Yesterday I had a really cool announcement on my Facebook page. I had 50 likes! This was a big deal to me, since almost all the likes/followers there are my friends. Some are others who have worked with in writing, actually read my stuff, or found me some other way.

You’re probably thinking that 50 likes is no big deal. Sure, to some people. But I was elated. That’s a magic number!

I wrote a little status update and everything. And within a few hours, I was back to 49.

Seriously? Did my new like decide they didn’t want to be associated with me? Did someone else make that choice? Or did some wiseass think, hey this’ll be funny! Let’s ruin his happiness!

Whatever the case, it was nice for a moment. It was nice to feel like somebody, and it was nice to know that there’s people out there.

I like knowing that.

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Anniversary of Awesomeness

February 3, 2018

Things are looking up!

Behold, my typical negativity is gone. I mean, sure, I’ve still got my hang ups, but I’m pretty happy right now. In spite of financial difficulties and the fact that no matter how much I work out I’m not losing any weight, things are going well.

Cloaked Press is releasing an anthology called “Spring Into Sci-Fi” in a short while. My story, “The Man Without a Planet” will be in it. I’m super excited, and you should be too! It’s an actual paper book, with real ink and everything! Be sure to pick one up when it’s available.

I’ve been writing and editing like crazy. I have a stack of stories I’m very happy with, and working hard to get them out there. Some are going over very well with critique groups. Others are finding their place. I think if it’s longer than 2,000 words, people don’t want to take the time to read, review, critique and comment on it. It doesn’t mean they’re bad, just that it’s harder to find reader for something that’s 3,500 words than 1,500.

Stories are out in the wilds! Some are even on shortlists, and I’m holding my breath. I know I shouldn’t, but after all the time I’ve spent on these, why not hope for something positive? I don’t want to say I deserve it, but would it be too much to say it’s my time for something good?

Journaling the hell out of a new novel. Still waiting to edit The Third Tower, but I’m getting other ideas out there. I even jotted down a quick idea for a short, sweet, classic sword & sorcery novel. Maybe they’ll bring back the cheap spinner paperbacks with ridiculous cover art? What’s so bad about a short novel about a bunch of muscle-bound psychos killing each other?

And hey, look at that: today’s my 5 year anniversary with this blog! Thanks for following all these years, and thanks for your support!

Not in writing news, but I had a sinus infection for over a month. It’s gone! Finally. Seriously, feels great.

I started a new Clay and Styg story the other day. Should be done soon! Hopefully things will continue on this good path. As always, stay awesome!

The Latest

January 5, 2018

Aurora Wolf.

That’s the name you need to know. My story, “The Man Without a Planet,” was published on Aurora Wolf on January 1st of this year. What a great way to start the new year! (Full link below!)

That’s a story that has been out in the wilds for years. Making the rounds and barely getting any notice. Thanks to Mike Pennington for helping me out with that (and for the awesome artwork!). And thanks to you for reading it—it’s free!

So back a few weeks ago, I finished The Third Tower. I’m happy, and ready to get working on it. There’s a lot to fix, but I’m up for the challenge. My biggest vote of confidence was last night, when my wife read the first two chapters. She liked them, and said they reminded her of Robert Jordan.

I never read his work, to be honest. I know, I know, what a poser. What a fake fantasy fan I am for not having read, or even attempted to read, The Wheel of Time. It’s one of those things that I always said I’d get around to one of these days, and to be honest, I just haven’t had the time. I mean come on, it’s a long series!

Anyway, I’m happy to hear her comments. It makes me really want to get it finished, and get it out there. Agents, I’m always available to talk when you are…

Lots of short stories! I’ve written a lot, and been editing like crazy. I have two in mind that I want to start real soon, so hopefully the month of January will be a productive one.

Keeping it short this time. I hope all my sexies are doing well, and be sure to check out Aurora Wolf if you haven’t already!

The Man Without a Planet!

Happiness Is…

November 27, 2017

Being finished!

Earlier today, I finished the final chapter of The Third Tower. Draft number one of my latest novel is completed!

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am about this. I’ve had the idea for years. I mean, seriously, more than 15 years ago I started thinking about this. Three years ago (almost exactly, truth be told), I started writing it. After many breaks, starting it back up again, and repeating that procedure, I finally forced myself to quit dragging my feet and just finish it.

