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.