Looking back with a heavy heart…

I was saddened to learn that last month Zimbell House Publishing closed.  I have fond memories of writing for their varied anthologies, and always will.  When I first started thinking about submitting my work back in 2015, Zimbell House was one of the first venues I tried. That first story was The Water Wytch, and was included in the anthology, Elemental Foundations. Between 2015 and 2017, I had stories in 11 of their beautiful anthologies:

  • The Water Wytch in Elemental Foundations
  • The Spirit Man in Pagan
  • A Teller of Fortunes in Travelers
  • The Wood-Shades of Winter in On A Dark and Snowy Night
  • Returning Home in Where Cowboys Roam
  • The Apothecary’s Tale in The Key
  • The Sultan’s Daughter in Veil of Secrets
  • Jousting for Murder in Tournament Games
  • Fairy Magic in The Lost Door
  • Night’s Magic in Nocturnal Natures
  • A Family Reunion in Children of Zeus

They were generous with rewarding their writers with paperback copies of the books they had stories in – something which is quite rare. It was always a fantastic day when these beautiful books arrived in the post.

Having my stories included in these anthologies boosted my confidence as a writer, and for that I will always be grateful. I wish them all the best for the future.

Excavating the Archives: Colourless

I look out of the window on to a black and white world. Where did all the colour go? I used to think sepia tones were dull and morose, hearkening back to a time before, tainted with nostalgia, that required the wearing of rose-tinted glasses. Now I long for those insipid hues…

The shadows outside lengthen as the sun dips lower and lower in the sky. The black and white world is now more dark than light as day slowly fades into night. The cracks in the ground, of which there are many – when was the last time it rained? – are shown in stark relief. Nothing grows here any more.

My mother has a painting of a dandelion over the mantelpiece, its bright yellow head an affront to the greyscale space it inhabits. I wonder how, when everything else has lost its colour, that one painting of a weed is as bright and as vibrant as when it was first painted…

Mum says, if she could, she would pick the seed head from the painting – it’s there lurking to the side of the bright flower. Thinking me still a child, she says she’d ask me to make a wish and then together we’d blow really hard and disperse all the seeds. Of course, my wish would be granted, she says. It’s magic. I’m not convinced, but I know I would do it any way.

And I know what I’d wish for: a secret doorway that would appear in our living room, one that could take us back in time to when the world was still gleaming and awash with all the shades and colours of an artist’s palette.

I hate the plainness here. It stifles hope.


This post was first shared on this site in September 2018. You can find the original post here.

Possessing

11 word responses to Weekend Writing Prompt #196 – Possess were a little like buses this weekend…nothing, then a few came along at once… 😉

*

Not Mine To Possess

You’ve free will

To do as you choose

I cannot command

*

Fractured Relationship

“Acting up”, am I?

Or perhaps “possessed”?

I’m a woman scorned

*

Love Without Ownership

You’re mine

But don’t belong to me

You possess my heart

*

The Possession – a horror(ish) story told in 11 word instalments

Possessed, she walked out the door, knife in hand, and mission-focused.

Staring blankly, unaware of everything, even the screams, she set off.

With no control, she was at the mercy of his ghost.

And he had a plan, one carefully forged after his death.

He’d had to bide his time. Wait patiently. And he did.

Until now. His wait was over. The woman, his instrument, possessed.

One he’d left behind. One more body he meant to collect.

Excavating the Archives: A Spring Enchantment

Fera had been looking forward to the Spring Fair since the end of the Winter Market.  Beneath clear blue skies, the sun shone bright and strong, making it feel unseasonably warm for this time of year, but who was going to complain that the weather was better than it should have been?

As Fera moved in and around the crowd, she couldn’t help but smile; she was mesmerised by the noise and bustle of activity wherever she looked.  Then, above the calls of traders and the chattering of gossips, she heard it, soft and distant at first, but as she pushed her way through the throng, it became louder and louder until suddenly she found herself at the front of semi circle of people.  Before her a man a few years older than herself was strumming on a harp.

It was as if the world had stopped.  There was nothing except the music, nothing except the musician’s fingers strumming the harp strings.  Time faded away, lost all importance.

Was this magic? she wondered, before the very thought disappeared, chased away by the enchanting melody.

When the music finally stopped, she realised she was the only one still there with the musician.  The market traders had packed away and gone, the crowd too, though they would no doubt return for the evening entertain.  But just as that thought crossed her mind, she noticed that it was dark, day having given way to night many hours before.

Naturally, the young woman began to feel self-conscious.  Why should she remain when others had not?  Instead, all she could ask was, ‘Why did you stop playing?’

The musician smiled.  ‘Because the spell is at an end.  The charm is cast.  There is no more music left to play.’


This post was first shared on this site in March 2018. You can find the original post here.

Excavating the Archives: Mimic

Maybe I’ll copy you
It’s better than being myself
Made easier because you’ve done all the hard work
I’m just life imitating life, a
Cardboard cut out…but is that really living?


This post was first shared on this site in September 2018. You can find the original post here.

