Tag Archives: flash

Awards Eligibility List 2021!

I’m a little behind in my story announcements at the end of this year, a few that simply need a bit of photography love before I post. However, I would like to craft a fully-fleshed out eligibility post for awards season now rather than even later since I’m already awfully late.

This year I had 9 original stories published—the best publication year I’ve ever had, and far more than I ever dreamed of having!! I’ve listed them mostly in order of what’s available to read online and what is behind a paywall.

I’d really appreciate if you would give at least the first one, “To Seek Himself Again,” a read if you only have time to read one. The first four are all available online for free for you to check out my writing :)

Thank you for your consideration!!

(Please note: if you are nominating for awards and would like a copy of any of these stories in order to consider it, please email me at mariecroke(@)gmail.com to request)

8 Short Stories

1) “To Seek Himself Again” in Apex Magazine (Oct 2021) FREE TO READ HERE!

Keba, who has spent his life helping people craft the bodies that most represent themselves. From rabbits with bat wings and children with gills, he has built a reputation.

Only, when a lady shows up at his home, wanting a trade without being willing to part with a single part of her “pure” body, Keba is brought into a situation where life as he knows it, how the world knows it, might be lost forever.

2) “Flock of Words and Wonder” in Apparition Lit Wonders Issue (Oct 2021) FREE TO READ HERE!

The Library of All is an incredible place that can travel between worlds and houses every written work from every realm. These words arrive each day, differently shaped, a multitude of languages represented, they fly into the Library of All in the hopes of being sorted to their proper place.

3) “Aunt Taveaj’s Wolf-Friendly Sweet Shoppe” in Uncharted Magazine (Dec 2021) FREE TO READ HERE!

In those days, Aunt Taveaj’s Sweet Shoppe was a children’s delight, but the world is not always kindly to wolves. Come, let me tell you about my youth helping her bake, about the children I played with outside the shoppe walls that no longer exist. And I shall explain why our world looks the way it does now…

4) “Dance of Wood and Grace” in Zooscape Magazine (Mar 2021) FREE TO READ HERE!

This story is about a sauropod-like creature named Dirt of CrystalSleep who is born into a city where the caste-system is stringent and specific. Yet, that doesn’t stop him from harboring a whisper-want for something different.

5) “Ragged Roots of the Blossom Born” in Upon a Thrice Time (Air & Nothingness Press Nov 2021) READ HERE!

I used both Thumbalina and The Twelve Dancing Princesses in a mash-up of two fairy tales. I altered the ending of Thumbalina and made her and the swallow from her story my lead characters and gender-swapped the twelve princesses to princes. The story is botanical in nature, with the princes being of the trees in their forest, so that instead of dancing their shoes to worn bits, they are grinding down their very roots each night. And it’s Lina’s job to save them.

6) “Ten Poisons That Cannot Kill the Queen” w/ANNA MADDEN in Lackington Botanicals Issue (Dec 2021) READ HERE!

She wants to avenge her brother’s death and so sets out to assassinate the queen. Also botanical in nature, this time of the dangerous quality, with the story thematically dealing with the dangers women face in powerful positions, the higher sacrifices made, and the insidious beliefs that lead to wrong conclusions.

7) “Drop Shipment Standard Procedure” in Dark Matter Magazine (May/June 2021) READ HERE!

The short story revolves around a drop shipment with a spattering of language and translation difficulties interspersed within.

8) “How Many Crab Pots Does it Take to Destroy a Neighborhood?” in Dark Moon Digest (Jan 2021) READ HERE!

I set this mystery/horror story in a bayside community similar to the one of my youth, with a young girl investigating strange occurrences, partially to tap into my own history, partially to capture that sense of feeling off in one’s own skin, in one’s own home.

And then things turned creepy quite quickly.

Novelette

1) “Veins of My Sister” in Deep Magic (Spring 2021) READ HERE!

Long after a war base has been deserted, it still thrives, now as a city called Tews, led by Jes, woman of grit who will stop at nothing to keep her home safe.

But it’s not just the people who give Tews its reputation as a force to be reckoned with, for it was a veined city, moveable through space, weapons reacting as fast as the thoughts of whoever controlled her. Only now, there are problems. One such being Jes’s sister returning abruptly, arriving into Tews completely ignorant of the bounty Jes has put on her head. And she didn’t come alone…

Recommended Short Fiction: A GUIDE FOR WORKING BREEDS by Vina Jie-Min Prased & HOW TO SAFELY ENGAGE IN TELEPATHY WITH THE DOLPHINS OF OCEAN PARADISE by Elizabeth Cobbe


Two humorous stories told in experimental ways, both dealing with themes on freedom.

