Publication News and Other Odds and Ends

Publication News

I've totally fallen behind on making announcements, but if you've visited my "Publications" tab at the top of the blog, then you're up to speed. In the last three months, I've gotten three short stories accepted to literary journals - and two of them have been published (the other, in Cygnus, will be published by the end of May).

The first is in the literary journal called Hogglepot and the story is called "The Mattress Pea." As you might imagine from the title, my story has something to do with The Princess and the Pea fairy tale. Here's a little snipit:
Preshea used to be a sensitive child. Her parents held her with oven mittens so they didn’t bruise her skin. When she turned five, she cut her feet of daisy petals. When Preshea graduated from junior high, she couldn’t shake the principal’s hand for fear that the simple contact would crush her bones. Now that she was sixteen, Preshea had a better handle on her fragility. Somewhat. She still fell in love.

If you want to read the rest, please check it out here.

Again, on the theme of fairy tales, my second story called "Tick-Tock Beauty" can be found over at Mossyhearth. Unlike other journals I've been published at, you'll need to register with the site to view the whole story. It's nothing to be scared of (no viruses or anything). but I guess the site is set up that way so the  journals seem more exclusive (Maybe. Don't ask me). Here's another sneak peek:
When she had graduated school with an engineering degree, Lydia had been something of a legend. She had made herself famous with her thesis project, a sumptuous clock that stood in the middle of the student center; it made a raindrop-sound, ticking and spewing confetti whenever their football team won a game. Her clock had attracted the attention of an alumnus named Mrs. Kittell. They exchanged contact information at the unveiling party for the clock.

And if you follow this link, you'll find it here (after registering, of course).

Formspring Questions

Who are Oleander's parents? Will there be a sequel to Flour House?

Before I answer the question, let me give a little background information for any new readers who may not know about dear Ollie. Flour House is a novella (or maybe even a novelette) that I wrote in the span of four weeks while competing in a Figment contest centered on writing a serial. For the specific rules, and to read the first chapter, check out my old blog post here. I ended up winning the contest and have had the story up ever since (it needs to editing though, but that's what this summer is for! It's on my list, haha). 

Flour House is basically about a girl named Lettice Morris who entertains guests at the family bakery by telling stories in flour - her drawings wiggling within the confines of the cutting board. After long days full of school and the bakery, there's one tiny secret that keeps her going: a boy named Oleander lives in her mother's dollhouse.

Now, on to the answer!

As revealed in the story, Oleander and Noelle (his sister) know nothing about their parents because they had been abandoned as babies on Agatha's windowsill. My guess is that their real, biological parents were probably stiff-necked, sour people who had no room in their hearts for "malformed" children. I suppose they had hung onto Ollie until Noelle was born, hoping that their next child wouldn't be born as tiny as a doll. But alas, Noelle was just as small as Ollie. And that was the last straw.  

Again, this is all in theory. You may have a different opinion on what kind of parents they had been. 

I don't have plans for a sequel. I think the story ends where it should, though I'd be interested to know where you think it could continue (Oh, mysterious formspring person). But, yes, I do think Lettice and Oleander's story is quite finished. 

Birdcage Girl Announcement

While I'm at it... I want to let my blog readers know that I'll be taking down my novel-length manuscript, Birdcage Girl, by May 11th (a self-prescribed deadline). I'm serious about sending it off to agents and publishers this summer, so I'm showing it in this way. However, I can't really do anything about it at the moment with the semester puttering to an end, so that's why the take-down date is some odd weeks away. 

If you haven't already, please feel free to read it while it's still posted and let me know what you think.