Short Story Announcement – February 10, 2020

Image Source: Brooke Campbell Unspash

The first version of When A Demon Comes To Dine is live on Coffee House Writers. Head on over there to read it.

I mentioned on Twitter recently that I will be posting short stories biweekly with the goal of releasing a collection of short stories at the end of the current year (December 2020). The collection will include edited versions of these stories and other previously unreleased stories.

As a general content warning to my readers: in the next year you will see fictional stories addressing childhood trauma, mental health, suicide, body horror, LGBTQA issues, assault, medical horror, unhealthy relationship dynamics, death, dead bodies, loss of bodily autonomy at the hands of family members, and maybe I’ll find a happy ending somewhere in one of those. I’m not good at happy endings. I’m working on itpromise.

If you’re wondering, I have found 3 things I plan to change in this story before publishing in the collection. I’m curious what feedback others have.

Announcements January 2020

A Couple Quick Announcements:


1. In addition to book reviews, I will begin featuring a couple author interviews each month. These will not be posted concurrently with the author’s books. I have a standard set of questions, but the answers are pretty open ended. This is a chance for authors to talk about their writing process, talk about the publication process, and really help inform other indie authors about their journey.

2. I am gauging interest in arranging a Writing Retreat for Summer 2020 to be held at Symes Hot Springs in Hot Springs, MT. This would be up to 4 days over a weekend, be family friendly, and allow for a couple writing workshops to share techniques (2-3). The town of Hot Springs is quirky, near Glacier National Park, and a fun place to stop off on a family road trip for a long weekend. If you would be interested in hosting a workshop, please email a 100-500 word outline (no longer than 1 hour time estimate) to lopotterwrites@gmail.com with the subject: Some Like It Hot

As an example, the workshop I have written focuses on using unique objects to inspire stories and overcome writers block.

3. My husband and I are moving to Boston, Massachusetts in Autumn 2020! This is a big change for us, and will mean that I will be more readily available for having in person meetings with authors in the greater Boston area and the Northeast. Once we have moved, I will be setting up a P.O. Box. More details to come.

4. This year I am focusing a lot more on pushing myself toward further publication of short stories and hope to complete at least one of my manuscripts. I did announce my New Years Resolutions for 2020 as:
-52 Short Stories in 52 Weeks (drafts)
-1 completed draft WIP (I have 3 projects currently going)
-General Self Improvement (rephrase: get closer to being someone I want to be for myself…)

5. Backlog – There’s a bit of a backlog of updating for 3 reviews I need to write. One of these reviews is “bad” – it is the remaining review from November 2019. That should make it really obvious. This has caused me to be all kinds of frustrated. I struggled to finish this book and it will be my first 2-star review. I spent $27 on this book. I’m never buying a book by NYT Best Sellers “For A Comparison Review” again. Indie authors are so much better. I’m working on getting caught up – I promise.

I’ve been the Editor in Chief of a Literary Magazine before, and I know that I don’t want to do that again, at least not for a long time. I’d rather be writing and helping others write. I’d rather be beta reading. After an extended hiatus from creative writing, I am here again under a new name. Also – if anyone is able to find my previous book and pen name, I will give them a prize for being the best internet stalker ever.

Let’s make 2020 the best year yet. Remember, Hindsight is 2020.

Love,
Lo

Upcoming Reviews January 2020

Happy New Year and Welcome to 2020! We have an exciting selection of books this month. There was a last minute substitution due to a change in how I review poetry. This means that I will be examining the works found in Reflections by Sean Haughton later in the year.

Guided by the Ghosts” by Sean Haughton (Live Tweet Review; Full Review)

Emma’s Fury” by Linda Rainier (Live Tweet Review; Full Review; Author Interview)

Mornnovin” by Alyssa Marie Bethancourt (Live Tweet Review; Full Review; Author Interview)

The Engineer” by Darran M. Handshaw (Live Tweet Review; Full Review)

Requirements for submission:

  • Print Edition Must Be Available (preferably paperback)
  • Under $20 (USD) – I buy your book like everyone else!

