Ringing in the new

December 30, 2015

Hey all, it’s the end of the year! In some ways, I’m happy to see it go, but I’m also happy for a good year. As always, it could have been a lot better, but I don’t have any major complaints…well, my credit card bills aren’t the shiniest thing in the world, but hey, a fool and his money are soon parted!

I’m not going to do a year-end round-up or anything, and I’m definitely not putting down a list of goals for 2016. We all know how those things go, so I’m just going to say that in the coming 365, I need to write and edit more, spend more time reading and enlightening myself, and much less time on Facebook!

I also need to blog more, but don’t we all?

So, as you all know, this July my short story “Behind You, in the Corner” will be published by Bards & Sages Quarterly. You know as much as I do—more details to come as we get closer to the supposed publication date.

I say supposed because it’s been over a year since “The Man Without a Planet” was accept by Black Denim Lit for the July, 2015 issue. Well, here it is December 30th, and nothing has happened. I’ve already asked them once and received a rather curt “wait your turn, we’re getting to it!” email, so I’m definitely not going to pester them anymore. Still, it would be nice to hear SOMETHING from them.

Another good part of this year was getting my novel edited! It took some time, and it got tense for a while, but it’s done. I’ve been sitting on it for a number of reasons. Mainly, as anyone who ever went to college for more than one semester knows, presentation is 75% of your success (ass kissing is the other 25%!). I’m weary of sending any kind of synopsis/query to an agent because it might not catch their attention. Will they even look at the novel if they don’t like the cover letter? Maybe…but I don’t want to miss out on a good possibility because I rushed my package out there.

That said, I’m feeling rather confident with what I’ve got. A few more tweaks, and it’s ready to go out. Possibly in a week or two…I’ve been sitting on it long enough!

Funny thing, the other day I got an email from a publication called The Sockdolager. It took them a lot longer than expected to respond to my submission, and I was just about to email and ask what was up. To my surprise, they responded, apologized, thanked me for my submission, but turned it down (because why wouldn’t they?). I was happy with it, though–it was much more professional and courteous than that joke I got from Uncanny. I guess it just goes to show that some people out there still care, while others are mainly only worried about how good they look in their Black Canary cosplay.

So, on the writing end of things, I’ve been rather lazy. I think just having so much to edit is keeping me from putting new words down, but any time I’ve actually written anything new, I grow really dissatisfied with it, very quickly. That could be because I’m just trying to get things written—I have a few stories I’m really excited about, so they should be quick and fun to write.

Enjoy your New Year’s celebration! I’ll be sitting alone in my office with a beer, but it’s cool—the real celebration will be when my novel gets accepted!

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Accepted!/Unacceptable

December 13, 2015

First, the good news.

I’m getting a story published! Yay!

This is good, because things were not looking up for me. A story I’d been sending out for quite some time is finally getting published next July. Bards & Sages Quarterly will be doing the honors, so send your accolades/undying love to them. They are smart enough to see the light of day!

There are a lot of other publications I haven’t heard back from, though. The silence has a habit of killing me from time to time. I can’t expect to hear back right away, but obviously, you ask a question, you want an answer, right?

Sometimes, I’m grateful for the silence. On the one hand, not hearing from a publication/editor means that they might very well be giving my story some serious deliberations. On the other hand, it might mean they are way too busy/overloaded/disinterested to get back with me. When the estimated time for them to get back with me comes up, I have to wonder what’s up.

So last week, I had this new blog all ready to go. It was a very angry, namedropping rant that called out one publication in particular. I won’t say the name, but it’s uncanny how irritating this situation was.

I waited forever, gave them an extra week, and still hadn’t heard back. I wrote an email, very polite, and questioned them. The next day, I received this response:

Dear Michael,

Thank you for submitting “Valley of Iricia” to [Title redacted]: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy for consideration. Unfortunately, it does not meet our needs at this time.

Sincerely,
[Name redacted]
Submissions Editor, [Title redacted]: A Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy

So…you made me wait all that time for this? No apology? No, please pardon our long wait, we appreciate your understanding in this matter?

Sheesh.

Still, they win. They’re the ones giving out the money, and one voice (mine, unheeded apparently) isn’t going to do anything. I mean, there’s the slim glimmer of hope that somehow this gets back to them (and many, many other publications), which will in turn let them realize that maybe they need to be a little more compassionate. After all, us writers jump through so many hoops, make sure that not only is our story perfectly presented, but our cover email, the subject line, our name address and phone number and astrological sign are included, all that good stuff.

And then they send a “fuck you, jokes on you for wasting your time” email.

Hrmmmm…

I know I’m overreacting to this. It’s just irritating, and I shouldn’t ever expect anything. There’s that small part of you that just thinks it would be nice.

Hopefully, the future holds some better outcomes. Stay positive, and be happy for what there is.