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The Last Time I’m Making This Offer

17 Aug

Hey, all. I wanted to check in and say hello, but to also share my life news. Settle in, this won’t be short. Sorry.

Right now I am coming up to the 1st anniversary of my submission challenge. An idea which evolved from a tweet asking “How hard would it be to submit a story every day for a year?” To which, most people replied, “Pretty darn tough.”

So I saw a challenge, and took it head on. How hard would it be to submit a story every day for a month, to a paying market?

Thus was the Submission Challenge born. I’ve run it 3 times, Sept 2019, Jan 2020 & May 2020.

I wasn’t alone in the venture, others have joined me & we’ve made sales. My dumb idea made folks money & resulted in publications.

I DID A THING! YAY!

But recently, my creative mind hasn’t been in a good place, so I lashed out, as I frequently do, and attacked the one good thing in my life. I told people it was going away, and wasn’t likely to ever come back.

Because I’m probably mentally ill (undiagnosed) & am prone to destroying my life while I’m still living it.

THEN A THING HAPPENED.

I knew the 1 year anniversary of the event was coming up, & that I was going to run it for my friends for the last time. Then a little voice in my head reminded me of something. “Remember people thought it’d be crazy hard to submit a story every day? Well, I hate you, and you hate yourself, so why not suffer, be miserable and try to sub a story every day FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR?

I thought, ‘Hey. There’s something in that.’

I don’t hate myself, nor do I want to suffer, or be miserable. But I do like challenging myself to step beyond my comfort zone so my mind flew back to that original challenge.

I’ve done a month 3 times now. I’d done 100 days non-stop too. So why not try a whole year?

And that is what I’ll be trying from September 1st. Submit at least 1 story per day, every day for a year, to a paying market.

If this challenge sounds too big, why not join me for the first 30 days? I’ve already selected the markets, with some spares. If you’ve got about 30 stories, and feel some of them might sell, this could be the kickstart you need! Get in touch here, or on my Facebook feed https://www.facebook.com/raymond.daley.10, or tweet me @RayDaleyWriter

I’d really like more people to be involved. You don’t HAVE to sub every day, you might not like a market, or agree with their ideals. Whatever reason, if you want to sub less than 30, you can. I am not your Dad! Get in touch with me as the market list will only be available in the private Facebook group. If you want to challenge yourself as a writer, start selecting your stories. It takes about 9 days to select 30 stories, fully proof & audio proof. I know. I’ve done it before, and in less time too.

If you don’t take the opportunity now, it won’t be coming back. I have tried to get more people to take part before. Apart from those already on board, no-one else seems to care. This is why I am here now, trying to light a fire under your lazy, uninterested arse. I’ve tried to nice approach.

This event is going away if more people don’t support it by taking part. Only you can change my mind. Get involved.

SUBMISSION CHALLENGE UPDATE/ AKA I OWE YOU AN EXPLANATION.

9 Aug
A while back, I told the private Facebook group that the challenge might be going away. I was in a weird place then. But I wasn’t lying, not entirely. The challenge in general WILL be going away after September.
It’s being replaced by something else. Something a lot harder.
At least 1 story subbed per day for the next 365 days. Oh, yes.
I’m going to try to sub a story every day for a year.
Questions you may have:-
Are you insane? Yes.
Can we take part? Yes.
Is there going to be an ongoing list? No.
Will they all be paying markets? Yes.
When will it start? September 1st 2020.
Honestly, are you insane? I’m not sane.
Is this even possible? I’ve got over 500 unsubbed stories, so for me, yes it probably is.
Are there rules? Yes. Submit at least 1 story to a paying market for 365 consecutive days. If I miss a day, I fail.
If we take part, do these rules apply to us? Only if you want them to, otherwise use whatever rules you want. I’m not your conscience.
Is this genuinely going ahead? It is now.
Can we persuade you otherwise? No, I’m not sane. We already established that.
Do you want us to intervene? Hell no, I want a challenge. Do it, or die trying.
Why now? Why not January? Because every day is precious, and COVID exists. Again. Die trying.
So this is an actual thing now? Fuck yes, it is.
Will the challenge run at the same time? This IS the challenge now. The old challenge won’t run in January or May, if that’s what you meant.
This is the new normal? This is the new. I am not normal.
So, sub a story per day for a year, or fail? Correct.
Should we wish you luck? No, there’s no luck involved. It’s all hard work & persistance. You can offer support though.
Is there a lot of prep to do? Several hundred stories to get listed on Submission Grinder. About a week’s work if I knuckle down.
So there you go. The September challenge will be the start of my new challenge, to sub at least 1 story per day to paying markets, for a whole year.
I’m 80% sure there are enough open all the time markets to do it. This obviously means there is a decent chance of failure, but I like my odds.

