“Hobgoblin” Now Available in the Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales anthology!

I’m excited to announce that “Hobgoblin,” my flash fiction take on an old fairy tale trope, appears in Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales from Jayhenge Publishing! This anthology, which just released last week, is a collection of over 400 pages of new fairy tale takes – or retellings of lost knowledge, if you’d like. 😉 You can purchase it here at Amazon, in ebook or paperback formats. Here’s the backcover blurb, and a little bit of the introduction, which I quite like:

Superstitions, Legends, Folklore and Old Wives’ Tales–where do they come from? How did they get started? What’s the “real” reason we throw spilled salt over our shoulder or avoid stepping on a crack? What were the old women really afraid of when someone broke a mirror? Delve into the imagination and enjoy our theories!

Knowledge once, was tough to come by.
Like anything of value, various entities have tried to control it, hoard it, keep the rabble from using said knowledge, whether it was how to splint a broken leg or how to best take care of the crops. When writing was developed, keeping knowledge bound became harder in some ways, but humans have been around far longer than the written word. Before the written word, knowledge had to be passed through memory by the spoken word.
And few things retain knowledge like stories. Wives’ tales, folklore, mythology; all of these make up the first FAQ of humanity, a knowledge base that didn’t respond to search terms or limiters, but characters and plot…

whigmaleeries, wives' tales, old wives tale, anthology, jayhenge press, jayhenge publishing, jayhenge books, rebecca gomez farrell, hobgoblin, fairy tale collection

Its appearance in the Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales anthology is “Hobgoblin’s” second printing — the story was a runner-up for the Fall 2017 WOW! Women on Writing Flash Fiction contest, and it was published by WOW! Women on Writing in February 2018. Here are “Hobgoblin’s” first few lines to entice you to make a purchase:

Hobgoblin, they name me. The word’s consonance fills me with venom. If squeezed together on the page, the letters would ooze disgust: hob. . . gob . . . lin. It’s a corruption of my time-honored service and an insult to my squat and sturdy frame. To call me that and wonder why I torment them? I feel the evidence is plain.

And some photographic mood-setting for the tale…

I was inspired to write “Hobgoblin” for a prompt for Saturday Night Special, an ongoing open mic series. The prompt was “heroes and villains,” and this poetic, somewhat nostalgic hobgoblin character came to mind. I went for a hobgoblin because they provide a rougher canvas than most fae creatures, not being quite as well-established in our communal zeitgeist. I knew I wanted to play with a character that did not consider itself a villain, but found that it could not endure the unkindess of others without giving in to their perceptions.

I hope you will read and enjoy “Hobgoblin” in Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales! I’m looking forward to this anthology greatly myself, as I love the topic. Plus, I need to figure out what a whigmaleerie is…

Whigmaleeries & Wives' Tales, hobgoblin, rebecca gomez farrell, jayhenge

Click here for the Amazon link!

Appearing at the WWS Submission Conference on Saturday!

The WWS Submission Conference is a one day, online event on Saturday, August 8, 2020, beginning at 10 am PT. I’ll be appearing on the panel entitled “Empowering your Community: A Talk with WWS Chapter Leads” at 2:15 pm.

This is a topic near and dear to me, as I’m a strong supporter in the importance of writer communities for keeping up motivation and perseverance in a writer’s career. To that end, I have been a chapter lead with Women Who Submit (WWS) for the past few years, running one of their Bay Area chapters.

What’s WWS? Well, they are the hosts of this conference and a national organization devoted to empowering women and nonbinary writers by creating physical and virtual spaces for sharing information, supporting and encouraging submissions to literary journals, and clarifying the submission and publication process.

women who submit, women who submit lit, submission process, submission conference conference, literary, writers

If you fit those criteria: a writer who identifies as a woman and/or nonbinary, you are welcome to attend this free conference! Tickets will be limited to 100 participants, and registration closes on Thursday. You can register by completing this Google form. Here’s the schedule for the conference!

