Interview with Quarter Castle Publishing

Another shameless plug. This time an interview with Quarter Castle Publishing. Behold, my majesty!

I have to admit that I love talking about my writing process.

It forces a level of self-reflexivity that I think is healthy, as well as provides a valuable time to reflect on the effectiveness of my process.

Also, I am vain.

(Also also… that picture of me had a plate of pierogis artfully cropped out.)

Quarter Castle Publishing

Author InterviewAshleigh Rajala of New Westminster, British Columbia, is the author of Working Title, the winning submission in Quarter Castle Publishing’s first short story writing contest.

Recently Quarter Castle Publishing interviewed Ashleigh.

QCP: When did you decide to become a writer?

Ashleigh: I remember a moment as a book-obsessed child where I realized that someone created those books and that I too could do that. The first story I wrote was about a dinosaur, and my mum sewed a cover onto it and everything. Sadly, this opus has been lost to history. So I never really decided, it was just something I have always done.

QCP: Do you write every day? If not, how many days do you dedicate to writing?

Ashleigh: I write every day. Sometimes life gets in the way, but that’s okay. But I try to never let myself stop if I’m feeling blocked or less than…

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Quarter Castle Chronicles… chronicled

I am extremely thrilled and humbled to share that Quarter Castle Chronicles, Volume One, is now available in print and e-book!

Quarter Castle Chronicles ~ Volume One showcases 13 short stories by 12 Canadian authors. They take place in settings across the country, both in the present and the past. From the rugged coast of Newfoundland to the streets of Vancouver, we are flung to far off places like Romania and Swaffham Prior. The authors spin tales of life, survival, death and the realm beyond.

The Chronicles include the winners and honourable mentions of the 2014 Quarter Castle Short Story contest. My piece, Working Title, was the winning story, which humbles me so greatly I’m sitting on the ground as I write.*

Please, check it out and be still my pride.


*That’s a lie. It’s an office chair. But I’m on the setting closest to the ground. You’ll just have to trust me on that.

Consider the Working Title Worked

I’m happy to share that one of my works has been included in the latest issue of WomenArts Quarterly Journal.

Based out of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, WomenArts Quarterly Journal (WAG) is:

an initiative of Women in the Arts, aspires to nurture, provide support, and challenge women of all cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and abilities in their role in the arts and seeks to heighten the awareness and understanding of the achievements of women creators, by providing audiences with historical and contemporary examples of the work of women writers, composers, and artists.

And thus I am really proud to be included in their ranks.

Continue reading “Consider the Working Title Worked”

Unmasked with Crab Fat!

A short story of mine – a slightly awkward New Journalism-inspired piece – is up online at Crab Fat Literary Magazine.

Unmasked! is an expose of the long-since retired superhero as he at long last reveals his true identity to the world.

I’m quite pleased with this piece, but I’ve been sitting on it for a while. It’s such an odd little number that it’s been hard to place with a publication. (Naturally, a magazine called Crab Fat seemed the logical solution.)

The Review is in!

The first review came in for Redwing: Speculative Fiction Takes Flight. It is a glowing review from fantasy magazine Black Gate that also includes an enlightening discussion about the increasing visibility of small presses and what that means for niche readers and writers.

“Ticker Tape Kings” by Ashleigh Rajala is next, a time travel story unlike any I’ve read. It plays around with tenses and with conventions — not so much conventions of time travel, but of time travel stories. Elegantly written, it gives the protagonist a difficult character-based choice to make, and follows her as she makes it.

Thank you so much, Black Gate!

Presenting Redwing

2aceedf2-c678-4d53-9ed0-bfac020cbad0Ah ha! The much awaited publication of Redwing is here!

Redwing: Speculative Fiction Takes Flight is available as an e-book for Kindle and Kobo. With ten stories for $2.99, that’s mere pennies per mind-blowing experience!

Somewhere within that epic of majesty is my piece, Ticker Tape Kings… a strange meditation on time travel and the realities of the past. I hope you enjoy it; I’m rather proud.

When I was Thirteen a Thesaurus Lied to Me

ataraxiaContrary to the alleged wisdom of Roget’s Super Thesaurus 1995 edition (what deemed it “super” the tome never explained): “poetry” and “prose” are NOT synonyms. Thirteen-year-old me did not realize this. I trusted the almighty power of the printed word. Old notebooks now hold embarrassing hand-lettered titlepages. Of course, by “hand-lettered,” I mean letters cut from Seventeen magazine like a ransom note.

I digress.

Full disclosure: I don’t write poetry very often.

Continue reading “When I was Thirteen a Thesaurus Lied to Me”

Hark! A Prophecy!

1979738_10152198477557550_1451357022_nIn the hallowed halls of Main Street, in the aptly named Cottage Bistro, there shall be a gathering, and this gathering shall be called “The Launch! with PRISM, Event, poetry is dead, and Room Magazine.”

The date of this party shall be the seventeenth of April (a Thursday, methinks), in the year of 2014.

And the time of this event shall be seven in the evening.

And there one Ashleigh of House Rajala shall go forth and read aloud the words issued by her own hand.

Or, in the words of the event organizers:

Please join us as we celebrate our latest issues and the spirit of literary magazines in BC!! With special musical guests ‘Vocal Jazz Jam with Woolysock Band.’ Readers include: Billeh Nickerson, Dina Del Bucchia, Ashleigh Rajala, and Karen Lee. Our MC is Elizabeth Bachinsky!

In other news, I’m running out of creative ways to make simple announcements.

A ROOM of My Own… Bad Puns

37.1-web (1)I have a short story in the latest issue of Room, Canada’s oldest literary journal by and about women! This print journal is available at bookstores around Canada (if you’re lucky enough to a.) live in Canada, and b.) frequent bookstores, and c.) be capable of reading things undeliverable via an electronic device).

The piece is called Kings Cross, a short segment I had been working on for a while, and seemed perfectly at home in this issue about Fashion, Trend, and Personal Style 37.1.

Please check it out as there are many other great pieces by other exciting writers, such as the lovely and talented Taryn Hubbard!

Chiselling Away at Genre Expectations

steelchisellogoOver at The Steel Chisel, you can find a short story of mine, “Scenes from a Road Movie.” This is a piece I’d been sculpting away at for a while, so it seems only appropriate that it be published somewhere with “chisel” in the name.

The Road Movie is one of my favourite film genres. I wrote a paper on the Canadian Road Movie in university and the first “novel” (I use the word novel here so loosely it doesn’t even have grasp on itself) I wrote – when I was twelve – was called Road Trip. I’ve always found something fascinating about a journey rendered literal. Perhaps this comes from a similar well as my love of travel.

Continue reading “Chiselling Away at Genre Expectations”