ACTUAL RULES:-

  1. 1 story of any length/genre must be sent to a paying market every day for 365 days.
  2. A day is a period of 24 hours from 0000 to 1159 GMT/BST (dependant on time of year).
  3. The challenge is failed if a story is not sent out during the 24hrs of any of the 365 days.
  4. Simultaneous Subs (same story at different markets) is allowed if the guidelines say so.
  5. A story is classed as sent if email software doesn’t report otherwise with the send day.
  6. Markets can & will be used more than once during the year.
  7. If any markets asks me to stop submitting there, I must do so.

Summing up Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020.

1 Aug

As far as doing Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020 went, my goals were low. I’ve had quite a difficult relationship with being creative recently. I’ve pretty much completely moved my model to submitting stuff, rather than writing or creating new stories. However, I decided that I would like to try writing again during Camp Nano July.

GOALS:- Any of the following –
Write a total of 20,000 words.
Write a total of 20 different stories.
Write for 20 days.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 1.

1st story of day 1 written. 1,192 words (The Dream Police) so far & 1446 words (Viskar Says Koklyev). Total of 2638 words.

Dream Police was literally inspired from reading a tweet which said “Who are you, the dream police?” Viskar Says Koklyev was an idea where you could spend years working for a person who only ever said one word and you couldn’t understand them.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 2. 1139 words (This Reality Is Collapsing) & 975 words (Dear Transnational Death Tank Company). Total of 4752 words.

This Reality Is Collapsing was an idea about being in an awful situation & having to think laterally to get out of it. Dear Transnational Death Tank Company is one of my experiments with epistles which I learned about doing Cat Rambo’s flash fiction course. Those have really been proving fun and easy to write. If you can find the right subject, these almost write themselves.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 3. 1670 words. Total of 6422 words.

Praise The Lord, this is already out in submission so I don’t want to say too much about it. I know I enjoyed writing it. Maybe you’ll be able to enjoy reading it soon? Fingers crossed!

Camp Nano July 2020, day 4. 2112 words. Total of 8534 words.

The Dive, inspired by seeing the movie “Underwater”, which I thought was awful, and not remotely entertaining. It’s a mix of SF & horror. The style wasn’t easy to get right, I hope people like it when I start submitting it.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 5. 725 words. Total of 9259 words.

Quick summary of Camp so far. I’ve written 6 stories. Not all of them are shit. A few may be saleable. Some may need beta readers.

Todays story was The Wokklesok, inspired by a user on Kongregate called Wokklesok. I said “Hey, man. Can I use your nickname in a story?” and he said have at it. So I did.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 6. 2316 words. Total of 11575 words.

TITLE REDACTED, day 1. I was frightened to start writing this, it’s a scary subject. Also, I’m not sure anyone has ever written a short story about this subject, so I won’t be mentioning the title, or the subject.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 7. 3049 words. Total of 14624 words.

Day 2 of TITLE REDACTED. Finally got it finished!

Camp Nano July 2020, day 8. 0 words. Total of 14624 words. I’m putting this here now. Writing yesterdays story was quite stressful so I am taking today off. Yes, I could write later today, but I don’t want to so I’m not forcing it.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 9. 1067 words. Total of 15691 words.

War Driver, a short cyberpunk style piece. Just an experiment really.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 10. 2476 words. Total of 18167 words.

Rescue Mission, based on an image prompt.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 11. 604 words. Total of 18771 words. Yeah, a short one today. I don’t mind, I wrote something. It just didn’t work out much longer than I had hoped. Daily goal has been 500 words and we’re beyond that.

London By Data-tape (Sensorium Version). I hoped I could get more from this idea, but struggled to get much beyond the daily 500 word goal.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 12. 1724 words. Total of 20495 words. And that is my goal, reached. A total of 12 stories finished. I’ll decide tomorrow if I am going to keep writing or not. At least there’s no pressure now.

Todays story was We Came Back In Winter, also based on an image prompt. It’s not a great story but hopefully with some refining I can fix it.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 13. 1912 words. Total of 22407 words.

I Made A New Friend Today. Exactly what it sounds like, part sf, part horror.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 14. 1456 words. Total of 23863 words.

Snurgul The Knurgal, short, maybe too short. Might need more work.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 15. 818 words. Total of 24681 words.

Letters From The Phased Photonic Travel Company, another epistle. I like it, I think it works and is funny.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 16. 1483 words. Total of 26164 words.

