Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Whole lot of somethin'!

A few days after I published the previous post, I got an acceptance letter for one of my favorite stories, "The (Zeroes and) Ones We Love." This story was previously a semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest and received a personal critique from NY Times best selling author, David Farland. Once I sign the contract, I'll post more details about the publisher and the potential release date.

On a related note, this marks my first big milestone in writing, my tenth sale! My sales stats, for those that keep track of such things, are as follows:

Token: 1
Semi-pro: 4
Pro: 5

Not bad for the new kid.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Whole lot of nothin'

I've hit a dry spell, with nothing of interest to report since April of this year. I've heard rumors of this stage in one's writing development. Where even though one can measure their improvement in miles, and the stories turn out more complex and interesting than ever before, the sales don't come. While I've hit numerous final stages in the submission process at some of the best markets in the industry--which I never could have done early on--the final answers all turn out to be, "no thanks."

It's humbling and depressing, to say the least. But in the end, I have to realize that progress is progress, even if it's unrewarded. The only valid downside is that all this rejection has led to a level of discouragement that makes me not want to write. I still love it, still believe it's a major part of my life, but the thought of investing all that time and energy into something that no one wants is an intimidating prospect. We'll just have to see what the future holds. I'm only two years into a ten year plan, after all.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

WotF 3rd quarter, 2013

I just received word I got an honorable mention from Writers of the Future this quarter for a humorous sci-fi fantasy story. That makes two semi-finals and two HM's out of the last four quarters. Once I fix it up, it goes back out into the marketplace!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Burning Men" Tangent review!

Tangent's Stevie Barry reviewed my story "Burning Men" today. Very happy that he enjoyed it so much! Click here to read the entire review, including his take on five other stories written in honor of sci-fi legend H. G. Wells.

Friday, June 14, 2013

"Smart Money" released today by Stupefying Stories Showcase

Rampant Loon has just launched a webzine called Stupefying Stories Showcase, and in its inaugural issue is my story "Smart Money." The best part? It's free to read online, just so you can have a taste of what Stupefying Stories is all about.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

"Burning Men" released today by Penumbra eMag

My story "Burning Men" was released today in Penumbra's H. G. Wells themed issue. The story is a dystopian science fiction piece, clocking in at a modest 2,000 words. It's available for purchase for $3.99 in every e-book format here.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WotF, 1st quarter results posted on their blog

Check out my name, right there under the semi-finalists. Losing never felt so good! But seriously, though, it was nice to be in the elite company of only 19 other stories.

Friday, May 3, 2013

WotF 2013, 1st quarter

During the 1st quarter of the 2013 Writers of the Future Contest, I placed among the semi-finalists. As a result, Mr. Dave Wolverton sent me a personal critique for my story. Again, I very much appreciate the time both he and Joni Labaqui put into the contest:

"Congratulations on being a semifinalist. I very much liked this tale, and it came squeaky close to being a finalist. I don’t get many tales told from [spoiler] point of view—much less that of [spoiler] that is hoping to [spoiler] so that it can [spoiler]. This tale was thoroughly engrossing and icky. Well done! ... Good luck in finding a home for this. I don’t think that it will be hard. I would very much like to see something more from you soon!"

On a more serious note, and as some of you may already know, Mr. Wolverton's son Ben was recently in an accident that left him in a coma. The expected medical costs for his rehabilitation are estimated to be around 1 million dollars. Donations are being accepted here. Check it out, read what happened and see if it's not something you'd want to donate to.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The cover for Penumbra's June 2013 H G Wells issue

The Penumbra eMag cover for June has been posted online. This H. G. Wells themed issue will include my story "Burning Men." I'm very excited about this one as it's one of my favorite stories that I've written. Hat tip to HL Fullerton and Shannon Fay, fellow writers in the trenches from the Shock Totem and Absolute Write boards, who will be sharing the TOC with me.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Penumbra eMag part 3

Yesterday I found out my dystopian sci-fi "Burning Men" was accepted for the June 2013 Penumbra eMag HG Wells themed issue. This makes my second pro sale of the year, the third time I've sold to Penumbra and the second time a story I've subbed was never rejected! As before, my gratitude to the fine people at Penumbra, both slushies and editors, for giving my work a home.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Writers of the Future again

Just got word that my story "The Burden of Triumph" made the semi-finals for the 1st quarter of Writers of the Future Contest. That's one of eleven spots, and among the top 20 out of thousands of submissions. Really nice to have made it that high in back-to-back quarters. As before, Mr. Dave "Farland" Wolverton will be providing me with a free critique. I'll probably update this post later to quote some highlights.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tangent review for the Feburary 2013 zombie issue of Penumbra

The goal I had when writing my story "Midnight Visitors" was to reinvent the zombie mythos. Taking inspiration from a scene in Mario Bava's vampire short film "The Wurdalak," I feel like I accomplished the task. But while selling a story is nice and affirming in its own way, it's always great to get affirmation from fellow writers and fans of the genre.