Naturally, I have a lot of editing to do. There are many, many, MANY contradictions and loose ends I’ve left in this, but it’s understandable. Writing something here and there over the course of three years, you’ll have that. I can’t imagine it will take long (famous last words…) to get it ship-shape, but I’ll get there when I do.

For now, I’m going to let myself relax. I have many other stories to write, edit, and attempt to get published. Who knows? Maybe my next big thing is right around the corner.

As for novel-length, well, er, novels, what’s next?

I’ve got a huge list of stuff that needs to be written. Things I’ve planned on for years. Things that hopefully won’t take three years of hemming and hawing to finish. Things that can get written and taken care of when they need to be.

I can’t wait for you to see this one, though. Stay tuned, big things are just around the corner.

It finally arrived! Volume Nine of Bardic Tales and Sage Advice is finally here, in my grasp…and it feels delicious!

As you should remember, last July my story “Behind You, in the Corner” was published in a fantastic online publication called Bards and Sages Quarterly. Of course you bought a copy. Then, at the end of the year, there was a poll for the best/favorite piece from each issue. Thanks for voting for me, by the way.

My story won for the July issue. There were a TON of votes on it, so obviously people liked it. It didn’t quite make story of the year, but that’s okay. There was a response to it, and I’m happy about that!

Not only did I get an extra couple of bucks, it was published in BT&SA vol. 9, which we’ve been waiting in deep anticipation for over a few months now. Friday, it showed up and man is it beautiful.

Big thanks to Julie Ann Dawson, the editor. She had the foresight to read my story through to the end, and accept it for publication. I love visionaries like her, they make the world a better place!

And of course, thanks so much to everyone who voted. Thanks for reading my stories, following me, supporting me, all that jazz. I truly appreciate it and mean every word I say. You’re all awesome!

If you would like to buy a copy, go here:

Bardic Tales and Sage Advice vol. 9!

So, in other news, I’m chugging along at the Third Tower. Since I sit in front of a computer all day at work, I haven’t had the drive to write much lately. Then I was like, what about pen on paper? So, several recent chapters have been handwritten. I spent some time last night transcribing them onto the computer, which naturally killed my eyes and back (maybe I should have used a desk chair instead of a wooden kitchen chair?), but they’re all set. The best news is, I’m only 13 chapters away from the end!

I never wanted to have another several years long novel on my hands. I started this three years ago, took a break, wrote some more, took another break, and on and on…

Hell, I didn’t even touch it in 2016! I tried, I thought about it, but nothing came out. Shame on me. But hooray for me for getting it done now! Only a few more weeks and then it’s complete, and I can do anything I want.

Other short stories have been getting done as well. I just had one up on the online workshop last week, and it got 11 critiques! Most of them were very positive and helpful, and a lot of the reviewers “liked” the story. That’s promising!

Next up, I’ve got a mind-fuck fantasy story that takes place in the summer, but autumn has already begun. Hmm, unlike here in Toledo, where it’s been autumn for two days and feels like high summer.

Wishful thinking maybe? Nah, I’ll fight the heat and enjoy my maple pecan lattes and wear scarves like the hipster doof I am.

Later, sexies! Stay awesome, and thanks as always!

The Latest

May 15, 2017

Man, where has the time been? Lots of stuff keeping me busy in real life, which is good! I even missed two big announcements, but it’s okay, great traveler! It’s never too late to enjoy the goodness.

My short story “Out of Sight” was published in the latest issue of Pulp Modern. I’m very proud of this story and excited that it found a home. The publication is amazing as well. Lots of great stories in it, and worth checking out. You can get a digital copy of it, but you can also get a print publication of it!

Pulp Modern. Get it while it’s hot!

I implore you to pick up a copy. I already got my payment for it ($10, whoo boy!), so I don’t benefit from others buying it. Still, it’s worth supporting small publications, independent authors and businesses, and let’s be honest, it isn’t that expensive. Maybe even write a review on Amazon while you’re at it.

Thank you in advance!

Anyway, remember last June when my story “Tyree’s Diadem” was published on the awesome webjournal Crimson Streets? Of course you do—that was one of my best stories, and one that launched a franchise featuring Clay and Styg. (In fact, I’m working on yet another story featuring them as we speak!)

Well, the first 26 stories published on the website will be collected in an actual print copy! This includes “Tyree’s Diadem” as well as many other great stories. I’ve done my best to keep up with the stories they publish (one per week) so it isn’t a majorly time consuming process. Plus, I’ve gotten to read some of the best unknown and lesser known authors out there.