  • 10am-11am: New Member Orientation with WWS Director, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo
  • 11:15am-12:15pm: Demystifying Top Tier Submissions with Cynthia Guardado, Anita Gill, Hazel Kight Witham, moderated by Lituo Huang
  • 12:15pm-1pm: Zoom Lunch
  • 1pm-2pm: Magazine and Journal Editors Share Best Practices with Cassandra Lane, Raina León, Muriel Leung, moderated by Ramona Pilar
  • 2:15-3:15: Empowering your Community: A Talk with WWS Chapter Leads Desiree Kannel, Rebecca Gomez Farrell, and moderated by Ashaki M. Jackson

Join me for Story Hour on 7/22!

This coming Wednesday, I’ll be appearing at Story Hour, a weekly reading of speculative fiction hosted by authors Daniel Marcus and Laura Blackwell. Story Hour has only been in existence since April, but already, this reading series has included a ton of great authors in our field, and I am delighted to join their ranks. I’ll be reading with Laura Davy, who’s a friend and a lovely person and author.

Story Hour focuses on the short form, preferring that stories can be read in full during each author’s half of the show. Luckily, I already have a handful of short stories recently published to share! Definitely, “An Inconvenient Quest” from the A Quiet Afternoon anthology will make an appearance. Likely, my 100-word non-fiction tale, “Some Who Wander,” will round out my reading. And perhaps I’ll have time to fit in another story that’ll be reprinted soon…

I hope to see you Wednesday at 7pm PT! You can join Story Hour either through Zoom or through Facebook Live. Links to both are here at their website.

“An Inconvenient Quest” published in A Quiet Afternoon anthology!

My short story, “An Inconvenient Quest,” appears in A Quiet Afternoon, an anthology of Low-Fi speculative fiction from Grace&Victory Publications. The anthology is due out on July 1, 2020.

a quiet afternoon, an inconvenient quest, cozy stories, cozy fantasy, cozy scifi, short stories, fairies

What’s Low-Fi speculative fiction? Foreward writer Laura DeHaan describes it as “The stakes are low. The expectations are reasonable. The resolutions are quietly satisfactory. Problems are solved with words, not violence. And sometimes, not much happens. There might not even be an appreciable amount of fantasy or science fiction. Still, it’s Low-Fi. It feels cosy. It reads easy. It enjoys the little victories.”

My “An Inconvenient Quest” fits right in with that billing, though for the main character, a funny-smelling sprite named Levolin, the stakes are rather high indeed – the sprite queen is sick! Levolin must wield what he’s always viewed as a fault to save the queen, who’s never found any fault in him. Here are the beginning lines of the story:

Raindrop-sized jellyfish skittered out of Levolin’s reach, a familiar reaction to his presence. The sprite’s people had skittered away from him since his youth, once his unique pheromone sequence had matured into a less-than-pleasing blend. Most sprites enjoyed each other’s scents. Every feeling, person, and experience had its own redolent signature: roasted cacao beans, or rain on warm asphalt, or perhaps, peacefulness. Levolin’s just happened to be unappealing.

I do hope you’ll follow Levolin on his aromatic journey into purposeful mischief and heroism. A Quiet Afternoon will be available in e-book formats on its page at the Grace&Victory website on July 1, 2020.

Here is some photographic inspiration as you read the story. Just imagine yourself as a tiny sprite, drawn in by an irresistible smell . . .

rebecca gomez farrell, the gourmez, red flowers, calanchoe, flowers of oakland, #flowersofoaklandI hope you enjoy “An Inconvenient Quest” and all the stories in A Quiet Afternoon.

“Some Who Wander” now published by Intrinsick!

“Some Who Wander” is a short, but not sweet, piece of micro-nonfiction that appears at Instrinsick magazine.

What does micro-nonfiction mean? It means this creative work is less than a hundred words long, and it is an account of one of my many adventures while taking a walk. It turned out slightly better than the time I fell into a blackberry thicket and ended up with poison oak for weeks . . .

Because this tale is so swift, I’m not going to share a lead-in quote. Instead, I’ll explain the story’s title.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Now, Tolkien is writing about Strider here, a ranger in Middle Earth who wanders purposefully through the wilds. Strider, of course, will soon be revealed to be Aragon, the rightful king of Gondor. It is one of my favorite bits from the Lord of the Rings series. But while “not all who wander are lost,” my title, “Some Who Wander,” is meant to imply that some who wander are, indeed, quite lost, as you’ll learn when you read what happened to me.

I will also give you some photographic inspiration to set the mood:

rebecca gomez farrell, some who wander, giants causeway, ireland, hiking path, wet stairs

You can read “Some Who Wander” here.