Enter Tangent.

Recently they reviewed the February 2013 issue of Penumbra eMag. The reviewer said my unique treatment of the walking dead made it "memorable" for him,"where it otherwise would have seemed cliché." Okay, so maybe it wasn't a glowing endorsement, but I'll take it!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Writers of the Future Contest

I failed to mention that I was a semi-finalist of the Writers of the Future Contest last year, fourth quarter, 2012. That means I made it within the top 16 stories and, considering there were as many as 2,000 submissions, that's pretty neat! Though officially it still counts as losing, I did get a personal critique from award winning, NY Times best selling writer, David Farland. This was what he had to say:

"First, congratulations on being a semi-finalist this quarter. The competition was tough, and this [story] came very close to being a finalist ... [The] sense of humor that you displayed got me hooked in paragraph one, and I read it to the end and found that it was quite touching. So this is publishable as it stands ... [It] was quite effective. Congratulations on a fine story."

I was very flattered by his comments, and very appreciative of his and Joni Labaqui's time. Still looking for a publisher for this story, but I'm confident I'll find someone soon. If you're interested, the results have been posted: here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The cover for Penumbra's February 2013 zombie issue

My story "Midnight Visitors" will be released February 1st, 2013 in the Penumbra zombie themed issue. I'd mentioned this before, but the cover image was finally released since then:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Guest blogging at Penumbra eMag

Hey readers, few and all. In case you hadn't already read it elsewhere, my guest blog has been posted to Penumbra eMag. It's called "Philosophy and Fiction." Enjoy.

Speaking of Penumbra, I saw the cover for the next issue which contains my story "Midnight Visitors" and it looks pretty cool. When I get the go ahead I'm going to post a copy of it here.

Writing Update

I have exactly 22 stories ready or almost ready for submitting. Of those 22:

19 - are already in the marketplace
02 - are waiting for good markets to open
01 - is almost finished

Of those 19 submissions in the marketplace:
13 - are at pro markets
06 - are at semi-pro markets
01 - was previously sold and is at an audio-only market
01 - is in the second round of consideration

Between my last posted submission stats and now, I had dropped down to around 4 submissions out at once. It took a lot of energy, and writing a few new stories, to get my stats back up--especially since I trunked a few and sold some others. Kind of proud of myself.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Space & Time Magazine

I just got my contract from Space & Time and sent it back out to them. After the week their website was down, I was beginning to fear they'd folded without a sign. Glad to know that's not true. I also learned from the contract that I can expect my issue to drop sometime between now and 2015. No joke! Not that I'm complaining. The moment I get that fresh printed copy in my little hands, all the months or years of waiting will feel like seconds. Granted, it'll feel like something between 1 and 64,281,600 seconds, but still!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Penumbra Part 2 - Zombies

I'm not a huge fan of prompts and themes, but Penumbra's February zombie themed issue was too tempting to pass up. Like (probably far too) many people, I'm a zombie fan. I've loved that sub-genre of horror ever since I first saw Night of the Living Dead on TV when I was eight, and the love was cemented around ten when I found a two-pack of Romero's Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead on VHS. Since then I've seen several dozen zombie flicks (mostly on DVD, most of them terrible), read a few zombie tales (novels and short stories), dressed up as a zombie twice (for good reasons, not just for the hell of it), and participated in a zombie walk at Monroeville Mall where the original Dawn of the Dead was filmed. In other words, I was well versed on the lore and felt I could make a contribution to the genre.

However, the prompt was to give Penumbra something different, not just the standard trope of shuffling corpses brought back from the dead by magic or radiation or a virus. So I probed the darkest recesses of my soul (which is apparently somewhere in my frontal lobe) and found something surprising. It was definitely different than what I'd seen and read before, but how original it happens to be will be left for the reader to decide. In any case, I submitted it.

Fast forward ten whole days to yesterday when I got my response email from Penumbra. As any writer knows, ten days in the writing world is too short for good news. The most you could expect was a rejection, or a bump up to a higher round of consideration. When I opened it, I was hesitant, preparing myself for the worst. However, it was an acceptance! Celebration and alerting my family and friends commenced, followed by a signed contract. There were apparently 600 fiction submissions to this theme, and only around five were purchased. I'm happy to be a part of that select group.

Look for the issue to drop sometime in February at Penumbra Emag!