Finishing Things

June 17, 2017

There is good news, because bad news isn’t the only thing that encompasses my life! I’m happy to report that a story I’d been working on for quite a while, “Bog’s Wrath” (working title, of course), is finished. Well, the first draft, at least. I need to sit on it for a while before I edit it and then start getting really serious about it.

It’s a Clay and Styg story. I’m glad to get back to them, but I’m even happier to be done with it. Why? Well, I’ve been trying this technique where I write whenever I have a chance. So, if I have ten minutes to do nothing, I’ll write. Less than that, it’s not really worth getting into, but sometimes I’ll put down a paragraph or two.

Usually, I’m frightened of doing this. I always feel like I need big spaces of time to sit and write so I can get it all out. What if I get really into the groove, but run out of time before I’ve finished my thoughts? How can I get back into it and remember everything I wanted to say?

The words are all there, man. I know what I want to write, so what if a few words are different? The story will still be the same story when all is said and done, right?

Unfortunately, using this technique, I found myself only able to write about a half to a full page within the course of a day. I still need to sit down and write, dammit! I can’t just tell myself, “Hey, Myke, you already wrote a few words. Why not watch an episode of Riverdale or whatever it is you like?” Then I respond, “First off, I finished season one of Riverdale a few weeks ago, so right now I’m trying to catch up with Luke Cage and Girlboss on Netflix. Second of all…great idea.” I need to be disciplined, and believe me, it’s happening.

Now that I’m done, I can get back to The Third Tower. Why did I ever abandon that book? Well, aside from having tons of little ideas and needing to catch up to what I wanted with it, but really, why? Sigh…I’m lazy. Yeah, you got me.

Anyway…

Crimson Streets has the first 26 stories published on their website available in a paperback book! Go get it! My story, “Tyree’s Diadem,” is in it. You’ll know this as the introductory tale of Clay and Styg, so it has majorly historical significance!

Pulp Modern is still available, with my story “Out of Sight.” I hope you seriously consider purchasing a copy of this, not only because it’s so cheap, but because it supports a great cause. Having independent publications such as this one are what allows authors like me to thrive, so please consider picking one up.

That’s all for now, my sexies. Time for a salad, a few chapters of “Blindsight” by Peter Watts (GREAT science fiction book!), and some air conditioning on this stuffy Saturday.

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Updates

October 30, 2016

There have been some good things going on lately. A few bad, too, but isn’t that par for the course? I’m not on top of the world, but things are looking up, so I’ll take that as a win.

The Good:

-The poll that I’m in is going very well. Thanks to everyone who has voted for me! I appreciate the assistance and support. It’s good to know that so many people believe in me. Even if I don’t win, I know I’ve got more than enough love from all of you, and you’ve got mine as well.

-Some publications that I’ve submitted to are taking longer than usual to get back to me. I know that this doesn’t necessarily mean anything and I really shouldn’t get my hopes up, it’s nice to think that they’re deliberating over my work. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get that long awaited email very, very soon and have a new reason to dance on top of a table.

-A year or so ago, I wrote a story that was basically my realistic take on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. You all know how much I love MOTU, and I really love the sword & sorcery aspect to it, not to mention the sci-fantasy twist. I’ve written a lot of stuff like that, but never anything inspired so directly by it. By realistic, I mean that it’s going to have much more adult themes, and more understanding of how and why things are the way they are other than simply to sell toys.

Well, the story ended on an ambiguous note. Apparently, no one wanted it because it doesn’t slap you in the face and tell you directly what happens at the end. Yep, you read that correctly: publishers think that you’re an idiot and need me to hold your hand and tell you straight up what’s going on.

So I decided to make this into a serialized story. As of now, there will be 7 parts to it. I’ve been busting ass on part 2, and am almost done…but every day I say I’ll finish it, and life happens. Could today be the day? I hope so—it’ll allow me to get the rest of it done as well!

-Lots of people have been interested in my Halloween story! The sheer amount of exposure I’ve got with it is amazing! But maybe you could support a struggling author? It’s only $.99, folks!

The Bad:

-A publication has had my story since June 27th. They haven’t even opened it and looked at it yet. Come on, this is one of the biggest and most well-known pubs in the USA. You can find it at any chain bookstore, fer cryin’ out loud! I know they’ll say know (yeah yeah, so what if I’m cynical?), but why make me wait so long? Unprofessional, I say. Feh!

-I don’t have as much time to write as I’d like. Typical, but I’m trying so hard to do it and life just keeps getting in the way.