“Forming and Sustaining a Successful Writing or Critique Group” Panel at the 2020 SFWA Nebula Conference Online

Tomorrow afternoon, at 3:30pm PDT, I’ll be moderating and participating in the “Forming and Sustaining a Successful Writing or Critique Group” panel at the 2020 SFWA Nebula Conference, which of course, is taking place online.

SFWA, Nebula, Nebulas, conference

The panel topic is one that’s dear to my heart, both in terms of becoming a better writer and in terms of building writer communities that can support us through this often challenging career:

Writing is often a solitary endeavor–and with the current pandemic, it has become even more so. Writing and critique groups don’t eliminate the aspects of writing that can only be done solo, but a good group can serve as both a social support net as well as providing trusted feedback. Panelists will discuss the factors that go into building a successful group, both online and in-person, and what they’ve learned about keeping one going.

My fellow panelists include A. T. Greenblatt, A.C. Wise, Vylar Kaftan, and Curtis C. Chen, which makes the majority of them finalists for this year’s Nebula Awards, the ceremony for which takes place tonight at 5pm PDT. Regardless of whether they win or lose, they are sure to contribute valuable insight to this topic.

If you are an attendee of #Nebulas2020, you can join us at the link below tomorrow. The panel will only be available to attendees of the conference at this time.

Forming and Sustaining a Successful Writing or Critique Group (Sponsored By Clarion West)

I hope to “see” you there!

Wishing for More Now Available in Helios Quarterly!

I am thrilled that my romantic urban fantasy tale, “Wishing for More,” appears in Helios Quarterly Magazine 4.4, which came out in December 2019 (why yes, I am behind on promo).

helios quarterly, rebecca gomez farrell, wishing for more

In “Wishing for More,” a dastardly magical plant outwits stubborn Jewls, forcing her to accept rescue from her childhood friend Cesar. Both newly graduated from Jinn School, Jewls and Cesar set out for a night of adventure, foraging for more mystical plants Jewls can sell to pay the bills and avoid disappointing the Jinn Cadre. Will she use up all her wishing power before she realizes what she wishes for most?

The first lines:

Just a little bit more.

Jewls placed her hand on the guardrail meant to stop people from doing exactly what she was about to: hang over the edge of a desolate ocean cliff. An alep’s hound plant grew about five feet down the cliff’s rockface, its cornucopia of dagger-shaped leaves folded tightly in a nautilus spiral. Jewls had parked her car by the highway and made her way down an abandoned lighthouse’s access road, on a night blowing icy mist, to harvest it.

She shuffled on her stomach over the rim, reaching with her free hand, but the alep’s hound darted left and right, avoiding her straining fingers. A wave crashed against the jagged boulders, sending up a high plume of seawater that drenched her. Brrr. She tried not to ponder those depths, focused on the plant, leaning farther—

Helios Quarterly 4.4 is available directly from the publisher’s webstore in .mobi or .epub formats. You can also purchase from Amazon for $2.99 for the Kindle here. It contains four other short stories in addition to “Wishing for More.” Get your copy now!

And here’s a photo inspiration to set the story’s mood:

c-shell photo, santa cruz, west cliff, night, cliffs

Photo copyright C-Shell Photo

Catch me at FOGcon 2020!

Starting Friday, I’ll be attending FOGcon (website) in Walnut Creek, which is a local convention for speculative fiction writers and enthusiasts. It runs March 6-8 this year, and yes, it is still on despite the coronavirus threat. As I am not in a high-risk population, I plan to attend.

fogcon, 2020, walnut creek, rebecca goemz farrell
You can buy a membership for a full day’s events at FOGcon whether you come Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or all of the above. It’s a small con, but that’s part of the reason why I enjoy going so much–there’s so much opportunity to check in with other writers and fans that live locally.

These are the panels and readings I’ll be appearing at:

-Food in Genre Fiction, panelist, Fri, 3:00–4:15 pm. Inspired by Mary Anne Mohanraj’s latest publication being a cookbook, let’s think about food and its place in genre fiction! In stories where a stranger visits a new culture, we often hear about their food choices (Becky Chambers’s “Record of a Spaceborn Few” comes to mind). Food can be a marker of similarity or difference between people, and ultimately, it is a necessity. When our worlds change, what happens to the food in them?

