Left ashore

May 28, 2016

Sometimes, you can’t win them all.

That’s a mantra I’m all too familiar with. Not only do I get rejections left and right (or not at all, as many publications apparently don’t bother responding to people…), it’s just something that happens in life. But this has to do with writing, and I truly feel like a gigantic loser.

I’ve talked about 7th Sea before, how it was my favorite RPG and still to this day gives me inspiration for stories and all that fun stuff. And hey, they’re coming out with a new version this year!

As part of the whole spectacular new release, they put out a call for writing samples from fans. We had two prompts and had to give it our best shot at writing them. Of course I did! Why wouldn’t I?

Well, I didn’t get in. Not even a consolation email, nothing.

I feel like I truly suck at writing. Given the current state of interest in my published stuff (like 9Tales that no one gives a shit about) and the lack of interest in my submissions, it might be time for me to pack it in.

All that stuff I was planning on self publishing this summer is probably not happening anymore. New stories, books, whatever I had in mind to write, not happening either.

This is what failure looks like, people. Go ahead and laugh. I suck.

And yes I’ll probably get over this, it just feels like a major slap in the face and I’m pissed about it.

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Road to Shambala

May 22, 2016

Did you all get your copy of 9Tales from Elsewhere? It’s available now on Amazon for your Kindle!

Naturally, my story, “Valley of Iricia” is in it—as the lead story, no less! I don’t know for sure, but the cover looks somewhat indicative of what goes on in that tale of adventure and might! Seriously, go grab a copy now. It might cost a couple of bucks, but it’s way cheaper than your much needed bag of weed or pack of cancer sticks, plus it lasts longer, and does your brain better than those things! Maybe give it a good review while you’re at it?

Ahem. So.

I mentioned recently that I’m getting into self-publishing. It’s a lot of work getting things ready, but it’ll be worth it. The worst part is, it doesn’t provide much time to write and edit. Although, I can’t complain because I haven’t been doing either recently.

Yes, yes, I said I can’t make excuses, but holy crackers things are swampy right now. My new job isn’t taking up my free time. In fact it’s quite the contrary. I’m out by 4 every day, and have the entire night to do whatever I want. Rather, what I need to do.

Amy and I are renovating her father’s house for us to live in. If you’ll remember, he died on Easter, and we inherited the house (as well as pretty much all of his stuff). We’ll be moving in hopefully no later than the middle of July, but it’s a lot of work.

We have to redo literally everything. Floors, walls, ceilings, appliances, wiring, roof, gutters, lawn, blah blah blah. I don’t mind doing handy work. After all, my own father was quite the household handyman and taught me more than I ever thought I’d need to know. I just wish I had a little bit of time to myself…

But good things come to those who wait. It won’t be long, and soon enough I’ll be in my own house with my own office and be able to pump out quality stories for the adoring masses to consume with vigor.

Think of all the authors who’ve had stuff you love, but aren’t pumping it out as fast as you’d prefer: George RR Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, JK Rowling, Scott Lynch, Anne Rice, Joe Hill, and nowadays, highly productive guys like Stephen King and Dean Koontz. They get it done and out to you, even if it involves a little bit of waiting. That can be good, though, right?

See, in a way, I’m glad I’ve had time to think about writing instead of simply diving headlong into it. Ideas and plots are coming to mind, and it makes it easier for me sort things out and be prepared, rather than going willy-nilly into something I’m not quite sure of.

For a while, I’ve had two stories continuing the adventures of Ingo (the protagonist from “Valley of Iricia”, but you already knew that, right?), and I’m finally able to flesh them out and add all the cool embellishments that he needs in his stories. I want nothing more than to just sit and write them both, but once I’m able to, they’ll be better than they would have been had I written them last year.

And what of editing? I hate waiting too long to get back to a story and edit it, but in this case, I’m glad. I’m going in with a fresh set of eyes, fresher than a four to six month wait. There’s a few specifically I’m talking about, and once they’re done, they’ll be up online and ready to read. Again, just a matter of time, but as always, it’ll be more than worth it in the end.

Doing it myself!

May 15, 2016

I’ve had about five blogs written in the past few weeks, but none of them seemed right to post, or I missed the right time frame, or some other thing that got in my way of letting you read them. That doesn’t matter, though, because it’s all pretty much the same thing. Today, however, I’ve come to a conclusion on a few issues, and feel that they need addressed.

First and foremost, this giant monkey on my back. Short stories, submitted to publications, that aren’t getting accepted. It happens, it’s happened for years, and will continue happening for a long time. It’s okay, because I expect it. What I don’t expect, though, is no response at all.

Every now and again, it happens. Sometimes the publication goes kaput, and instead of letting everyone know, they just dissipate. That’s annoying and rude, in my opinion, because sending out a mass email like many pubs have done, or simply posting to your homepage and/or Facebook feed that you’re over with is pretty quick and easy.

Sometimes, they don’t get your submission. If I email to ask, they’ll tell me they have no record of it at all.

Other times, they just kind of fart around and don’t help you. That’s what I’m talking about right now.

Two pubs in particular have been keeping me on the hook for a few weeks now, and it’s annoying. A lot of people are in the same position, so at least it isn’t anything against me personally. They haven’t updated their homepages, their Facebook feeds, nothing. Obviously, they are either kaput or have much better things to do with their time than fuck around with publishing stories about killer teddy bears and jilted android brides. (Hey, both of those sound pretty cool, actually. Anyone feel like taking a crack at them? I’ll publish it here for $5!)

I was preparing to send query emails to both of them this morning, but then I realized something very important. Why bother?

Say you’re out of a job. You’ve applied everywhere, and no one’s biting, even after a few really promising interviews. So you go out, and just go store by store, grabbing an application at every place along the street, regardless of what it is. Yes, I know it’s all done online now, but just go with it.

It’s been a month, and you haven’t heard from K-Mart, so you get ready to go over to the store and demand to speak with the manager, but as you’re going out the door, you stop. See, K-Mart has been on thin ice for years, and they keep shutting more and more stores down every year. Why obsess over a job that you probably will lose in a few months even if you do get it?

That’s how I feel. A lot of these publications are basically no better than K-Mart, and I’m a fool for worrying about them accepting my piece, even if they pay good money (they don’t, by the way).

So I’m self-publishing. I resisted for so long, but it has to happen. I write because I must, as they say, and I’ll keep doing it until I’m dead or run out of ideas. Yes, I’d love to make money from it, as it is what I went to college for. Every time I pay my student loan bill each month, I’m reminded of the fact that I’m paying all this money with little to no return investment. Unfortunately, I wasn’t privileged enough to have parents or other entities pay my college tuition for me, and loathe the fact that I chose to go into this path.

But, I’ve got a great day job (I’m in an office now, doing work I actually enjoy for once). Things could be worse, and life isn’t constantly kicking me in the nuts. I just want people to read my stories, be entertained, and walk away wanting more with a smile on their face.

So other things I’ve decided, as I said, are coming as well. Quite some time ago I was planning on posting free flash fiction on this here blog, but I backed out at the last minute. That’s in another blog, so stay tuned. Also, big news about “In the Pale Moonlight”, my novel you’ve heard me ramble on about so many times—I’m self-publishing that one, too.

I hate the daunting task in front of me that requires me to do 100% of the publicity, advertising, and fretting over things that take time away from me writing anything else, but it’s got to be done. Trust me, though, you’ll love what I have, and I’ll love you more for being a part of it.