Declaring Dependants, a story set in COVID times, not sure if it works.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 17. 0 words. Total of 26164 words. Declaring today a down day, to relax, smell the flowers & just chill. I’ve 2 titles I can work on, but not today.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 18 & 19. 0 words. Total of 26164 words. As I am starting a week-long writing course Monday, I’m going to declare no words for today & tomorrow right now. I’m fine, I could totally write now if I so wished. I’d rather save it all up for that week.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 20. 2592 words. Total of 28756 words.

Death Cache Trial, I’ve been watching a Belgian livestreamer on Twitch recently, he does geocaching, and it gave me several ideas. this also needs some work.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 21. 0 words. Total of 28756 words.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 22. 1386 words. Total of 30142 words.

The Blue Package, I’d been watching Upload this week and had a few ideas of my own about living in a virtual enviroment.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 23. 875 & 936 (1811) words. Total of 31953 words. And that is my 20 stories completed.

Dial Stuck On Summer – short, set in a simulation. Needs some work, & Field Motivator Unit 349 Joins The Townswomens Guild – Really needs a lot to fix it.

SUMMING UP:- Goal to write 20,000 words was achieved, and then some. Goal to write 20 stories was achieved, barely. Some of them aren’t great. You can really spot the ones I fought to crank out.

While I didn’t write for 20 days, I didn’t feel I had to. I got 2 of my 3 possible goals, which I was more than happy with. I’m nowhere near back to where I was, easily able to write at will, whenever I want, but it’s a lot easier than it was before. I’m calling that a win too.

I wrote a very difficult story I had been putting off doing. It will be going out to submission, probably in August. At least 16 of these 20 stories feel like they could sell to the right market, with minor tweaking.

I put the entire list bar TITLE REDACTED online, people are enjoying the sound of them. I’ll use August to prepare for the September Submission Event which might possibly be the final one. I am either shelving the project, or potentially taking the next step on my own, to try a year long challenge of submitting 1 story per day for 365 days.

I’m not confident of my health, with COVID. I am working like every day is my last. Get stuff done, get it subbed. Worry about dying later. It’s probably just paranoia, but I am honestly frightened.

I don’t want to sound down, but life is fucking scary right now. You never know if you’ll wake up tomorrow, so just live like you will. Stay healthy, friends!

So this was June 2020

1 Jul

I’ve made 194 new submissions. 169 rejections. 8 acceptances. 2 withdrawn, 0 not received.

SALES & ACCEPTANCES:-

36 Hours In The Space Force sold to B Cubed Press, Jan 20th 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) sold to Trouble Among the Stars, Jan 20th 2020.
Fillers accepted by Again, Hazardous Imaginings, Feb 20th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar sold to Aphotic Realm, Feb 21st, 2020.
The Shaming sold to Tell-Tale Press; Nebu Carnvale, 28th Feb, 2020.
For The Duty sold to Space Force; Building A Legacy, 22nd Mar, 2020.
The Scars Of War sold to Chrome Baby, 13th Apr, 2020.
The Dionesian Wave (reprint) sold to Tell-Tale Press, 24th Apr, 2020.

There are currently 34 stories out in submission:-

out in subs june

PUBLISHED THIS YEAR:-

A Tooth Fairy Dreams… Aether And Ichor issue 5. Jan 1st, 2020.
It Takes A Dragon. Flash Fiction Magazine. Jan 12th, 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5). Trouble Among The Stars issue 5. February 5th, 2020.
Super Fake. Future Syndicate II. February 6th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar. Aphotic Realm Magazine #9, Interstellar. March 26th, 2020
(REPRINT) The Dionesian Wave. Tell-Tale Press. May 4th, 2020.
For The Duty. Space Force: Building The Legacy. May 19th, 2020.
The Shaming. The Starship Logs Vol 3: Nabu Carnevale. Tell-Tale Press. 1st June, 2020.

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME!

The Scars Of War will be published at Chrome Baby, 30th June, 2020 or 1st July, 2020.
Bastard Space will be released in Wordland 8 3rd July, 2020.
Summer At Camp Long Drop will be released in Ghostlight, 2020. (DTBC)
Detecting Rogue Time Travellers (Practical Exam) will be released in On Time, 2020. (DTBC)
36 Hours In The Space Force will be released in Tales From The Space Force, 2020. (DTBC)

When I get more solid dates on the date to be confirmeds, I’ll announce them.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:-

Some of the dates I had for publication have now passed. Due to the pandemic, people have other priorities. Ghostlight did send me an email, but I stupidly deleted it before I had a chance to take the updated info off it. If I get any specific updates, I’ll announce them here & on my Twitter feed.

