Posts Tagged ‘short story’

I haven’t been writing much these past few weeks, as I’ve said, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been picking at the flesh of the stories already started.  Last night, I get into bed relishing the fact that it is finally warm enough that I can sleep unencumbered by clothing. I no sooner lay my head down, and my Muse sends me a postcard from wherever it is she’s off vacationing. What is this notice about? It seems it may be the key to unlock the plot snafu of a certain short story. What do I do? What every good author does – get out of bed and head for the computer.

So there I am, happy to be possibly working out this issue, happy to be out putting words, happy I’m not freezing to death in my birthday suit. I know, an image none of you wanted in your head, but it made me happy. It’s nice to not have to put on layers just to get out of bed and do anything. There is a freedom and ability to be spontaneous.

ShadesAndShadows_Cover_full-resbigcoverLLAnyway – I only wrote 450 words or so, but I did write. At this point I’ll take every single word with joy. The bitter sweet part of this is that the story was started to be submitted to this years Xchyler’s paranormal anthology. So if I can work it out, it’s a little too late to be submitted. I feel strange about this as I first got a WDB story published in such an anthology, Shades and Shadows, and then was in the following years, Legends and Lore.

On a down side, my drive belt slipped off the tensioner pulley and shredded. I got a new belt – ouch, that wasn’t cheap – and put it on. I only ran the truck for roughly 30 seconds, and then stopped and checked out how the belt was sitting. It was half off the tensioner pulley and the next one in the route. Not good. So a couple hours of internet searching told me that I needed to swap out my tensioner unit – not good – but it did tell me how, which is good. Whether I can actually accomplish this feat is yet to be seen. The replacement part is ordered and should come in Tuesday, so that gives me some time to fight with it (which, hopefully, won’t actually be the case).

Maiden's Heart completed

In other news, I finished the jewelry piece I was working on, my wife’s maiden Heart, and am not entirely displeased with the outcome. Mostly, I wish that when I started it, way back when we were last playing in the SCA, that I hadn’t used epoxy to put it together. I am sort of on a kick now to do everything properly. I guess time has made me a purest. I do the same with my writing – I don’t make up monsters but work hard to find folktales and myths that have creatures that fit what I am looking for – more work, but more satisfaction.
I can now move on to one of the other projects I have in mind to do for our SCA life. I am making a ring for myself, and there is feast gear to make period and pretty, and a toothpick pomander for my wife. All of these will be made in a manner I can proudly show off, even if it means it takes longer to finish them.

I need to start going through the next White Dragon Black novel, Bindings & Spines, once again, to make sure it it as good as I can make it. I will soon be working with my editor, McKenna Gardener, at Xchyler Publishing to get it out into the world, and the more issues I can spot and repair myself the better for us both.

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Speaking of novel’s out in the world; my first, Tomorrow Wendell, just recently had a bounce up in the Amazon ratings. It shot up from 768 684 on Wednesday to 116 252 on Friday. It is now slowly sinking again, but this is the second spike it has had since the Ad Astra Con. This makes me hope that maybe, just maybe, people actually downloaded the free version of the anthology, Blondes, Books, & Bourbon, and not only enjoyed it, but enjoyed it enough to get my novel.

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So all in all, I can’t complain about where life has me situated right now. Taking each day in stride, and trying not to worry and stress about tomorrow.

So I have been dry on the writing front for a couple weeks. No real desire, no scenes in my head, no dialogue in my inner ears. No Muse . . . well, no usual Muse.

Maiden's Heart MoreWhile my writing Muse may have stepped out, another has taken her place. I have been making, crafting, constructing, with great joy and success. I don’t want this to stop, and have lots of inspiration and many things that need making, and that’s just for me, and my lady’s, use. The real fun comes in making things for other people, especially when they don’t know you are doing so. So, I’m glad to be creating, and to know my skills are still there.

But – I’d also still like to maintain my relationship with my other Muse.

This morning she dropped by just let me know she hasn’t forgotten me, and to make sure I remember how much she enjoys torturing me. I was on the toilet! Sitting there, pants around my ankles and suddenly – ‘Hey, here’s a scene for you with a bit of dialogue to go with. It’s for a new short story – in case you didn’t catch that. So any way, gotta run, have fun.’

