Posts Tagged ‘horror fiction’


My 20th Acceptance of the Year

Smoke and Drum has been accepted to appear in Linger Fiction in August. That’s the 20th yes of the year. I feel pretty happy about that. In another happy-making twist, I know 3 of the people who will be in the same issue! The four of us are all members at the same forum, and all four of us participate in Write 1 Sub 1 (though one is somewhat unofficially participating). I think that’s dandy, and a pretty amazing coincidence.

From January to July 17th, I got 20 acceptances. That’s from writing like crazy, editing old stuff and sending tons of stuff out. From 1991 to the end of 2010? I got 17 acceptances. But I submitted a couple of times a year, or maybe 5 times in a year, in bursts of 1-3 years at a time. Even the most math-challenged person can see exactly what happened there.

In 6 months I managed more acceptances and publications than in the previous 18 years. It’s tempting to beat myself up for not doing more during all those years, but I won’t. It feels right now, and it didn’t then. I’m happy with now.


Shiny Things Won 1st Place!

I entered the bi-monthly flash fiction contest at Shock Totem in May, and my story won!

From what I understand, the winners of the bi-monthly contests over the course of the year are in the running for publication later. So winning this one doesn’t mean it’ll be published, and I have no idea what the prize actually is, but it doesn’t matter. I feel all wound up like the old man in A Christmas Story. Christ, maybe it’s a bowling alley!

For anyone interested, the next one is in July. You get a week to write, revise and submit your story after the prompt is given. Then 3-4 weeks, depending on the number of entries, are alloted for voting and feedback.

New and nervous writers should consider it, because you get several different comments on your story that might prove helpful during revision. You’ve certainly got nothing to lose. It was challenging and fun, even though the prompt dealt with spiders, and I’m arachnophobic.

There’s also a bi-weekly flash challenge that’s just for fun. I haven’t been around to try that one yet, but when I am I’m going to give it a shot. It’s Saturday nights, so if you have a free couple of hours every other Saturday, give it a whirl. I believe you get a prompt and an hour to write, then voting occurs immediately after. This Saturday is the next one (I think). Details about that and the bi-monthly contest, as well as the magazine and other fun things, are at the Shock Totem site.

I was all prepared to do everything I could to distract myself from any low feelings the results might cause (you get to see how many votes you got, and you get criticism…) so winning is a thrill!


Two Pieces Published Today

A poem and a story of mine went up today in two different publications.

My poem “Propaganda” went up in the new issue of Niteblade. The issue is also called Propaganda, which gives me quite a thrill! I like Niteblade a lot, and am really pleased to make it in.

My short story “Rumpelstiltskin’s Lament” also went up today in the issue of Luna Station Quarterly. This is a fun speculative ezine (that you can also download in .pdf format) that features writing by women.

Read all the stories and poems while you’re at both these places. Good stuff. This is a really nice way to start off the month of June!


Sold a Story to Books of the Dead Press!

I’ve written about this one–it’s the one I said would hurt if it didn’t get accepted.

For anyone new to submissions, pleased don’t ever do this. Counting on a story’s acceptance so much that you know you’ll be truly upset if it’s sent back, well, that way lies madness. Submit so many and write so much that you don’t have time to focus on just one story, and when the inevitable rejections come in, send them back out and don’t get discouraged. This is what I do most of the time.

This time, though, something was different about this story. It’s the longest original short story I’ve written, and the first one that really got to me as I wrote it. It made my daughter cry, and halfway through had her aggravated at me for pausing (I was reading it aloud to check for errors and goofiness, and she was in the room). I felt, for possibly the first time ever, that I’d written an entertaining, effective story that achieved what I wanted it to do.  That story and one I wrote the following week felt like turning points for me.  (That story sold, too.) Had it been rejected, I know I’d have had a bad few days, especially since it was written specifically for the anthology.

I didn’t open the email for 2 hours, because I’ve already had a bad few days, and didn’t want to make them worse. Then I realized that spending 2 days convincing myself it was a rejection to ease the blow would be the same as facing a rejection for the next 2 days anyway. I told myself to get it over with. And it was accepted.

Thrilled! Some of the names in other Books of the Dead Press anthologies include Ray Garton, Simon Clark, Tim Lebbon, Tim Waggoner, Mort Castle, Michael Laimo and Gary Braunbeck. People I’ve read in horror anthologies and places like Cemetery Dance for years and enjoyed. I don’t know who will be in this anthology, but I recognize names in every BotD book, so being accepted there is a genuinely big thrill for me. 😀

I’ve been so busy, and knew I would be, that I’m aiming for writing 4 stories this month whenever I can squeeze them in. One went down the first week, three still to go.

And so many stories to edit and get out the door. I’m discouraged with myself for sitting on so many for so long. I still have two written in Januuary I haven’t submitted yet! Out of the 31 separate things I’ve submitted this year, I have 13 acceptances.  Almost half of what I’ve sent out has been placed. I’m super pleased with that, so the odds are in my favor of placing at least a couple of the ones waiting to go. 

I’m at my lowest rate of circulating stories in a while–8 pieces to 4 markets, and 5 of those are Twitter-length, 2 are less than 1,500 words and one is a short humor non-ficcy/fic thing. It’s seriously time to get my full-length stuff out there! This is my goal every month, and one I keep falling short of time after time. Time to stop procrastinating those edits.

I can’t feel too badly about it today, though.  Yay, Books of the Dead Press!


Leather, Denim & Silver in print; Foreplay up at Philly Flash Inferno

My flash “Foreplay” is up at Philly Flash Inferno today, too. Didn’t know that when I posted earlier. Philly is a fun little place with a “Seven Deadly Sins” theme. Lust seems to be the order of the day this time.

Also, Leather, Denim & Silver: Legends of the Monster Hunter is now in print and out for the Kindle! Through Amazon’s sampling feature, anyone can read the first story in the book for free–and that one happens to be mine! If you have a Kindle, a device that you can read Kindle books on or JUST YOUR PC you can download the Kindle sample for free. Or you can go to the print edition page linked at the top and click the button on the right that says “Read First Chapter Free” which uses Kindle for the web. My entire story is included in all of those samples, as well as a good bit of the second story.