Raising Hope

November 29, 2015

Chances are, you can look back through pretty much every blog post I’ve made and one major theme will be present: frustration. Specifically, frustration at not getting stories accepted and published. Believe me, it’s more than frustrating, and if you can believe it again, I’m actually holding back in most of those posts. You know that old cartoon image of the red-faced guy with steam coming out of his ears? Yeah, that’s me.

But I feel hopeful tonight, and positive. Maybe it’s this cold, crisp air opening my neural pathways, or maybe it’s something else, but in regards to publishing, I’m not in that bad of a mood.

Don’t get me wrong, there are quite a few publications that are way beyond due to give me a response. Anything, please, will do! But when I query, they either ignore me (proving they’re defunct or just don’t give a damn anymore), or they respond with a very terse, “please wait longer” type message.

Some are literally one day over their estimated time limit. While I understand that there’s been the Thanksgiving holiday and whatnot going on, it still gives me hope. I don’t believe in jinxes or luck or any of that mumbo jumbo horseshit, but I don’t like to talk about it before it’s a sure thing. Still, I have a pretty good feeling about some of these.

Even if they send me an email this Monday and apologize for the long wait because they’re swamped with submissions but still give me a big fat no, I’ll be okay. After all, I always set the bar low. I never expect to be published in any specific magazine…just hope to. Not only is it awesome if and when they say yes, I’m not horribly disappointed when they say no.

However, there are a few rude readers out there who give “advice” and comments on their rejections. While I appreciate any and all help, there’s no reason to be condescending. Saying I’ve got “growing up” to do and have to wait to play with the big boys (or whatever crap it was they said) is beyond inappropriate. And it irks me beyond belief when someone tries to be creative (like I typically do) and the first reader/editor personally doesn’t like that meshing of genres, so they reject it. For instance, a battle axe belongs in ancient Crete and not on a pirate ship, according to one person’s opinion, so the story wasn’t worth their while. So sorry I wanted to switch up weapons from the generic and overused bullshit we’re all sick of seeing.

Sorry, I don’t want to rant. But I feel like I need to! I’m hopeful and happy and yes it is irritating that one jerk tosses me aside because I’m trying something new, but it doesn’t mean someone else won’t.

And that is why I’m hopeful.

There are a lot of people out there. Surely, one of the people that writes the checks has to like me, right?

Right.

Because they are out there, and they do like me. And if not, I’ll self-publish it all, and do it the way I want.

Nothing wrong with that!

Advertisements

Craft of War?

November 15, 2015

So, Warcraft.

I was never a Warcraft person. I played the original game a few times back when it came out (1994? That was over 20 years ago!), but not a whole lot. I enjoyed it, but if you know me, you’ll know I’ve never been a big video game person.

Unless it’s involving The Legend of Zelda. Then I’m all over that shit.

But yeah, Warcraft and Starcraft, not really my cup of tea. World of Warcraft? Don’t get me started.

Well, okay I’ll start a little bit.

I’ve lost friends over that game (and other MMO’s, to be fair). I had a friend who ignored his family, lost sleep and was frequently late to work because of WoW. We aren’t really friends anymore.

I’ve seen relationships end because of that game. And let’s face it, that Leroy Jenkins thing, while hilarious (and probably fake from what hundreds of blowhards have told me), just proved how stupid some people can be.

But there’s this Warcraft movie coming out soon. It looks over the top, shiny and filled with CGI. I can’t wait to see it.

First off, the main character is played by Ragnar Lothbrok. I love Travis Fimmel, and can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to see him in this role. I think he’ll be one of the shining stars in this cast. Also, it’s directed by Duncan Jones, son of the legendary David Bowie. Duncan directed one of my favorite movies ever, Moon. Let’s hope he can do as good a job with this one.

More than that, though, is the story. Not only does it follow the humans, typically thought of as the good guys, it also follows the orcs, or bad guys.

Both of these sides have stories to tell. Both have their own motives and needs. We are going to see both sides of this story. How often does that happen?

As a writer, that’s awesome. One of the big things going on in the sci-fi/fantasy world aside from white male protagonists getting the boot is the grimdark nature of people. Maybe the protagonist isn’t completely good, and the antagonist isn’t completely bad. I don’t want to see horrible, evil people win out, of course, but how many of us can honestly say we’ve never done anything even remotely “bad”?

