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My Second Published Story

Posted November 30, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
Source: KazkaPress.Net

KazkaPress.Net selected my story for publication for a second month in a row! KazkaPress does offer some amazing prompts for their speculative flash fiction requests. I’ve enjoyed it immensely! And, have reveled in the fact I’ve been published…TWICE!

Drake’s Hoard is now live!

Here’s what KazkaPress wanted for the November Contest:

The November 2011 issue of National Geographic featured an article on the Staffordshire Gold Hoard. If you don’t know, this hoard of gold is an treasure trove of Anglo-Saxon…well, treasures…from 1,300 years ago. It was discovered in 2009 by a bloke with a metal detector. However, no one knows why it was buried in this ground 1,300 years ago. Here’s a tidbit from the article, which you really want to read all of: 

Much plunder was carried away—possibly down the old Roman road Watling Street, which leads past the site where the Staffordshire Hoard was found. Event and place are commemorated in the Welsh poem “Marwnad Cynddylan—The Death Song of Cynddylan”:

Grandeur in battle! Extensive spoils
Morial bore off from in front of Lichfield.
Fifteen hundred cattle from the front of battle;
four twenties of stallions and equal harness.
The chief bishop wretched in his four-cornered
house, the book-keeping monks did not protect.

A retinue of 80 horses and spoils from a “wretched” bishop (a detail that conjures the gold inscription and crosses): The poem offers a tempting explanation for the hoard, an explanation, alas, built from slender, circumstantial evidence that has happened to survive from an era from which most evidence was lost. We can conjure other teasing theories. Our unknown travelers may have chosen the burial spot because it was obscure—or because it was conspicuous. The burial might have had a marker for rediscovery, or it might have been intended as an offering hidden forever to all but their gods. The hoard may have been ransom, or booty, or a votive thanks. It may have been a collection of Anglo-Saxon heirlooms buried at a later time. [by Caroline Alexander in NatGeo]

We at Kazka Press want to know: What’s the story of this treasure? Why was it buried? In 713 words exactly, excluding title, write a piece of flash fiction that tells the story of this treasure. And your story must have a speculative fiction backbone to it–fantasy, sci-fi, slipstream, cyberpunk, steampunk, etc. We’ll be especially pleased to see a strong, fantastical historical fiction element to this month’s entries. 

That’s the theme, the whole sum and total of it.

You can read the whole Staffordshire Gold Hoard story if you wish, and then my published speculative fictional pieceabout it. Let me know what you think. I hope you like it! If you do, please vote for it as well! The ones with the most votes get a chance to be published in their print anthology! Thanks!

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Campaigner Challenge E-book Anthology Benefiting Help Harry Help Others

Posted November 16, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
Interested in reading Flash Fiction? Here is a collection of 176 stories to peruse through. While everything may not fit your taste, there is bound to be something in this anthology that you will like.
Based off Rachael Harrie’s 3rd Writer’s Platform Building Campaign, this is a collection of participant’s flash fiction pieces for each of Rachael’s three challenges. The reader will not only be supporting a good cause, but can determine if the writer met the challenges presented.
All proceeds from the sale of this Anthology go to Help Harry Help Others. It’s a wonderful charity started by one little boy. Diagnosed with brain cancer, Harry “single-handedly raised over £85,000 (roughly $137,000) for brain cancer research by fundraising and selling hand-made bracelets.” You can read more about this cause by visiting Help Harry’s Website. I could not do it justice.
Please consider purchasing this e-Book anthology. You can find purchase details here:

Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/Campaigner-Challenges-2011-ebook/dp/B0066UV28C
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0066UV28C
Amazon (DE): http://www.amazon.de/dp/B0066UV28C
Amazon (France): http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B0066UV28C
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/104468
Barnes & Nobel: [To be Announced]

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October Flash Fiction Contest Winner & Publication with KazkaPress

Posted November 1, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
Source: KazkaPress.Net

As many of you know, I recently signed my first publishing deal. If you didn’t know, you may be interested to read about it here.

If you are interested in reading my piece, you can read it off KazkaPress.Net. Please understand, parts of this are real, and parts are not. We were to speculate the purpose of the numbers station, UVB-76. If you like military, spy, spooky, sci-fi, conspiracy theories, all rolled up into one,  I suggest you read this first, then read my story and what I speculated the purpose of UVB-76.

If you like it, I’d be most appreciative if you rated it. The more ratings I get, the more chance I have in this piece being selected into their 713 Anthology. Be sure to read the other stories they chose as well.

Thank you for your support and your votes! I hope you enjoy the short story.

