Hi, friends.

Wow, January simultaneously flew by and lagged. So far, my little family has seemed to dodge the virus, although one of my kids ended up in distance learning for a week while his classroom did a “reset” after COVID spread. We got through it, and we’re all back to a semi-routine again.

The real reason I’m here, though, is I have amazing news. It’s only January, and I’ve already had two story acceptances in 2022! In fact, one of those stories is already out in the world as of TODAY!

I’m super proud to announce my flash story, “The Impossible Task of Bringing Water,” is now online at Apparition Literary Magazine! If you like rivals to friends mages trying to bring their communities together through water, then this story is for you.

Apparition Lit is an amazing speculative fiction magazine publishing short stories, poems, essays, and editorials. They also have a Monthly Flash Fiction Challenge. On their site, they have uploaded a different photo prompt for each month of the year. Inspired writers can submit a flash story based on the photo prompt from the 1st to the 14th of that month. After a short reading period, the editors pick their favorite and publish it at the end of the month. And there can be only one!

The photo prompt my story was based on is a black and white image of a large cactus surrounded by black birds of prey by Mexican photographer, Graciela Iturbide. You can see the image under Apparition Lit’s Submission Guidelines along with the rest of this year’s photo prompts. I highly recommend attempting the challenge if you’re a writer. The editorial team at Apparition Lit are amazing! I enjoyed working with them to make my story the best it could be before they released it into the world.

I did say I had two story acceptances this month, but I can’t really talk about the second one until the contract has been signed. There will be an announcement as soon as it’s out, I promise! I can say I’m super excited about this next story being published. I’m really proud of it, just like I’m really proud of the one that came out today. Like my children, I don’t think I have any favorites.

That’s it for now. Hopefully, I’ll be back in February with more news on the story publishing front.

As always, thanks for reading.

A. Cook

Amanda Cook is a writer and stay at home mom who lives in a southern Indiana woods with her spouse, kids, and one clingy dog. In the Before Times (and sometimes even now), she could/can be found helping out with her kids' school, catching up on her toppling TBR pile, playing games with her friends, hanging out at virtual conventions, crying over period dramas, or sewing yet another cosplay. Her second novel, "When We Were Forgotten," was the winner of the 2018 Bronze Medal for Best Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror E-Book from the Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards. She writes short speculative fiction and poetry that can be found at various markets and here on her blog.

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