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What’s currently in submission #3 & #4

11 May
From April 10th, 2017.
It’s been almost a month since the last update, here’s what stories are currently out in submission.

What’s currently out in submission?

Write Now (subbed to Anthology of Quitters)
The Lanyards (subbed to Asimovs)
Welcome To Your New Home (subbed to Stories for Homes 2)
The Catch (subbed to the were-traveller (PhotoFlash)
Pay Off (subbed to Queer SciFi)
Where’s The Dog (subbed to Electric Spec)
Departure Date (subbed to Phantaxis)
Witch Hunt (subbed to SONOFAWITCH!)
The Concentration Camp (subbed to Persistant Visions)
Second Front (subbed to Nefarious Thoughts)
The Next Best King (subbed to Bete Noire)
Practical Magic For Intermediate Students (subbed to Podcastle)
In Search Of The Elusive Nigel (subbed to Mithila Review)

That’s 13 stories out there currently.


It’s been just over a month since the last update, here’s what stories are currently out in submission.

What’s currently out in submission?
Write Now (subbed to Anthology of Quitters)
The Lanyards (subbed to Asimovs)
The Catch (subbed to the were-traveller (PhotoFlash))
Pay Off (subbed to Queer SciFi)
The Concentration Camp (subbed to Persistant Visions)
Second Front (subbed to Nefarious Thoughts)
In Search Of The Elusive Nigel (subbed to Mithila Review)
The Dionesian Wave (subbed to When You’re Strange (CASFWG))
Mistaken Identity (subbed to Timeless Tales)
The Legend (subbed to Fireside Fiction)
Witch Hunt (subbed to Weird Book)
The Parting (subbed to Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
Departure Date (subbed to Darkfuse Magazine)
The Thinker (subbed to Flash Fiction Online)
That’s 14 stories out in the wild at the moment.

Summing up Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 (with deleted scenes for blog readers)

2 May

So I decided to try doing Camp NaNoWriMo this year. Because I actually knew it existed now. My goal was established before I started.

Here’s the goal post I made in out cabin:- I’ll be writing at least 30,000 words, ideally 1 story a day (of 1000 words) or more. 

30,000 words in 30 days, a fairly achievable goal.


Day 1) It’s 12:40 UK local time, or just after lunch. I just wrote 1705 words. So I’m ahead of my goal. And I had a great laugh writing “Lemmy Goes To Mars“.

Day 2) 21:17 UK local. Just got done writing for the day. 1962 words today giving me a total of 3667.

Day 3) 13:40 UK local. 1982 words written, 5649 in total.
Very happy today.

Day 4) 2225 words today for a total of 7874. (After proofing)

Thankyou to the Manic Street Preachers. I misheard a line in “A Design For Life” and it made for an excellent idea to write. It even ended up going in a slightly different direction than I had originally intended, but it felt right and it felt organic.

Day 5) I’ve already passed my day 10 target. 2482 words written today for a total of 10356. All from a dream about a hug.

Please note, I wrote an extra 8 words in later edits. This is why Facebook & twitter numbers are different. These totals will be out by at least 8 from here onwards. I will be showing the CORRECT amount here in the blog.

[Subbed “We Three Kings” to UFO 6, an anthology of funny SF]

Day 6) Today I wrote 2050 words for a total of 12,406. First day using an image prompt which panned out well.

[Claimed my win for 2016, The Impossible Lean, my first novel! Received a no back from Broadswords and Blasters on “Party Of Five”]

Day 7) 2160 words written for a total of 14,566.
The thing says at this rate I’ll reach my goal on April 15th.

[No’s back from Cicada on “Practical Magic…” and Mad Scientists Journal on “The Thinker”.  “Practical Magic” subbed to Podcastle.
“Uncle Ping” subbed to Insignia.]

Day 8) 2106 words for a total of 16,672.

[“Uncle Ping’s Evening Farewell” has been accepted by Insignia for their Asian Cyberpunk/Dystopia anthology! It’s also officially my fastest sale ever, in less than 24 hours.]

No automatic alt text available.
Day 9) 1680 words for a total of 18,352.
Day 10) 2907 words today for a total of 21,259.
[A no back from UFO 6 on We Three Kings. Subbed “In Search Of The Elusive Nigel” to Mithila Review.
Day 11) 1829 words today for a total of 23,088.

Day 12) 3114 words today for a total of 26,202. It’s the anniversary of the day I joined up next week, so I wrote “Uniform”, using my memory of recruit training.

