• Two Short Stories Sold

    Well, I must be doing something right because in the past two weeks I’ve sold two short stories to themed anthologies. One was Fairyland, which will be going into an anthology of fairy stories. Fairyland is an old story I wrote way back before I wrote my first novel. (or maybe during?) It was part of my effort to follow Stephen King’s advice for getting published — get a few short stories under your belt, fill out your resume, then submit to agents so they can see you’ve got some publications to back you up. Personally, I really liked its concept but I was an amateur writer so it got…

  • Short Stories: How It’s Going So Far (Quarterly Check-In)

    Well, I’m still having some trouble making myself write. And when I start a story, it’s a slow ramp-up–like a heavy truck accelerating. Some sessions, all I get down is the first line. Next time, maybe the first paragraph or two. Next time, half a page. Then I can cruise and get five to six hundred words out, which is my standard half-hour session (I’m using the other half for walking to lose weight before a trip to England.) Last month, I drafted, revised, and submitted two fresh short stories to various contests. I found this website that posts opportunities for magazine or contest submissions, and I thought it would…

  • Short Fiction Banes

    I just started writing these short stories and they’re already kicking my ass. The blank page has never been scarier. I feel like I’m not a real writer when I write these and when I do fulfill it, it feels like crap. Well, not crap per se, but unpublishable stuff. Who’s going to read a dwarf detective story? Every day I come to the blank page and do everything I can to avoid writing. And now I’ve got to come to the blank page once a week. I realize I’ve got no plot for any of these concepts. No story. Nothing that’s going to get published anywhere. I don’t know…

  • fiction typewriter

    2024: The Year of Short Stories

    I can’t remember who said it, but a writer once said “Try writing a short story a week for a year. You can’t write 52 short stories and have them all be bad.” I think I can prove them wrong. After nine novels and no bites (by “bite” I mean requests for a partial manuscript) I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing. I’m not sure what’s going wrong. (See previous entry about unhelpful rejection letters). But they say only a fool keeps doing the same thing expecting different results. So I need to do something different. I need to get back to basics. Figure out the fundamentals. So this year…

  • duotrope logo

    Should I Reup my Duotrope Subscription? (a.k.a. The Year in Writing)

    Right now, I’m thinking no. Just from a cost-benefit analysis, it’s not worth it. The subscription costs $50. I sent out twenty-five submissions and got only one acceptance. It seems like response times are getting longer, guidelines are harder to find, and more frequently I need to poke editors to find out where they’re at. The whole process is annoying (not to mention my workplace blocks half the sites behind their proxy for no goddamn good reason). Not to mention, I’m not writing many short stories. I never have been. Never been interested. I thought they were a way to fill a resume, but no one seems to care. I…

  • Felicia capcom darkstalkers

    A Straight White Male’s Unnecessary Reaction to “Cat Person”

    Here it is. The short story that everyone’s talking about lately. Mark your calendars. It’s a momentous occasion when a short story raises anyone’s hackles. Actually, it’s a momentous occasion when someone reads a short story. This one doesn’t even have any robots or murder in it. But it does have sex and female perspective, which seems common with a lot of short stories that garner controversy (“The Yellow Wallpaper“, “The Story of an Hour“, “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall“, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?“) Short summary: Margot, a twenty-year-old college student, goes on a date with Robert, a thirty-six-year-old socially awkward hipster she meets at a…

  • red mountain

    The Red Land

    I really need to make a blog to keep my consistency going, but I don’t have anything to write about.  Making queries, writing my princess fan fiction.  Just hacking at it word by word, like a writer do.  So here’s a ficlet you can enjoy, back when the site was up. —No Survivors: The Red Land— When she woke up, the world buzzed in front of her eyes like a staticky TV. Organic objects only appeared as black and white, fuzzed out, like the inside of a blanket. Other objects and buildings were colored almost like a negative, but not directly opposite. The dirt on the baseball field was as…

  • screaming whine child

    I Cannot Finish This Short Story

    I am in a world of shit now.  I am trying my damnedest to finish this story I’ve been writing, about the military using little demons to disarm bombs.  The problem is I have no fucking idea how to end it.  Everything is too cheesy, too easy, too consequential, too non-conclusive, too pro-war, too anti-war.  It’s always something that doesn’t make it feel right, no matter what I think of.  I sit here staring, hoping for some idea to germinate.  And if one does, it’s just a weed and it gets knocked down.  I might say chuck it, but good artists finish things.  And I’m too determined not to finish…

  • horse pull

    Must Work Harder

    Since I signed up for NerdCon, I’ve stopped proceeding on my princess fan fiction. I think I was burning out on it anyway — I’d already written a novel’s worth of text and still had a lot to go. Plus, I need to be productive. Real author’s finish things, and I’ve had a hankering to see some finished work. Or at least to the point I can open the door. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with some inspiration lately that’s been guiding me. It may not result in publishable stories, but I’ll at least have some new stuff to add to Duotrope. I’m finding I really need zero distractions if I’m…

  • female centaur topless

    More Shawt Stories stuff

    I keep wondering whether I should just stop worrying about short stories and focus on novels. I just finished Unnatural Creatures, a short story anthology, but it took much longer than it should have because I just didn’t want to read it. Short stories are so hit or miss for me. For every good one, there’s a terrible one where I’m so bored I want to toss the book away.  Plus there’s having to jump into another world, then another world, and it’s tiresome. It’s like playing eight video games at the same time, one a day. You are too distributed into one world to fall into another. The plots…