Sunday, February 28, 2010

Submitting again

Well that didn't take long. Actually, I knew it wouldn't. I have sent my little story back out again. This time it's off to the good folks at the Triangulation anthology.

Not sure how it will do. I'd publish it, but I am biased. This anthology has a theme of "end of the rainbow," and I think it will definitely fit. Whether or not they think so remains to be seen.

This is the first market that doesn't pay a professional rate, but I like the work they do and it is still a paying market. And the book gets in the hands of some reviewers so that would be a good thing.

So, wish my little story some luck. They estimate that it will be two months before I hear anything. I'll let you know something when I know something.

Another rejection

Received an email from the editors at Flash Fiction Online on Saturday. They are passing on my story. It's the second no on that story. This rejection wasn't a personal one. Just thanked me for submitting but that they have decided not to publish it.

I'm not discouraged. I'll look at the story one more time and see if anything jumps out at me then send it back out into the world. I already have another market in mind.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I can do other things

So writing isn't the only thing I do, despite what you might gather form this blog.

I play a decent third base for a 36 year old in my low-level softball league. I can cook all right, or at least I do a good job assisting Gina.

Found out that I have won an award at the day job. It's from a group called Society of News Design and it's the second time I've won an award. It's a bit of a big deal and I am excited. My name will appear with a couple of others on certificate, but it's still cool.

Congratulations, me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Submitting again

I took what the editor at Abyss & Apex said to heart and tweaked my story that I submitted to them. I added a small section at the end and think that it is better now. It feels more complete.

It feels so complete, in fact, that I have sent it out into he big bad world of editors and slush piles one more time. This time I gave it to the folks over at Flash Fiction Online. I like the stories they publish and I like that they pay a fair rate for them.

We had a discussion at our writers' group a few weekends ago about what we wanted from our writing. I was on the side of the people who wanted to do this for a living, so I do want to be paid for my fiction. I am not expecting to make millions with my flash fiction and short stories, but I'm not going to give it away either.

So I am sending my story out again. Hoping again that I hear a yes, because I like this story even better than I did the first time. It's tighter and the bit I added at the end really gives it a sense of completion. At least I think it does.

So keep your fingers crossed. In the confirmation email I received letting me know they got my story it said that they usually reply within 2 to 3 months. Reading their web site closely the answer could come sooner. I'll let you all know something when I know something.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Eric Clapton wins the subliminal game

At my first newspaper job out of college I worked in the sports department. It was a copy desk job so it meant late nights and lots of staring at computers. To keep things light the guys there made up something they called subliminal points. This is how it worked. Someone would whistle/sing/hum a few bars of a song. If at any time later in the night someone else sang/whistled/hummed any part of the same song the original singer/whistler/hummer would get a subliminal point. No one kept a running score, but we all played. If I were still playing the game Eric Clapton would be the current champion, because every time I see the commercial below I get "Rock N Roll Heart" stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My first rejection

Well, Abyss & Apex passed on my submission. Got a very nice personal rejection from the flash fiction editor. She called the story intriguing, said she liked the writing and the setup, but felt that this was the start of a bigger tale.

Very perceptive, because it is. It's the first section of a short story that has sort of stalled out. I thought the beginning could stand on its own. I still think it could but may need some tweaks.

I can't say I'm not disappointed. It would have been great to have my first submission accepted. But looking at the stats on Duotrope it was a long shot. According to the numbers there nearly 95 percent of submissions to Abyss & Apex are rejected.

I guess the next best thing to acceptance would be a personal rejection and I got one of those, so that's something. And the fact that the editor said she liked my writing was good to hear. Makes me think I'm not wasting my time trying to make a go of this.


Well, how often can you say this? The weathermen and weatherwomen were wrong. We aren't getting any rain. We are getting snow. Real snow, too, not Texas snow, which is usually no more than a dusting. They are saying now that by the time this all stops some areas could have as much as seven inches on the ground. We have at least a few inches on the ground at my house now and it was still coming down when I left for work.

Right here is where I would insert a photo, but I couldn't find the cord I needed to upload them to my computer. Plus I am at the day job right now, but I'll find the cord when I get home and share the snow-covered glory that is the Dallas-Fort Worth area, at least for today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


So it may not be the feet of snow that folks on the east coast are having to deal with, but they are saying the Dallas area could see two inches of snow on Saturday. That's significant for us. It also makes the sixth or seventh time this winter that we have had significant snowfall in our forecast.

