I’m not ashamed to admit that I love He-Man. Masters of the Universe was one of my favorite toylines and cartoons as a child, and an adult. I’ve got the original Filmation series on DVD, watch on Hulu when I need something to watch for a quick lunch break, and have been a big fan of the Masters of the Universe Classics collector’s line that premiered in 2008. While money and time have prevented me from being a completist, I have been a background fan, admiring and enjoying the toys as they are presented and released. I even have a few.

To keep along the lines of writing, I can say with pride that MoTU has been a big influence on my writing. Not only the cartoons, but the comics, the bios on the individual action figures, and the toys themselves. I’ve written sci-fantasy stories with elements first presented to me in MoTU, and self-contained adventures that would work well as a single episode of a cartoon series. In fact, just a little bit ago tonight, I submitted a story to my online workshop that is heavily influenced by He-Man and his companions.

But I’m bummed. While a majority of MoTU figures have been made for the Classics line, it appears it will ultimately end in 2015. While pretty much everything I ever wanted has been released, there is one main thing I want. I mean, all I ever wanted were these guys…

Shokotisea hawk Image

There is one more that I want. I know this looks really weird, but why can’t we have this guy?

Image Lord Masque. A vicious character, as seen in the awesome episode “House of Shokoti”. I loved that episode as a kid, and still do as an adult. In fact, I might go watch that when I’m done here.

But I digress. Mattel, I implore you–before this line ends, PLEASE make a Lord Masque action figure. I can guarantee, you have one buyer right here. Make us happy, leave us satisfied.

Who knows? I might even write a story about it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an episode of He-Man to watch.

Be my dear friend!

June 14, 2014

Hey everyone, since I’ve got your attention, why not be my friend on Facebook? (facebook.com/writermyke) You’ll get exclusive content not available here! What’s the worst that could happen? You lose two minutes of your life? Maybe this picture of an adorable octopus will make it worth it!

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Back to basics

June 10, 2014

Last night, I finally finished a book I’d been reading for close to two months. It’s a great, liberating feeling when you finish a book. But after two months? Talk about a breath of fresh air.

It wasn’t a bad book by any means. “Elantris” by Brandon Sanderson, his first book, was a unique, interesting take on a fantasy novel. While a lot of the writing “rules” that I’ve had drilled into me appeared to be broken many a time throughout the book, it was still interesting and fun to read. My major problem was the characters, in that the main characters and their closest companion were all intelligent and could figure out every problem, while everyone else was a complete and utter moron.

But that’s beside the point.

It took so long to read mainly because of my new job. I started reading it shortly after I started, and didn’t have a lot of time to sit down and read. Not just because of work, though, but because I prefer to spend the majority of my free time editing my own novel right now. And no, I haven’t started writing that story I mentioned yesterday.

As a writer, nay, a lover of words, I immediately went to find a new book to start reading. I love to read, and I love to learn from what I do read. So I am going back to basics, and continuing to read some of my all-time favorites.

Bloody, dirty, gruesome, wretched Conan the Cimmerian. A king, rogue, pirate, killer, thief, lover, savior, fighter, and all around badass.

My own characters, Clay and Styg owe more than a lot to Conan. One of my favorite characters and licensed properties EVER, He-Man, owes damn near everything to Conan. And my model for how I want my body to look as I continue to attempt sculpting it at the gym more than I should, is Conan (specifically, the Jason Momoa incarnation as I could never hope to look like Arnold).

To me, Conan is as basic as it gets. The writing lacks the finesse and flow we are used to these days, they the stories raw. They are bloody. They are true. But more importantly, they are stories. They leave me feeling entertained, and thirsty for more.

I want my body to look like Conan, and I want my stories to be as revered and entertaining as Conan. Is that too much to ask?

Thank you, Robert E. Howard. Thank you, Conan. You are what make it worthwhile for me.

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I’m giddy with titillating excitement!

Fortunately, I’m able to sit still. Mainly because I ate a huge breakfast and it’s taking forever for me to digest it, so any sudden or jerky movements are a terrible idea right now. But I’m still excited, and happy, and all that good stuff.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t have to do with me getting a story published. But close! Um, I think…

I got an idea.

I got an idea!

I haven’t written anything new since…March? February? January? I know I’ve written new stories this year, and I could easily go check my writing folder for the exact date of the latest new work, but that’s not important. What is important is that I’m brimming over again.

Brimming over with all of one idea!*

This is good for me, because I was getting nervous. All year, I kept telling myself to edit my novel. A few months ago (or maybe weeks, again, time is muddy in my brain right now. What?! It’s June already?!?!?!!) I got to it, and slowly but surely, I’m picking my way through it. In fact, I’m 100 pages away from being done! Then I just need to type the changes (I always edit by printing out the story and handwriting all changes) and then rob a bank so I can pay a professional editor to look it over for me, then work on getting it published. The hard part is mostly over, though, and I’m happy.

So I’ve been mostly worried about getting this thing finished. That’s great! What I was getting worried about, however, was that I didn’t have any new ideas come to mind. I always get ideas for stories that I jot down and file away for a later time to write when I have the chance. But nothing’s been coming up, aside from ideas I’ve already had, and that was just things to flesh out the ideas.