You must respond to either one of my calls on Twitter for new books to read in the upcoming month (the 15th of each month unless there are no available spots in the upcoming month – February and March have no upcoming availability, so the next Twitter call will be on March 15th)

OR

You can send me an e-mail with the subject line: Only a Hippopotamus Will Do (e-mails not including this subject will be ignored)

In this e-mail include:

  • a link to where I can purchase your book.
  • a brief introduction to yourself
  • a link to your Twitter and/or personal website (if applicable).

IF you are interested in sending me a copy of your book, please send me an e-mail with the subject line: The Buffalo Seem Fine to Me 

December 2019: Holiday Theme

This is the first month I am doing a theme, and since it is December and Christmas is culturally huge in the United States, I decided to choose the theme of Holidays.

As a note: I’m not Christian. I am fascinated by Christian mythology and think it has huge impacts on our modern society as well as the development of Western philosophies. I’m not going to be judging stories based on theological accuracy. The values I associate with the modern Christmas/Holiday mythos are:

  • Defying the odds and overcoming adversity
  • Family and the love shared between family (both chosen and by blood relation)
  • Revelations of gratitude
  • A chance for magic to cross over into reality in the Northern Hemisphere during the extended darkness and shorter days
  • A chance for late night summer adventures with a midsummer magic like feel in the Southern Hemisphere
    • GLOWWORMS!!! (I’m a nut about them. Feel free to tease me in the comments below)
  • Crazy Weather Adventures – this applies to everyone, everywhere.

Our December 2019 Books include:

January’s books are already set and I am excited to share that I will be doing my first author interview! You will also see poetry discussion posts more often – if there’s an indie poet and/or particular poem you’d like to see, please send me a quick email with the suggestion.

February’s themes are Romance, Relationships, and Anti-romance if you would like to submit your book to this or any of the other months please follow the instructions below. The theme calendar can be found here.

Requirements for submission:

  • Print Edition Must Be Available (preferably paperback)
  • Under $20 (USD) – I buy your book like everyone else!

You must respond to either one of my calls on Twitter for new books to read in the upcoming month (the 15th of each month unless there are no available spots in the upcoming month – January has no upcoming availability, so the next Twitter call will be on January 15th)

OR

You can send me an e-mail with the subject line: Only a Hippopotamus Will Do (e-mails not including this subject will be ignored)

In this e-mail include:

  • a link to where I can purchase your book.
  • a brief introduction to yourself
  • a link to your Twitter and/or personal website (if applicable).

IF you are interested in sending me a copy of your book, please send me an e-mail with the subject line: The Buffalo Seem Fine to Me 

I will respond to each inquiry on a case-by-case basis because I have not yet set up a Post Box and am currently sharing a UPS locker on an as needed only basis. I hope to have a Post Box set up by early 2020. Once this is set up I will be posting it publicly and will be open to unsolicited and anonymous manuscript submissions.

I hope everyone has very Happy Holidays filled with joy, laughter, and celebrations. I understand that the holidays are stressful, so I will be making several smaller posts and trying to make this month into January as low stress and light hearted as possible.

An Introduction to My Poetry Posts

Let’s talk about Poetry

First, I’m going to go off script. I’ve never reviewed a poetry book before and, honestly, I don’t want to treat this as a critique. I want to treat this as a chance to share this really cool connection I made with someone I’ll probably never meet. On the rare occasion I review these poetry books it’s for my own personal enjoyment only.

Poetry is the most subjective thing anyone can review. I struggled with my poetry classes in undergrad beyond the structure/mathematical parts. It all seemed pretentious. Interpretation? Analysis? Symbolism? As someone that writes poetry it made it so difficult for me to actually enjoy the process because we weren’t discussing anything! I wanted to take the class to read poetry and talk about poetry, not to learn what one person learned one person learned one person thought about this one poem that every person on this planet has read.

That’s where these posts come in.

