Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Candy Day!

My kids just wanted a little time on the ol' blog
I thought I would let them. Happy trick or treating.

Good luck to everyone participating in NaNo tomorrow. At least we will have enough chocolate to get us through November this way (That is why they have it in November, free chocolate in October.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Damn my crystal ball

Okay so I was right, I heard back from Time and Space. It was a quasi-nice personalized rejection letter, saying they liked it but. . .no thank you. So I reformatted the story and sent it off to Apex Digest.

Remarkably I also heard back from Boston Review, although it was on my blog and not in my email, from the publicity guru there. I don't know how he found my blog but I welcome him to read my posts any day he wants. But, other than that, I haven't heard from the 'review' officially. I can guess what their response will be.

I am not making any more predictions, at least for awhile, because they are becoming to frequently true (I won't tell you about what I think of the civil war we are about to have, forget about the grey and the blue, more like blue and red. I may have told you too much already)

Just a second, i have to answer the door, some guys in dark sunglasses and darker suits, talking into their thumbs. I be back in just a second-

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

As I gaze into my crystal ball . . .

I am going to make my predictions about which markets I will hear from next. By next I mean the next two weeks. That is all the further my psychic ability goes. My last ones were pretty spot on. I had a couple that took longer than I thought but overall I did pretty good. Unfortunately all the responses were negative so I don't know if I want to put a lot of credence in this. So without further ado:
My next three responses from editors:
1. Winter Solstice- this one has been out to Time and Space for long enough. This was a story that got an honorable mention in the Return to Luna antho but didn't make the final cut. I should hear back soon.

2. Open graves- Boston Review. Really. I am right on their average so any day now I should hear back from them. (Can they throw a new guy a bone, please)

I actually have a few others that I should hear back from any time now but I am not going to go out on a limb and say it is in the next two weeks. Three maybe. But two? I don't know.

Now for the fun part of today. I get to replace a drafty window in my kitchen that is at least 80 years old if not older. Should be a good time and I should make a horrid mess doing it. My wife will probably not want to speak to me after she sees the carnage inflicted.

I will get right on that after my next 1000 words in my re-write. (Still on schedule to get 15000 words done before NaNo.)

In case I don't make another entry before November 1. Good luck to all involved in the month of November and the 50,000 word dash that ensues. If you want to include me as a writing buddy I am jeyberg74.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Monday

I am late getting to the old blog here today. My internet was down yesterday and didn't come back until just now so- (Darn heavy winds blowing antenna down)

On Friday I almost doubled my rejection count for the month. I got two more. One from a story I have had circulating for almost a year. It was one of my first attempts back at writing and I believe my very first attempt at something in the horror vein. I am debating about rewriting it and keeping it in circulation or shelving it for another day.

The other story I got a 'jection for is a literary piece and I will be the first to admit that I am sending it to some fairly large markets so I don't feel quite as bad when I get it back. On the other hand, I am running out of good paying markets for it and I am going to have to delve deeper to find one for it. I still really like the story. That and it is one of the few stories of mine that my wife likes so I am going to keep at it until I find a market for it.

In other news. I was watching the new Christian Slater television show "My Own Worst Enemy." very intersting. While I was watching it I came up with a complete non sequiter and came up with an idea for a new story. Unfortunately, I think it is a book length idea and not a short story idea so now I am faced with two ideas for NaNo. I might have two months of novel writing if that is the case. December could suck just as bad as November for me.

Either that or if one idea peters out on me I can start on the other one. (heh, heh, heh)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Going's on

Well, my new goal for the end of the month, which is coming up next week already (sheesh!) is to complete 15,000 words in Big Chief my YA book. I am nearing the 12,000 word mark on it and I would like to be, by my estimation, close to half-way done before the end of the month. Then I will feel like I could make the mad dash into NaNo with a clear conscience. Not as clear as having the whole thing done, but I can deal with half.

In other news, I recieved my copy of A DemonMinds Halloween. It is actually pretty well done and I am happy to have a story in it. Solitaire, and Other Games Children Play was a story that I enjoyed writing, perhaps more than 90% of the other stories I have written this year. Felicity Dowker has a story in it as well. I haven't had a chance to read that one yet.

