Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Positive Mention

It's always nice when another author mentions your work. And while the mention doesn't include my name or the title of my story but the concept is and the overall discussion of the anthology is positive. Read it here.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Let's Hear it for Diversity (And paid publishing opportunities)!

Sometimes, when one has been writing long enough and has been fortunate enough to see publication of several pieces, there is the occasional feeling that a completed work is a slam dunk. Such was the case with my short story, "Your Future for a Low, Low Price" which was just accepted for publication in the Colors in Darkness anthology "Deadly Bargain" (pictured below).

My story deals with the provided character who first appears as a non-specified Eastern European handyman/peddler in a well-to-do suburban neighborhood who draws the ire of an immigrant-hating Amurican looking for someone on whom he can take out his lifelong frustrations. But when the peddler offers him the future, his rage gives way to something even worse. As soon as I fiished it, I knew it was likely to get picked up by someone.

I don't have a publication date yet but once I do, I'll post an update.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A Rejection Letter to be Proud of.

Anyone who writes and actually submits their work knows the inevitable rejection letter is part of the process. And for those of us who don't cower under the scrutiny of qualified professionals and run screeching with terror into the whore-ish arms of Amazon's self-publishing world, it can get pretty damn discouraging. As I recently wrote, I went through a dry spell where literally nothing I was sending out was getting published. Scroll to the earlier part of this year to see my posts on that topic. I was ready to stop.

However, I have published two short stories this year, marking something of a "return" for me. That doesn't mean there haven't been rejections, though. Unless a writer is on the level of being able to sell copies via name recognition, rejections tend to outnumber acceptances. But sometimes they're not so bad, and other times they're downright encouraging. Take the one below for example:

"Unfortunately, we are not able to include your story in the anthology. Our intention with the theme had always been to publish stories that had something to do with the sky. We received a large number of submissions, such as yours, that took the theme figuratively rather then literally. For a time, we considered changing our original plan to include some of these, but eventually decided to stay true to the initial theme. That said, your story was enjoyable and, if we have an upcoming collection that I feel it may fit, I'll get in touch."

I'm fine with that. Yes, it's disappointing as this is a story I've been trying to place somewhere for a few years, but the positive response means there is a possible home for it after all. And if the publisher finds a use for it, even better.

Sometimes it's okay to just have one's work acknowledged.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

R.I.P. Burt Reynolds

Burt saw this coming, hence the book "But Enough About Me" but it still hurts to lose one of the iconic actors of my youth. Because of his incredible sense of humor despite all the screwing over he received from Hollywood, the cartoon below is both appropriate and fitting. A fond farewell to the man who chose fun roles over heady ones because that's how he chose to live his life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Latest Review!

As some of you might know, the anthology pictured above featuring my short story, "Ultimate Messiah Smackdown" appears alongside several notable authors. So when I read the latest customer review from a pastor who actually gets what I was aiming for, it meant even more than usual.

Appearing alongside the likes of David Gerrold and Mike Resnick is wonderful enough, but when your story is someone's favorite, that is beyond humbling. Add to that the fact that this particular pastor wants to use my story in one of his sermons and I'm all a'tizzy. Making a difference, one disgusted work of quasi-fiction at a time!

Read the review here.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Stiff Competition from the Land of the...Something!

Looks like mah fellow Amuricans are catching up to those lovable Canadians.  Isn't this exciting? Shut up if you don't think so!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Diverse Voices in Spec Fic and Why Renaissance Festivals are Evil

One of the many reasons I detest Renaissance Festivals is that they tend to push the laughable narrative that all human progress began in Western Europe around the time people started wondering if monthly bathing might actually be a good idea. There's also the fact that it's primarily attended by nerds (not geeks) and individuals who are perfectly at home attending tractor pulls and monster truck rallies. Now that may sound elitist to you and it is, so let's move on, shall we?

More importantly, at least from my perspective, is the negative and continuing affect they have on fiction, fantasy in particular. When I was a kid, I thought all fantasy was based off Western European society and mythology. It's why I grew to dislike it so much as I became an adult. But even the so-called "Urban Fantasy" which is fantasy occurring in modern-day city settings, not African-American in nature, tended to have its rooted firmly entrenched in the history and culture of Europa.


As well-made as it is, if I have to suffer through another episode of some "Game of Thrones" style series, I will probably not emerge the better for it. There are so many other cultures out there with stories to be told and retold. Fortunately, those voices are starting to be heard.

What prompted this post was an ad for the novella pictured below. I haven't read it but the concept sounds intriguing and far more exciting than the by-the-numbers Euro-fantasy we normally see.

Let's face it. You're probably pretty dull if your entire fantasy universe consists of Middle Ages wizards and sword-wielding Crusader cliche's. And let's not forget the science fiction equivalent of the noble young white male hero in the making. There are so many authors writing so many stories that don't depend on such lazy by-the-numbers hackery. Some examples:

Cixin Liu
Nnedi Okorafor
Octavia Butler
Samuel R Delany
S.P. Somtow

Try those on for size and let me know what you thought.