Aug 22 2012

Boosting the signal

My new story, Riding the Signal is currently up at IGMS. It’s about drones, teamwork and DEATH.

Apr 3 2009


I finished my edits on ‘A Legion Blade’ last night (5,998 lovely words), and sent it off to Fantasy Magazine this morning.  It’s been awhile since I submitted something to them, which is unfortunate.  The last story I sent bounced, but it got a nice ‘please send more’ rejection.  And I would have loved to, but I’ve been mostly doing sci-fi lately and the fantasy stories I did have were way outside their word count.

So since then, they’ve gone from being a semi-pro market to a pro one, upping their pay rates and getting a very pretty website.  They also implemented a new submission system, which is very slick.

Stories are submitted through a web form, which asks for the basic info and gives you space for a brief cover letter (Hey! Hey!  Somebody else once bought my stuff!  You could do worse!).  Then you attach the story and send it off.  They spit back a ‘received’ email that has a tracking number with it.  You can use that to see where your story is in the queue.  Their response time is suppose to be within  72 hours.  Which is hella fast.

I wonder if they’re using a tiered system, where they bounce most stories fast, then throw the maybes in a bin for a longer mull.  Hopefully, I’ll get to find out.

Postscript:  72 hours?  That was less than 12.  And a bounce, so I guess I won’t find out if it is a tiered system.  Well, I applaud their efficiency, though it’s a bit unsettling to get rejected that fast.  Maybe I should have left in those last two words…

Apr 2 2009

700 Words

My short stories have a distressing tendency to be not-so-short.  What’s the problem with that?  Most places pay by the word, right?  Yeah, but most places have word count limits too.  4000, 6000, 9000… sounds like a lot, but my not-really-shorts sometimes sprawl past even the 9000, drifting from novelette out towards novella.  Which means that sometimes, in order to make a story ready for submission to a certain market, I have to get out the cleaver and go chasing words.

Early this week I took a story called ‘Changeling Fall’ from 9500 words to 9000, so that I could send it out to Strange Horizons.  Tonight, ‘A Legion Blade’ is under the knife, so that it can go to Fantasy.  6700 words going to 6000.  It’s painful, but good exercise.  It forces me to justify every word, which is important in a short story.

And not a bad idea in a novel, either.  I mean, does every fantasy book have to be over 500 pages?  Books are for reading, not for killing marmots.

Mar 27 2009

Waiting for the desk

keyboardIt’s quiet, which is a rare thing.  The kids are out with the grandmas, the GW(genius wife) is hard at work, and I’m sitting all alone just listening to the hum of the furnace and the baby monitor.  Waiting for the desk.

They’re delivering it today, the big ass desk that we ordered that will be the Apple’s home, the hiding place for the office supplies (Daughter #1 has adopted the viking approach to procuring material for her art), and a place for me to write.  

Writing.  Genre writing, specifically.  Sci-Fi, fantasy, horror– the geeky stuff.  The good stuff.  Though whether my writing falls into that latter category remains to be seen, I suppose.  Why am I trying to be a writer?  Well, after a life of spent immersing myself in other people’s stories, I want to inflict my own on the public.  At least the small wedge of the public that I can manage to reach.  So for the past three years, when the children have passed out, when the house isn’t in immediate danger of being declared a haz-mat site, when I’ve had enough sleep to be almost coherent, I’ve been tapping away at a keyboard, trying to tell stories.  And then trying to sell them.

So far, some success. Two stories sold, one to the Writers of the Future Contest, one to Baen’s Universe.  Neither is out yet, so I’m only published in a theoretical sense, but that’s good enough for me right now.  So I can pretend, at least, that this might go somewhere.  Someday, I might find an agent.  Someday, I might sell Chosen Wings, my first book.  Or the second book, which still lacks a title- and a middle, and an ending (solid beginning though).  Someday I might sell a third story, and qualify as a pro writer- really!  At least according to SFWA (if I pay to join).  Someday…

Someday I might earn enough from writing to pay for the big ass desk.