Posts Tagged ‘short story’

This fall, Xchyler is releasing their new paranormal anthology, the theme of which is ‘Mr.& Mrs. Myth’ and I have a short story titled ‘Charon’s Obol’ in it.

I’m delighted because I had a blast last year being a part of ‘Shades and Shadows’. If you are a writer, especially one still trying to ‘make their mark’, I recommend keeping an eye on Xchyler. They really know how to put together an anthology, and while professional, are great fun to work with.  They also do more than just paranormal, so that opens it up enough that maybe you can find your ‘In’.


My short story, as no one who reads this blog will be surprised to find out, is in the White Dragon Black series. But I’m having to do rewrites (actually more additions than rewrites) on the beginning. I failed to introduce Jonathan Alvey quite as well as my publisher would like, for new readers to the series. A valid point, so I started working on that.

TomorrowWendell_SpreadWorking on that consisted of running the opening scene over, and over, in my head while I did other things – like search for review blogs that might be willing to review Tomorrow Wendell. Roughly three hours of checking out blog, after blog, and emailing all those that I think the reviewer could honestly be interested in my work.

Three weeks I’ve been looking at review blogs: averaging thirty or more blogs visited, ten or more emails sent out, and two requests received every day. I consider that a good return.

So Saturday, once I had finished my afternoon of blog searching, I opened up ‘Charon’s Obol’ and allowed the little bits and pieces that my brain had percolated from my subconscious into forebrain, out onto the screen. It’s probably not quite there yet – I sent it to my editor to get some feed back, some direction – and I expect it will come back with exactly that.

I expect this because the editors at Xchyler are very much, all about making the writing the strongest it can be while still making it all the writer’s voice, words, and creativity. As a writer, I not only appreciate that respect, but I appreciate the challenge it represents as well.

I want this story to be strong. Of course I do… it’s mine. But also, it is the third published in the series, a series I”m trying to build and secure in the ‘real’ world. A series, I want to draw readers into and have them fall in love with. And yes – I want it to be strong, because the reviewers I’m trying so hard to the attention of, they will start getting those reviews out just a bit ahead of the release of the Anthology, they will continue to come out around the release of the anthology, and still be coming just a little after.

It’s good marketing. I had nothing to do with it. I got in the anthology on writing merit, not marketing (Xchyler anthology submissions are anonymous and graded on many points to find the strongest stories) but that doesn’t mean I”m not going to take advantage of any marketing edge I can.

I’m a brand new writer that wants to be around a decade from now – darn tooting, I’m going to do what I can to make sure that’s true. And the best way to do that – get this rewrite done right.

White Dragon Black Logosig1

Yesterday evening I attended the on-line meeting for the author’s of  Xychler’s upcoming paranormal anthology. As this was my second such meeting, and third meeting covering how the editing system and such are laid out (which is actually quite smart and helpful) I admit I was a bit… silly.

I couldn’t help myself, my fingers were typing away, being naughty, before I even knew I should be reigning them in. Luckily, the people at Xchyler are good natured, fun, and allow for the fact that authors are crazy. As long as you do the work, on time, then you can pass notes in class.

I was looking forward to being in this anthology right from the moment I submitted my story. Being a part of the last anthology was not only fun, but it was …impressive. From the team helping to better my writing, to the final result of a collections of great stories – it was a good time.

I know this one will be just as fun and just as impressive a collection. Last night, we all got to give a short intro to what our stories were about – and I’m now really looking forward to the stage where we get to proof each other’s work , so I can read them.

My personal contribution – ‘Charon’s Obol’ – is a White Dragon Black story, which, chronologically, falls shortly after ‘Tomorrow Wendell’.  I hope people like it, as much as they liked ‘The Cost of Custody‘  – the short story from last years Anthology ‘Shades and Shadows’.

It is, I admit, comforting to be back in the process. To once more be inside the machine, working to produce a quality piece. It is a feeling akin to the being home after a good but long vacation.

So yesterday, my contract from Xchyler Publishing came – looking pretty official that there is going to be a new White Dragon Black story in the world. The public world, that is, there are more than a handful of short stories featuring Jonathan Alvey sitting on my hard drive. ‘Charon’s Obol’ will be the next published one story , coming in this fall’s paranormal anthology.

