So this was April…

1 May

We’ve already reached the end of the fourth month of 2018.

So what’s happened so far?

SALES:- I’ve made 3 sales so far, to Third Flatiron; “The Doomsday Machine Retires” for their Monstrosities anthology and to WolfSinger Publications; “Muse” for their Cat Tails anthology. I haven’t been given permission to announce the third sale yet, I’ll tell you who it was to and the story when I am allowed.

SUBMISSIONS:- I’ve already submitted 103 stories this year.

REJECTIONS:- I’ve had 91 rejections so far.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:- In the pipeline is the publications of “Uncle Ping’s Evening Farewell” from Insignia. Still no official date on this. I’m sorry I’ve not got more news on this. I’m just as anxious to see it come out as you are.

Third Flatiron released the “Monstrosities” anthology featuring “The Doomsday Machine Retires”:- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079Q9N7Q1?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660)

Cat Tails – War Zone from Wolfsinger (featuring my story “Muse”) is available to buy at Smashwords:- https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/802052

I had a fairly successful Camp NaNoWriMo this month, I wrote over 40,000 words, 18 new stories, especially as I’d set my target at 30,000.

There are a few places opening to subs this month and I’m hoping to get a few more answers back before the end of the month too. Fingers crossed for more sales.

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Summing up Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018

23 Apr

Let’s start on a high, shall we? It’s day 23. And I have a VALIDATED WIN!

Here’s the breakdown for stats purposes.

Official goal was 30,000. This remained unchanged for the entire time.

Day 01:- 1715 words written, 1715 total.
Day 02:- 2112 words written, 3827 total.
Day 03:- 3192 words written, 7019 total.
Day 04:- 2825 words written, 9844 total. 2 stories written today, 1390 & 1435 words.
Day 05:- 2474 words written, 12318 total.
Day 06:- 2784 words written, 15102 total. Just over half way to goal.
Day 07:- 3937 words written, 19039 total.
Day 08:- 2310 words written, 21349 total. Amost didn’t write at all today, felt so tired this afternoon. Couldn’t find any motivation. In the end, I just started and hoped to do at least 1000 words. I guess you never know what you can do unless you try.

Day 09:- 1806 words written, 23155 total.
Day 10:- 2974 words written, 26129 total.
Day 11:- 1582. words written, 27711 total.
Day 12:- 2351 words written, 30062 total. That’s a confirmed win on day 12!
Day 13:- 0 words written, 30062 total.
Day 14:- 0 words written, 30062 total.
Day 15:- 3270 words written, 33332 total.
Day 16:- 0 Words written, 33332 total.
Day 17:- 1902 words written, 35234 total.
Day 18:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 19:- 0 words written, 35234 total. Official win on day 19! Fully validated WIN.
Day 20:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 21:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 22:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 23:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 24:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 25:- 0 words written, 35234 total.
Day 26:- 993 words written, 36478 total.
Day 27:- 2150 words written, 38628 total.
Day 28:- 0 words written, 38628 total.
Day 29:- 0 words written, 38628 total.
Day 30:- 1800 words written, 40428 total.

I wrote 18 new stories in the last 30 days and surpassed my goal by over 10k.

I chose to leave my goal at 30,000 words after my disaster during Story A Day September where I totally failed to wrote 30k. I didn’t even write 30 stories. I was doing this purely to regain my confidence.

I am pleased to say that one of last year’s Camp stories has sold, I’m not allowed to say which one or who to (yet) but I will when I’ve been given permission.

The Story Behind The Story #1 First Impressions

19 Apr

Welcome to the first in an on-going series where I explain how my ISFDB listed stories came into being.

As most people only ever normally see the end result; the story itself, I thought it would be fun to tell the story of what caused that story to exist.

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First Impressions, published by The Sirens Call, April 2014.

Contains spoilers for original story, so if you haven’t read it, go do that first, link as below:-
http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/pdfs/SirensCallEZine_October2014.pdf
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A bit of spoiler space.
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Spoilers coming up. If you haven’t read the story, do that first. Then come back.
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Did you go and read it? I did ask nicely.
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Story ideas can strike at any time, this one happened to occur to me on a Sunday evening as I was preparing my sunday tea. I was cutting up things for a salad, and the strangest of thoughts struck me.

Wouldn’t it be fun to take a really well known story and turn it so far around, it became an entirely new idea?  Then I thought again. How about taking said story, retaining as much of the original content but completely subverting it into a new direction no-one had ever tried before?

And there was the birth of First Impressions.

I wouldn’t say I am obsessed with the Red Riding Hood mythos, but you are more than welcome to accuse me of that. I won’t deny it either.

It’s a simple idea, but I was asking myself this question, “Don’t you think that cloak reminds you of something?

So I stood there slicing up tomatoes, saying out loud what that red hood cloak reminded me of.
When I stumbled across it.

Vampires. The classic Hammer vampire always wore a black cloak with a red lining.

Then my brain asked this, “What if Red Riding Hood was a vampire?
That’d explain why she was so confident about walking through wolf-infested woods to Granny’s house.

I finished making my salad, I went off and ate it, and then started writing that story.

Apart from the addition that Granny was also a vampire, the idea stayed exactly as it started.

