Archive | March, 2017

The Earth Is An Even Harsher Mistress

30 Mar

The Earth Is An Even Harsher Mistress (A poem) by Ray Daley

The man in the moon came down too soon, he burned up in the atmosphere,
It was said by and large by the people in charge, it was because he was a queer.
The man in the moon played the pink bassoon, left a guy alone back on Earth,
And the lobbyists said they were glad he was dead, as they felt he had no worth.
The man in the moon has found some room, A place to call his own,
By faking his loss and not giving a toss, his feelings will never be known.
The man in the moon won’t be alone soon, His partner’s on his way,
So they’ll be together, forever and ever, who really cares if they’re gay?


Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 Rules

22 Mar

Okay, as promised, here is the post about Camp NaNoWriMo.

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

OBJECT:- To write at least 30 stories of 1000 words (or more) in length 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 stories in total, with 30,000 words (or more).

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

Between the period of midnight April 1st 2017 and 23;59:59 I MUST write 30 stories totalling 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.

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).

And that’s the bottom line, ’cause Stone Cold said so!

(cue breaking glass effect)

Ray’s What To Do #1

12 Mar

“Have you ever found yourself writing a story where you’ve got no idea where to go next?”

Yes. This is a situation you’ll find yourself in frequently.

So what do you do?

Start by not panicing. Accept the situation.
It’s a place you’ll become familar with over time.
It’s not a scary place. At first it might feel scary, because it’s new.
But once you accept where you are, you can beging to move on.

Do your characters have the resources or abilities required to move past their current impasse? If yes, use them to do so. If no, move them to a point where they can aquire such things and then move on.

And now the story should be moving along again.

What’s currently in submission #2

12 Mar
What’s currently in submission?
Write Now (subbed to Anthology of Quitters)
The Lanyards (subbed to Asimovs)
Tuesday Is Chicken-Flavoured Meat Day (subbed to Three-Lobed Burning Eye)
Welcome To Your New Home (subbed to Stories for Homes 2)
Practical Magic For Intermediate Students (subbed to Apex Magazine)
Departure Date (subbed to Strange Horizons)
The Thinker (subbed to Mad Scientist Journal anthology)
CSI; Nazareth (subbed to Daily Science Fiction)
The Catch (subbed to the were-traveller [PhotoFlash])
Pay Off (subbed to Queer SciFi)
That’s 11 pieces out in the ether right now.

How to cut 146 words

10 Mar

So I just submitted a story where the maximum word count was 300.

The story in question started out at 446 words, meaning I had to cut 146 of those words.

But here’s the problem – that story (in my opinion at the time) was as short as I could make it.

So I started the easy way. Cutting single words that wouldn’t be missed whilst allowed lines to still make sense.

That only cut 80 words. Not enough.

So I took a second through, same routine. Got me to about 100 words.

So that left the fine tweaking. Could I cut 2-5 words and replace them with just 1?

Indeed I could. Got me down to sniffing distance, 135 words but still too long.

So I read the whole thing. Was there anything flowery that could be removed? Anything still surplus to requirement?

I just about made that 146 words. But the story still made sense.

Not an easy job.

Outside the comfort zone

5 Mar

So! I did something a bit different today.

Yesterday, I spotted a place that was asking for idea pitches based on image prompts. Basically they had 20-something images and if one of them inspired you to write a story, they asked you to pitch your idea in a few lines or a paragraph.

I saw one I liked, I pitched my idea by email the same day.

And they liked it. So I had a day to craft the bones of the beast in my brain, and wrote it this afternoon. With a 1000 word maximum limit and a 751 word lower limit.

It’s rare that I write restrained by ANY kind of word count, be it upper OR lower. Normally I’ll just write whatever until I either run out of steam or my brain say “Oi fuckface, this is finished!”

Yes. My internal monologue calls me fuckface. Amongst other such cursory terms. Bastard-face is also quite common.

Anyway, I’m digressing.

So I banged out my story. Audio proofed it to within an inch of its life. Then added about another 100 words because it was a bit too short.

And emailed it off a few hours ago. It’s a potentially paying gig, not a huge amount but money is money.

It’s nice to step away from familiar things every now and then, to try and stretch yourself as a writer once in a while.

So, about that MAJOR announcement?

2 Mar

Okay. Remember that MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT about a week or so ago?

I guess I can let it slip now, I have made a 2nd sale of a story!

I am pleased to announce that I have sold “Tuck & Roll” to Omicronworld for their forthcoming Automobilia Anthology.

No details on release yet. I don’t want to say exactly what they paid me but it was 6 cents a word which I believe is semi-pro rates.

My thanks go to the Open Call; Science Fiction, Fantasy & Pulp Markets Facebook group where I found the original sub link. This is the 2nd paying success I have had, all thanks to them.

More details as I know them.

Update on submissions

1 Mar

Got a no back from Save SciFi today.

I would like to wish them the best of luck with the anthology though!

Subbed a short to Riddled with Arrows.
Also made a sub to to Mad Scientist Journal for an anthology too.