Gary Hurtubise

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Category: short stories

Limestone Genre Expo 2017… and contest winner!

I’m off to Kingston’s third annual 2017 Limestone Genre Expo this weekend – two days of geeking out with like-minded folk, where there’ll be over sixty authors, panel discussions, workshops, readings, pitch sessions, vendors, and chances to rub shoulders with editors and publishers (all while shipping the husband and kids up to the in-laws… what could be better! 😉 ).

This year, the Expo featured a short story contest – 1500 words in the style of either: Sherlock Holmes, Victorian Era Romance, or Steampunk (I chose the latter).  The stories were judged by authors attending the expo – Tanya Huff among them!

  …and guess who won the contest?

(it was me.)

Receiving winning certificate from Limestone Genre Expo organizers Marlene (L) and Delina (R).

I was gifted with a nice certificate during a short ceremony at Kingston City Hall, during the kick-off talk of last week’s Sherlock Holmes festival, plus my story (entitled Cataraqui Crisis) will be featured on the Expo website.

And now I get to attend the expo this weekend with a unique way of introducing myself (Trevor suggested I call myself the “Queen of the Expo”, but I think I might not).

 

First Short Story Published in Kzine Issue 17!

Well, the day has arrived – my first official published story was released on January 28th 2017!

… albeit in Kindle-reader format 😉    (but hey – published is published!!!)

The 17th issue of KZINE – a British sci-fi / horror / fantasy / crime magazine created specifically for the mobile reader – features seven short stories, including my tale Flesh.

Flesh follows the story of an octogenarian in his final few days of life, trying in vain to leave his past behind him.  Of course, there’s a nasty villain, a space station, a gun fight & a high-speed chase, and — just for good measure — a StarWars-esque fall down a bottomless shaft.

Anyways – I’m very excited, and seeing my name in (electronic) print has been a great boost to my recently lagged productivity at the keyboard.  Nothing like some tangible success to get the muse tapping at the window again!

Please check out KZINE, and consider purchasing a copy of the current issue here or here.  You won’t be disappointed!

 

Last Outpost Military Anthology – My 2nd Short Story to be Published!

Last_Outpost-banner

       I submitted one of my short stories to the 3rd Flatiron Hyperpowers Anthology several months ago.  It did not get accepted…  However, one of the judges happened to be Bascomb James, editor of the Far Orbit anthologies published by World Weaver Press, and he liked the story enough to include it in his upcoming “Last Outpost” military SF anthology!

Here’s a list of the authors and their short stories, to be included in the anthology (directly from Bascomb’s website):

“Conscripts” by Gary Hurtubise
“Corners and Curves” by Wendy Sparrow
“Deathbeast” by H.E. Roulo
“Hashtag Whitebitch” by Shauna O’Meara
“My Letters” by George Allen Miller
“Names” by Todd C. Wilson
“Ripplers” by John Moralee
“Risk Assessment” by David Tallerman
“Swimming Stars” by Andrew Wilson
“The Copper Queen’s Bazaar” by J.B. Rockwell
“The Quarry” by Marc Ferris
“The Thorne Legacy” by J.D. Brink

I’m very happy and honoured to be included in this list!  Can’t wait to see it in print, sometime in the fall of 2016!

Picking the Right Market for Your Fiction

There’s this new feeling to writing that I get nowadays.  I haven’t done anything different, but different things are happening.

No.  Agents aren’t breaking down my door to represent me (yet).  Nor are all of my short story ideas suddenly Nebula or Hugo Award-worthy (…yet?).  But I do feel more confident with my writing – I know it’s of a higher calibre than it was a year, or even six months ago.  Plus, more people are taking notice of my work.  I’m getting more personalized feedback (to go along with my rejections!), and in some cases, I’m being given specific suggestions from editors, followed by requests to re-submit with changes made.