I’ll of course put a link to it when it’s available, but please keep this in mind! If you love fun pulp adventures (of every genre), good writing, or simply like supporting the community, please buy a copy (again, I make no extra money on this).

Also, last year my story “Behind You, in the Corner” was published on Bards & Sages Quarterly. Thanks to many of you, it won the Reader’s Choice award for the July ’16 issue. Due to that, this summer, Bardic Tales & Sage Advice vol. 9, the “Best Of” issue featuring the best stories from the previous year’s issues, is coming out. Hoping for an August release, details are pretty much what I just wrote, but again, you’ll be notified once I am!

Other than that, I’m working hard on getting other things done. Been editing a lot, working on Clay and Styg, and still trying to get The Third Tower finished. I’ve got a free story coming real soon on Smashwords, and who knows? Maybe In the Pale Moonlight will have a price break sooner than you know it? (As if $1.99 is too expensive for some people!)

Thanks a lot my sexies! Keep reading, and keep kicking ass.

It’s Time

February 13, 2017

Well call me Mr. Bigtime.

Things have been happening for me. Good things, things that make me feel like an actual, real-life author. I know I am, but this is for real. This is awesome.

Where do I start?

For quite some time now, I’ve spoken about my novel, In the Pale Moonlight. Never at length, and never anything revealing. But it’s coming soon, and I’ve had so much to do for it. After 60+ failed attempts at getting an agent, I made the tough decision to self-publish. I realize that self-publishing isn’t the taboo thing it once was, but I wasn’t crazy about it.

Self-publishing is good because I control everything. I don’t get shafted on money, I don’t have ideas and decisions tossed out because someone wants to vicariously implement their thoughts onto mine, etc. It’s bad, though, because I’m 100% responsible for everything.

EVERYTHING.

Artwork, promotion, dates, times, formats, basically just getting shit done is 100% on me, with no one else there to do it for or with me. Sure I can ask for help, but for what? “Hey, can you bust your ass for me so I can possibly make a couple bucks with my novel and you’ll get a hearty pat on the back?” Yeah, no.

It’s okay, though. I’ve learned a lot. And I’m happy with myself for managing to get it all done. Formatting, proofing, artwork decisions (believe me, there were a LOT!), promotions, all of it. I’ve worked very hard on this, and I feel confident in myself.

The book is coming out on February 27th.

That’s two weeks from now! Preorders are available, and the book is easy to find online. Smashwords, Amazon, and all the other sites they’re affiliated with. It’s even on Goodreads! Hell, I’m an official Goodreads author now!

It’s exciting.

While it’s true that “anyone” can do this, how many actually do? How many put the work in to not only write a book start to finish, but also go through all the steps of getting it online and ready to sell/read/enjoy?

Like I said, I’ve put in a lot of work. And I know it’ll all be worth it. I couldn’t be happier to share it with you, and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy.

Thanks so much for your support!

Smashwords

Amazon

So close I can taste it

December 17, 2016

As we (here in Ohio, at least) delve into colder temperatures and stupid snow all over the place, I suddenly have a lot of free time. My day job is centered around selling building supplies to contractors (and the occasional clueless homeowner…seriously, are there any homeowners out there that actually know how to fix their house without making it worse?!), we are experiencing a lack of business.

This has been beneficial for me personally, because I can get a lot of stuff done that otherwise I’d have to squeeze in somehow–especially with Rogue One this weekend! I hate to plan my life around movies, but c’mon, Star Wars!!!

Ahem. Anyway…

I’ve talked about my novel, In the Pale Moonlight, several times over the years. It’s been a long time coming, specifically because I’ve taken a long, long time with it. Mostly, it was laziness. I’d write a lot, put it aside for “a week or two” and several months later I’d get back to it. Even after it was done, I putted around with editing it, but ultimately, got it all done.

So my attempts to get it accepted by an agent were met with either stock rejections or silence. It won’t keep me down, however, and I declared loud and clear that I was going to self-publish it. There’s so many free programs online that hey, this can’t be that hard, right?

Wrong! It’s so much work that other people would typically do for me had this been accepted by an actual publisher. It’s okay, I’ve learned a lot about it, and also about myself.

For starters, I really make a lot of typos. I mean, not as many as some people I know (every other word, like seriously!), but I’ll gloss over a word or two here and there. Not to mention, there’s a lot of sloppy writing in there. So I decided to go through the book just to make sure there weren’t any major issues, figuring it would take a day or two.