Day 13) 1392 words today, for a total of 27,584. A weird story about dogs, by a dog. I don’t even like dogs, so I’ve no idea where that came from. Personally I blame Madonna.
Day 14) 1580 words today for a total of 29,174. Close, but no cigar! I’ll hit and pass my target tomorrow then. That’s gonna hurt my OCD for the rest of the day.
Day 15) 1355 words written for a total of 30,259.
And that, dear cabinmates, is a WIN!  Win on day 15.
[A polite no back from Podcastle on “Practical Magic”. The Dionesian Wave subbed to When You’re Strange (CASFWG). Mistaken Identity (subbed to Timeless Tales).]
Day 16) No writing done.
Day 17) No writing done.
Day 18) No writing done.
[Rejections received from:- SONOFAWITCH! For “Witch Hunt”, Electric Spec For “Where’s The Dog?” and Stories for Homes Vol 2 For “Welcome To Your New Home”. The Legend subbed to Fireside Fiction. The Thinker subbed to Daily Science Fiction.]
Day 19) No writing done.

Day 20) Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 win verified and claimed. No writing done.

[Final edits & rewrites on “The Parting”]

Day 21) No writing done.

Day 22) No writing done.

Day 23) No writing done.

[An official no from SONOFAWITCH for “Witch Hunt”. Subbed Witch Hunt to Weirdbook.]

Day 24) No writing done.
Day 25) 3552 words today, for a total of 34,313.
Day 26) No writing done.
Day 27) No writing done.
Day 28) No writing done.
Day 29) 2900 words today, for a total of 37,213. I typed up a couple of completed hand written stories to bring up my overall total today.
[“The Parting” subbed to Lightspeed for their fantasy call.]
Day 30) 1100 words today, for a total count of 38,313.
[A no back from Bete Noire on “The Next Best King”.

So after 30 days I wrote a total of 38,313 words. I wrote 19 stories.

Story Submissions; A Guideline

23 Apr

As I did one of these posts about if you should (as a writer) write ideas down or not, I thought I was well overdue writing one about story submissions.

Not every writer will reach that place where they can or even want to submit their work for publication. But these are my tips for if you ever decide it’s now the time to submit work work.


As a hard and simple rule of thumb, apply common sense. If you haven’t GOT any common sense, read what the market are asking for.

It’s a market for poetry only, should I submit fiction?
Unless it’s fictional poetry, no. The word only means exactly that.

It’s a market for werewolves, should I submit a story about a man who becomes a dog?
No. Werewolf. Not weredog. There’s a difference, learn it.

It says for women only. I’m a man, should I submit?
No. Unless you possess a vagina or are planning to have one soon.

It says “specific region writers” only, should I submit?
Do you live in that place? Have you lived there? If the answer is no, then don’t submit.

It says science fiction only and I’m not sure if my story is very SF. Should I submit?
In this case, yes. Don’t self censor. Let the people reading decide if they think it’s SF or not.

It says LBGTQ authors only. I’m a straight man/woman, should I apply?
No. It’s hard enough to writers to break into these fields. There are plenty of places for people like you and we don’t frown on your choice to be straight.

If your story contains at least one aspect of what the market require, submit it and let them decide if it fits their bailiwick or not. Unless any of the above apply.

NOTES:- Read what the market have already offered. If they are a first time printer, feel free to query them by email.

It’s not about the money

8 Apr

I’m writing this blog entry in the interests of openness and transparency.

First, a bit of admin.

I just made my first story sale of the year, to Insignia.
Another anthology. Woo!

Okay. Admin over.

Writing for me isn’t just about making money.

While it is nice to get paid for your writing, I’m pleased that anyone finds my work of a good enough quality that they want to include it in a book with other stories.

Yes. Honestly.

After nearly 2 years of submitting stuff I am still surprised when I receive an acceptance letter. I’ve become so used to “Sorry, unsuccessful” (because no-one’s ever been mean enough to send a “Fuck off, die, and stop writing forever” email yet) emails that they are now my daily bread and butter, almost part of my weekly routine now I am submitting so often.

I’m sure that if you asked any now famous writer how many rejections they used to receive on a regular basis, their face will drop, their heart will beat a little faster and you’ll become their new worst friend. Then they’ll snap out of it and tell you how they too got umpteen rejections before making it big.

It’s never all no. It’s the odd yes and that makes it worth carrying on submitting stuff.

Which is ironic, seeing how I was thinking that I was going to stop submitting stuff at the end of this month if I hadn’t made sale.

Try. Keep trying. Say why not.

Things can happen. You’ve got to work for them though.

I am hardly the worlds greatest writer but that was my third sale for money.

Ray’s potted dystopia guide for the unsure

5 Apr

Ray’s potted dystopia guide for the unsure:-

“Things are shit, let’s imagine just how much WORSE it could get then write it down.”

Robot Trump could be in charge.
Vampire Trump could be in charge, women aren’t allowed outside any more.
Vampire women are in charge, Trump isn’t allowed outside any more.
Vampire dogs are in charge, Trump has to walk them all & pick up their poop.

Wow. How many writing prompts is that?

“I’ve never got any ideas.” Shut up Ray, you just thought of 4 right there.

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.