Oh, and just for fun I included a picture of my library, it was a must have room that we put into an addition on our house. It is made from walnut if any of you were wondering and yes, I did all the work myself. Even the fireplace surround is custom made. Two walls are solid bookcases, there are two leather chairs on the opposite wall and the exposed walls are painted a classic library red, which my wife will tell you was worth it even though it took several coats to get even coverage.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Yesterday, Aaron had a post concerning the reasoning behind his writing. It was a thoughtful discussion with himself and it made me think. (Thanks a lot Aaron, now my brain hurts) I began to think about the inspirations for my writing. What works have inspired me, touched me, reached out with a 2x4 and cracked me upside the skull. It was a pretty good list to be brutally honest. I have decided to narrow it down to ten pieces, and here they are in no particular order:

1. My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George. I read this book over and over as a boy, it helped me find a voice.

2. Stuart Little, E.B.White. More than The Elements Of Style with his mentor, this book showed me there are no limits to the imagination and it can be said very precisely.

3. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien. What can I say. It is The Hobbit. What a world to create.

4. Rage, Richard Bachman (Stephen King). How prophetic and real can a book be and still be considered fiction. And this was an early work.

5. The Painted Bird, Jerzy Kosinski. A haunting WWII story that very well could have been true. The imagery still sticks with me.

6. Fear, L.Ron Hubbard. Written on a train ride across country, it was a great ride in and of itself. A case of 'what if' and among the best of them.

7. The giving Tree, Shel Silverstein. Honestly, I could have included any book he ever wrote but I decided on this one. Simple storytelling, well chosen words, and a story that you never forget.

8. Sweets To the Sweet, Robert Bloch. One of the few short stories on the list. I have never forgotten the first true chill that words gave me when I read them.

9. The Hot Zone, Richard Preston. Truth is sometimes way more frightening than fiction.

10. A Continuity of Park, Julio Cortazar. Really, did you think I would be able to get away with this list without the namesake of my blog. If you haven't read it before you are missing out on one of the best flash fiction pieces ever written. It twists and loops on itself with precision and skill that I have never seen before but would like, someday, to mimic.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


First, I want to thank Aaron for drawing my name out a hat and letting me win a copy of 'Tainted.' I look forward to reading it. I am jumping it to next in my reading list whenever it shows up.

Yesterday, my aunt K.A. Bye who has a series of children's books out from the Boys Town Press e-mailed me. She said some nice things about the not so nice things that I do to my characters on an almost daily basis and, although I don't know if she will read this, I wanted to thank her. That and I wanted to plug her books which can be found at Barnes and Noble

My imagination is running wild with ideas for NaNo at this point. My cup seriously overfloweth. I just hope I can keep it up until the end of November. Still no new news from any editors. Just crossing my fingers that good news is on the way.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halfway there

Okay, so the month is over halfway done and I have only heard back from two editors this month, three if you count the update from Kate Sanger at From the Asylum. This weekend I heard from Susurrus that they didn't want my short, The Glass Jar. Not a big deal. I half expected it (I figured I had a 50/50 chance there). I rewrote it and sent it off to Clockwork Phoenix. We will see what Mr. Allen wants to do with it.

did manage to push the 10,000 word limit on my book re-write. That was exciting to me. Although it will be better when I get to the done part of the rewrite. That will be more exciting. It is looking like I will not be finished with it before NaNo but I am okay with that. I know it will get finished and, while I am going to work diligently on it, I am not going to rush it either. I don't feel like making extra work out of it if I don't have to. I know there are several more re-writes but I don't want them to be as extensive as this one.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and congrats to Cate and Aaron for their acceptances at Postscripts and Kalidotrope respectively. They are both wonderful publications and may they both go on to win major awards for their efforts. (really, I am rooting for you!)

Off to plug away on a book.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gee, the deer are active at 4 in the morning

My boy, I don't know if he is cutting teeth or what but he decided we needed to go for a drive last night from 3 to 4:30 this morning. Did manage to fill the van up with gas and saw a lot of nice deer that I hope I see again during hunting season this year. Probably won't but it was a good scouting.

I will probably need to have at least a pot of coffee in me before I start the creative writing thing this morning, and surprise surprise, the boy is not up yet. I might have to go wake him before it gets too much later so he will take his afternoon nap.

I had a bunch of witty things to say in this mornings blog but alas they have gone from my mind at this moment. I would like to leave everyone with a little cartoon and tune from one of my favorite bands.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Coffee good-no sleep bad

Well, once again, Mark the re-write god was shining on me yesterday. (I don't know if he will come out and play today or if Cate Gardner is going to steal him from me) We managed to get through my daily goal of 1000 words on my YA re-write and then has out a first draft of a flash piece for 52 Stitches. It didn't start out that way. My original goal was for the Cat tales antho but I couldn't put cats into a positive light.

