FlashDogs’ 2nd Anthology, Solstice, Released Today!

Exciting news!  Today is the day of the Flashdogs’ 2nd Anthology release!  The anthology is in two volumes, Solstice: Dark and Solstice: Light.  143 stories are included in both volumes, written by 48 writers.  I have been participating in weekly flash fiction contests, and have been excited to read all of the creative flash stories that these writers produce on a regular basis.  I was invited via a Golden Ticket in Grace Black’s Three Line Thursday contest to submit stories to Solstice, and embraced the opportunity!

FlashDogs Solstice Anthology, available tomorrow, 6/21/15!

FlashDogs Solstice Anthology, available today, 6/21/15!

I worked from three of the available photo prompts, (two for Solstice: Light and one for Solstice: Dark) and I enjoyed the challenge.  I got the opportunity to work with Brian S. Creek, and he gave me helpful feedback on my drafts, and I read one of his drafts as well, and am looking forward to the final version.  I’ve ordered my paper copies, and I’m eager to read the other stories.  I’m excited to see how a multitude of writers dealt with the same prompts.  Based on what I’ve read from many of these writers in the past in various online forums and the first Flashdogs anthology, I’m expecting a variety of creative approaches.

If you’re looking for a summer read, I’d encourage you to get your own paper or ebook copies of Solstice: Light and Solstice: Darkavailable via Amazon.  The UK links are available on the Flashdogs website.

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A Walk in the Woods (of Maine): Reflection and a Poem

Copyright Emily Livingstone -  2015

Copyright Emily Livingstone – 2015

First of all, exciting news!  Available tomorrow, 6/21/15, the new FlashDogs Solstice Anthology!  As posted on the FlashDogs website, “2 books.  143 stories.  48 writers.”  I’ve only read my own and one by Brian S. Creek (which was wonderful).  Can’t wait to read the others!  All stories are flash fiction inspired by photos which are either light or dark.

FlashDogs Solstice Anthology, available tomorrow, 6/21/15!

FlashDogs Solstice Anthology, available tomorrow, 6/21/15!

So the photo–this is where I’m lucky enough to spend the weekend.  My husband and I are up in a rented house in Maine on the water.  The school year is nearly over (just a few more days!), and the time here is giving me a taste of the deep, cleansing breaths to come.  It’s been a busy month, as I’ve been working on keeping up with end-of-the-year schoolwork and some personal obligations.  The end of the school year is always a tense time for the students and for me, as I have those final conversations with parents I’ve been talking to at various points throughout the year, and sometimes have to deliver tough news.  We’ve also had a tense environment at work due to budget constraints, and it’s been very hard saying goodbye to some close coworkers.

After the drive up here and listening to the beginning of Stephen King’s Duma Key (thanks for the recommendation, Lisa Pais), we’ve been in for some quality family time and relaxation with some beautiful scenery.  I woke up to my wonderful brother cooking breakfast for everyone.  We chatted for awhile and walked the beach.  My husband and I skipped rocks.  He’s much better at it, but I got a few!  Then, we headed out to poke around in some galleries and get lunch.  This afternoon, we took a walk to check out the wooded scenery at a more leisurely pace.

Copyright Emily Livingstone - 2015

Copyright Emily Livingstone – 2015

The house where we’re staying has sentimental significance to my family.  My aunt and mother, who are up here all week, used to come here as children.

smaller trail

Copyright Emily Livingstone – 2015

Copyright Emily Livingstone - 2015

Copyright Emily Livingstone – 2015

I know that I have been less than consistent with my blog in the last few months, but with the school year ending, I plan to do much better.

Copyright Emily Livingstone - 2015

Copyright Emily Livingstone – 2015

For now, a poem, written as I sit with my family on the screened-in porch, enjoying the remains of the sunset.

Dusk on the Porch

Sitting in a green rocker,

wool blanket tucked under my chin,

I am surrounded by family,

and we are wrapped in layers,

not giving into the deepening chill

now that the sun has set.

*

We hear the cries of sea gulls

and the melodic, repetitive gong

sounding on some buoy,

out where we cannot see.

There is also the occasional

cry of a loon.

To this, we add our own

natural noises:

quick, excited speech,

low, reflective murmurs,

bursts of laughter

that may make other wildlife

turn their heads

or take a step away.

*

The last sound

that I pick out,

like one string

in a tangled weave,

is the water lapping quietly

against the rocks.

That one is last

because it is at the

subtle heart of the others.

Copyright Emily Livingstone - 2015

Copyright Emily Livingstone – 2015

What’s been going on? I’ve been writing–I promise!

So, I’ve been negligent with regard to my blog lately!  I’ve been feeling guilty about that, but I have been writing!  It’s also been a busy time grading work and making sure my senior students have their ducks in a row for graduation (or at least doing as much as I can in the teacher role and trying not to feel too nervous about a few of them!).  It’s also been a busy time for my family…more to come on that later.

My main writing focus in the midst of the chaos has been three stories for the upcoming FlashDogs Solstice Anthology (coming soon!).  I won the opportunity to write for the anthology through participating in Three Line Thursday.  I’ve been getting wonderful feedback from Brian S. Creek and my writer’s group, and I feel pretty good about two out of three of the stories I’ve been preparing, but that third one still needs some work.

I’ve also been editing and submitting a short story with elements of dark fantasy, “What We Bring Home.”  I’m hoping I can find it a good home.  Though I’m working on a novel with paranormal elements, I’ve only submitted one paranormal story for publication before (“Not Safe” in Black Petals issue 70), so it has been an adventure doing research and figuring out where to submit.  I’ve been shooting high so far (Why not, right?  What is there to lose?) and have been rejected from Clarke’s WorldNightmare, and Apex.  I’ll let you know if I make some progress on this front!

I’ve also fallen behind on weekly prompts, but plan to get back in the habit!