I’ll write all of this when I have the chance. That’s not the big deal. The fact that my typically abundant reservoir of a brain is all dried up is frightening me. But not anymore! For I have an idea!

I’d like to write it sometime this week, considering I have today and the next two days off. Doubtful, though, since my birthday is Thursday and I’ll be doing birthday stuff and necessary things like cleaning the apartment for this brief vacation. Then again, I might just get to it tonight. Who knows?

Naturally, you’ll have to wait until it’s published to find out what it is (sorry for the suspense, but that’s how we writers roll), but I just wanted to share the good news. So don’t worry, okay? I’m not losing it.

*I’ve got a list of stories I still need to write, and aside from focusing on the novel, I’ve got quite a few other short stories I’m working at editing as well, but I’ve just been upset that nothing new was brimming over.

Anyway, I hope everyone has read and enjoyed “Extermination” by this point. It’s getting some positive feedback, so please go check it out if you haven’t already! And check out the other great stories on the website as well, because they’re really good too!

First place!

June 4, 2014

Hey everyone, I’m proud to announce that my story, “Extermination” has won first place in the Spinetinglers short story contest! It is available FREE to read on their website, along with several other great stories. Go check it out!

http://www.spinetinglers.co.uk/extermination/

And if you haven’t done so already, please go like my Facebook page (facebook.com/writermyke). You’ve all got an account, so why not like my page? It only takes a minute, doesn’t cost a dime, and will give you insight and info you can only find there.

Thanks for all of your support, folks. I feel like everyone’s encouragement is what allows me to keep going. So because of you, I’m able to continue pumping out stories and an upcoming novel that under regular circumstances should never have happened!

Hells yeah! I won a short story contest and my horror story, “Extermination” will be published online. And it’s free for you to read! I’m so excited, and I hope all of you are as well–I will post its location very, very soon.

As for now, I’m on clouds 9 through 90.

Perihelion!

June 1, 2014

Not sure how I missed this, but my story, “Space Squid!” is available NOW on Perihelion (http://perihelionsf.com/) to read. It is absolutely FREE! Go. Now!

In my last post, I briefly talked about how I have a new “real world” job, and can’t dedicate 100% of my life to writing and editing. It would be nice, but alas, duty calls. And lately, that’s about all I’ve been doing. I mean, I have been editing my novel, but not as much as I’d like.
However, I can say that the adjustment period is over. I’m back in the saddle, and getting things done (finally!). That isn’t what I want to talk about, though. Not today. I’ve got something much more important to write about today.
I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!
As we all know, I am a writer. An author. A spinner of yarns, a teller of tales. Whatever you call it, I write stories and then submit them to publications in the hopes that a lot of people will read them, and I get paid a couple of bucks.
So about two years ago, I saw a call for an anthology. I wrote a story, busted my ass on it, and sent it in. The editor wrote back, gave me a few suggestions, and I did a nice rewrite. Then I submitted it, and hoped to hear back.
I never did.
In fact, the webpage ceased being updated, all communication ended, and that publication pretty much folded, silently and painfully.
So the story sat there for a while, just collecting dust. Until a few months ago! I found another anthology with a very similar theme. After a fine-tooth lookover, I submitted the story.
Today I got the news.
It was a rejection. No surprise, as that’s the majority of what I get. But it bothered me immensely. Like, more than it really should have.
As you all know, my name is Myke Edwards. For those of you who REALLY know, my real name isn’t Myke Edwards. Let’s not worry about that, but I will say that my first name is Michael. Big shock, huh?
Well anyway, I open up this email, only to see “Hello Matthew,” at the beginning.
Matthew?
Who the fuck is Matthew?!
And my story wasn’t “Forgotten Sons” but they sure seemed to think it was. What the fuck is this shit?!
The rejection was an obvious form, saying that the story wasn’t accepted not because of the writing, but because it was either too similar to a story already accepted, or because it just didn’t fit. Hey, not only do you get my name and story title wrong, but you can’t even be bothered to tell me exactly why?
So I did what any concerned, dejected, pissed off writer would do. I wrote a reply.
I thanked them for their obvious form email. I then proceeded to question their mistake, not only on my name, but the story title as well. While it is probably nothing more than a mistake in their mail merge, I had to say something.
I then proceeded to say that while it is obvious and understandable that I (Michael) am rejected, I had to ask about it. I closed the email by saying whatever the case, point taken—meaning that I “get it” that Michael is rejected, and they don’t need to apologize for their error…although it would sure be nice!
The more I think about it, I’m not overreacting. I understand that editors are busy. They are overloaded, and have a lot more to worry about than personalized rejections to shlubs like me and Matthew. I know I don’t have enough high profile publishing credits to make any editor really give a shit, but come on, people. Have a heart!
I doubt they’ll reply. I hope not. I hope they read it, cry, and question their life choices. Who knows, maybe I’ll inspire them to give up publishing and go into charity work, or feeding the homeless? Maybe something good will come of this!
But probably not. Realistically, I’ll probably get placed on a blacklist, and get a super nasty reply from them within a month or two. One that’ll make me cry, most likely.
Tears or no, you’ll hear about it here, make no mistake.
Still, what a kick in the crotch.

UPDATE – I just checked out the website for the publisher, and they were cool enough to put up a list of accepted stories. I only say this because that seems like it never happens. My name wasn’t on there, and I’m still mad at them, though.