They published the The Mermaid's Shadow Lamp in four parts. Here is the summary from their site:
Miriam Manchester is a bitter spinster and so rude that she is known as the Witch of Shorewood and is suspected of having sinister powers. One day she espies and purchases a musical shadow lamp in an antique store. Its beauty and music comfort her. It also has powers that surprise even a witch.Three things inspired me to write this tale -- a love of shadow lamps, my favorite antique store, as a child, and your standard spooky witch who lives on your block.
First, I wanted to write a tale about a magical shadow lamp. I saw one in a magazine and I'd always wanted one as a child. For those of you who are not familiar with shadow lamps, here is a link to give you an idea. They are rotating lamps casting shadows onto the walls of the room. Miriam's has a music box included, though hers is directly from my imagination and not Amazon's modern version:
The second inspiration for this story was Chattel Changers. One of my parents' hobbies is antiquing, so as a little girl I often went with them to this neat antique store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I enjoyed wandering the two-story shop and gazing at all the jewelry. I also found myself particularly drawn to the lacquered boxes and music boxes. While Miriam's antique store is not exactly the same, I drew upon the memory of Chattel Changers.
The third inspiration was the universal childhood rumor of a neighborhood witch on my block. Every child growing up has the house at Halloween that no one wants to go trick or treating at because the woman is a witch. Fortunately, I had two such characters. I moved into the neighborhood I lived in for twenty-three years, with two rumored witches. One of them turned out to be a family friend eventually, but the other one scared me even more than the dark as a child! I dreaded having to pick up my ball from her front yard and after the first Halloween, I never, EVER rang her doorbell again!
I hope you enjoy The Mermaid's Shadow Lamp as much as I enjoyed writing it. I asked Don Webb for a comment on my piece because rarely as writers do we actually discover why our stories were accepted or rejected. His reply: The gist is that the Review Board liked the characters, dialogue, and setting.
So what are editors looking for? Well, Mr. Webb, his Review Board, and Jim Harrington, a veteran writer for Bewildering Stories, answer those questions in What Do Editors Want? They look for good grammar, an entertaining read, and great characters/story settings. The article also discusses common writing mistakes and the top three reasons stories are rejected. I recommend it for all writers. You can also find more helpful articles on their site here:
As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!