Well crap….

January 22, 2017

I’ve made some bad mistakes before. Some I’m so embarassed by I’ve blocked them, or at least go out of my way to bury them. What I did just a little bit ago might not be the worst thing ever, but I feel like I’ve made such a stupid, amateur mistake that it might cost me.

I just submitted a story to a few publications. You know, the typical thing. Unfortunately, instead of using my professional email address that I always do, I was still signed in to my regular, personal use email.

I highly doubt any of these publications even notice that stuff, let alone care. For all I know, they might have authors that use emails like footlongdong_69@yahoo.com. I don’t even know if that’s real, nor do I care. And I’m sure they don’t either.

The point is, I can’t believe I let myself overlook that basic thing. Especially because on every cover letter and within the submission itself, my professional email address was on there. They might be like, huh? But then realize what a dolt I am, and toss it in the trash.

Maybe that’s why NewMyths.com rejected the story within ten minutes?

Yep, no joke. Never happened, not ever, not once. Not even with The Dark, who is quick enough to get their rejections to me within 12 hours.

Anyway, I hope this doesn’t cost me. I doubt it will, but when it comes to the things we love, the things we put our hearts and souls into, we worry about minutae, because we demand perfection.

So why can’t we give ourselves what we want?

PS – Glad to hear about so many women in the Women’s Marches all across the country today! I know several fine ladies who participated, and I’m so proud and happy to see so many people banding together against tyranny and oppression! Keep up the awesomeness!

This morning before leaving for work, I checked my email as I usually do. Surprisingly/not surprisingly, there was an email from a publication regarding a story I recently submitted. I was happy! Specifically because it only took them five days to respond—that’s impressive!

Well, it was a rejection. No biggie, I’m so used to it that I don’t even flinch when someone tells me no. I mean, it’s not me or my writing, right? It’s the fact that they just don’t need it right now. Right? Right?

Right.

Anyway, I’m not trying to have a pity party for my rejection. I’m more upset at whom the email was addressed to.

Michale.

Not Michael. Michale.

I know, I know, it’s an easy mistake, especially when you’re typing fast. The peon that had the luxury of reading my story (or in this case, the cover letter and tossing it into the reject pile based on the unfamiliarity of my name alone) probably had a virtual stack of fifty stories he couldn’t care less about and wanted to get these emails sent out asap, the quicker the better.

Juxtaposing two letters in a name is not difficult. I’ve done it. You’ve done it. Everyone has. But for some reason, I can’t get it out of my mind that this guy simply did not care.

And that’s the problem. If these publications/editors/first readers would actually take the time to do their job and read these stories, all the while ignoring the cover letter and the name and everything else that is not specifically the story they are deciding whether or not to publish, maybe some yutz could remember to try, at least try, to spell my name correctly in the rush to get to a story written by someone they actually know.

Accidents happen. People make mistakes. Know what else they do? Pass over quality for a friend.

Food for thought, editors.

Addendum – I received another rejection this afternoon, long after writing this. They spelled my name correctly. Thank you!

Unprofessionalism

November 20, 2016

Unprofessional. It’s a word no one likes to hear, especially when directed at themselves. Well, some people get a kick out of it, but that’s usually a false reaction, fake laughter used to cover up the pain of the reality that someone has just dumped on them worse than The Rock giving Mankind all those chairshots way back in ’99.

Ahem. Anyway.

No one likes to hear it, and no one wants to believe it’s true. But there are times when even the most depraved, the most “lower-rung” people need to shout it out, and let someone know. Or sometimes, let something know.

Like a publication, perhaps.

Don’t get me wrong, professionalism is rampant in the publishing industry. I would certainly hope that no publication would go to “print” if it wasn’t up to snuff, but the people behind it can sure have some unprofessional behaviors.

Some really shitty unprofessional behaviors.

I understand I’m at their mercy. I send them a story in the hopes that not only are they going to publish it and help boost my career by however much more it can with the people that read their magazine, but also in hopes that they’ll hand me money. I get it. I don’t have a lot of room to complain.

So why do I have to sit and wait with my mouth shut when they break their promises?

A very major, very well known science-fiction publication currently has a story of mine for consideration in an upcoming issue. One thing I love about them is they have a monitoring system, where I can see the progress on the story. Is it simply received? Is it under review? Has it been rejected? I can see with my own eyes the answer to that question! Holy fuck the future kicks ass!

They tell us writers to wait about two weeks before we get an answer. In worst case scenarios, it could take upwards of three months! I get it—a popular mag like that, especially one that pays as well as it does, and they’ll definitely have a massive slush pile to get through. Even with twenty first readers working around the clock, I can believe that they’ll have a lengthy wait.

