October Submission Blitz 2015 – Query and Micro Fiction

October 28, 2015 at 1:06 am (dark fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , , , )

My plans for blogging multiple times this month are as dead as my poor tomato plants after the first serious frost. Unfortunately, my time available for writing has been cut short by the slow demise of a netbook battery that has proven difficult to replace and my daughter reclaiming her laptop – so I’m limited on what I can do away from home.  This includes finding time to write my blogs.  So, I’m abandoning my Scary Litte Girl theme and just focussing on the blitz itself until the end of the month.

Actually, it did take a bit longer for my garden to die this year.  The warm weather lasted longer.  I was still picking kale, broccolini, beets and chard on Monday.  A happy time suck, but one nonetheless.

Anyway, aside from the first couple of acceptances, I’ve only had a handful of rejections and I’m waiting on the rest.  One story was rejected a couple of times, only to be sent off again – but I have made my 27 submission goal as of today.  Only four more to go before end of month and multiple possibilities.  My submissions did include three micro fiction submissions, not my norm, and a rare agent query.  I haven’t tried that in a couple of years, but I stumbled across one today that might click with my work, and at least now I have a couple of pro-rate acceptances to mention in my query letter.

So I’ll push my way on to Halloween.  I’ve asked for a new computer for Christmas so I can get my writing back on track.  We’ll see how that one turns out.

More later…

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October Submission Blitz 2015 – Success

October 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm (horror, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , )

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Day 12 of my blitz and 12 submissions complete, several of them to pro-rate venues.  The good news is that I’ve already received two responses and both of them were acceptances.  I’ll post the details when I’m free to share them.

My scary little girl of the day is a classic C – Carrie.  Stephen King’s start as the King of Horror began  with a teenage disaster who found supernatural powers to go with her adolescent angst when she reached puberty.  Throw in a crazy zealot of a mother, school bullies and a bucket of pig’s blood and say hello to a freak out of epic proportions.

And for a bonus today, a review.  Here’s one for Ren Garcia’s Stenibelle:

With this installment Ren Garcia’s Shadow Tech Goddess series, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It had all of the wonderful world crafting and characterizations typical of his writing, but with its female protagonist/PoV, I was a little wary about how I would connect with the story.

I like to see stories that give female characters plenty of agency, especially adventure stories, and that’s difficult in the Victorian-esque patriarchal social-settings common to Garcia’s League of Elders series. It allows for dashing male heroes wielding great power and charm, but the female characters before this novel ,have been either demure, villainous, or struggling to control and wield what power they have – bordering on insane, damaged by their power or seeking isolation at the expense of their relationships.

In this vein, Stenibelle is at a disadvantage compared to her male counterparts right from the start. She starts at a major low and swings out far in the other direction to the point of arrogance and aggression, and I found myself hoping there would be some balance to come. Despite my frustration with her situation and her behaviour, the story was still very enjoyable.

At first Stenibelle didn’t have her own agency – “lesser” than her male counterparts – and she had to have an extra hand up. Considering her social setting, however, there was no way of avoiding some disadvantage because of her gender. My discomfort at her struggles is a compliment to the author’s storytelling skills – I wouldn’t have felt frustrated in the face of her circumstances if I hadn’t been so invested in the characters and the storyline.

There are other examples of empowered female characters in the story. Gwen was very strong in this book, despite getting beaten in a physical fight. Stenibelle was using unfair tactics to win and Gwen took the loss graciously without being cowed by it.

Alesta is also empowered, and my favourite character in the book. She works outside the boundaries of society because of her spiritual beliefs. She does what she feels is right and sometimes that meant being assertive. She’s quite powerful even though she is humble about it and doesn’t resort to throwing that power around carelessly.

Stenibelle, or Bel, does undergo growth of character. With the help of her friends, Bel, finds her agency and owns who she is. As Bel’s confidence grows it changes her dynamic with other characters, such as the bullying, villainous Professor Shurlamp. Shurlamp then has less power over her.

I really liked the changes that happen at this point in the book. Bel had to shake free the shackles of societal expectations and the unwarranted doubt it had created within her. Then she assumes responsibility for her fate directing the outcome of her adventure. In the end, I thought that this was one of Ren Garcia’s best stories yet. I look forward to the next one in this series.

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April Blitz – Day 28

April 29, 2015 at 2:43 am (writing) (, , , , , , )

Two more submissions and only two more to go. I actually sent out one under my pseudonym today and I did finally submit the SF story I was waffling on. I also had one more rejection come back, from a pro-rate venue this time. Considering I’ve had far fewer this blitz, I have higher hopes for more acceptances this time.