Excavating the Archives: A Higher Wisdom

You’ll find her words

Hidden in the shades

Of nature’s colour wheel

In the nuances of the season

In the cracks between

Air, fire, water and earth

And here they wait patiently

At rainbow’s end

To be discovered


This was first shared on this site in July 2020. You can find the original post here.

Rowan and Oak – publication news

A couple of weeks ago, Iron Faerie Publishing released their latest anthology, Rowan and Oak, the second volume in their Hawthorn and Ash series, and I’ve a piece of flash fiction in it.  My thanks to Iron Faerie Publishing and Stacey Jaine McIntosh for including it.

My story, The Way Home, is a short fantasy tale of change and transition, between the seasons and circumstances, as one life is left behind in favour of a promise once given…

You can find the anthology, showcasing the writing of over 25 authors, on Amazon and Goodreads

Tick Tock Time Travel- publication news

Earlier this month, Black Hare Press released a 500 word fiction anthology, Tick Tock: A Time Travel Anthology, and I’m pleased to share I have a piece of flash fiction in it. My thanks to the editors for including the story.

My tale, The Amulet, (which I enjoyed writing immensely), tells the story of the inquisitive Belle and the cautious Jax, who are sent by their boss to collect a mysterious object only for its magic to begin working. They don’t know how to control it or how to get back home, but what they do learn, and quickly, is the pesky thing seems to have a habit for getting them into very dangerous situations…

Here’s the summary of the anthology from Amazon:

Ever wondered what the world would be like if you could travel to a different point in time? What could you fix? Where would you go? When would you go?

Lose a few hours as you explore limitless time.

Find it on Amazon

NaNoWriMo 2020 – Final Week Check in and Review

I wrote 14,005 words in Week 4, or rather between 22 – 30 November, bringing my total for the month up to 50,053. This week’s numbers were divided amongst the following projects because, as I stated here, I am a NaNo Rebel (again) this year:

  • My Historical Romance Novel 6489 words.  If you follow my page on Facebook, you will already know I completed the first draft of this novel on Friday 27th November.  Woohoo!  As that was my main goal for the month, I feel pretty chuffed that I managed to hit one of the goals I set. As I started writing the novel back in June, I think enough time has passed since I wrote those early chapters for me to go back and start rewriting / revising / editing.
  • The Dreamer: An Andromache Jones Mystery Novella 0 words.   I got no new words added to this story last week.  However, over the course of the month, I added a total of 7241 words, and uploaded 6 new chapters to Wattpad.  Part of me wishes I had got another chapter or two complete, but another part of me is just pleased to see progress has been made…
  • Oath Broken – 0 new words written  No words and no planning this week…If I’m being honest, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t add anything new to this project over the month, accept for a little planning. 😦
  • The Goddess Retreat – 0 new words – Still nothing on this project…Yeah, it’s definitely on hold…
  • Free Write Sessions – 7516 words. I’m very pleased with the random poetry and pieces of flash fiction I’ve scribbled away at over the past few weeks. I now have 14500 words in various styles and stages of completion to work through and see what’s what.

So that’s a quick review of my final week.  Over all, I’m pleased with the numbers and progress made across the two projects I worked on, and it has helped set my focus for the coming month’s writing.

My December goals:

  • Start rewriting / revising / editing of my Historical Romance Novel
  • Complete The Dreamer: An Andromache Jones Mystery Novella

If you joined in, how did you get on?  What are your writing goals for December? Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to message me over on the NaNoWriMo site if you’d prefer!  You can find me by searching for my username: Sammi Cox.

Happy writing!

Sammi x

NaNoWriMo 2020 – End of Week 3 Check In

Week 3 of my NaNoWriMo efforts saw me write fewer words than last week, but a quick glance over them showed the quality was fairly impressive (for a first draft), so in terms of long term writing goals, I’ll lose fewer of them to editing.  Sounds like a win to me! 🙂

I wrote 11,472 words in Week 3, bringing my total for the month up to 36,048. This week’s numbers were divided amongst the following projects because, as I stated here, I am a NaNo Rebel (again) this year:

  • My Historical Romance Novel9145 words.  As my primary goal is to complete my first draft of this story, I spent most of week 3 working on it and now the end is in sight.  Woohoo!  As I said last week, this first draft should, barring any major difficulties, be complete by the end of November…Yay!
  • The Dreamer: An Andromache Jones Mystery Novella1602 words.   Only one chapter was written and uploaded for this story last week. I hope to get another one complete and posted to Wattpad by the end of the month, but it won’t happen unless I complete my primary project.
  • Oath Broken – 0 new words written 😦  No words and no planning this week…
  • The Goddess Retreat – 0 new words – Still nothing on this project…It’s safe to say, I think this story has been put on hold…
  • Free Write Sessions725  words. Mainly snippets of microfiction this week, and a few stray lines of the poetic variety.  Some I might leave as they are, whilst others might feel more complete if they had more company 🙂

So that’s a quick review of my third week.  If you joined in, how are you getting on?  Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to message me over on the NaNoWriMo site if you’d prefer!  You can find me by searching for my username: Sammi Cox.

Wishing everyone who’s participating lots of good luck and best wishes for Week 4!

Sammi x