-I haven’t even started looking at getting “In the Pale Moonlight” published. A friend was supposed to be reading it, but she hasn’t said word one about it. I really need to get off my arse and just do it!

That’s all. I’m happy and working, but need to get it moving a little better. Wish me luck, and stay awesome!

Reading has always been one of my biggest hobbies. In a major way, it’s why I got into writing. As any good writer is wont to do, I read as much as I can, constantly upping my game.

But I’ve got a confession to make. I’m not the best reader in the world.

Don’t get me wrong. My reading skills are above average. I can’t speed read, but I do know how to read the English language. The problem is, I haven’t read all the books and stories I’m “supposed” to read.

Over the years, I’ve had a running list of stuff I should read, the classics and inspirational books that all the greats swear by. Some I’ve read, and most I couldn’t stand. Some were awesome and I can’t get enough. Reading Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories inspired me to do more with my writing than anything else that I’ve ever read!

Well, there should have been others. Most importantly, Elric and the Lankhmar tales. Everyone I know who’s big into fantasy, specifically sword & sorcery, will eagerly tell you how awesome this stuff is. In fact, an editor I’m working with right now told me that a lot of my writing, especially Clay & Styg, are very similar to those specific characters.

If anyone ever tries to claim I ripped off someone else’s characters or ideas, specifically Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, I can honestly claim ignorance since I’ve never read them.

Soon, I will. I found a copy of some Elric stories, and I have a few Lankhmar tales as well. I’m very eager to dive in, despite them being written many years ago. Why is that a problem? The “rules” of writing that have been drilled into my head since taking up this never-ending battle of getting words on paper are rarely, if ever, present in these older works. Adverbs, telling instead of showing, and very VERY long run-on sentences are just some of the issues I have with these.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect, and I break “rules” too. In fact, sometimes these rules don’t even need to be followed. But since I’m so aware of it, it’s hard to follow sometimes when the writing is very clunky, at least by today’s standards. I’ll survive, though, and get through it. After all, isn’t it more about the story than the writing?

The biggest thing that scares me, however, isn’t the quality of writing. It’s the list that keeps growing of all of this stuff. I know I don’t have to do anything, but I like to expand my horizons. There are so many “classic” works that I’m eager to read, but that adds to the list of newer stuff as well. Hey, why don’t I read a classic and then a newer work? What a great idea!

The point I’m making is, I feel like much of the original stuff should come first. But then again, what does it matter? As long as I’m reading and/or writing something I want to, why should I care what comes out of it? I’ve been inspired by just as much new stuff as old, so will it matter if I complete my required reading list before I do anything else?

Nope. And I had a lot of fun along the way.

In the comments, tell me some stuff you think I should write. What’s a good fantasy/sword & sorcery story/book/series that I might benefit from? I’m looking forward to your choices!

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.

We have liftoff!

April 8, 2016

May 18th! My story, “Valley of Iricia,” one I’ve worked diligently to get accepted, will finally be published.

9Tales from Elsewhere, an ongoing anthology series, will be publishing the story in their 6th volume. You can preorder now on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DWZL1RU

I’m really excited that this is finally available. By finally, I mean that someone picked it up. Ever since writing the story, it’s been one of my favorites, and something that I couldn’t stand to see go to the unacceptable pile.

This doesn’t mean I don’t love my other stories any less! Just that I always felt something with this one, like it was one of those stories that needed to be told, needed to be read, and needed to be out there.

As you all know my love for Conan and He-Man, two major inspirations for the tale, you can understand why I love it so much.

But I’m sure you will as well. Go, preorder, read and enjoy. And thanks for your support!

More good news!

I got another acceptance. Seriously, I’ve been hoping for so long that this story would be published it was making me sick. I wasn’t ready to give up, and I’m glad I didn’t.

Again, it was sent with a minimum of information in the cover letter. I keep wondering, did that have anything to do with it? Or was it simply that the editor liked it enough to publish?

I really shouldn’t split hairs, and I shouldn’t worry about such things. Another story has been accepted for publication! Myke Edwards is a happy man, and the world gets to read another great piece of fiction.

Sorry for the self-aggrandizing, but how can I not be excited right now? Things are looking up for me, and my hard work is paying off. Sometimes it’s good to vent about frustration, and sometimes it’s good to vent excitement.

Naturally, I’ll let everyone know the instant the story is available. There’s several others I’m waiting on, and they’ll be mentioned as well, of course.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I’m not naming the name of the story or publication just yet due to clerical reasons. Once everything is finalized, I’ll be sure to let you all know what and where, not to mention when.