Once I get home and sign it, it will be all official. And yes, just because I’ve got a novel out with them doesn’t mean I don’t have to sign another contract. This isn’t the Bog Box Boys club.  I’m not signed on as  their slave for 4 years,  three novels, and two spots on morning radio. It is a contract per work sort of situation which is siting me just fine.

So before long i’m going to be knee deep in edits again … you’d think I’d learn.  But if nothing else can be said to be true about writers, this can – we are all masochists.

I’m plugging away trying to get reviewers for the novel. What even cooler is that a friend of mine is doing it for me too. Actually, she’s kicking my ass at it in terms of positive feed back.

This doesn’t mean I’m swamped with offers but I have some offers. Some, to me, right now, is a sweet word.

I have managed to get a couple more chapters edited in the second novel ‘Bindings * Spines’… which reminds me, I should really send a couple chapters of the second novel to my beta readers.  I have also worked some on a short story.

The problem with falling into my usual habit of writing before social media right now, is this –  usually I get up, stumble down stairs, pour coffee, and drop on the couch beside my wife. I exchange occasional grunts of pseudo language while the caffeine diffuses through my system. Eventually enough of the good stuff makes it to my brain to kickstart the neurones into firing again, and after another cup, I’m running on at least six of eight cylinders.

That’s when I get up and go to the computer and start writing.

Here, cat-sitting, I get up, stumble into van, drive four blocks, stumble in house, deal with cats, get coffee going, eventually get coffee in mug,  flop in front of computer and…well, I’m simply useless. The discombobulation of it all stays with me through out the day, despite the caffeine ingested.

A few more days and I’m home – then I’ll have to come up with a a whole new excuse for not getting work done.

Any way this was about reviews – really it was. Don’t argue it’s my blog!

so getting reviewers is like trying t o fish. You find out what fish are in the water, then you decide what fish to go after. Then you have to look through all the information about what is the favourite place for the fish to reside, what food does it like best, etc etc.
Once you have that information you put the brightest lure on your line and cast out.

You might get a few tugs, but you have to hold fast until some one really grabs hold then you can real them in, thrashing and fighting and…

Okay the analogy might have broken down at this point. That’s probably good, because if I got to gutting and filleting, I’d probably never get another review again.

Any way, it can be boring, tedious and ridiculous , but if you hook one, the whole day becomes worth it. So thanks to all reviewers – not just the ones getting back to me – but all of you for what you do for us Indie’s!

Yesterday was a bit of a boondoggle.

I’m in the city on one of my cat-sitting excursions.I came in this Monday, as they sister was leaving that evening, and I am watching her furry babies for a week. Tuesday, however, my wife had to go to a doctors appointment. So it had been arranged that I would feed the cats their breakfast and drive home to watch over the kitten and the sheep, to make sure neither got in trouble while she was away.

The kicker about the situation was that my wife’s appointment was … yup – in the city.

Yesterday also happened to be the day that the day old chicks we had ordered were to come in to the feed store we use. They were supposed to be in for one in the afternoon, so we agreed I would swing by there on my way and grab them.

I arrived at quarter after one. No chicks yet. The truck had broken down about an hour down the road. I shrugged and parked the van out of the way and set in to wait.

My wife didn’t have to leave the house until 3, so I figured we’d be fine. In fact, it wasn’t too much longer that the company told the feed store the truck was back on the road.

So, like I was trying to get out of Casablanca – I waited… and waited… and waited.

No one seemed to know what was taking the truck so long. The feed store staff were none too pleased, and, I confess, I could have been happier.

Finally it was three. My wife left for her appointment, and we both crossed our fingers, and hoped the truck would pull in any second. The kitten is old enough to be left alone… in theory. This was the first real time test.

The only reason I didn’t go crazy, cursing, and cankerous?  A full sized note book and a working pen. Sometimes, being a writer is  real blessing. Sure, the truck didn’t come until after my wife called to say she was on the way back. Sure, I sat from one thirty or so, to four thirty or later. Sure, I got home only five minutes before my wife.

It was all okay to me because… I wrote.

A new short story is well on its way! I got the urge, the whisper in the ear, and I was off! This wasn’t just good for passing the time waiting, because of the spurt of writing yesterday, this morning I was able to open the fifth novel in the white Dragon Black series and get back to work on it, for the first time since my computer crashed and burned.

The sheep behaved, the kitten slept through it all as far as we can tell, and I got writing again. In the end, it almost seems a win… oh, and the chicks are, as always, adorable.