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  • Fast response!

    Whoohoo! Again a fast response to my last story submission. Not just a fast rejection but a personal one with an editorial comment. The plot didn’t do it for him. So next time I’ll send him one that’s less emotional-poignant and more on the gore, see if he likes horror with the big messy stuff. If that doesn’t work, then go for psychological terrorism in some over the top situation. I’ll just keep trying different flavors of horror till I find what this editor wants.

    He made it clear by answering personally that he wants me to try again with something different. Since it’s the plot, I’ll try with a different type of plot. This is a new magazine or I would be buying up back issues to see what he wanted in the past. I feel confident though. More confident to get that back that fast and personal, because now it’s just a matter of trial and error till I get in.

    Hmm… maybe a vengeance plot next time… those are classic. Something a little off beat on the vengeance. Something a bit deep and gritty.

  • Quick update – success!

    I set off to find the soppy vampire vignette and write the actual story instead of the vignette. I forgot what it was titled, fished around, opened something that looked like it, read what it was and dropped my jaw.

    It was a good story. I hadn’t even sent it anywhere as far as I know. Short, only 1,500 words. Didn’t need much work, only a little line edit. Lot of emotion.

    So I cleaned it up, put it in manuscript format and sent it off to The Dark magazine. It’s gone. Second submission of the week. The Plan is working. Even a half day, I can accomplish something.

    I still might dig out the vignette and see if I can write the new one too since my head is now in “whiny young vampires” but the one in the story I sent had a lot of character – more character than the vignette boy anyway. I need to really pound that kid when I find his fragment. Such whininess needs a double fistful of trouble to wake him up to more than his internal struggles. Mwuhahaha…

  • Yikes, it’s been way too long…

    August 2013? Yeah, it’s been too long since I posted or updated this site. I spent a lot of that time not writing. Ran into various snags from block to health issues to getting distracted by life stuff. This happens, especially for someone who lives in the slow lane with assorted disabilities.

    The good news: I have gotten going again on my writing. Facebook readers already know about it, but I’ll post here. I have my first rejection slip of 2013. I sent a short story to Clarkesworld, which has a very fast turn around time for rejections. E-sub and a reply within 48 hours, which means I can keep trying weekly till I get in.

    My new plan is to start editing and selling all the short stories in my archives. I have lots of them. Some reprints that sold, others that I submitted a few times but then moved and stopped sending out. When my address was uncertain I couldn’t get serious about my writing. This is a big part of the glitches that halted me from 2000-2002 when I had those three big successes on till around now. I moved too many times and had too many real-world hoops to jump through for survival reasons.

    Other than that, I’ve wrestled some inner demons and mostly dealt with disability and logistics. I think one of the worst aspects is the way that I have such a hard time forming habits of any kind. I need to, the same way everyone needs to. If you have to stop and think and remember every step of the process of say, how to take  a bath and get your lunch, you’ll drive yourself nuts.

    Low goal – at least once a week get a submission out to a pro paying magazine or a story polished and loaded on Amazon to sell indie directly to readers. I need to draw and paint and typeset covers for the indie stories, so that does include art time.

    Though that is the cool thing that’s bringing my art and writing together. Going indie with short stuff means I’ll need to do a lot more covers and develop genre styles. I might do all the horror cover art on black paper so that you can tell horror from SFF at a glance. Then draw pretty borders on fantasy or knotwork accents on it, while leaving those off or drawing up a nice industrial-metallic cool border with screws and shiny metal bits and maybe gears on SF. Typeset the title and create a picture area, designing the cover first.

    Then do a drawing in pastel on the right color background to fit within that frame. All the covers have a recognizable style, my art is pretty consistent across subjects and my style has become very loose. Pastels are bold enough that they stand up well in thumbnail and often they’re bold in color or values or both. Nothing so intricate as a James Gurney cover even though I love that sort of thing. Not for years until my drawing ability reaches that level and my patience for doing serious large works. Those might turn out later on to be special illustrated editions of favorites or best sellers if I want a project that big, or side art and prints and posters readers can get.

    If I do a cover that fancy, ever, I should probably also give it nice pen and ink interior illustrations too. Really do it up fine. But that’s not at the start. At the start what I need is a system to give me good recognizable covers that say what it’s about, what genre, something about the story in one quick glance with a legible title in thumbnail.

    As you can guess, this is why I started with the magazine submissions! I want good stuff on the desk of all the best editors while I plan out the indie blitz and decide what’s going to Amazon. But every day that I work on it counts. I will get there. Start small and gradually build to more time.

    Today I’m going to pick on the vampire vignette and see where that leads. As it is, it’s nothing but a thousand word cliche about a whiny young white male vampire moping at his fake grave. As a starting point though, I can think of several ways that story would be non-cliche fast, even if I chuck 100% of the original prose and just run with the ideas it gave me.

    So that’s what I’m writing today. We’ll see how it turns out.

  • Looking better today!

    This morning I figured out how to change the header and gave up on getting the dragon drawing done fast enough to use it. Eventually the current “Raven Dance” header will be replaced with a cool dragon drawing.

    Till then, it has something that relates to one of my books and isn’t the WordPress logo! I think it looks a lot better. I also wrote some text for the home page, which beats what was up there before.

    Watch for more content as I keep building this site and posting updates on my projects. Pretty soon there will be a new release too, “Sword of Arkatyr” is in its final edits nearly ready to send to my editor before putting it online!

  • New fantasy novel for Fall 2012

    Welcome to my new writer site. This one is about my books. So far I have one novel in print: Raven Dance. It’s available as a $25.99 trade paperback or $3.99 e-book, is an 800 page sci-fi adventure novel pitting an interesting collection of rebels against a dystopia on a far distant colony planet. “They should never have called it Utopia.”

    Or is that spelled SyFy these days? Sci-fi was the term everyone choked on in fandom when I was young, SF was acceptable but not Sci-Fi stuff, that was those ghastly Saturday afternoon big-bug movies and Godzilla. Now sci-fi is old hat and the SyFy channel has CGI dinosaurs.

    Raven Dance came out in April 2000, the same year that I got out of a 3 1/2 year stay in a homeless shelter. Due to lack of Internet connection, I didn’t do much marketing or promotion (any to speak of) but the book still paid out six or seven times over what I put up to put it in print. Best of all, it’s still in print.

    After over a decade of many real-life adventures, I’m finally ready to publish another. The Sword of Arkatyr is an 80,000 word fantasy novel with magic swords, dragons, elves, dark elves and of course lots of wizards. I’ve been editing it for several years now and it’s about ready to go to my editor – the final edits will come with professional advice.

    The one gap self publishing has versus selling a book to a publisher is that a pro editor will look over it without being the author. My editor will see into my blind spot and kick this work up that final notch to the best it can be before you get the e-book onto your device.

    I’ll be blogging its progress here and also talking about other upcoming titles. With over a decade’s novels stashed in my archives, I’ve got plenty to work with. I’ll still be creating new ones as I go. The one thing I promise you about my writing is this.

    I write better than I used to and not as well as I will.

    Enjoy. There’ll be plenty more to come. Progress on this project and plans for future ones. We’ll see what it takes to get a steady production schedule going and how long it’ll take start to finish to get something out of the “warehouse” into readable shape in your device.