A GUIDE FOR WORKING BREEDS by Vina Jie-Min Prased is a delightful story told in DM/Text/Notification bits between a couple of robots, one having to mentor the other. There are dogs and killings and love and…you just really need to read it and smile along. Published in Made to Order Anthology and republished on Tor.com.

HOW TO SAFELY ENGAGE IN TELEPATHY WITH THE DOLPHINS OF OCEAN PARADISE by Elizabeth Cobbe is a serious tale camouflaged as humor. Told in a list/rule format style, this story takes you through the necessary precautions if you want to swim with the dolphins who can telepathically communicate with you. Only, there are asterisks and reasons for all these rules that you’ll come to realize. Published in Zooscape Zine.


“Drop Shipment Standard Procedure” Published in Dark Matter Magazine Issue 3!

My flash piece “Drop Shipment Standard Procedure” has been published in Dark Matter Magazine in their third issue! This is my fourth publication of the year!

“Drop Shipment Standard Procedure” began its life as a flash challenge. My prompt had to do with nomads of some sort, sparking forth a nomadic space group that spanned many, many ships traveling together a la Battlestar Galatica style, but without the military aspect.

The story revolves around a drop shipment with a spattering of language and translation difficulties interspersed within :D

You can buy the third issue of Dark Matter Magazine with “Drop Shipment Standard Procedure” here!

<3 Marie C.

My Odyssey Workshop Experience: The Aftermath

Where the beginning of Odyssey began slowly and ramped up, the end of Odyssey came abruptly. One day we were at lecture and critiques, had a graduation party that evening. The next day…nothing.

I wandered around, feeling lost, confused, pacing because my mind and body felt as if it was supposed to be doing something specific.

This was my life for six long weeks. I lived and breathed on Odyssey time. If I wasn’t attending lecture, I was reading a story to critique. If I wasn’t at a critique session, I was writing a story. If I wasn’t doing any of those things, I was working on a journal entry.

It got to the point where my daughter no longer asked me for tuck-ins at night. Six weeks of dad giving her nightly kisses. Six weeks of mom being locked in her office or buried in her computer or taking a walk with printed-out critique story and pencil took its toll. [I’m please to say that it only took another six-eight weeks for me to become the nightly requested tuck-in-er once more :)]

In terms of my writing, and all the things associated, my first week off Odyssey I did really well. Got back into the swing of things, went into writing-mode immediately M-F. Only, then I went on vacation, had the vacation cut short because of a hurricane and felt…morose. Partly because that vacation had been something I’d considered my reward and partly because suddenly I was smacked with all the things I’d let slide for two months.

I work on two pen names at once, so the list I compiled of projects to finish suddenly felt astronomical. Both blogs needed attention and posts; a novella needed finishing; promo work for a novel needed to be done; my submission number had dropped to a measly 1-2 out and stories desperately needed to be sent out; I had a stack of stories from Odyssey and before that needed editing; another novel to start preparing to write; my house was a complete wreck; my book club needed to meet; I was behind on reading I’d wanted to do; school was starting and would be at home; family felt partially abandoned by me and needed time and attention; and I’d agreed to do small extra things, like critiques & practice sessions that were now on the calendar; …I began to get that frozen feeling ones does when they feel like nothing you do will get you closer to finishing that goddamned elephant. Continue reading

My Odyssey Workshop Experience: The Graduating Class!

And here we are! Brand new graduates! Survivalists! Word-Wizards!

I wanted to say a few things/memories about everyone, maybe show you how they’re people and not just faces :)

TOP ROW (Lf-Rt):

Jeanne – our fearless, ingenious leader. Ever insisting that a character’s uppance is coming. Always giving us one-on-one encouragement. Never allowing us to wallow in despair. A taskmaster. But a kind one, who sees and acknowledges our development and progress.

Adam – Out of all of us, he was the one who liked to move around, his background changing to another part of his house now and then. He had a huge amount of energy during a Conan reading! That could not be forgotten for the rest of the workshop as people would tap him to read passages of passion. I’m pretty sure he’s a borderlands fan and he’s been giving us all marketing tips as that’s part of his background.

Ola – My virtual roommate! We got to talk before the workshop started and would chat in private messages (but only during casual conversation time, of course). She lives in New York City, is incredibly organized and super driven. She commemorates aspects of her experiences in script tattoos on her wrist (that I thought were bracelets at first) and I find that to be an amazing way to keep those experiences alive. [She has also started a brand-new pro-paying magazine called khōréō magazine that has a focus on elevating stories of immigrants and those affected by diaspora, so be sure to give it a check!] Continue reading