Two weeks later, I came out with a new draft of the book. Typos fixed, grammatical errors taken care of, and awkward sentences rewritten, it’s got a fresh sheen on it that no one can take away from me.

As far as I’m concerned, the book is good to go!

All I need to do is format it (well, finish formatting it, I’m almost done) for Smashwords and Amazon and whatever programs I plan on putting it on. I also have to finalize cover art, which is much more difficult than you’d think. I know, I know, you have a program or website or this and that and I need to check it out right now! I’ve seen all of them, tried them all, etc. I have something in mind and it isn’t as easy as you want it to be.

Finally, I need a release date. Do I plan it a month in advance, so I can promote it? Two weeks? Two months? Six months? I don’t know…and I’m worried that I won’t give myself enough time to prepare. Not to mention, I’ve got to start worrying about marketing and promotions for it…

Ugh. It will (hopefully!) pay off in the end. Not that I’m looking for a huge payday–I’d love to be able to pay off my car, my credit cards, my student loans, or anything else, but let’s be honest: am I going to be a millionaire from this?

Nope. But my book will be published and available for one and all. In the end, that’s all I can hope for.

Wish me luck–I’m oh so close!

I Did It

August 13, 2016

Well, I did it. I took the plunge and self-published. A lot of people are probably thinking, “What took you so long?” Some others are probably wondering why I need a blog post to celebrate this. But my vainglorious attempts at becoming a bookstore cover name have dwindled so small I had to accept that the only way I can do this is on my own.

So, here ya go. People who clearly know better than me, people who think they know better than me, and people who just love to scream out unsolicited advice–I’ve self-published. Happy?

As of now, it’s only one story. More are coming, trust me. And yes, my novel I’ve had sitting here collecting dust will go up as well. There’s a lot of work involved in this, work I could put towards writing something new, but I’ll have to take it on the chin and accept that I’m playing more than one or two roles in this now.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/mykelen

Go there. Enjoy it. Write a review! And as always, thanks a lot for looking. I love all my sexy friends and fans, and I wouldn’t still do this if not for you guys!

What a long road it’s been…

If you’ve been following things, you’ll know that my wife and I have been renovating her dad’s house, readying it for us to live in. For the most part, we’re done! It’s nice…really nice. Still, there’s a lot that needs to be done.

A big part of me wants to just put it aside, like many homeowners who have dozens of half-finished projects sitting around. Unfortunately, I have some major things, like hooking up the dishwasher, finishing the kitchen floor, and hooking up the range. If not for those, I’d be good as gold.

So the writing is on the backburner for now. I can handle it, but it’s burning me up, from the inside out.

While packing, and subsequently unpacking, I’ve unearthed more notebooks and folders jam-packed with old writing that I can shake a pencil at. Stuff from a few years ago, stuff from college, even stuff from high school. One notebook has writing from sixth grade, way back in 1992! That was unfinished homework, though, so it doesn’t count.

Regardless, I’ve been itching to get things done. I had a list of unfinished stories and such that has been collecting dust for over a year now. More and more stories need edited, and let’s not forget how many stories I could be submitting.

But the submissions wouldn’t even be going as well as I’d like anyway. I have a few stories out right now, and of course it’s the same old sob story. If a publication is still actually active, they take forever. One week after their due date for response, I’ll email, they take a few days to either yell at me to wait, or give me a half-assed rejection.

Then there’s the ones that don’t even respond, the ones that aren’t open anymore. Sometimes, they are in fact open, but take their sweet time to even respond to the queries, and don’t seem to notice that they’ve taken twice their quoted time to get back with you.

Too many of them are closed, though.

I can’t understand it, except ambitious people that get too overwhelmed. Well how long does it take to put a simple message on your website that says you’re closed, you’re behind, or you’re having second thoughts? It’s way more professional than, say, no contact at all!

This is why I’m getting into self-publishing. I know it’s risky, but at least my stuff will be out there. The only big problem is the time it takes to get things prepared for it, and here we go again with not having enough time for it.

But I will. Soon, things are back into place. Hell, I have some time occasionally at work to get this stuff done! (Just don’t tell my boss). So, editors, publishers, and fellow writers (who will surely cross-promote with me, right?), is the time now? Is everything going to work out?

Soon, this house is going to be finished, and I’ll be back at work like nothing ever happened. Right?

Of course it will. Because it has to.