So the next place I sat down was my desk.  I put that short story opening into my word processor and saved it. One more started short story. One more file waiting for more words to fulfill it’s purpose. But if I can finish this one – it may just be that it is destined for somewhere, that my Muse gave it to me in response for a wish to submit to a particular magazine. I have often thought about submitting to this well established, detective magazine and only recently told myself to go for it.

Maybe later today, I’ll write more, or maybe tomorrow. In the mean time, at least I can make pretty things be.

25002760TW3I’m no super star in the publishing world. In fact, 99.99% of the world doesn’t know my work. Hmmm, that number still seems wrong – I bet it’s far less than that. Anyway, I have Tomorrow Wendell and Blondes, Books, & Bourbon out there in the world. I consider this enough to call myself an author, and to make me eligible to share the great secret behind writing and getting published.

Are you ready? Truly ready for this shocking truth?


The secrets are thus:

Write because you love it. Write for yourself. Write because the story is screaming to get out.

Edit because you love the story. Edit for the joy of it. Edit because the story deserves to be the best it can.

Submit because you love the story. Submit expecting nothing. Submit because the story deserves to be read by others.

And the final key – the final pearl of wisdom – do all of this again, and again, regardless of rejection but not blind to advice.

There – I’ve broken the code of silence. I just hope you take this truth to heart.

Probably because of the Ad Astra Convention, I am feeling that I should try and get more of my writing published through other outlets than just my current publisher. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy with Xchyler and they made me feel like a super-star, but exposure through other venues can only help.

Of course I come to this decision after having just published the anthology, Blondes, Books & Bourbon, meaning I have almost no finished works in the short story department. I suppose this isn’t such a bad state to be in, as it is just giving me more impetus to write.BB&B banner

I am not burning with need – perhaps my Muse is taking some personal days – but I am inspired. So I hope I can peck out a few words in this story, or that – maybe even write a few scenes for  a new story. I do have an idea for a reworking of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale set in the WDB world, I think might be fun. As well, I started a short set in a completely different world – one I started a novel in before Alvey came to live in my mind. This tale was originally for Xchyler’s next paranormal anthology, however, I realized it was more fantasy than paranormal, and thus stalled on it.

I have one finished short in the WDB world. It needs to go through the edit / beta-reader process, but it is written. I think I’ll open it up, see how it compares to my memory of it, and then determine if there is an open market in which it might find a home. It might be nice to have a WDB story released though a different publisher before the next novel, Bindings & Spines, comes out.

It is certainly time for me to stretch out of my comfort zone and expose my works to a broader audience. Yes, there maybe many rejections in my future, and there may not – I’ve never been much deterred by rejections and it is the only way to find acceptance.

I’ve spent the last two weeks at my sisters place, being a surrogate parent to her cats. I didn’t get quite as much writing done as I might have hoped – certainly nowhere near what I usually get done during that time every year. I have, however, failed to do any writing in the two months previous, so even some felt like a cage door had been opened.

clockI am back home now, and pretending to settle into normal routine. I am only pretending though, because, very soon, I leave once more. If I pretend everything is normal, than these few days home will go by faster – at least that is the theory I’m going with. The alternative is to watch the clock and count down the minutes – but my math isn’t good enough to keep track of 4320 of them and subtract random numbers, every time I glance at a clock.

Ad-Astra-300x202Thursday, I once more depart from my normal life; my wife, four footed children, and days sitting by this computer. Thursday – once I have ingested enough coffee – I get in my truck and point it at Toronto. My destination? Ad Astra Convention. My goal? Have a great time.

Photo on 2015-04-02 at 4.40 PM #2I also have another goal – to give out one thousand business cards that contain a QR code for a free download of my latest release. That’s right, everyone at the Con should have a chance to get a free e-copy of my White Dragon Black anthology, Blondes, Books, & Bourbon. I can feel confident handing out these e-copied, because the reviews for the anthology are quite good. In fact, more than one, states that despite how much they enjoyed reading Tomorrow Wendell they actually liked the anthology better.

So, I have a Con with panels I’m quite interested in, people having fun, a chance to introduce many more people to my White Dragon Black world, and a chance to do some networking. I believe, firmly, that attending this Con will become and annual event for me. I’m trying to stay level headed and not get too excited, or too hopeful, as I have never been before and the minds eye can make a perfectly good reality seem sour. I have, however, enjoyed the previous two Cons I was lucky enough to attend so I doubt I’ll find myself miserable.

So here is me – trying hard not to look at a clock.