Sunday, June 26, 2011

W1S1 Check-In: Week 25 (Week 4)

It's 4:30 in the morning on Sunday, which means I have nineteen and a half hours to left before deadline, but the truth is that I just don't have anything near enough to finished to warrant waiting for this update, so here goes. Despite a whole lot of writing, I only have the one, very short, short story to show in terms of completed fiction. I finished that way back on Tuesday or Wednesday, so the last few days have been spent trying to improve the time-travel story I said was finished last week, but turned out to be wrong about. Also, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I began writing a short story with my brother, which has actually become my main focus. EDIT: Wow, I almost broke my rule and started talking about the story. Durp. Anyway, here's the breakdown:


Black Tooth/White Tooth (350 word flash)


Black Tooth/White Tooth
The Bright Walk (non-W1S1)


Black Tooth/White Tooth (Mud Luscious Press Online)



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Congrats, Adam Callaway!

The very first time I saw the term "PRL" was on Adam Callaway's Sensawunda blog. In fact, it was the only author blog I had ever read besides George RR Martin's Not-A-Blog over at Wordpress. The idea that a grinder, an amateur like me would keep a blog was something of a revelation. The thought had never even crossed my mind before, but here I was enthralled by the journey of this one, average (though not in talent) guy.

His blog inspired me to do one of my own. His posting of every rejection he received inspired me to be accountable to myself by being accountable to my (potential, and, at the time, imaginary) followers. So if you like what I do here, you can thank Adam Callaway. 

Anyway, I just found out that Adam has made his 2nd pro sale, the first to the award-winning Locus-recommended Beneath Ceaseless Skies, which just so happens to also be his dream market. It could not have happened to a better writer, a harder worker, and though we have not always agreed on things, I could not be happier for someone than I am for Adam right now. So congrats, buddy! You deserve it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

He Ain't Heavy, He's My New Writing Partner

Well, it's only Tuesday, and this week is shaping up much like last week.  I've already written and subbed a little 350-word jaunt, I''m still working on last week's finished/unfinished story, and I've even started a short story to be co-written with my younger brother Ben. 

I'm particularly excited about that last bit, because Ben has been the one guy (now that he's nearing his mid-20s, I think it's safe to call him "guy" as opposed to "kid") that I've been able to share my journey with as a peer. Obviously W1S1 is a great community, and the people at Absolute Write are just amazing, but there's a different dynamic in sitting down and rapping with a fellow writer over a cup of coffee. Last night on the phone (Ben now lives in Florida, of course, after I've just said all that) he pitched me an idea he was tossing around for a short story, and I returned his volley with the idea that I think we should finally jump over the freaking broom and write a story together. 

I don't know how long the project will take, but I doubt it will come together in just one week, so that won't be my main focus for W1S1. I've technically already gotten the challenge completed for this week, but with all this time left, I'm sure I have another good yarn in me. Back to work!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

W1S1 Check-In: Week 24 (Week 3)

Well, it's the end of my third week in the W1S1 weekly challenge, and this was by far the best one yet. As I explained in an earlier post, my creative juices were a-flowin' from Sunday to Sunday, and for all of that, I have two stories written, and one of them already subbed (to TWO different markets! SIMSUB LIKE A MUTHA!)

Anyhow, the second story should be all tidied up and ready to sometime within the new few days, so I shouldn't get too late of a start on next week's story. Here's the breakdown:


  • "Mirrors" (short story)
  • unnamed short story


  • "Mirrors" (x2)
  • "Summer of Change"
  • Wah wah wahhhhh
  • "Summer of Change"  (Arcane)
And for once, everything on the list was written during the challenge, so that's nice. I feel like the challenge is finally starting to pay dividends. Not so much in the sales department yet, but in getting more stories down on, screen. I dunno, we're going to have find a new saying. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

100th Post Extravaganza!

Okay, not really. But for whatever it's worth, the reason it's been so quiet here lately is because I was HOPING that I'd get an acceptance, or some other good news, that I could use as a nice commemoration of this historic post. Unfortunately, all I got was a rejection, and a bunch of crickets. Oh well.

I know the official check-in for W1S1 is tomorrow, but I do want to share that after a pair of so-so weeks, production wise, I've bounced back with a pair of stories this time around. I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to have them both ready to SUB by tomorrow, but both are drafted, and the first of the two (entitled "Mirrors") will definitely meet Mr. Slushy before the deadline.

I don't know what happened this week. The past couple of weeks have been rife with broken stories, bad ideas, or no ideas at all, and all of sudden I have more ideas than I know what to do with. Literally, I've written two stories this week, and if not for the "sub 1" aspect of the challenge, it's entirely possible I'd be well on my way to a third, since I already have it on deck and ready to bat.