The release date for On Time appears to have been bounced, we were all set for June 27th but that’s been and gone. Having recently checked with them, sadly they were delayed but I’m told we’re close to go time.

I’ve still got 2 stories left to hear back from the January Submission Challenge. There are also still 3 stories outstanding from the original September Challenge! To be honest there, one of those is probably getting pulled from submission.

Tuck & Roll in Automobilia is still on-going.

Fillers won’t be appearing in Again, Hazardous Imaginings. I was asked to do a full rewrite which I wasn’t prepared to do, especially after being told “yours is the best thus far and the most fitting for the anthology’s theme.”

Sadly I can’t check any of my email archives because the PC they were on has died, so until I can get data off that drive, it’s anyone’s guess when the TBC’s come out.

Yes, I’ve made no sales for a while. I am hoping things will turn around soon. While there are still things to be published, it’d be nice to snag a few more sales before this year is over. I know we’re only just over half way through, but it’ll be done before you know it.

Wish me luck for Camp NaNo July!

So I made a decision…

21 Jun

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, this won’t be news to you. I’m doing Camp NaNo July 2020.

I’ve set quite a low goal of either 20,000 words or 20 complete stories over 500 words.

I did a quick riffle through my stuff by the PC and have come up with 20 things I’d be happy writing. I’ve also had a brief look through my partially written stories, my incompletes and my works in progress. Lots of things to write there.

Hopefully I can find the motivation to get that done.

Random creations using writing tools

10 Jun

So I was experimenting with some online storytelling tools. What follows are the results. Basically you selected a bunch of dictionaries or authors to select words from & you had to make something from them.

Here’s the first one, it used several odd sources.


Monsters have bitterly blackened the heart of the empty gun. The false queen of family nuclear now keep the dark from different velvet. Griffins have landed inside people and have said, “family infest them, for a different impressive Space Academy about us.”

Lilith sickens us, lying, talking, have the caged colony walled for treasure than to kick inevitable heavens, the other dawn.

People will kiss rats that the fairy tale sealed; endemic with thundering.

Mastermind defiled, destroyed, always imprison him. Family be so wrong, mine for love. They cause little de-evolution and wise women care over despicably. Intruders die, give us lovers sour deplorable end. Some also want super-earths. Be holy, enemies be wild. Drunken loves slap some lives, becoming cold, dreaded is new, different house.

Help me for him.


This one just used an SF Database.

Spacerabbits have cold ray guns, mules tear travelers tempting interspecies centipedes. Preternatural telepath tesseracts journey, endemic. Dawn vanishes, radio waves monitor horrors. Rangers dig desolated artifact wounding behemoths.

Cyborgs lurk, grunting mischievous telepathy. Ellipsoid boat, out of phase, desecrates tractor beams. Jovian methane fire, smothering outer space, powerful fractious fingers forced situations. Tachyon transports tear energy fields. Space piracy; behemoth pigmen betray deathlike maliciousness.

Black widow whistles, forget psychokinetic temperatures. Shatters super-earths, followers windmill, vanishing unmindfully. Frozen polymers piloted ghostly clone army revealed, laser rifle target caught friends with warlocks. Ethereal howl protecting, hallucinates, screamed decay, time traveled consciousness.

Worlds collapse, seal psychokinetic subspace. Irascible shroud.

Hyperspheres yowls.


It’s certainly quite surreal, more a stream of conciousness than anything.

I thought it was worth sharing though.

This month, novel thoughts

4 Jun

I made the choice not to try #Pitmad with the novel this month. It really needs a proper full run through for grammar at the bare minimum. I’d still quite like to put the balloon race back in as a bit of a distraction from the main plot, it might make for a good bit of drama at its natural conclusion during year 5.

I’m still not sure about Mama Swan, as cool as she is, the plot doesn’t really need or can’t justify another character and their plot arc. While it will be fairly easy to include the various aspects leading up to, including & after the balloon race, it’s still quite a lot of work to find the right sections to insert it into.

If I can get that done before September, it’s possible I’ll try to pitch it again then.

Just a quick update

30 May

My PC finally died, after 14 years. Fotrunately I invested in a laptop last year, so I’m still online.

Obviously it’ll take me time to migrate fully onto this sytem, please bear with me while that takes place.

So this was April 2020

1 May

I’ve made 131 new submissions. 108 rejections. 8 acceptances. 1 withdrawn, 0 not received.