I’m trying to be more selective of where I submit my work too.  Many of my short stories are hybrid-genres.  They aren’t just science fiction, or fantasy.  I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve spent all this time submitting to ‘traditional’ markets, when I should have been looking for some of those magazines or journals who feature alternative writing.  I believe that’s why I was successful with “Flesh” last month (having it accepted for publication in Kzine).  And so, I’m trying that again with my story “Solace for the Soul-less”…

Sci Phi Journal

I came across Sci Phi Journal the other day, an online science fiction and philosophy magazine.  In it, they publish “stories that explore questions of life, the universe and everything and articles that delve into the deep philosophical waters of science fiction universes” (from their About page).  “Solace” is set in the future, but isn’t about robots or space battles.  Rather, it raises questions about identity and immortality.  Hey!  That’s exactly what Sci Phi Journal is looking for!  So I’ve actually withdrawn “Solace” from consideration at another magazine, in order to try my chances with a venue that might generate not only some interest in my writing, but some dialogue about it too.

Next on my list of things to do: another batch of agent queries!  On this note, here’s a good bit of advice written by Kathryn Craft, of ‘Writers in the Storm’, a writing blog that I follow.

My first published short story!

I suppose it was going to happen sooner or later.

After all, it’s a numbers game: send enough of my short stories to enough magazines and/or anthologies, and someone out there is bound to bite, right?

Well, early last week, a UK online magazine accepted my short science fiction story “Flesh” for publication for their January 2017 issue!  My first fiction writing success!

“Flesh” is the story of an elderly man who has given up everything for a chance at a new life.  But everything is not as it seems (dun, dun, DUN!!!).

I’m truly excited – this is a very significant step for me.  Now, I have a ‘publication history’; no longer do I need to leave that part of my submissions or queries blank!  I also get to have my fiction read by a much larger circle of people (beyond my husband, and the members of critters.org, to which I belong).

I had ‘set’ myself a goal of having my fiction published by the end of 2015 (fully aware that it wasn’t entirely in my hands); I’m pleasantly surprised that I was only off by a few months!  😉

Anyways – enough reveling in my success.  I have another set of agent queries to send out, not to mention crafting another couple short stories.  I’m also working on getting my freelance b2b copywriting career off the ground, by the end of the month…

Always lots to do, as a writer!

 

 

The Big “R”

rejected

 

Ah yes, I’ve read this over and over from blogs by authors, agents and publishers – writers have to develop a thick skin – not the type at the end of your fingers from typing so much, but from suffering through an endless, impersonal torrent of rejections.

I’ve been entering short stories competitions for several years now, and have yet to break ‘honourable mention’ or ‘grab-bag winner’ status.  Nevertheless, the periodic rejections were spaced widely enough apart not to make to much of a dent in my psychological armour.  So no big deal.

I’ve currently got about half-a-dozen short stories circulating out there, searching for a market.  To date, lots of ‘thanks, but no thanks’.  Again – periodically enough not to get me down.

Now that I’ve finished a novel, however, and the search for agents is underway, the rejections are starting to come in at an accelerated rate.  Oh, and I’m reaching out for some freelance work too, to flesh out my writing even more… all to no avail, so far.

So, putting it all together, I’m getting close to having a steady stream of rejections coming in, from four unique sources.  It’s starting to suck.

sad_baby

       I can see why so many writers throw in the towel.  I feel like doing that right now.  I mean, what’s the point?  All this time and energy spent writing and researching and putting myself out there… for what?  Why hasn’t anybody seen my genius yet?

snoopy

Well, I’m not giving up.  I think I’m close.  I can’t *quite* feel it yet, but it’s not far away.

Plus, writing is just so much damn fun; why would anyone not want to be a writer for a living?!  So let’s keep chipping away.  There’s bound to be a few suckers wise individuals out there who’ll eventually end up publishing my stuff… right?! 🙂

Here’s a quote from Pierre S. Dupont IV that fits my situation perfectly, at the moment, and actually does give me a glimmer of hope:

       “I’m in a wonderful position; I’m unknown, I’m underrated, and there’s nowhere to go but up.”

Ok – that’s enough moping for now – I’ve got to get back to my world-building for the novel I’m writing during this year’s NaNoWriMo!

 

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