November 29th, 2016

I’ve been silent for a few weeks, but that is not to say that I haven’t been active. For the last month, I have been involved in a job that is located two hours from my house, so most of my spare time has vanished as I commute.

This did not stop me from writing.

Over the last month I submitted several short stories and have been pleased to announce that one of them was selected.

Several others though, were rejected.

One story of mine, that I’m particularly proud of, has met its most recent rejection as a publisher folded under financial distress. Although I know such things do happen in the industry, it saddens me to hear the news and not just because now I must search for another publisher for said tale.

Another batch of rejections came with something more vital, a critique.

While harsh and unyielding, and certainly wounding to my pride, I found the rejections helpful. Not only were the words necessary in letting me understand what that particular editor requires, I found her advice invigorating. The bit I liked the most? Forget the word count.

What a relief to hear. I often feel trapped in making a minimum. Some stories, while long in my head, come out as little more than a handful of paragraphs when completed, forcing me to either slow the pacing, or voice the characters more against each other, which does not always fit the way the story is told.

I was also sent a handbook that is well written and entertaining, while still guiding and educational.

Between focusing on the few stories I have selected for myself for December, I am going to challenge myself to get at least ONE story printed by that particular editor.

Bon Chance.

November 5th, 2016

Well, October has come and gone.

I believe that I was productive. I made a total of six submissions over the month with a total word count, after editing, of 22,000 words.

Not bad, but the real evaluation of how productive October really was, will be if any of my submissions are published. In September I made 2 submissions, and had 1 success, 1 rejection.

50% success ratio.

While I don’t expect that high a success ratio for October, ( My enthusiasm and expectations have been withered by years of rejection letters ) I do hope for a 15% success at least.

My real hope however, is for 2 of my horror shorts to achieve publication, at which point I plan to apply for HWA membership.

I’ve also been inspecting my expenses. So far, I am at a net loss, which is expected. Royalty checks don’t come until a story is published, and short stories only pay out once the publication has actually been completed. I have a fiscal goal to meet.

That my writing breaks even of expenses.

I’ve taken a week off to relax. Hopefully, my mind will be refreshed enough to create new worlds and new adventures.

Well, enough dilly-dally, back to the drawing board.

 

October 30th, 2016

It’s happened to me, again.

There was an anthology guideline that caught my eye. After retreating to my thinking room, (The washroom, c’mon, we all think in there.) I came up with a story that sounded awesome to me.  With phone in hand, I hurriedly scrawled out my synopsis, theme and characters.

Then I retired for the night.

When I awoke, I scanned my notes. There was something wrong. The plot was too close to the story that had inspired the anthology.

Apologies Mr. Clive Barker.

I immediately began to plan anew. One day, I will finish the first idea I had, but not right now. It will remain on my burner until a new opportunity arises where it will shine on its own.

My second work for the anthology is inspired by several cultures views of the afterlife. I view it as an homage to Dante’s Inferno.

This brings to mind the question: Where does homage end and plagiarism begin?

October 15th, 2016

On Wednesday morning I awoke to an email stating that my short story, Tooth, Claw and Fan had been accepted into Dogpatch PressDogs of War anthology.

What an amazing feeling.

One novel and one short story accepted within a month of each other. After years of struggle, countless rejections and much, much self-doubt, I am going to be a twice-published author, but I can not let it get to my head. I must remember that I have only succeeded because:

 – I was willing to accept the help of others and listen to their opinions.

– I have been welcomed by a community that encourages creation and self-expression.

– I have not given up.

On that note, I shall continue writing short stories in an attempt to get my name out there. I know some authors turn their noses up at short stories, but I enjoy writing them. Stories of under 7k words are a fun challenge where writing little, must mean a lot.

October 9th, 2016

And so begins my advertising campaign.

It has started small. So far I have applied the strategy I like to call, “Getting my name out there.” This has consisted of finding anthologies that fit me styles and applying to them. Last month I submitted to two collections, Ghosts on Drugs and Dogs of War from Dogpatch Press.

This month, being the time of spooky and disturbing stories, I’ve set myself a goal to write for a few more anthologies. This has been slowed however, by both the busy season at work, and the maintenance season at home as we try to prepare ourselves to withstand the upcoming snow and cold of winter.

In doing research for one of the anthologies, I have finally grabbed an e-book of Alice in Wonderland.  Having made my way through it I must say, I don’t believe the story could be considered whimsical.

Anyways, back to the keyboard.

October 1st, 2016

Fall has arrived, and between the busy season at work, and the many chores to prepare for the winter ahead, I’ve managed to keep writing in what little spare time remains.

Last month I began a flurry of emails to writing groups as I begin to prepare my advertising for Genmos. Among the actions I’ve performed are: requesting membership with the Furry Writer’s Guild, (Still pending) continued working on my website, (a tireless task) and writing several short stories for anthologies related to my novel.

Although I haven’t heard from most of my submissions, I am pleased that one of my month’s works has made it to the finals. The deadline for both works was today, and I sit in eager anticipation of the results and even if nothing comes out of it, I can at least say that I’m learning more and more every day.

Now, if only my grammar would improve. . .

Logline

After disappearing from existence, Devlin Keper returns from his eight year exile in order to gather his children, bio-engineered weapons known as Genmos, in an attempt to protect them from the government that wants their investments returned, to dust.

 

And today, the story is one step closer to being shared with the world. Stay tuned for more news.