CORRECTION: It's not Saturday. That day should be dry. Thursday is when we are supposed to have our snow. Although now it is a mix of snow and rain that's being called for. Stand down, everyone. Stand down.

Daily goals

So apparently this is going to be an occasional series.

1. Finish my outline. Want to finish the outline that I started last night. I will admit that doing this outline/synopsis has really helped me flesh out this story and it's helped me figure out how to build the suspense.

2. Write. I have done pretty well the last few days getting some words on the page. I'd like to keep that up today.

My first submission

I made my first submission this morning. It is a piece of flash fiction and I sent it to Abyss & Apex. They say their response time is roughly two months. I'll keep you posted.

Whether or not it's accepted, I don't care. Well, that's not true. I'd love for it to be accepted, but just getting to this stage is a pretty big step for me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

On outlines

Found this bit of advice over at Backspace.

... keep in mind that imagination is limitless. Do not, therefore, reduce your story to outlines and sketches, notes and 3x5 cards. You will make your story finite this way and it will suffer because it cannot grow beyond your outline. Juggle your story: by this, I mean keep eight balls in the air and only two in your hands. Let the story - the eight balls - float free, dangerously so. That's the beauty of watching a juggler: where will those balls fall? Chase your story, believe in your characters and follow them. Do not predetermine every step they take but record what they do, and do the recording breathlessly but with control, as if you just came inside to report an accident or a marvel you have just witnessed.

I loved that. Actually, I liked the whole thing. That said, I am working on an outline of one of the stories I had on my list that I wanted to finish by July. I think it's going well and am excited to see how this process works for me.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Writers' group meeting

Had a good meeting with the writers' group yesterday. We gained another member, putting us at 6 if we all keep coming. There were only four of us there yesterday counting the new guy, but the other two had excused absences.

The new guy is a little farther along than the rest of us. He has completed two novels, even though he's dropped the first in a drawer and is trying to forget about it.

He and I talked about outlines and he's a big proponent. I am coming around on using them. He goes with the full-fledged paper outline. Mine is more mental and I've talked about it before. I know where I want to start a story, where I want it to end and a few of the details in between. He has each chapter thought out in his outline. He knows, for example, that in a certain chapter he needs to get the heroes on a plane and to a certain location. He may know know exactly how he's going to do that, but if he does get the characters where they need to go then he's been successful. It's a method that I am going to try with the longer piece I've been working on. I need to make the outline for the chapters I have already written and then outline what's left to write. I know how I want this to end, just need to figure out the in-between.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My temporary handicap

Why is it that putting Band-Aid on your thumb makes the rest of your hand virtually unusable?
Gina and I each cut out thumbs last night making dinner. She was first and I did it moments later. We were making a salad. We quickly cleaned and bandaged our wounds then went back to work.

But just now I was opening my lunch to put it in the microwave at the day job and it was comical how tough a time I was having using my left hand.

Writers ADD

Is it possible to have writers ADD? If so, I think I have it. And I have it bad. I can never seem to focus on one project at a time. The last couple of days I have been writing on an idea that's new. Not one of the three that I set as a goal to finish, but something completely different. I'm sure that I will move on to something else soon, leaving me with something else half finished.

I realize that there is could be seen as complaining that my wallet is too full. Having too many ideas that I am excited about is not a bad place to be. I just wish that I could focus on one of them at a time and see it to completion. Then I could move on to the next.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Daily goals

So I guess goal Number 1 should be to post goals every day.

1. Write two pages. I've been getting better about writing recently and I want to keep it up. My production is still not what it was over the summer when I was writing about five pages a day, but I am definitely more productive than I had been over the holidays.

2. Edit. I had the day off on Monday and spent that time editing three pieces. I edit on paper so I spent some time yesterday making corrections to one of the pieces. I want to take another pass at it tonight. I think it could be tighter and some of the sentence structure is a little awkward.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Another submission

A story I started working on a few months back has been coming to my mind a lot lately. I don't know why, but since I have the day off today I figured I'd go back and re-read it. It's only a few thousand words long right now. I had originally planned it as a short story, but looking at it again I don't see how I tell the story in anything shorter than a novella.

Reading it again, though, I looked at the top and it could stand alone as a piece of flash fiction. It's just under 1,000 words and very self-contained.

I think I am going to try and trim it up some since it could use it and send it off for submission too. Then I'll start working on the longer piece.