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My First Publishing Deal

Posted October 27, 2011 By Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
Source: KazkaPress.Net
Back in September, a fellow writer friend on Twitter (@mohio73) tweeted about a flash fiction contest from @Kazkapress. Since I’ve been doing several Flash Fiction pieces lately, and have found them incredibly fascinating, I looked forward to the 1st of October when Kazka Press would reveal their prompt and requirements for their Flash Fiction Contest. All I knew was it would be theme based, paid 1 cent a word, and they wanted EXACTLT 713 words. Pretty cool, huh?
So I waited.
On October 1st, as promised, KazkaPress released their prompt. Total Sci-Fi! I could do this! 713 words, easy peasy. 🙂
Their prompt was the following:
The October 2011 issue of Wired magazine featured an article on UVB-76, a (supposed) numbers station located in Russia. The article begins as such (and we encourage you read the entire, sublime article):


From a lonely rusted tower in a forest north of Moscow, a mysterious shortwave radio station transmitted day and night. For at least the decade leading up to 1992, it broadcast almost nothing but beeps; after that, it switched to buzzes, generally between 21 and 34 per minute, each lasting roughly a second—a nasally foghorn blaring through a crackly ether. The signal was said to emanate from the grounds of a voyenni gorodok (mini military city) near the village of Povarovo, and very rarely, perhaps once every few weeks, the monotony was broken by a male voice reciting brief sequences of numbers and words, often strings of Russian names: “Anna, Nikolai, Ivan, Tatyana, Roman.” But the balance of the airtime was filled by a steady, almost maddening, series of inexplicable tones. [Wired.com]

The Wired article was a very interesting read. If you like military, spy, spooky, sci-fi, conspiracy theories, all rolled up into one, I suggest you read this. Once I read the article I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to present it. It is nothing you would think a “short story” would be like. Not at all. It would be military document presenting the “story”. I wanted it as authentic as possible, and since I’ve been a part of the military all my life, living and working with, I have been exposed to the military style of writing for many years.

The problem came up with researching a specific document for this purpose. Google is an awesome tool, as are my contacts within the military. 🙂 Researching the precise format for a military document was the easy part. Coming up with documents to back my theories was another matter altogether. Research, research, research and more research ensued over the first week or so after the prompt came out. I was beginning to think I wouldn’t make it. But I kept at it. And managed most of my words over those days. And finally, it all fell into place–including my word count.

So, off it went to a few “readers” who helped me pick out the grammar errors, the military-ese errors, and the congruence issues (hey, I found an extra person in there that didn’t belong! LOL) Edits, revisions, more edits and the whole while trying to keep to that 713 word requirement. It was fun and tedious all at the same time.

When it was finally done, I sent it off to KazkaPress. But that’s when the doubt set in. Was my story REALLY a story? I mean it was a fictional Military document and I was beginning to wonder if it would even fit in to the “story” category. After reading some other pieces from others I’ve known to be submitting, self doubt and “I’m not good enough” set in. And when @kazkapress tweeted this tweet:

I was in total agony. I just KNEW I was going to get rejected, yet again! It wasn’t a true story. It wasn’t good enough. There are so many other people who are more talented than I was. And all the while these thoughts haunted me, my friend @KTHanna was telling me I was being silly, I was good enough, and it was a really good story, unique in its presentation as well. She had the confidence in me that I needed. She was my motivation, my support and my sanity!

Last night, I received an email from KazkaPress. My heart lept into my throat. The bile came with it. My stomach flipped and flopped and I really didn’t want to read it. I was standing in Walmart after grocery shopping, waiting for my husband and son to come back with that last item we forgot.

I read it.

Jamie Dement, Thank you for submitting to our October Flash Fiction contest.”

Here it comes….

We’re delighted to inform you that your submission grabbed us by the throats and took us for a ride. A very entertaining ride. We’d be fools not to purchase and publish the work you submitted.”

WHAT?!! Seriously?!! OMGOMGOMG!

And I sat and waited for 10 minutes. 10 long. agonizing. minutes. for my husband and son to return so I could give them the news! It was all we talked about the whole way home. My son was so excited he was trying to figure out what book was going to be published. He really wants my Walter Bear published (a Picture Book I would love to publish one day). But that’s going to take a bit of work. When I told him it was a short story, he then I he asked about Soul Stone. Another story that’s not quite ready. Yes,  he is an alpha reader of mine. 🙂 He’s just about 9, so he’s only allowed to read certain stories. And he didn’t get a chance to read this one, yet. Not real sure if he would be able to comprehend this one at his age though, so we will leave that at that. (He did come home two days ago and told me that my desire is rubbing off on him and he is now writing stories and wants to be published! YAY!!!)

So, now we wait until the 1st of November. Please come back here or check out KazkaPress.Net on November 1st to read my story! Thank you all for you wonderful support!

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