More at month’s end…

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Submission Blitz – Day 9

April 9, 2013 at 10:28 pm (fantasy, writing) (, , , , , )

I did mention I was expecting rejections from older submissions to be coming in soon, and sure enough, two of them were sitting in my inbox this morning. I don’t know how or why, but I always get a vibe as to whether a response is an acceptance or a rejection before I even open the e-mail, and as far as I can recall, I’ve only been wrong once so far (in a good way – I thought it was a rejection but it was actually an acceptance.) Anyway, these two e-mails gave off a rejection vibe, and sure enough, that’s what they were.

Thankfully I had already decided what I wanted to do next with these stories. I resubmitted “Rev-Ursal” to a charity anthology today, as my daily submission, and I’m saving the other story for a submission I hope to make later in the month.

In the meantime, I’m working on my Japanese-themed fantasy tale, “Sanae’s Garden.” I already have 1,400 words in, and I hope to have it ready for submission on Thursday or Friday. It has one thing in common with my Green Man dark fantasy story “Come Into Her Garden” (aside from the garden thing) but for the most part they are *very* different stories.

I’ll update you with my progress on this one tomorrow.

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Submission Blitz – Day 2

April 3, 2013 at 1:19 am (writing) (, , , , , , )

So I’m holding to my goal of a submission a day in April. Today I’m submitting “The Storyteller’s Affliction” for the umpteenth time (actually, I think it’s only the fifth or sixth time, but I don’t feel inclined to count.) This anthology offers a really good fit for it, so I’m very hopeful. The payment is three hardcover contributor copies, no cash, but that kind of excites me nevertheless. I don’t have anything published in hardcover yet, and I’m itching to see that happen.

I also started work on my story for the “writing to a submission request” goal – tentatively called “Stitches in Time.” Considering the amount of distraction in my life right now, short stories seem the way to go. I hope to have this finished and ready for Thursday’s submission, at which point I’ll have to pick out my next project. I’m still open for challenges. I’m even willing to take on something I’d never normally tackle…steampunk western or leprechaun romance – whatever. If you’re feeling sadistic, throw something like that my way, but it has to be a legitimate request for submissions – somewhere I can submit the story when I’m done.

My record for getting acceptances for stories I write to a specific submission request is abysmal, “The Storyteller’s Affliction” being a prime example. I hardly ever get accepted when I do this, although it has happened on occasion, and I have at least three stories of this type that have been rejected multiple times. But I also have a strange number that were accepted upon second or third submission. “Orbs,” “Octavia,” and “Life and Undeath on the Chain Gang” are just a few examples.

I spent a chunk of the day saving my content from my website and it saved quite effectively as a series of Word documents. That gives me hope that it might transfer well to an alternate website host with less rebuilding required then I thought. I’ll tackle the hunt for a suitable host this weekend.

I also baked cupcakes with my daughter for a bake sale. Little things like that, time well spent with family, makes me happy even when everything else isn’t so wonderful.

‘Til tomorrow’s submission.

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Solutions not Resolutions – I Confess…

January 5, 2013 at 12:26 am (writing) (, , , , , , , )

I confess, I missed my blog posting last night because I got caught up in trying to cut down a short story for submission, one that exceeded their word length limit by 500 words. I would much rather expand on a story than have to cut it down – the latter is a tricky task because I try to be concise to begin with. I managed it, but it took three attempts to do it and I didn’t actually complete the submission or my post because it was bedtime by the time I was finished. I know – I’m supposed to be focussing less on the writing work, but I figure after I’ve put in a full day’s accounting , working on one submission doesn’t seem unreasonable.

This will be my fourth submission of the year (yes – 2013), with another planned this weekend. I’ve already received two acceptances and two rejections in the last four days. I can’t let the bad news get me down, especially when I see writer friends who’ve suffered through many more rejections in the same time, and they don’t let it discourage them. Sure, they get a little cranky or a couple of days, but they eventually get past it.

So I’m going to resubmit these stories as soon as I find somewhere new to send them. My one problem is I still seem to be hitting that glass ceiling. I’ve received many acceptances, but I’m still trying to claw my way to my first pro pay acceptance. I’ve had a couple of near misses, and I have a maybe hovering in limbo, but I’m starting to believe it wasn’t meant to be.

Anyway, on to the resubmissions and the rewrite I need to do, and tomorrow I set my sights on getting things organized around here.

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