Just got word that my story “The Final Quarter” has been accepted for the anthology Help, an anthology being put together and sold to help Predators and Editors in the lawsuit filed by PublishAmerica (PA apparently didn’t like the fact that P&E warns writers against the fee-charging publisher and includes several examples of problems writers have had with them). The story is the basis for my novel of the same name (and largely the first chapter).
I submitted a story over to The Age of Blood & Snow last night. I got a hold request this morning. These guys are fast. “Tricksters” is a Vikings vs. Indians tale set in Oklahoma that was inspired by the Heavener Runestone. I saw the thing once when I was a kid, and it’s always stuck with me.
Now a hold request isn’t an acceptance, I know, and I’ve had my share of rejected holds, but the news seems to be pretty good:
I am seriously considering “Tricksters” for the anthology. I will let you know in June.
To my knowledge, only one story has been accepted so far…a “conte cruel” that apparently is of exceptional quality.
I have to say, editor Skadi meic Beorh has been very nice to work with so far. He’s open to queries and before I started writing, I sent him my basic idea and got a couple of pointers on what they did/didn’t want to see.
Just got word from In Bad Dreams Volume Two: Where Death Stalks that my submission has made it through the first round of submissions and is being considered for inclusion.
Not an acceptance, but hey, at least it’s not a rejection. 😀
Today I received my 100th rejection, this time from Clockwork Phoenix.
This was just about the last thing I’ve got to send their way, and I was hoping to make it in to the anthology, but most of the sting is gone. You just pack it up and send it elsewhere. It’s been a difficult lesson, to be sure, but one I’m rather proud to have made. After all, you can’t get published if you don’t send it out. And if you send things out, you’re going to get rejected. This just shows I’m doing it…I be a writer!
It’s another hold request, but at least it’s not a rejection (although, I did get one of those today from A Clockwork Phoenix for “…Hitman”). This one is a hold for “Routine Maintenance” which could finally see the light of day for Horror Library, Vol. III:
We have received and read your story, and it has made it’s way through our editing staff. We enjoyed it quite a bit and would like to place it on our tentative ‘short list’ for the time being. Not a guarantee that it’ll be in for sure, but let’s just say it’s made it past the first rounds…and is certainly a story I enjoyed on many levels.
“Routine Maintenance” is similar to Stephen King’s “Trucks” — but takes place years after cars have taken over the world. I hope they ultimately take it. “Maintenance” has had a hard time finding a home, with many close misses. I originally wrote it for what was supposed to be a series of anthologies from Scissor Press edited by Jason Marchi, but that one seems to have gone belly up. Horror Library would be a great one for me to get into in any case, and I think “Routine Maintenance” is a good, strong story.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I hate waiting. I’ve got a dozen submissions sitting out there waiting for responses, ranging from a week to nearly a year. I don’t mind the ones that are a month or so, but after about two months I start wondering if they ever got it in the first place, especially the ones that don’t have any kind of response.
Of course, it’s not all bad. “A Time to Die,” to date my only non-speculative story, earned a hold request from How’d They Do That? A hold isn’t an acceptance, and it could easily still be rejected, but I’ve got a roughly 50-50 chance (based on the number of “holds” they expect versus the number of slots available). One of my other holds is also one of my longest waits — seven months for “Like Father Like Daughter” in Courting Morpheus. I don’t have a clue about this one. Part of the story is similar to “First Night in Jennings Grove,” which the editor has seen and enjoyed, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot if there’s better submissions. The anthology will be split between open submissions (such as mine) and invited authors.
Jennings Grove continues to eat up a lot of my time and I haven’t had a chance to write anything new lately. Unfortunately, work is eating up even more time and I haven’t had a chance to write as much as I should on Jennings Grove. I’ve got about 20,000 words done, enough to get me through the first part of October. I should have a great deal more written by then, but then again, I should have a great deal more written now.
Haven’t updated in awhile. And that’s mainly because there’s not been much to update about. Work has been crazy, and I haven’t had a lot of time to write.
I have sent a story called “Thinking Small” about a Fairy battle with clockwork spiders to Magic & Mechania and rattled a couple hundred words into the novel, but that’s about it.
On the electronic front, I am working on a new Web site, which will probably see the light of day in a few months. Here’s a slight teaser:
Not much progress on the novel this week. I hit a minor roadblock with the second new chapter and decided to take a small break. I know where I want to go, I’m just a little stummped on how to get there from here.
So instead, I wrote a couple of stories and subbmitted them to anthologies. The first was a tale about a guilt-ridden werewolf priest in “For the Good of the Flock,” which has been sent to Lycanthrope: The Beast Within. The second was about a man who gets an intestinal parasite, but in this case it’s a dragon in “Tapewyrm.” That one went to Black Dragon, White Dragon (I know, I know, I’m a glutton for punishment).
Got my first ever rewrite request Sunday. Of course, it’s not an acceptance and an acceptance isn’t guaranteed, but it’s certainly a step in that direction.
The story in question is “That Ain’t a Mosey,” my cowboy zombie apocalypse. The request comes courtesy of the Triangulation anthology.
The majority of the readers are going to see right where you’re going, and I think they’re going to get impatient waiting for you to get there. You can make the case that the first nine pages are backstory — that the story doesn’t REALLY begin until Doc gets shot and the undead mayhem begins. It shouldn’t take nine pages to get there. I want to see a rewrite — I want to see a version of this narrative that’s slimmer and faster paced, and (most importantly) gets to the actual story faster.
In its original form, “That Ain’t a Mosey” weighs in at about 6,500 words. I still think it was a good story that flowed nicely (if perhaps a tad slowly), but after whacking 1,700 words, I can see the advantages of making it a lean, mean, undead machine. I’m going to let the thing sit for a few days and go back and look at it to make sure I didn’t cut anything unnecessary.
The thing that strikes me as funny is this little adventure so far illustrates a point I’ve heard often (and even made myself): Sometimes it’s just a matter of hitting an editor at the right moment. History is Dead rejected the story as nicely written, but not what they were looking for. I turned around and sent it to Triangulation without alteration, where they just happened to be needing some zombies for the “End of Time” theme. Sure, I would have liked to have it accepted as it was, but if he likes my changes, I’ve got a strong(er) piece in a fairly notable publication. The fact that it pays more than History (if they take it) doesn’t hurt, either. 🙂
Got word from Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine today that the story I sent them has passed Round 2 and is now on the short list in Round 3. Now I just have to wait three months to see if an editor wants it for his (or her) magazine.
I had some hopes for this, but I don’t know that I really expected it. Keep your fingers, toes and eyes crossed for me!
(Yes, I know I’m being kind of vague on the story specifics, but ASIM’s submission requirements make a point of stating just how important anonymity is to their process, and I certainly don’t want to do anything to jinx that at this point.)
UPDATE: In light of the comment below, I’ll go ahead and say the story is called “Dreadneck.” It’s a fantasy/steampunk setting.
UPDATE: finished another chapter today!