Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Story Feature: Blessing Stone

"Blessing Stone" first appeared in NFG Magazine in June of 2003, and also won 3rd place in the 1999 Science Fiction Writers of Earth short story contest. Reviewers had this to say:

"'Blessing Stone' is a beautifully written fantasy about a village ritual similar to baptism involving the selection of a blessing stone for a child. The story revolves around Thanen, a stone-seeker, and Dary, the child. I won't divulge any more plot, but I admit is my favorite . . . and I typically shy away from fantasy-style stories." Matt Hayes, Spicy Green Iguana

"Lofthouse's story is strong in setting, characters, and dialogue. It is a great read, and I thought it's feel (a mix of fantasy and sci-fi is how I viewed it) gave it a touch of mysticism that really helped set the tone. My second favorite of the issue." Dennis Kriesel, Kansas City Infozine

One day, just before waking, I had a dream in which I saw an old man kneeling by a river with his hands in the water. I wondered what he was doing, and heard the answer, "He's looking for the blessing stones." The story was born.

Enjoy "Blessing Stone." Just click on the title for a .pdf version of the story. Leave a comment here and let me know what you think.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A New Look

I decided it was time for a change at Notes From the Writing Chair, so I found this awesome template. What do you think? I find it very relaxing, and you've gotta love Mt. Loafer! (I do.) That's not all that's changing, though. Very soon, I'll be offering my fiction online for your reading pleasure. As some of these stories are currently only available in the magazine rack in my family room, I am excited to increase their potential readership. Look for "Blessing Stone" to be up soon!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Close Don't Count

Boy it rocks to have a story in print! Good thing, too, because I got another rejection letter today. It was for my short story, "Highway Songs." It said, in effect, "This is well-written but . . ." I've had a number of rejections for this story that begin that way. "It's a good story, but it bogs down in the [certain section]." Okay, valid point. May have to consider revising that section. "This is well-written, but we want character driven stories. We felt it was plot driven." Um, okay. "This is well-done, but it's not quite right for us." Okay, that was from the editor-in-chief of Asimov's, and was actually pretty cool for a rejection. I've had two or three others for this story along the same lines. I'm getting tired of the "buts." I'm tired of just being close! Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades. Sometimes it makes me want to throw up my hands and say, "That's it. I quit!" But I can't. The thought of quitting hurts my heart. I couldn't give up writing if I wanted to (which I don't), and I can't stop trying to get these stories published, either. They mean something to me. I have something to say, and I want people to hear it. I want readers. I want to touch somebody's heart. So, I guess if I'm this close, I might as well keep going. (Having The Bearer's Oath out does a lot to keep me going, I must admit). How do you all find the will to keep going in the face of rejection?

Friday, June 19, 2009

"The Bearer's Oath" Now Available!

I am excited to announce that my novella, "The Bearer's Oath," is now available in Mindflights print edition issue #5. Order a copy here. The other stories in the issue are also great. You won't regret it. Oh, and isn't that cover just beautiful?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Year in the Writing Chair

Well, it's been a whole year since I bought my writing chair. I'm celebrating with the updated picture of the whole gang. It's been quite a year, writing-wise. I wrote two short stories--"Sofie and the Night Eagle," and "Star Blessed," a novella--"Consecrated," more than a hundred pages of a novel--The Ransomed Returning, as well as the complete revision of Zion Rising. I also revised the other stories and the novella, but that's not quite as big a project as a novel. I sold a novella, "The Bearer's Oath," to Mindflights magazine. I haven't had that kind of output for ten years, at least. I'm guessing the next year in the writing chair will be just as good!