After taking it easy last year, I’ve decided this year I’m going to up my productivity. For the first year, I’ll be adding a submission blitz in January to get my annual submission total up to 100 (or more.) I was lucky that Gamut is open to submissions today. They close after receiving 300 submissions, and that’s usually within 24 hours, so I squeezed in a couple while the window was still open – one reprint and one original. I only have so many unsubmitted stories at the moment, so in addition to hitting up reprint markets, I’m going to have to make an effort to either generate a few new things to put out or edit my novel manuscripts to resubmit somewhere new.
I’m not big on resolutions, but with a big new challenge to deal with at my day job and seeing a lot of things that need organizing at home, I’ve decided the only way I can do it is to cut down on my time online and watching TV or movies. I also want more time to read and perhaps start writing reviews again. I was good about it today and got a few things done that needed doing and a few things read. I just hope I can stick to it. It almost feels like I’m trying to shake an addiction.
I hope 2017 shapes up to be a better year than the last one. It definitely holds potential. Let’s see if I can make the most of it.
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I know this has been my first blog post in some time and it’s not because I participated in Nanowrimo this year (I didn’t). Rather, real life had me busy. An issue with my well/running water that had to be resolved before the ground froze for the winter had me (and to a larger extent, my husband) occupied on the home front for over a week.
Meanwhile, having to move offices (for a third time since I started my current job) meant numerous missed breaks and lunch hours and just a general sense of feeling burnt out at the end of the work day – so any blog posts got put on hold for sometime.
December won’t be much better, time wise. Commitments for the holidays, Christmas shopping and trying to fulfill the act from my daily act of kindness advent calendar doesn’t leave much wiggle room for writing or blogging, but I’ll do my best to squeeze some in.
On a happy note, I did keep up with my short fiction writing in November. One of my blitz acceptances (from a rejection the publisher retracted the day after it was sent – a first for me) came with a request for a sequel short, so I completed that. I hope they like it. I added a bit of plot and character complexity that they might appreciate, or it may put them off. I’ll wait and see.
I also worked on a sci-fi story for a selective call for submissions (a call extension by invitation only) with an impending deadline. Writing to a requested theme can be tricky – I have a tendency to skirt the edges of the topic to avoid being boxed in, which doesn’t always work in my favour. The story ended up nice and tight though, so I’m hopeful it has a chance.
And in other news, November saw a new story release. My horror short story, “On the Tip of her Tongue” is now available in the latest Dark Corners anthology, dedicated to the original editor, who sadly passed away before the anthology saw the light. Thanks to his wife and others committed to seeing the anthology’s completion, his efforts won’t go to waste.
I’ll try to get in a few updates in December, but if blog posts are limited, I’ll make up for it in January with my first annual winter submission blitz. I’m aiming for 100 submissions next year. Let’s see if I can make it happen.
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I get to say goodbye today to another blitz I’ve decided November will be a month of editing to follow-up after a month of submissions. Several of my stories that have had multiple rejections could use a tweak, and all of my novels could use another round too.
Maybe that will get me in the mood to write more prolifically again, especially now that gardening season is practically over (the kale, chard and rutabagas are still holding on). Dealing with a still busy day job and a household full of challenges (my mother-in-law lives in my basement, my daughter is a teenager and my son is on the spectrum, ‘nuff said) leaves me feeling drained at the end of the day and less than inspired. And that’s without going into all the issues facing my family in far away places (worrying about it can wear on my nerves.) It has been a brutal few years, and it leaves me being thankful for everything I do have, even if it does come with its share of challenges.
Aside from my novels, which mostly remain unsubmitted at the moment, this last blitz left me with only a handful of unsubmitted stories. I count that as a good thing, but it means if I want to have enough material for January’s first submission blitz, I’ll have to make a diligent effort to get things written in December. I have a couple of unfinished stories to finalize but the rest will have to be new.
On a happy note – my story “Hand” is now available in the Kindle version of the charity anthology “Silent Screams”. The print version should be available in a couple of weeks.
Enjoy many treats and not so many tricks. Bob for some apples and have a good swig out of the puzzling jug (if you don’t know what that is, go for a Google.)
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Recently in the HorrorAddicts.net Facebook Group, we asked people to come up with a 100 word story for the pictures below. The original idea was to put up the best stories that were submitted for each picture but for the second picture I liked each story so much I just decided to include them all. If you have a 100 word story for one of the pictures below please share it in the comments:
All three pictures were provided by Murdo Morrison, author of Roses Of Winter and The Taste Of Dust. You can find out more about Murdo by visiting his website: http://www.murdomorrison.com/.
About this picture Murdo writes: “With Halloween coming up I thought you might like to see this image. A couple of years back my son created this stack of carved pumpkins. I processed the image to make it more Halloweeny.”
Little Johnny loved everything…
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I’m nearing the end of my blitz, Halloween and the start of the cold season. I’m hoping I’ll get several stories finished over the next few months, preparing for my first annual January blitz. It was nice to relax standards a little and send things out to newer, smaller venues offering token payments and interesting contests with not much in the way of prize money. With more focus on my day job lately, my aspirations have changed somewhat. I may dedicate the next couple of months to mixture of writing and some serious editing. I think I’m due for a new round of novel submissions, but I’d like to give them a bit of a tune-up first.
