So one of the things that did happen was the format change and relaunch of 101 Fiction. The first issue came out on September first and was, I think, a quiet success. People enjoyed what they read, and that, surely, has to be the point.
I didn't get as many submissions as I'd hoped, but I did get some really fantastic writing, some real gems. Which meant the issue was smaller than I had been thinking, because I wasn't prepared to accept anything that didn't work for me. Everything in there does something for me. I'd like to think there is something to be had from reading it as a whole, as well as just the individual pieces. There is a wonderful breadth of thought, variety and creativity in those stories.
It's entirely possible I went a little overboard myself. I say I have been in a down cycle, but I wrote six drabbles on the issue's themes (Autumn and/ or phoenix). Six! Partly because I know how difficult being objective can be when it comes to your own work and I didn't want to write one piece and decide it was good enough. So I wrote lots and hoped that the one I thought best was up to quality.
In the end it was Seasons that made the cut. I felt it had the most going for it, and was the most successful on multiple levels. But I liked all of them, and it wasn't an easy decision at all. So here are two more. Enjoy.
Keila searched Tor's face, her heart faltering at the distance in his eyes, "What is it? What is wrong?"
Had he come back to her in body, only to be broken of mind?
She reached for him, "Tor?"
"Each time, the fire claims a little more."
Keila took his face in her hands, "It is too much to ask."
He looked down, focussing on her. She felt his skin cracking beneath her palms as he smiled, heat seeping out. She saw the spark in his eyes reignite.
"No, Keila. There is no cost too great to keep me from you."
She pulled her windswept hair back from her face, laughing. "I love this time of year."
I didn't know what to say. I was overdressed, the last of summer's heat still cradling us despite the shorter days. I was all too aware of my temperature rising.
She looked up at the sparse clouds sliding overhead. "Autumn feels undervalued, you know. I mean, sure, everybody loves the leaves, but it's not the height of summer, or the dead of winter, or spring's rebirth. It's overlooked. Well, not by me. I love it."
The wind stole my breath. She was my Autumn.
And if you haven't been over to 101 Fiction for issue 1 yet, then do pop over. There's even a downloadable pdf of the issue if you want to save it for later. =)