Friday, August 29, 2008

I can't help but notice. . .

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, and I do know that the summer months are the worst time for this, but has had a hell of a time this summer keeping up with donations. It doesn't take much, a buck or two would be appreciated I am sure, to keep the sight free. I would hate to have to pay the $29.99 (I am thinking of the price of some other writer's sights) to keep up to date on all the markets the way duotrope does.

Just a little food for thought.

Speaking of new markets, if you are into zombie's (and who isn't) has a new zombie antho they are looking for subs on.

Good luck to all.

The problem with writing what you want

I think I have discovered the reason for a recent spate of rejections. My work is not scary enough for horror and too gritty for literary or mainstream markets. I might fit in better into the experimental markets, like Literary Chaos, although I don't usually play with the form of the story.

Where does a story about a homeless man who gets a job digging holes for the mob fit in. Or the story of a man who watches a lightening strike only to find out later that it killed a woman?

I don't either.

If anyone has any suggestions, other than "why don't you just make it scarier to fit into a horror market," or "just take the grit out and someone will take it if the writing is up to par," I would love to hear it.

Thank you, Felicity Dowker, for linking me to her sight. She is an amazing woman with quite a hot streak right now. Truly an up and comer in the writing community and a credit to us all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Darnit all to heck

Got a rejection today from Westbranch literary magazine today. It was short and came in the guise of a form letter but it was rejection non-the-less. I had high hopes for that market too. Probably deserved the smack down on it.

In good news, I have completely reworked a ghost story of mine and sent it off to Shroud publishing and the good hands of Tim Deal. Here's hoping for the best. Now I just have to wait for my boy to go take a nap so I can work on editing another story to sent off. I am still waiting for a response from Crazyhorse for a story I sent out in December. I know they got it too. Even their online submission manager says they have it. All I can do is wait.

Better go make sure my kid isn't destroying the house, too badly.

Monday, August 25, 2008

How do you re-write a story?

So I wrote a story (actually I have written dozens of them.) Now comes the fun part. The re-write.

This is the part of the story that every writer dreads and some never do at all. We call those people, unpublished. This isn't just checking over your story to make sure you have all of the commas and periods in the proper places. Although that is part of it.

No, the re-write is really to make sure you haven't killed off a character twice,unless they are a zombie and then it is okay. This is to make sure the flow is well, that the story makes sense within the story.

I am sure that this sounds pretty elementary but it is very easy to forget that, although you wrote it, it is still a stream of conscience that you are putting down in your fabulous word processor. Chances are very good that it didn't come out right the first time. There is a good chance it won't come out right the second time.

Oh, crap you are saying to yourself. Two re-writes. If you are lucky.

The re-write is the time to think about point of view. Is this the most effective or just the most convenient point of view (POV for all of you writing students out there.) It is also the time to figure out tense. Does the past perfect work best or does the present work well into your pre-Columbian drama?

Dialog is something that almost always needs help in the re-write. Unless you are Mark Twain and can pick up diction like no one else the flow of the dialog will probably need help. Does that sentence make sense in the story? Does it move the story along or is it just stuck there to take up valuable ink and space on the page?

Now that I am done ranting about the re-write, I had better get going on my own.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

how to get published

I don't know about everyone else but it took me years to finally get published.


It probably didn't help that I actually gave it up for about eight years to try my hand at other things. Oh, yeah, occasionally I would jot something down and stuff that idea in a file folder I had for these 'brain droppings' as the late great George Carlin would call them but essentially I gave it up after I got my BFA in creative writing. I could make more money in construction.

I still could.

But now it is different. I have gone back and read the stories that I submitted ten years ago and I realize why they were rejected.

They were bad. Not horrible bad. They were some good ideas but they were not worth publishing, that is for sure. Now I still have some good ideas, and I have matured as a writer. My dialog has improved from being an afterthought to really running the story and developing the characters beyond the page.

But I still have to say that the reason for my recent success, and I realize that having five stories picked up in one year is hardly a roaring success, is my persistence. I really looked into the magazines that I submitted to. I read what they were publishing, and sometimes even changed, subtle things to appease editors, although I would never change a story completely. Ultimately, the story is still mine.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another week in the life

I feel guilty. I haven't written in almost a week and this week doesn't look much better. My wife is home on vacation, and in between jobs right now and I have a hard time doing anything at the computer with her around. I can live with that distraction though.

Got a really nice rejection this weekend. I didn't feel bad about it. They are a startup magazine and how was I to know that it wasn't the type of story they were looking for. Although the editor did say he liked it. He could have just been being nice.

Have been working around the house like a madman. Hanging doors, weeding the garden (I really don't know how they got that tall, I swear I just pulled them all out not that long ago!), finishing the columns for my porch, ect. Someday my house will be finished and then I will be bored.

Have to go now, the van we just bought needs to go into the shop for an electrical issue on the locks.

Friday, August 8, 2008

another day

Problems on the digital front.
We use a radio frequency type internet service. Mostly because I can't stand dial-up and it is the only local hi-speed I can get out here but apparently, after much time on the phone with tech support, we have figured out that the reason that I often have no internet access in the morning and often in the evening is because someone else operates equipment on the same wavelength. ( I have been telling them this since about the second week it was going on.)

Enough about that. Onward and upward. I am looking forward, good or bad, to hearing about a story I sent to the Return to Luna Anthology in June this weekend. They are announcing the results at the national Science Fiction convention in Denver this weekend around four o'clock (I don't know if that is local time or otherwise.) It should be interesting. I liked the story I sent them but I really don't know if I will be acceptable for the anthology. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

I am still waiting to hear back from Cindy Rosmus about a story I sent her for Yellow Mama. She asked for a rewrite and I gave her one.

After that I have been waiting for 228 days from Crazyhorse literary magazine. It sounds like a long time and to be honest it is. I sent it off the day before Christmas and I haven't heard anything from them accept the autoresponder they sent me. According to their website they still have the story and I look forward to hearing from them this year yet. I hope.

Better get going, write more after my weekend in Hannibal, MO. Am going to visit my sister and see if I can get Samuel Clemens to rub some of his spirit on me.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


sorry, about the added post but if you like what I do and want to join me on Facebook, or myspace for that matter you can look me up, just leave a note where you found me and I will be happy to add you to my friends list. (please leave a note or I might think you are just spamming for friends with no real purpose or order)


Welcome to my blog, this will be replacing my MYSPACE.COM blog and should be easier to get to for everyone that actually wants to read about what is going on with my writing and just who the hell I am.

First, about the name of my blog. It is taken from the name of my favorite short story (and possibly my favorite story of all time) by Julio Cortazar. He is a South American writer and is known for his peculiar subject matter. If you haven't read the story you can find a copy online or you can find it in the book "Flash Fiction: 72 very short stories," edited by James Thomas, Denise Thomas and Tom Hazuka.

Now, enough about everyone else a little about me. I am a stay at home dad and father of two loverly kids. In my spare time, which is when they let me, I write. I primarily write short stories although I have written two novel length drafts this year. I have been published in several online magazines and one print magazine in the last year. The online mags are Pen Pricks Microfiction, Cerulean Rain, Bewildering Stories, and I just had a piece accepted for Demon Minds this week. The print issue is Literary Chaos. It can be found on and if you are looking.

Will write more later but I just wanted to get this party started.