Well, it’s been almost four months. Guess what the status on my story is?

Received.

Fucking received. They haven’t even opened it up and read it yet! And guess what? If I email them and follow the progress from that moment on, I guarantee that within 24 hours the progress will go from under review to rejected. Then they’ll send me a form letter without an apology, and move on.

Because fuck me, right?

Because I’m just a flyspeck in the grand scheme of science fiction, and they know it.

Because they’re unprofessional.

I’m tempted to email, and have been for some time. Oh no, I won’t be asking about the progress of my story. I’ll be telling them to just forget about it. I know and they know, before even reading the story, that their answer is going to be no.

Cynical? Damn straight. Honest and realistic? You better believe it. Irritated and frustrated? Of course I am.

Look, I get it. I’m no one. I’m not a well-known author that they’d be honored to publish. My story might be good, it might even be great. But I have to be realistic here. They haven’t bothered to look at it yet, so why would they give a flying rat’s ass about it now?

The same goes for a lot of publications, too. They hold on to your story forever, only to give you the most basic rejection letter. Reading some of the editor’s blogs from these magazines, however, I can only come to the conclusion that they’re more interested in people paying attention to them and the crazy, goofy, nerdy hobbies that they partake in than the magazine they’ve signed on to edit.

Unprofessional.

If I were editing a project, something I plan to do in the future, I wouldn’t make it about me. It’d be about the hard working authors who submit their stories to it. It’d be about the stories themselves, not the lines I’ve broken just to add my voice into the chorus of mewling people hoping to change something that isn’t even in need of fixing. It’d be about the entertainment that you, the reader, gets out of it.

Not me.

But hey, I can’t change that. I’ve recently decided that since the few publications available to me aren’t even acknowledging my existence, I’ve got to move on from short stories. I’ve got to move on to finishing the big works, and getting them out there.

I’ve got to make this matter, and say fuck you to the unprofessional assholes who’ve tried to keep me down.

Now, you’re probably wondering, what if one of those magazines does accept my story? What if they do eventually get back to me? What if something really bad happened, like a bad injury/illness/death? I’ll accept that, but you know what? I hope they understand they just need to maintain their promises. I’ve learned that there are some people just not worth your time when it comes to these things, and I really hope that list doesn’t keep growing.

“Why not just self-publish, Myke? Only you are in your own way in that case.”

I did. Don’t you remember? Surely you downloaded or purchased one of my stories, and then left a nice review for it, right? Sure you did.

Just get over it, right? Just deal with it. No one wants to hear my bitching. I get it, sure I do. But don’t make a promise and then expect everyone to bend over and back away.

It’s a strange life I’ve chosen. I’ve gotten used to the let-downs, but trust me, it doesn’t mean I have to like it. And that is professional on my behalf.

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.

Ugh

August 30, 2015

I’m burned out. I have a new job and it sucks, specifically the fact that I have little to no time to write or work on writing. There’s some time here and there, but not much.

So why am I there? I really needed to get out of my last job. It was killing me! Supposedly, this was going to have better hours and better pay, but nope, neither.

Until I find something new, I’m stuck. And yes, I am constantly searching for new work! Hopefully something good comes very soon!

Something else that’s bugging me is the writing I already have. While I’m having little to no luck getting things published (I wrote a very angry blog last night about it, maybe I’ll post it soon), I’m getting frustrated at people on my workshop.

For years now, I’ve been a member of an online workshop that has a great system. What bothers me, however, is how irritating some people get to be. I’ve talked about it before, like the “I guarantee” and “No editor will ever accept this” bullshit. And yet, if you go read any book or literary magazine (science fiction or fantasy, as that’s what I write, natch), you’ll see so many of those “rules” broken incessantly.

So why are people quoting chapter and verse of writing guides at me? Oh no, I used an adverb! Oh no, I used a “filter” word! If I followed your “rules” I’d have nothing left on the fucking page! (And yes, I’m aware that they are always guidelines, and have their moments to be broken, but just go with it.)

Sigh…some people get a real bee in their bonnet over stupid shit. I write stories to entertain and provide some semblance of escape to people who want to enjoy themselves. Who gives a shit that I used the word “was” a few times?

Sheesh. Get over it, people.

And you’re probably thinking, maybe that’s why I can’t get published. Far from it. The simple answer to that is, until I’m proven otherwise, I’m not in bed with the right people!

Thanks (for nothing?)

