask questions, seek feedback, network, and have a friendly place to just connect. We have people that have never been published to USA Today Bestselling Authors and everything in between, go #GWOAC !

In April I was published for the second time with Engen Books in their “Fantasy from the Rock” anthology. They were good enough to include my short story; “A Troll by any other name…” into their collection, along with over a dozen talented regional authors. Many thanks Engen!

My summer was pretty slack in the writing department due to my fiance and I buying a new house and moving, though I was able to set up a tiny writers nook in our den downstairs.

In November I took the plunge and signed myself up for NaNoWriMo. I had no idea if I had a 50K novel in me, or if I could churn one out in 30 days, but with a lot of hard work, an outline, and the support of my friends in “Genre Writers of Atlantic Canada”, I was able to do it.

So, what does 2018 have in store for my writing?

The big thing that NaNoWriMo taught me was that I work best with a near future deadline, so I’ve decided to set myself monthly writing goals. These not be huge achievements, but rather small measurable steps, building upon a solid foundation. For January   1. Make a start editing my NaNoWriMo novel.
2. Get a draft done of a new short story, not sure which one to focus on though at the moment. I find I have a lot of ideas, but struggle to expand upon them.
3. Hunt for and submit my two previously published short stories to reprint markets.

New Release: The Coldest December by Diane Tibert | What to Read

With the 100th anniversary of this event just a few short weeks ago, this book is timely and sure to be a great read.

The Book Closet

An amazing new release by Quarter Castle Publishing, an absolute steal on eBook right now for $2.99. Check it out here.

The Halifax Explosion was the result of the SS Imo, a Norwegian vessel, colliding with the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship, in the Narrows of the Halifax Harbour on the morning of Thursday December 6, 1917, eleven months before the end of the First World War. The Mont-Blanc was carrying highly explosive picric acid, benzol, TNT and gun cotton.

The exact number of dead and injured people in Dartmouth and Halifax is unknown. The cities bustled with wartime activity, and many people passed through, heading to one destination or another. It is impossible to know if all bodies were recovered or counted. In one interview from 1957, a man who helped make grave markers said more than 3,000 were needed.

The confirmed deaths were 1,950…

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