Currently I am running on little sleep because I was up until almost 3:00 am with my boy. I have no clue why every other night he decides to pull an all-nighter but last night was the night. I will need to chug coffee today during my session with the old laptop.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

smashed pumkins

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. It looked like something my old roommate in college would have done.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chugging coffee, writing words

I have found the key to writing. Copious amounts of coffee. As fast as it cool down and I can pour it down my gullet. Mark the re-write god is shining on me today. I have managed to plow through 2000 words of re-write today today in almost no time at all. I don't know how good it is. I will probably have to wait for the buzz to wear off but I got 2000 words down. At this rate I am not worried about finishing my YA book before NaNo starts. Heck, at this rate I might finish and write a novella before NaNo starts.

Just kidding. I am a glutton for punishment but I am not stupid. Maybe a long short story, if I have time.

Still have heard nothing from any publishers, other than Kate Sanger at From the Asylum and that was just a friendly heads up reply to a query I had written her last month. (brain working faster than fingers and backspace being used way to frequently)

I am raising my coffee mug again and saluting all of us. "Here is to finishing up projects before we plunge ourself into the madness that is November."

Monday, October 13, 2008

From the Asylum

I just got an email from Katherine Sanger over at 'From the Asylum.' I had queried her last month and she got back to me. I am only sharing this because I know that many of you also have stories out with them. She let me know that they are still in business, despite the lack of activity on their website. She said that the hurricanes in the area last month put them further behind than they ever expected to be and that most of us could expect to hear back from them in three months if not sooner. She apologized profusely for the delay and expects things to be back up and running soon.

I hope that this puts many of you at ease, especially those of you that have had stories out for quite a while at this point (mine has been out since February 16)

Sorry for the second post today but I thought many of you would want to know.

Another update, I am on my second pot (not cup, but pot) of coffee today and am being quite productive. I have written more in the last twenty minutes than I have in the six days prior. Mark the re-write god is shining on me today! :)

weekend update

I always loved the old weekend updates from SNL. It was that and then bed half the time because the rest of the show was all downhill from there.

I don't know where that came from.

My weekend and the week that was, let me see, what the heck went on in the world that is Jamie Eyberg. Uhm, yeah.

Okay, I've got it, not a whole lot. got a couple of thousand words written in my YA rewrite. Wrote a flash piece that I sent off to the new Dogs: the wet and dry anthology called The Proposal, it was fun and I hope to hear back from them soon although it wouldn't bother me a whole lot if I didn't. Heard back from Night Train magazine with a clever little rejection and other than that nothing. not a darn thing went on in my writing life. I was so much more productive last year.

This week I need to work on my outline for NaNo and keep plugging away on my rewrite. hopefully I hear back from some markets, hopefully with good news.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why do I do this?

I am sitting in front of my computer. The neurons are firing in my brain. I can feel them.

Do you think that means I can translate that to my fingers. Nnnnooooo!

I have been sitting here for about fifteen minutes. I got a little bit on my re-write of my novel (about 250 words, if I am lucky) but I am thinking about ways to beat the computer at chess or playing another game of Mah-Jong instead. I think this is what they call writers block.

Speaking of Bloch (I know it is spelled differently) the Robert Bloch book I am reading is called Shooting Star. It is interesting in the way he self edits himself. There is no cursing, at all, in this book. He get the hardboiled part of it through innuendo. It is really a lesson in subtlety.

Just so you know it is a flip book. you read on story and you flip the book around and you have a completely new book. Really slick how they did that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I was just thinking. . .

How great is it being a writer? I mean, really? We get to spend every day that we want, making virtually no money, writing.

We get to come up with fantastic worlds that may confuse or mystify our readers, if we have any. We can create whole languages that may remain in obscurity for all of eternity only to confound an archeological crew ten-thousand years from now, wondering what kind of history was being represented and where all these vampires and zombies came from and went to. I come to think, and I want to believe, that in the future our words are going to be taken as seriously as the story of Atlantis. Three sentences in a text that will have treasure hunters looking for things that never existed but on the page and in our minds.

How great is it to be a writer?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Off to a roaring start

It is officially six days into October, and although the day is not yet over I really don't expect anything in my mailbox today. Yesterday I did receive my first rejection of the month. It was nice polite and to the point. It was also from Hobart for my story Open Graves which, despite its title, is a literary piece with absolutely nothing supernatural about it. I still like the story and will continue to try to find a nice home for it.