That was the first horror story I ever had published. And as of today 19th April 2018, it still is.

What’s currently in submission in 2018 #4

16 Apr

As the last one was in March I thought I’d update you.

What’s currently out in submission?

Even Stevens (subbed to AE)
Junkie (subbed to Blind Spot)
A Head Of Steam (subbed to Edge Onlines Fantastic Trains)
I Want Candy [subbed to Tin House]
Not According To Design [Subbed to Mythic]
Man Overboard [subbed to James Gunn’s Ad Astra]
Junkie [subbed to Paper Dog Books]
Where’s The Dog? [subbed to Spark]
Photo Sympathy [subbed to Electric Spec]
The Lanyards [subbed to GigaNotoSaurus]
The Safety Of Checkpoints [subbed to Midnight Hour]
The Witch In The Fog [subbed to Midnight Hour]
Notepad And Pencil [subbed to Nature; Futures]
Mother Knows Best [subbed to Analog]
Playing The System [subbed to Kasma]
Welcome To Your New Home [subbed to Visions]
The Princess And The Sandwich [subbed to The Hamthology]
Put On A Happy Face [Subbed to Parsec Ink; Flawed Reflections]
Fluid State [subbed to Writers of the Future]
A Sense Of Duty [subbed to Flash Fiction Magazine]
Left Ajar [subbed to Alternative Theology]
Diary Of An Evil Henchman [subbed to Startling Stories]
Wedded Bliss [subbed to Solution Loans short story competition]
The Parting [subbed to Deciduous Tales]
Mushnik’s Guitar [subbed to Stupefying Stories]
Border Guards [subbed to Galaxy’s Edge]
Timeshare [subbed to Galli Books]
Moon walker [subbed to The Overcast]
Something Good To Eat [Subbed to Cast Of Wonders Halloween call]
The Victorian Gentlewoman’s Club [subbed to Iridium Magazine]

Acceptances: 0. No pick-ups in the last month.
Rejections:- Again, too many to count.
Publications:- Nothing new this month.
Withdrawals:- None this month

31 stories now out there.

So this was March…

1 Apr

We’ve already reached the end of the third month of 2018.

So what’s happened so far?

SALES:- I’ve made 2 sales so far, to Third Flatiron; “The Doomsday Machine Retires” for their Monstrosities anthology and to WolfSinger Publications; “Muse” for their Cat Tails anthology. Still no more than this, despite my best efforts.

SUBMISSIONS:- I’ve already submitted 90 stories this year.

REJECTIONS:- I’ve had 80 rejections so far.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:- In the pipeline is the publications of “Uncle Ping’s Evening Farewell” from Insignia. Still no official date on this.

Third Flatiron have now released their “Monstrosities” anthology featuring “The Doomsday Machine Retires”:- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079Q9N7Q1?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660)

Cat Tails – War Zone from Wolfsinger (featuring my story “Muse”) is now available to buy at Smashwords:- https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/802052

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2018 Rules

21 Mar

To have a little order, I need to establish rules and guidelines, these are they.

OBJECT:- To write at least 30,000 words (or more) in 30 days.

This does NOT mean that I have to write 1 story every day.

Not writing a story each day WILL NOT deem the challenge to have been failed.

Failure is to not write 30,000 words in total (or more) in the 30 day period.

There is no daily goal, just a goal for the whole month.

Between the period of midnight April 1st 2018 and April 30th 2018 23;59:59 I MUST write at least 30,000 words.

If by May 1st I have not done this, I have failed.

I am allowed to write stories longer than 1000 words, there is no upper word limit.
I am allowed to write several stories in one day whose combined word counts are equal to or greater than 1000 words.

Stories can come from image prompts or word prompts.
I cannot use stories I have already started & merely type them up or finish them.
I can use prewritten outlines, as long as they aren’t actually started stories.

Stories do not need to be spellchecked or proofed but MUST be word counted using a wordprocessor and an online word counter which must both state the story is 1000 words or longer (not including the title, the date, my name or THE END).

These are the rules, to ensure fair play and no cheating.

State Of My Mind Address

17 Mar

State Of My Mind Address:-

Know this, I have subbed more these past few months than ever before. I have learnt that I am more resilient than I thought. I’ve also learnt that I now know when I’m punching above my weight limit.

To quote The Art Of Noise, “So What Happens Now?

I currently have 35 pieces out in submission. i will be waiting to hear what happens with each of those pieces. But as of now, I probably won’t be submitting to any more of the big magazines.

This does NOT mean I won’t submitting anything else this year, far from it. From this point on, I’ll be picking my markets far more carefully. The “throw it at the wall & see what sticks” method simply hasn’t worked.

I do need to read more from the bigger markets. I’ve tried a few times to learn what they like, I don’t think it’s an impossible task, just an extremely difficult one that will take time.

As of now, you’ll be seeing a lot less submissions from me. You’ll still see the ones I can’t resist, or that I think I’ve got a chance in. When one model fails, you have to try something different. It’s insanity to carry on the same way when all you see is rejections.

So this is the state of my mind as it stands. Battered & bruised, but unbroken by the submission market.

All of the successes this year so far were submitted last year. Just so you know.

This is Ray, Peace Out.