SALES & ACCEPTANCES:-

36 Hours In The Space Force sold to B Cubed Press, Jan 20th 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) sold to Trouble Among the Stars, Jan 20th 2020.
Fillers accepted by Again, Hazardous Imaginings, Feb 20th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar sold to Aphotic Realm, Feb 21st, 2020.
The Shaming sold to Tell-Tale Press; Nebu Carnvale, 28th Feb, 2020.
For The Duty sold to Space Force; Building A Legacy, 22nd Mar, 2020.
The Scars Of War sold to Chrome Baby, 13th Apr, 2020.
The Dionesian Wave (reprint) sold to Tell-Tale Press, 24th Apr, 2020.

There are currently 32 stories out in submission:-

__Out in Subs April 2020

PUBLISHED THIS YEAR:-

A Tooth Fairy Dreams… Aether And Ichor issue 5. Jan 1st, 2020.
It Takes A Dragon. Flash Fiction Magazine. Jan 12th, 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5). Trouble Among The Stars issue 5. February 5th, 2020.
Super Fake. Future Syndicate II. February 6th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar. Aphotic Realm Magazine #9, Interstellar. March 26th, 2020

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME!

For The Duty will be released in Space Force; Building A Legacy, May 25th, 2020.
The Scars Of War will be published at Chrome Baby, May, 2020. (TBC)
Summer At Camp Long Drop will be released in Ghostlight, 2020. (DTBC)
Bastard Space will be released in Wordland 8 2020. (DTBC)
The Dionesian Wave will be published at Tell-Tale Press 2020. (DTBC)
The Shaming will be released in Tell-Tale Press; Nebu Carnvale, June 1st, 2020.
Detecting Rogue Time Travellers (Practical Exam) will be released in On Time, June 27th, 2020. (TBC)
36 Hours In The Space Force will be released in Tales From The Space Force 2020. (DTBC)

When I get more solid dates on the date to be confirmeds, I’ll announce them.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:-

As you can see, some of the dates I had for publication have now passed. Due to the pandemic, people have other priorities. Ghostlight did send me an email, but I stupidly deleted it before I had a chance to take the updated info off it. If I get any specific updates, I’ll announce them here & on my Twitter feed.

I haven’t got an exact date on Scars Of War but Chrome Baby were hopefully it’d be during May.

I’ve still got 4 stories left to hear back from the January Submission Challenge. There are also still 3 stories outstanding from the original September Challenge!
Tuck & Roll in Automobilia is still on-going.
Fillers won’t be appearing in Again, Hazardous Imaginings. I was asked to do a full rewrite which I wasn’t prepared to do, especially after being told “yours is the best thus far and the most fitting for the anthology’s theme.”

Setting goals & keeping focussed

23 Apr

Today I’m happy to have finished all my prep work for the May challenge.

That’s 31 stories & 2 spares to sub out. Spellchecked, a grammar pass, audioproofed (with a listen along, doing any edits) & layout.

It took about 5 days in total, including the time it took me to select all 33 of those stories. A lot of it is what I’d class as “invisible work”, or stuff the end reader will never know happened to the piece unless they follow this blog or my twitter feed.

I’m trying my to lift the curtain back on what I do “behind the scenes”, to bring a story to being able to submit it. The story needs to be absolutely the best condition, in terms of readability, grammar, no mistakes, consistancy and layout.

I want the editors where I’m sending these stories to have the best possible reading experience I as a writer can give them. Sure, it helps if the story is solid and enjoyable too, but all the niggly small things an editor might potentially reject your work for needs to be removed.

Then you’ve got a fighting chance at a sale.

The main problem with going through all these steps with so many different stories is it really takes it out of you, mentally and physically. It’s even tougher with being in lockdown, to the point where the last time I did this it took 3 days in total to do 38 stories. This time around it took almost a week, and I’m not in a hurry to be doing it again any time soon.

The main thing I found which helped me was to set a daily goal, to get a specific amount of stories done. I didn’t always achieve that goal, but I knew that with each piece I did, it was making my workload lighter for the next day.

It has been quite difficult to maintain focus on the stages of getting these stories fully polished and submission ready. Again, the daily goals have helped there, but I didn’t get to all of them. I don’t see that as a failure, more I over estimated my own ability or mental state at the time.

Never set yourself stupid targets you can’t possible reach. Goals should be sensible, reasonable, and within your grasp. Even if you fail to reach those goals, it’s still a helpful process as you’ve learned something about how you work as a writer, which will shape your future experiences.

I now have time to cooldown, to get myself and my mind ready for the challenge.