Simon Kewin told me that the weekly challenge sometimes felt like being on a treadmill, so I wonder if maybe my muse is finally trained for this kind of work. I guess the best judge of that will be next week, won't it?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

W1S1 Check-In: Week 23 (Week 2)

Great start to the week, a not-so-great finish. Started out with a from-scratch rewrite of an old, previously non-w1s1 story entitled "Magic Words" which I wrapped up in a couple of days. By Thursday I had a new story near completion, but for whatever reason I just wasn't feeling it anymore, and now I'm pretty sure it's headed for my "Bits N Pieces" folder.

I did manage to sub two stories this week, however. "The Machine" went out again, which, if you recall, is my most well-traveled story to date. It's been in the slush pile of another magazine for over 70 days, which is 40 days longer than they say to wait for a response. My query has gone unanswered for over a month, and so I've decided that I'm sending it elsewhere, and if this market wants it, well, they better hurry the hell up. 

Once again, there are no acceptances or rejections to report, so the wait continues. I have a knack for amassing three and sometimes four rejections in a week, and I have a feeling that another week like that is on the way. Or maybe I'll get four or five acceptances! Fingers crossed.

Monday, June 6, 2011

1000 Nights Check-in

I originally planned on updating my 1000 Nights personal challenge every day, then realized how much of a pain in the butt it might be, as well as how annoying ti might be to anyone following the blog, so I nixed that idea. Then I thought I should update every week, but even that creates some problems. 1000 nights in 7-day increments? I needed something rounder. So the new plan is to update every 10 days, so there will be a nice, even amount of updates.

Then, in all the excitement of finishing my first w1s1 weekly story yesterday, I forgot to update my reading. And so here we are, with an update for the first 11 days, rather than 10. Oh well.

Anyway, here is my list of poems and stories read (or reread) over the last 11 days:

Different Skies by China Mieville (Looking for Jake)
The Piazza by Herman Melville (The Piazza Tales)
By the Waters of Paradise by F Marion Crawford
The Masque of Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe (First Project Gutenberg Collection of E.A.P)
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe (First Project Gutenberg Collection of E.A.P)
The Lonely Song of Laren Dorr by George RR Martin (Dreamsongs Vol II)
Ponies by Kij Johnson (
Scales by Alastair Reynolds (Lightspeed)
Dust Bunnies by Jeremy C. Shipp (The Chiaroscuro)
Grandpa's Bluetooth by Milo James Fowler (Liquid Imagination)
Museum Beetles by Simon Kewin (The Journal of Unlikely Entomology)

Poetry (by author)

TS Elliot
Burbank with a Baedeker: Bleistein with a Cigar

Walt Whitman
Scented Herbage of my Breast 
Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand 
On Journeys Through the States
To The States 
To A Certain Cantatrice 
Me Imperturbe

Edgar Allen Poe
The Bells
The Raven

Snot too shabby! 11 short stories, 11 poems, 11 days. My favorite poems were easily the Walt Whitman ones, as evidenced by their number, but you can't go wrong with Poe or Elliot. Of the Whitmans, my favorite was Whoever You Are..., because it's a poem that speaks directly to the person reading it. Very nifty idea to go along with beautiful imagery. I'm no poet, and I don't really know "good" poetry, but I know what I like.

As for the stories, I think my favorite was "Dust Bunnies." Deeply moving, slightly disturbing. One of those stories that leaves you with a sensation rather than an opinion. A close second was Simon Kewin's "Museum Beetles," actually. Strong imagery, rich characterization, and plenty of wonderment, including (but not limited to) the ending.

Given the scope of this challenge, most of the stories and poems I read will be available free of charge, or at least in the form of anthologies as opposed to magazines. This is out of necessity, as I am not a rich man, and cannot afford to fatten up on back issues of my favorite magazines. For example, only two of the stories I've listed here require a purchase--those being the stories by George RR Martin and China Mieville--while the rest are available for easy reading online (I've included links for those) or for easy download via Project Gutenberg (do the digging for those yourselves, ya lazy bums!). So now that you have no monetary excuse not to participate...watcha waitin for?

Better Late Than Never, Write??

It came down to the wire, but my first weekly w1s1 story is done. Finished. Finito. Also, subbed. Honestly, it would have (read: should have) been finished mid-week, but I was under the weather, and nothing stifles my muse like a little sick.

But all is well now (including me), and I have a 4,500-word story, entitled "Summer of Change", sitting on a slush pile somewhere. Nyet too shabby, comrades. 

 No rejections to report, thankfully. But no acceptances, either. Oh well. Onward and upward to the next storahhh!