I have. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m also not ashamed to admit that I’ve rooted for the bad guys before, as I’ve believed in their cause more than anyone else’s. There’s nothing wrong with that, since we all need to believe in something.

This should be fun. Naturally there’s the chance that this movie could suck, but I’m looking forward to a two-sided fight that no one really comes out the victor. In writing, it seems like everyone needs these finite, super mega death bomb endings with clear winners and losers. Sorry folks, it doesn’t always work that way. Expect things, like life, to be open ended.

Now I just need to wait for the movie and see if I end up changing my tune. Not that anything else is coming up. Some movie about a war in the stars, I think?

Good News!/Bad News

November 2, 2015

I feel that I’m getting into a bad habit of only writing blogs when something good has happened, or when I’m really pissed off about something. It’s okay, though. What use is a blog if not as a sounding board?

Well, today I’m pissed, but happy at the same time. I’ll start with the good news.

As you’ve read before, last year just before Christmas I had a story accepted by Black Denim Lit. It was slow going hearing anything at all from them. Moving into October, I was getting pretty worried. I emailed and asked what was up but this is just their schedule, so I’ll have my story published very soon. I’m happy about that! It’s hard to wait sometimes, but that’s life. I need to be more patient.

With some publications, I try very hard to be patient. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work.

I’ve had to email several lately, just asking what’s the status of my submission. Some get back to me…others don’t. It worries me, because they could be closing their doors for good and not letting anyone know. That is a very typical thing, and while irritating that they don’t even post a message on their website or Facebook page, I can understand. Life happens, and you don’t always have the luxury of crossing all your t’s and dotting all your i’s.

Some, however, are able to.

Crossed Genres Magazine…a kickass concept if there ever was one. Each month, the magazine has a different theme. Naturally, the theme is two or more genres mashed up, or an idea that you wouldn’t normally think of, whatever. Cowboys fighting Lovecraftian monsters, for instance. Caveman romance, disco firemen, I don’t know. There’s a ton of things that could work, and chances are, you’ve got an interesting story like this already written. I had a bunch, and would submit to them any time I could.

They never accepted me, though.

A few months ago, I knew I had a shot. Starting November 1st (hey, that’s today!), they would open submissions for the Sword and Sorcery issue. Hey, that’s not a zany crossed genre! But of course, you make it that way.

A story I’m currently submitting (and failing with miserably) fits the bill perfectly. I knew I had a shot, and I knew that everything would work out awesome.

I just checked their website. They’re closed.

Closed for good, as of November 1st (hey that’s today!). Grr!

They have an announcement about it, though. It makes sense. I can’t be mad, and i’m not. Not only are the editors having personal issues (a typical reason for shutting down), the magazine wasn’t doing so hot moneywise.

That gets the biggest sigh of all from me. No one wants to donate money or pay for anything, but when it affects them, all of a sudden they’re begging everyone for a handout. I admit, I can be pretty stingy myself. Hey, I’ve got bills and after my necessities are paid off, I’m left with a very small pittance. I can’t just go and support everyone that needs it. But what gets to me more than anything is the priority that a lot (not all, but a lot) of internet donaters have.

Some crowdfunding sites have some great stuff. Help fund my college? Help pay my medical bills so I don’t die of cancer? Eh, pass. But the ridiculous stuff? I want a pizza! Funded for $4,254. I want new panties for more slutty Instagram pics! Funded for $7,931,395. Really, people?!

“But Myke,” you complain, “donating to an online publication won’t do anything for me! Where’s my freebie?”

True, sites like Kickstarter often have perks where if you donate, you get something unique and kickass for doing so. But know what you get for donating to an online magazine that posts stories for free? Access to more quality writing. More stories that will keep you entertained, and help you escape from your shitty life for just that much longer. Plus, you’re helping countless others.

The publication, the editors, and the hardworking writers who get paid dick for spending so many hours of blood, sweat, toil and tears hoping to get their story perfected and entertain you.

You.

We’re working hard for YOU. So why not be a pal? Donate. Help out. Show your appreciation. You’ll be glad you did.

And so will we. In fact, we’ll keep bringing you great stories for doing so.

Thanks for your support!