July 28, 2015

I hate sounding like a complainer. However, as a human, especially one as down on his luck such as myself, it’s easy to get into the swing of pointing out all of the negative aspects of life. After all, things would be so much better if only this or that were just a little different…

So anyway, this morning, I opened my email, as usual. To my surprise, not one, but TWO emails from editors awaited me! To make things even better, there was a message from Devilfish Review! That was good, because they were very close to being on the receiving end of an email from me!

See, I submitted a story to them 100 days ago. I mean, literally, to a tee, one-hundred days ago! Their website says if I hadn’t heard back from them after 3 months, email and ask them what’s the holdup. I kept considering it, but generally, as a writer, if you want an answer now, it’s going to be “no”. Still, it was getting a little frustrating waiting, and I kept telling myself “One more day, one more day…”

That day has come. They sent me a response!

It was a big fat NO.

Sigh…

It’s so irritating having to wait so long for an answer, just to have it be negative. Worse yet, getting a stock/form email telling me this. They couldn’t add a little “sorry for the long wait” or “we apologize for making you wait, but we had serious deliberation on this piece” or anything?

I honestly thought it was going to be a positive response, hence the lengthy wait. I mean, 100 days for a publication that barely pays anything in the first place must be positive, right? Alas, it was not meant to be.

However, let’s look at the flipside of this. I mentioned a second email, right? It was from Shimmer. Shimmer is a pro paying market, meaning that not only do I get a minimum of $0.06 per word for my story, it helps qualify me for membership to the SFWA. That’s a pretty big deal! (Science Fiction Writer’s Association for those too lazy to Google it.)

While they rejected my piece and sent me a form letter as well, this only took 7 days. A week! Did they read it? Maybe a few paragraphs. Did they deliberate? Probably not. But who cares! It took them one measly week!

Now look, I get it. You’re only human, right? Maybe you’re the only person working on your magazine, the only reader, and you get 50 every day. Maybe you were in the hospital. Maybe you got a new job and have had little to no time. Maybe you truly were deliberating the story and just didn’t say anything encouraging in the email. There’s always a lot of maybes.

But there isn’t a lot of time.

Sorry to vent, folks. It’s just frustrating when I have multiple stories out at multiple publications, many of whom simply can’t be bothered to get things moving. Not only for me, but for themselves as well.

Speaking of, I still haven’t heard from Black Denim Lit yet. Is there some conspiracy against Myke Edwards amongst the publishers of internet speculative fiction magazines?

Nah, I’m just being paranoid. Right? Hey! There’s a van across the street with a radar dish on top of it! Oh, wait, it just drove off. Thank you.

Well.

This certainly is an interesting turn of events.  For months now (years, actually), I’ve gone back and forth with myself over whether or not I should start a blog.  Let’s face it, “all the writers” have one these days, and without a static website right now, this is probably one of the best ideas I can muster.  Sure, I’ve got my Facebook page, but that’s probably going to mostly consist of links to this blog.

Besides, no one really knows about this as of now.

But I hope that changes soon.  Hi, I’m Myke Edwards, I’m a writer.  Actually, I don’t like that word.  Writer is too vague; whenever I buy a copy of Writer’s Digest, I find myself drawn in by the flashy headlines like “100 Awesome Tips For Writers!”.  I fork over the exorbitant sum for the periodical, and hey…look at that.  Writer means non-fiction article writer…freelance reporter…anything but fiction writer.

Author.  Sound better?  I think so.  Let’s start over.

Hi.  I’m Myke Edwards.  I’m an author.  I mostly write science-fiction, but I dabble in fantasy and horror as well.  Occasionally, a little suspense and mystery-tinged work as well.  For the most part, I’m a huge nerd.

“So who are you?  Why should I care?”

As of now, there isn’t a very good answer to that.  I’ve got a few stories published, one recently, got my first paid publication.  It’s called “Don’t Tell”, and it will be published in Mad Scientist Journal sometime soon.  They haven’t even told me the date yet; that’s how new it is!

But I hope that things will turn around for me.  Soon.  I’ve been writing for a long time…okay, not that long, all things considered, but I’m 32 years old right now.  I graduated college in December of 2005, and only just now have I seen some modicum of “success” with my writing – if you can call $20 success.

But I do.  Because it tells me that someone, somewhere, cares.  They care enough to give me money for my writing, so I’m obviously doing something right.  As I went to college for this, as this has been desired goal of a career since I was 16 years old, I’d like for it to continue.  I know everyone always says “Don’t get into it for the money”, but geez…how else can I make a living doing what I love?

I hope that I can continue this.  I’m writing, editing, submitting, doing everything that a writer needs to do to be successful.  Hopefully soon, there will be many more to come.  Hopefully soon.

Welcome aboard, friends.  Strap yourself in, because this could be a bumpy, yet awesome, ride.