My last couple of submissions have gone to a genre competition being held by a literary magazine (whaaat?) and one of a newer publisher’s start-up anthology. It’s theme works with the story’s content, which has generated a fair amount of interest but has yet to clinch a “yes”. I may throw it into the “rewrite” pile if it gets another rejection. I actually expected it to get in somewhere long before some of the stories that followed it (but they went first.
I’m off to figure out my costume for Monday, and maybe give my daughter a hand at sewing hers. I hope you all have a great weekend, and I’ll post again soon.
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Along with making my submissions and working on my latest short story, I’ve also had to review the galley of my first soon-to-be-published children’s story. I occasionally experiment with different genres and reader age groups, but I always tend to come back to darker adult speculative fiction. This one is for charity though, so I’m happy to contribute to the anthology.
I did get another blitz rejection back (“entertaining and well-written – but no”) so I sent it out again that same day and I sent out a multi-rejection story today. Just a few more to go now, with no new material required.
Just a quick post tonight because this is a busy week – more on Thursday 🙂
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Along with recording my second blitz rejection (and another non-blitz one) I get to celebrate the release of one of my blitz acceptances (this month’s!) Jitter Press accepted my flash piece “The Candy Apple Man”, which is available now in Issue #5. If you prefer an electronic format, they have a digital version available as well.
Yesterday’s submission was sending out a recently rejected story to a call that looked like a good match, perhaps even better than my first try. Today’s is another stab at an acceptance for one of my flash stories. It’s been rejected a couple of times before but I think it has potential.
Thanks to the recent rejections, I have enough stories available for submission to make it to the end of the blitz even if I don’t finish anymore new stories over the next week plus. I’ll keep hoping for some more acceptances in the meantime. Fingers crossed.
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Today’s submission was to Grey Matter Press’s flash fiction contest. More about that in a bit.
Yesterday brought a new rejection, but not one from the blitz. It was a story I sent out in the summer – one my sister had inspired while I was on vacation. The editors said it had piqued their interest, but in the end, they had decided it was a no. They did however say they hoped I would send in another story before the call closed. Well it just so happened the short story I had recently finished and not yet submitted anywhere matched well with their theme, so without skipping a beat, I sent that one in. I have high hopes and may end up disappointed, but it was worth a shot.
On my hunt for my next submission, I came across Grey Matter Press’s “I Can Taste the Blood” flash fiction contest and decided I’d give it a go. Today was the last day to submit, so I just managed to squeak in there. You can check out all of the flash stories submitted (including mine) at the link above and vote for your favourite. If you give it a read, I hope you find my story quite chilling.
Two-thirds of the way to blitz end. This has been a fun one.
And I’m off to hunt out my next call.
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Two more submissions have been sent to magazine markets, both new to me. They are both stories I’ve only submitted once or twice before, so I’m still not sure how they’ll be received.
At the same time, I received an e-mail regarding the upcoming release for one of my two acceptances this blitz. I should have more details to share here soon, when we get closer to the print release.
Since I finished the story I was working on yesterday, I decided to work today on a review of a book I just finished reading. Here are my thoughts:
Review – Ren Garcia’s The House of Bloodstein
I’ve always enjoyed Ren’s space opera books for their high adventure and detailed world building, with added elements of fantasy and steampunk, quite dark in some places thanks to shadowtech. But this new addition to his series leans even more into my favourite genre, horror, which made the read more enjoyable for me. This particular novel continues the story of his second generation of characters – the first generation appearing in the original League of Elders series. Kay, Sam, Phillip, and Sarah are offered the opportunity to participate in a game, not as players, but as collectors of some highly sought after game pieces. There is a twist to the invitation that inevitably leads into dangerous terrain, facing off with dastardly villains, a crazy gun-toting revenant and space zombies far scarier than your average zombie fare. Joined by King, an artifact creature crafted to assist and defend them and Thomasina/Rose, Phillip’s romantic interest, the characters encounter everything thrown at them with their usual bold flair, making for a wild ride with some incredible fight scenes. Overall it was a wonderfully fun read.
My only advice is that this book wouldn’t read very well as a stand-alone novel, so if you haven’t read the rest of Ren’s series – start at the beginning and work your way up to this. His series is definitely one of my favourites.
Time to start a new story – more from my blitz later.
Today marked my first rejection for my submission blitz. It’s a story I wrote for a specific call for submissions and while it got a “maybe” for that call, after making it through multiple rounds of readings, it ended up a “no” in the end. It’s a strange story with a protagonist that leans a little toward the anti-hero side of the spectrum, so it’s not something that fits in with every call. I usually send it to calls for the dark and unusual. It has been described as “very interesting” and “a high quality submission” but it never seems to be quite the right fit. Considering the near misses, I’m not about to give up on it – so it is back on the “available” roster for another submission.
And today’s submission, a horror short, has been rejected a few times before but I’m giving it another go, sent off to another new venue.
Back to writing until tomorrow.
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