Good news of late: two rather difficult to place items both found homes. “The Last Ant” is a short humor piece than amused me to no end, but apparently bemused a number of editors who turned it down flat. I am an acquired taste, as always. It will be appearing in a future issue of the lit mag Wild Violet; you may remember Alyce Wilson’s publication as the home also of the pieces “Corrections to the Rules of Fimble Fowl (for 3 players or 4)” and “Me and Margery Kempe” — clearly Alyce is someone who has acquired a taste for my oddness.
“High Plains Lazarus” is a zombie western set in the 19th century plains. This tale once had a home: it was going to be in an anthology. I was pleased that I had found a publication interested in taking it with surprising speed, because it’s quite long story (10k). Then came the waiting — and more waiting — and promises of publication and entreaties for patience — and finally silence. The publisher disappeared. Pity. Although zombies have become big business, I found it very difficult to locate a publication that would take a story that long. The majority capped acceptable word count at 5k (many at 4k). It’s the kind of thing you should consider while working on a story, but this particular tale had a mind of its own and just kept growing. It keeps whispering in my ear that it would really like to be a novel, please.
Like so many parents, I say, “we’ll see.”
The story will be appearing in a zombie anthology from Pill Hill Press. Ironically, I began writing the story on a whim just before Trinoc*coN one year, when I decided that I was bored with everything I had ever written and needed something new to read at the con. I only got it half done, but that was just the right length for my reading. My audience threatened to beat me senseless for leaving them hanging, heh heh. They also gave me some good factual corrections (thanks, Mildred — I know so little about guns) and feedback. Mostly they enjoyed the gruesome humor as well as the voice of the narrator, Finn. Fun stuff.
UPDATE: I forgot to add that my flash fiction piece, “Rothko Red,” will be appearing in the anthology Exposure which will be out this fall from Cinnamon Press in Wales. I got the page proofs today and was amused to find that my story had written me: “K. A. Laity by Rothko Red” — hee!