Good news, everyone!

March 1, 2016

Well, something went right.

The other day, I received an excellent email from Janet, the editor of Crimson Streets. CS is a new-ish publication that is dedicated to pulp-style fiction of the early 20th century. Everything I’ve read on their website I’ve loved, and it’s getting some positive feedback in the community.

The first story I sent, a sword & sorcery meets futuristic sci-fi piece, was rejected, and rightfully so. Janet was awesome with the rejection. She basically told me with fantasy, the main question they ask is, “Would Conan do this?” Without question, this was hands down the best insight into what they are looking for from authors, better than any other publication has ever managed.

Yeah, I went there.

Anyway, I sent another story, “Tyree’s Diadem.” This is a story I’ve been very happy with, and very proud of. Unfortunately, it’s been getting rejected left and right. It’s the first story to feature Clay and Styg (whom I’ve talked about plenty), and it’s a damn fun pirate/thief/adventure/heist story.

Naturally, I’m happy and excited to have someone pick it up. Best of all, the snarky/condescending comments from some certain people regarding this story were completely unfounded!

My recent blogs have been about the difficulties of not getting published. Well, I started doing things a little different. Did that make the difference? Or was it simply the merit and enjoyability of the story itself that worked for me.

I sent a story with no identifying info about myself, and it got accepted.

I can live with that.

So with that in mind, go check out Crimson Streets! It’s a great publication, and there’s a lot of wonderful stuff coming up with them. They might even do print anthologies of stories from their online pubs, so be sure to support them and make this come true!

As always, thanks to you all for believing in me. If I could tell you how many times I was thinking of quitting writing for good…

No need for that now. Thanks a lot, Crimson Streets.

Same old, same old

October 26, 2015

Literature and movies have much in common. Some of the most popular and cherished movies came from books, as did some of the worst, most forgotten ones. While both have writing in some way shape or form, movies are much more visual, but need to tell a story at the same time.

So why is it that some movies are so terrible, visually, audioally (huh? I know it’s aurally, so lay off), and storywise?

As you know, I’m smitten with the sword and sorcery genre. Maybe it has to do with my love of Masters of the Universe, or maybe my affinity for Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. Whatever the case, there’s a lot of great S&S work out there.

There’s also a lot of shit.

I mean, a lot. Like, more than a lot. More than there should be, unfortunately.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried to make an effort to watch as many S&S movies as I can. Some are fantastic. Ladyhawke, anyone? Conan the Barbarian, both of them, of course. Dragonslayer! The list goes on.

But the bigger list is the crappy ones. The other night, I watched one of them, and just couldn’t stop shaking my head.

“The Warrior and the Sorceress” was just over an hour long, so I figured I’d give up some time to watch it. Hey, it had David Carradine and Anthony De Longis in it. Not only are we going to get the smooth, kickass action of Kane from Kung Fu, but the expert, badass weaponry and fight coordination of Blade from Masters of the Universe. Hells yeah!

Yeah…not quite.

Without going into a lengthy diatribe, let me say that this movie should have been called “How Not to Make a Movie.” Everything was bad. Seriously, there was no redemption.

Go ahead and watch it if you want. But I’m fairly certain you’ll agree with me.

Anyway, the point I want to make is, it just accentuated my belief that every story is the same. From what I’ve seen, most S&S has one of three beginnings:

  1. A group of guys are getting ready to go kill another group of guys. Then they do. The end.
  2. A wanderer who just so happens to be the greatest swordsman in the history of ever is just wandering and he stumbles upon a nefarious villain who needs to be put down. Hijinks ensue. The villain is put down. The wanderer continues wandering.
  3. Someone or a group of people are hanging out in a tavern waiting for people or something to happen and then it does.

I’m trying my best as a writer to do something different. While I can’t reinvent the wheel, I can give you a story that you’ll enjoy. Hey, who knows, maybe you’ll even see it as not the same old thing!

Currently, I’m working on a story for an anthology. I realized about two pages in that it was going the same way as always. So, I started over. After watching some of these terrible movies, I think I’ve got something that won’t be the same as always.

Who knows, though. Maybe I’m just hoping for a live action Ken Kelly or Frank Frazetta or Boris Vallejo painting. You can’t deny, the artwork of those men (and thousands of other talented, amazing artists) was beyond badass, and more than a little inspiring.

I know I shouldn’t compare my short stories to movies or paintings, but let’s face it, they’re a good start. I read a lot, and for the most part, things start out the same. So maybe if do write “the same old thing” no one will care? After all, what works, works, and history can prove that one.