Now despite what I told myself about reading My Side of the Mountain I am reading a Robert Bloch pulp about a one eyed private eye trying to solve a murder in Hollywood from Hard Case Crime. Can't remember the name of the story but if I were to walk across my house and look on my nightstand I could tell you.

Hope everyone's weekend went well. Mine did, got a lot of stuff done around the house, installing lights and trim around windows. Changing oil. All good stuff. not any writing though. That should change today.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Weekend notes

Just a quick note for the weekend. I finished Winn-Dixie last night and it is remarkably brilliant in the way it played itself out. The language was simple and the story itself deceptive in its complexity so that it only seemed simple. This is truly a book to study and know if you are working on a children book. the whole story was told from the point of view of its ten year old protagonist and well done at that. It is no wonder that it was a Newberry Honor book for 2001.

I believe I will be reading My Side of the Mountain, again, and studying the language used in that one to try and figure out why I read it over and over as a boy.

Happy Weekend everyone!

hopefully we never have to hear this-

I was reading the news this morning and there were several chilling articles but I think the most severe was the one that read We've been nuked. Stay calm. Don't go outside. It was a public address announcement that was never recorded but scripted more than forty years ago in England in the event of a nuclear war. They decided that it was against the best interest of the country to actually record it but the thought was there. If you want to read the story the link is here

If that doesn't give you an idea for a post-apocalyptic story, I don't know what will. I think I will be running with it this afternoon.

On a lighter note. I started to read Because of Winn-Dixie last night (it is a fast read and I could have finished it but I was tired) the whole book is around 20,000 words by my estimate and is actually a good story. (I get my word counts by actually typing a page or two out of the books I read to see how their pages stack to mine this book had two pages for every one of mine.) I look forward to finishing this sweet tale and then writing about the end of the world.

Good weekend everyone. Hope that everyone can relax and enjoy it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What I was going to write about today was taken, so...

I was going to write about the Pulitzer prize picker who said that American literature is basically trite compared to European literature but I believe that Stuart Neville said it quite elegantly so I will leave that post to him. He actually was talking about the differences in genres but I think that the argument stands.

So, since Neville stole my thunder on that topic, I am going to talk about something I am curious about. I never simultaneously submit to a magazine if it is specifically in their guidelines and if they say it is okay I don't really have a problem with it. My bookkeeping methods are pretty good. I know exactly where all of my stories are and I have no problem telling another publisher that a story has been accepted by someone else.

I just wonder if that is fair to the other publisher. I don't know if they have taken the time to read the story and if they have I really feel sorry for them, it is a waste of time. It can be a big waste of time if enough people withdraw their stories after they have been read but before a decision has been made.

Does anyone else out their sim sub if the magazines say it is okay? I try not to do it very often but many of the literary magazines that I submit to, I mean really, the chances of one of my stories being picked up by several of them is minuscule at best and some of them have six month or better response times. I am pretty patient but give me a break. Do I really need to wait six months (9 months for one of my stories) just to have them give me a form letter saying they don't want it, good luck somewhere else, or is it best to lay your precious eggs in many different baskets?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another month down the tubes

Well September seemed to go so fast and at the same time it drug on forever.

Everyone else seems to do these posts and they are one of my favorite things to read quite honestly (I like to read everything else you all write but I like to see how everyone's months stack against each other)

mine didn't stack that well I am afraid.
1. re-written about 5000 words in my YA book Big Chief's Gold (the title will probably be changed but it is easy to find on my flashdrive.

2. Wrote one piece of flash fiction, Lullaby. It was quickly accepted by Macabre Cadaver. Look for it on Friday with a piece from Aaron. (thank you Manny)

3. Had Solitaire, and other Games Children Play accepted to the Demon Minds print publication.

That was pretty much my month. Nothing fabulous. Nothing special. Not especially bountiful. I don't even have a lot planned for October. I would like to finish the second draft of Chief's Gold but I am really wanting to put some time in and make this one shine (I realize that doesn't happen with a second draft but I am trying to make my third draft easier to write) and I need to get my outline ready for NaNoWriMo. I have the idea, I just need to add the subplots and see where my characters take the story.

One more note, if any of you would like your book or cover letter gone over by a professional editor and get critique on said book or cover letter then I have a raffle for you. Just go to this site all of the details are there.

Wishing everyone out there in blog world a great October. BOO!

One quick edition, check out my story, Lullaby and Aaron Polson's short, Dinner here