Forestborn Published in Gamut

My story “Forestborn” has been published in the second issue of Gamut. If you have a subscription, I’d love for you to read it.

“I am forestborn,” the girl with a wild bird’s nest for hair said to me. “I can’t live in houses.”

The fiction line-up in this issue:

FICTION // Stephen Graham Jones, E. Catherine Tobler, Steve Rasnic Tem, Mercedes M. Yardley, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Sylvia Heike, and Kate O’Connor


Where did this strange story come from?

This was one of those rare stories that just flowed out from me. I can’t remember what story I had been working on at the time, but I was struggling, frustrated, trying too hard. This was about a year ago. Then I had a fleeting inspiration, as well as the room to myself, and thought I’d just sit down to free-write with no expectations. What did I have to lose?

The story was a mix of things that had been brewing inside me for a while, I think. My love for the forest, birds, some artwork I’d seen–landscapes and flowers painted inside animal and bird silhouettes.

In the evenings, I often watched for a few minutes how a hare came to eat in our garden. It always struck me how bunny-like it was. Yawning, stretching, perking its ears. Of course I’d already seen the primal instincts in my rabbits over the years: escape reaction at the silliest of things, back feet thumping warning signs, fluffy tails vanishing under the bed. Same creature in two different worlds, separated by a window glass. One with the forest in their heart.

The story itself came to be about a strange forestborn girl, flowing from that lucky first line.

After the first draft there was of course a lot of editing involved, an ending to figure out, but the story at its heart was already there.

I hope you enjoy it.

– Sylvia

p.s. You can purchase a single issue here.

A Short Story Sale To Gamut

I am excited to announce that I have sold a short story, “Forestborn,” to Gamut. I don’t have an exact date to give you yet other than you can read it in 2017.

Here’s what the editor-in-chief, Richard Thomas, had to say about my story on Facebook:

“This is a touching, haunting story about love, destiny, and place. I can’t wait to share it with you all.”

Dreamy forest

This is my first professional sale which means it’s the first story I’ve sold to a magazine that pays professional rates. For a writer, it’s a special, shiny milestone with extra glimmer.

In the mean time, check out Gamut, a new online magazine that launches on January 1, 2017. You can best learn what they’re about on Gamut’s now-closed Kickstarter page or by visiting their website.

–Sylvia

Image by: Koan at Morguefile.com, edited by me

Nomination for the The Pushcart Prize

I’m excited to tell you that my story, “Goodbye, Sunshine,” has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize! The nominating literary magazine is The Molotov Cocktail.

Their six nominees this year:

The Molotov Cocktail 2015 Pushcart Prize Nominations

In November, small press literary magazines each nominate six works for the prize. The pieces (poems or stories) need to have been published in their magazine in the current year.

Snow

When I heard on Twitter The Molotov Cocktail was in the process of picking their nominations, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. But deep down I knew that, maybe, just maybe, there was a possibility since my story won one of their quarterly contests (Flash Fury).

When I got the email with the news, I was stunned! And super happy. It wasn’t expected. It was a gift. The nomination in itself is such a huge honour for me, a newish writer who struggles with every story. This is great encouragement to keep writing and a great finish for a wonderful year.

– Sylvia

p.s. Our snow has melted, but an image bank never disappoints.

Image: Snow glow by Zornyx, freeimages.com