-Choosing Your Own Adventures, panelist, Sat, 10:30–11:45 am. For many of us, the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books were an early exposure to speculative fiction — and we remember them with fondness. They are also experiencing a pop-culture resurgence. Panelists will discuss some of their favorite examples, what is different about the books (both the experience of writing and reading them), and their influence on the wider culture.

-People Aren’t Food: Cliches in Description, panelist, Sun, 10:30–11:45 am. Her heart-shaped face. His chiseled jaw. He’s ruggedly handsome. Her rose-colored complexion. The women are stunningly beautiful or haggardly ugly. Her cinnamon visage, his coffee-colored arms. He stared stonily. Women sob. Men weep. What are better ways to describe actual people and what they do, without falling into gendered and racialized tropes?

-Reading #10, Sun, 1:30–2:45 pm, reading with Elwin Cotwin, Jr., and Andrea Stewart. During this event, I’ll giving away a copy of Wings Unseen, and Andrea will also have a few books for audience members to hopefully win! Enticements for coming to the last reading of a convention are always appreciated.

fogcon 2020, reading, rebecca gomez farrell, elwin cotman

And you can often find me hanging out in the lobby bar. Come say hi! Wings Unseen will be available in the vendor’s room (or ask me if they run out!).

“What Scattered in the Wind” appears in Accolades!

I’m so thrilled that “What Scattered in the Wind” is reprinted in the Accolades anthology from Women Who Submit Lit. The anthology launches today at the AWP conference in San Antonio.

accolades, accolades anthology, women who submit, women who submit lit, publishing women, horror, what scattered in the wind, rebecca gomez farrell

“What Scattered in the Wind” first appeared in Little Letters on the Skin, a chapbook/anthology (more info here). It’s a flash fiction horror tale of an older woman who wakes to find unwanted, and long forgotten, visitors to her isolated desert mesa.

What makes this reprint so special is that Accolades is a celebration of the submissions, acceptances, and publications of members of the national Women Who Submit Lit organization, of which I run a local chapter.

women who submit, women who submit lit, submission, publishing

Every other month, I spend two hours submitting out my work for publication and encouraging other writers to do the same. Accolades is proof of how effective that support and time investment is, as all the works featured within it are reprints of writing WWSL members have had published elsewhere — all that perseverance pays off!

Accolades is available in print from Amazon for $15. Here are the leading lines into “What Scattered in the Wind”:

Hollow rasps of laughter pestered her to wakefulness. Any noise would have done the same, though she clamped her eyelids together in protest. For years, Ruth had heard nothing but the teakettle’s hiss or the slow scrape of her cane against the camper’s floor panels. The creaking sound of her voice rarely interrupted the silence. Unlike the other wayfarers, Ruth had never developed the habit of talking to herself. She didn’t care to hear what she’d have to say.

“Hee-hee, hee-he-heee!“

And a photo to set the mood:

what scattered in the wind, the gourmez, fiction, horror, trailers

“Treasure” Reprinted in Best Indie Speculative Fiction 2019!

Great news! “Treasure” has been reprinted in the Best Indie Speculative Fiction 2019 anthology from Bards & Sages! As Bards & Sages describes it, “This collection is our annual celebration of the small press and independent publishing community.”

Best Indie Speculative Fiction 2019 features twelve short stories of fantasy, science fiction, and horror that have been published over the past two years, and it came out in November 2019. Currently, it’s available from Amazon here.

“Treasure,” a fantasy fable, was originally published in the Dark Luminous Wings anthology from Pole to Pole Publishing. Here are the first few lines:

Wind thundered past the slats of the storage cabin. Hidden within a barrel of fish guts, the stowaway braced herself for lurching. But when the ship pitched sharply sternside, Enkid knew it was no ordinary squall. A storm this bad would force the captain out of his quarters despite his usual drunken stupor, creating an opportunity to filch the beveled, green-glass vial he wore around his neck. It held hemlock tincture, a rare poison that would come in handy for someone in Enkid’s line of work.

And here is a photo I took during a Paperhand Puppet Intervention show, which may, or may not have, influenced a certain element of this tale. Enjoy!

city of frogs paperhand puppet intervention