Friday, March 25, 2011

An Acceptance

My short flash piece The Ugly Little Zombling, was accepted for Unquiet Earth - An Anthology of Living Dead Flash Fiction from Static Movement. It is the story of the Ugly Little Duckling but instead of being a goose the little ugly creature is a zombie. Here is a very short teaser:

…Milly was very worried, as any mother of a child with an eating disorder would be. Not only was it not healthy for him it was not healthy for her other children. The ugly duckling was always chasing them, trying to eat their faces.

"Poor little ugly duckling!" she would say. "Why are you so different from the others?"

“Unnngghh” the duckling would answer as it snapped its blood soaked beak at her trying to rip her tender flesh to shreds…

I am very happy to have this odd little story see print. I keep you updated when the anthology is available.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Published Stories

Hey all I have been a little negligent in telling you about my stuff getting published, here are two short stories that have recently been reprinted online:

The Lunatics Bloodletting originally published in The End of Days anthology from Living Dead Press and reprinted in the February Issue of Static Movement. It is the post apocalyptic story of a frozen world and a cult of moon worshipers. READ IT HERE

The Crystal Blight originally published in the October 2010 issue of Outer Reaches magazine and reprinted online in the March 2011 issue of Orion’s Child. It is the story of a flame haired female space pirate and a disease that crystallizes the infected. READ IT HERE

In a side note I had originally planned on writing The Crystal Blight as a series of short stories about the disease traveling through different time periods and worlds. My original idea was to write six fantasy stories, six sci-fi stories, and six horror stories and then try to get them published as a collection. I finished one and then shelved the idea having decided that someone who wants to read fantasy probably won’t want to read sci-fi or horror and vice versa. But I still have the project in my idea file so it might happen someday.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting and Teen Movies

Last week I queried about the status of Kingdom of the Dead. The publisher requires full manuscripts and my novel has been out over 170 days. I probably should have waited until the 180 day mark, but I had convinced myself that they never got my submission for the reasons in this post from a few weeks ago. They got my submission and have “set it to the side for further consideration” which kind of had me excited. I have crossed my fingers every time I’ve checked my email since then. I hope my query didn’t annoy them.

After that I went to another publisher’s website. I had sent my novel, The Lion of Solkara to them. It was forty days over their estimated response time. I started to think that maybe this publisher had also “set it to the side for further consideration”. So I went to their website to find an email address. And I discovered something.

They had added an extra six months to their estimated response times.

That’s right 6 months. 180 days. 4320 Hours. 259,200 minutes.

I get it that publishers are inundated with manuscripts. But I couldn’t help but be a little annoyed. I HATE waiting. For me it is worse than the rejections. When I get a rejection, I can go back and revise a story, or I can get all upset and eat some yummy delicious fruit snacks and forget my problems. But with waiting, the only thing you can do is…well wait.
I was so upset that I skipped my writing time last night and started reading The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. It is the sequel to Name of the Wind, and I have to say there is a good reason it hit #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list. It is really good, which actually didn’t help with my annoyance because I started to compare my writing to Mr. Rothfuss.

I went to bed feeling frustrated and inadequate, it was like I was a character in a bad teen movie. You know the ones where the nerdy guys make a pact to lose their virginity by the end of the summer? It was just like that…sort of.

Except, instead of girls I am talking about publishing and hopefully there won’t be any comical misunderstandings between me and the most popular publishing company in school, which totally embarrasses me but makes a less popular but just as pretty publisher(who was staring me right in the face the whole time) see me in a new light.

And I probably won’t learn any life lessons about how I should view publishers with more respect and I shouldn’t just use them for a quick contract. Oh, and I am not planning on having a big keg party at the end of the summer so that me and all my friends can get big publishing deals…

Okay so it really isn’t the same at all, but you get the point.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wanna Buy Some X-Ray Specs?

X-ray vision is now a reality, and has been for some time. I don’t know how I missed it but apparently ever since the late 1990s there have been IR filters for cameras that let you see through some clothes. These filters block out everything except infrared light. Since color is created by light bouncing off an object and most dyes do not bounce infrared light that means that these filters essentially give you xray vision.

Apparently someone was trying to create a “night vision” camera and there were some unexpected side effects.

These filters will only “see through” thin cloth. But now they are selling them for cell phone cameras and camcorders. I find the whole thing creepy. I am never going to look at a tourist with a camcorder or a college kid snapping pics on his cell phone in the same way again. And don’t even get me started on how creepy security cameras are.

HERE is a website where you can see some pics, don’t worry it’s a mannequin.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hotmail Sucks

I hate hotmail.

Today I queried from my PHP gmail account to find that yet another publisher, that I sent a novel submission to, never received my email. That makes four in the last year, once for each for The Laws of Summer, and The Lion of Solkara and twice now for Kingdom of the Dead. Considering that over 120 days passed each time before I queried, I ended waiting 457 days in a single year for nothing. And that is not even counting the three instances of short story publishers never getting my email. Guess I should of figured it out sooner but lesson learned.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rejection and Work


It is something that all writers have to deal with. Over the past couple of years I think I have gotten a pretty thick skin about it. I think writing short fiction had helped me with it. Personal taste is a big part of what gets rejected and what gets accepted. I have had stories rejected by smaller markets that ended up published in larger markets.

But yesterday I set a new personal record for rejection. I had five in one day. Three of them were very nice personal rejections, that pointed out specifics, one apologized for taking so long but said there were three stories they were deciding between and they only had room for one. But it was still a little discouraging. All in all I think I took it pretty well, I sat down and pounded out 3000+ words in Blood Plague War.

I think that is the key to handling rejection, at least for me. Last night I decided that I was going to write a NY Times bestseller (yeah right) and make them wish they published me back when I was a nobody. But I am going to use this as an awkward segway into an article on work...

I also wanted to share THIS ARTICLE by By Rachel Farrell, posted on MSN CareerBuilder.

It is called four jobs everyone should have to teach them about work “ethic and life” I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had done all of them before I graduated college. And I really had to agree with the article’s assessment.

The jobs are:

  1. Server to learn empathy
  2. Retail Clerk to learn patience and respect
  3. Customer Service(specifically a call center) to teach you kindness and make you think about the way you treat people.
  4. Manual Labor to teach you work a good work ethic.

I worked as both a bartender and a waiter so I can scratch number one off. I worked at a convenience store so there is number two, though I should mention that working the graveyard shift for three months before moving to days gave me a much different outlook than my coworkers. I worked as a telemarketer for a very brief time(about a month) and I am currently a librarian so I can cross number three off. And finally my summer job my junior year of high school was roofing houses.

The jobs did teach me a couple of things not mentioned in the article. First, working graveyard shift and as a bartender I was around a lot of very drunk people. After convincing a shit faced linebacker from the college football team that he could not buy bear at five in the morning, I can say that I have never been flustered by any upset customers at any other job. No matter how upset someone is about their fines at the library they just don’t hold a candle to the six foot five inch, two hundred and fifty pound plus drunken monster. And I can happily say that my summer of manual labor is what made me want to go to college, I wanted a job where I could sit on my butt at least ½ the time, which is one of the many reasons a career as a writer is so enticing. I mean I would get to sit on my butt 100% of the time, who can beat that?