Poetry is subjective, beautiful, and amazing. It is telling a story in the way music does, except with words. It is painting a picture in the mind’s eye.

It’s not for everyone and that’s okay. It’s one of the oldest art forms and arguably is one of the oldest forms of writing – before verse became more structured with punctuation.

I don’t know how often I will post poetry, but I hope you will enjoy them. My first couple posts will be on selections from two poetry collections:
“Ramblings” A Poetry Collection by Joy Nibbs and “I Hope This Reaches her Too” by r.h. Sin (To best enjoy these discussions, I recommend you purchase the books by following the links or take advantage of the access via Kindle eReader)

Upcoming Reviews for November 2019

Happy November! I’m excited to share the following upcoming reviews:

If you would like to be among the future books that I read, please let me know! Requirements:

  • Print Edition Must Be Available (preferably paperback)
  • Under $20 (USD)

You must respond to either one of my calls on Twitter (the 15th of each month) for new books to read in the upcoming month. Occasionally, I will not make calls because the 4 slots for the next month are already full.

OR

You can send me an e-mail with the subject line: Only a Hippopotamus Will Do (e-mails not including this subject will be ignored)

In this e-mail include:

  • a link to where I can purchase your book.
  • a brief introduction to yourself
  • a link to your Twitter and/or personal website (if applicable).

IF you are interested in sending me a copy of your book, please send me an e-mail with the subject line: The Buffalo Seem Fine to Me and I will respond to each inquiry on a case-by-case basis.

I got published! And a note on trigger warnings.

I’m excited to share that After Alexei published my short story “l’appel du vide”.

I learned that though we all experience invasive thoughts that constantly sit in the back of our minds, sometimes reminders can be deeply affecting.

For that reason, I’m not sorry for writing it. This story came from me writing these thoughts down to manage them. It’s a fictional story where all of these images invade the narrator, too. In 2008, when the first draft was written, this was a way to manage these thoughts.

I am both sorry and thankful that …

… my readers have this shared experience to the extent that my story makes a connection.

… you’ve ever thought about these things to the extent that I have.

…this exposed the wounds we share and made you feel vulnerable enough to talk to someone about it.

I’m thankful that my friend is getting help. I am here for anyone that wants to talk if this story brings up anything difficult or uncomfortable. Email me lopotterwrites@gmail.com or contact me through twitter @dreaminventor

I have learned 2 lessons from this:

1. Writing has the ability to force people to examine their own experiences. This is sometimes very painful.

2. Not everyone is ready for that. It’s okay to need a warning about graphic content regarding suicide, or suicidal ideation.

I love every single person that reads this story. You are a beautiful part of my life. I honor you and your struggles. If you are currently suicidal or feel that you may be at risk, please do not read this story. If this story brings up any difficult feelings, 24/7 help is available via these hotlines:

Argentina: +5402234930430

Australia: 131114

Austria: 142; for children and young people, 147

Belgium: 106

Bosnia & Herzegovina: 080 05 03 05

Botswana: 3911270

Brazil: 188 for the CVV National Association

Canada: 1.833.456.4566, 5147234000 (Montreal); 18662773553 (outside Montreal)

Croatia: 014833888

Denmark: +4570201201

Egypt: 7621602

Estonia: 3726558088; in Russian 3726555688

Finland: 010 195 202

France: 0145394000

Germany: 08001810771

Holland: 09000767

Hong Kong: +852 2382 0000

Hungary: 116123

India: 8888817666

Ireland: +4408457909090

Italy: 800860022

Japan: +810352869090

Mexico: 5255102550

New Zealand: 0800543354

Norway: +4781533300

Philippines: 028969191

Poland: 5270000

Portugal: 21 854 07 40/8 . 96 898 21 50

Russia: 0078202577577

Spain: 914590050

South Africa: 0514445691

Sweden: 46317112400

Switzerland: 143

United Kingdom: 08457909090

USA: 18002738255

Veterans’ Crisis Line: 1 800 273 8255/ text 838255

With that, here’s the actual link to my story:

l’appel du vide