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Say Why Not?

22 Aug

As I’ve been seeing more and more posts on the art of persistance, let me introduce you to a new philosophy.


This was introduced to me by filmmaker & podcaster Kevin Smith. Yes, that Kevin Smith, aka Silent Bob. He actually talks quite a lot, and has interesting things to tell us, including “Say why not?

Instead of listening to all the negativity, the people saying “Why bother?“, you need to start dialling up a new inner voice. That voice which says “Why not?

Want to write a novel? WHY NOT? Yeah, you’ll learn some shit along the way, and you might not even finish the thing, but if you never try, you’ll never know you could. Or couldn’t. So say “Why not?

Nothing but you is stopping your creative journey. Sure, people might scoff, or poke fun, but SCREW THEM AND ALL WHO SAIL WITH THEM! They don’t matter. Say “Why Not?

I wanted to write a novel for decades, but I was afraid. It sounded too long, too much like hard work, too difficult. Then one day I just said, “Screw it, I’m going to do it. Why the hell not, what’s the worst that could happen?” So I set a date, and started. And do you know what happened?

I WROTE A FREAKING NOVEL! And I did it in 28 days. Sure, it was garbage and I don’t even want to think about going back to edit it, but I WROTE A FREAKING NOVEL! Over 50,000 words, in under a month. Me. Mister Depression. Mister Self Doubt. That guy WROTE A FREAKING NOVEL.

Because I said “Why Not?

I chose not to let doubt or negativity hold me back any longer. Later that year I started submitting stories in earnest, and I sold some. And the next year. And so on, until this year.

People paid me for my stupid science fiction. And my stupid fantasy. And most recently, my stupid horror. I’m listed on the Internet Speculative Database. Stephen King and Harry Harrison are also listed there!

People give me money! Because I said “Why Not?

So what’s stopping you from trying? What’s the worst that could happen? You might get rejections? Hell, you’ll get them anyway. It’s part of writing.

If you want to take a step towards your personal successes, SAY “WHY NOT?”


So this was June 2020

1 Jul

I’ve made 194 new submissions. 169 rejections. 8 acceptances. 2 withdrawn, 0 not received.


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


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 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.


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.

So I’m doing a writing course…

10 Jun

Yesterday I took the plunge, and decided to invest back into myself. I put my money where my mouth was, and paid for a course on Flash Fiction writing, from Cat Rambo’s School For Wayward Writers.


Day one wasn’t great, nothing I didn’t already know. No exercises I felt I had to do which were going to offer me anything new. Not a huge issue as I hadn’t paid an insane amount of money to do the course.

Today was day two of me working my way through. Did two exercises and both resulted in good, relaxed writing of 521 and 512 word flash pieces. Both felt easy to do, they weren’t forced, they grew in an organic way and both had  a solid ending. I am normally awful at endings, ask anyone who has bought or read my stuff.

I haven’t been in a good place, creatively, for quite a few months now. It’s been a dark old time, that much I can tell you. So much doubt, negativity and massive indifference to the craft in general. It’s probably why I struggled yesterday.

Then I started listening to what Cat had said on day 1. They don’t all have to be good, just get the words down. It’s not about putting massive pressure on yourself to write a saleable story. Ray Bradbury said it best – You have to write the garbage.

I don’t know how long this course will take me, I’m going at my own pace. I want writing to feel nice again, to make me feel good, mentally. That will take time, so I’m taking mine.

I just wanted someone to know I’m not in that deep dark hole any more, and it feels okay.

I’ll finish with one final thought. Black Lives Matter.

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.

The State Of My Writing Address

20 Mar

COVID 19 exists. I do not believe I have it. I’ve had several different colds & flu strains. Yes, I am dying, but that is from a condition commonly known as LIFE. Perhaps you’ve heard of it, or are also a sufferer?

Nothing has changed for me. I was a shut-in before and I still am, going out when I absolutely have to, or I need chocolate. When writing calls open, I will respond if I have work which fits the market. I’ll continue to monitor & advertise up-coming calls. I’ll read/edit/proof my work & write when the muse takes me, which currently isn’t often.

If people want to interact with me, hey, the internet exists. Drop me a tweet @RayDaleyWriter
or leave a comment on my Facebook page

I’m happy to share my writing knowledge & experience, if you want to know about being rejected, I’m a fucking expert there. I can talk about acceptances, failed projects, publishing & what happens between being told yes & your story appearing online or in an anthology.

If for some crazy reason you want to know what it’s like to be a transvestite whilst actively serving in the UK military, I can talk about that too.

Those of us who are getting to get through this thing are the ones who make the most of the time & opportunities we’ve got between now & whatever normality is coming in the near to distant future. Right now, that shit is science fiction, so speak to a published science fiction writer.

I’m going to carry on with my life. Pretty much nothing has changed for me. If you need me, my markets, my experience or anything else, get in touch.

Strange Times, Indeed!

12 Mar

This month is shaping up to be an odd one, for sure.

There’s a ton of crazy shit going on around the world, most of the globe is gripped in the panic over the corona virus. Somehow though, my month is going well.

I’ve done final proofing for 3 stories due to be released.

Today I did proofs on Mushnik’s Guitar for Aphotic Realm’s Interstellar special. That has some nice art to go with my story.

Yesterday I proofed Bastard Space for Wordland 8; Time We Left. I’d forgotten a lot about that story, so it was nice to be reminded of it all again. I also sent Clarkesworld a pitch for a non-fiction article, I’ll let you know how that went if or when I hear back.

Signed contracts for The Shaming, due to appear in The Starship Logs, Volume 3: Nabu Carnevale.

I’ve written a new story, which went straight out to F&SF. I had to sub it fast, I wanted it to remain current and get that idea in before anyone else thought to try it.

I also got a like for my novel during #PitMad, so the first 50 pages of that has gone off to a publisher. They cover the region my story is aimed at so I really hope they like it and want to read the whole thing. Again, I’ll let you know if or when anything happens.

It’s a whole lot of stuff happening in a short amount of time, so I haven’t got time to worry about my future – it’s literally stacking up right in front of me.

I just wanted to have a quick catch-up, just to let folks know things are still going on. Currently it’s mostly prep for the May Submission Challenge, trying to find those last few markets & staking out spares as well.

Sure, I have a minor case of the sniffles but it’s no biggy.

The next thing due out is Mushnik’s Guitar, which will be released in Aphotic Realm’s Interstellar, mid March 2020.

Now you know as much as I do.

A quick catch-up & apology

28 Jan


I’ve been doing the January Submision Challenge and it has been taking up most of my time. Not just the actual submission part of the event, but having to find new markets on the fly, picking extra stories and geting them ready then putting them out.

A few of my markets closed early, one  web domain expired (Hopefully that’ll get sorted soon) but there were a few days where I had to scramble to pick new markets then choose stories appropriate to their wants & guidelines.

I’m not going to reveal any stats info in this post, obviously, I want you to read my “So This Was January 2020…” and “Summing Up The January Submission Challenge” posts, which may end up both being the same thing.

I haven’t completed any new stories yet this year. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to, but my focus is more based on submissions again, like last year.

There’s plenty going on. Stick around to find out what that is.

I’ll be posting again Feb 1st, catch up with you then.

I Understand That It’s Been Quiet This Month

21 Sep

Please be aware, I am neck-deep in the Submission Challenge, trying to stay on top of my scheduling. Also, one of my trade training colleagues died yesterday so I’m dealing with having to notify people on Facebook of her passing.

It’s not an easy time.

In the RAF, once you know someone, that’s it, you know them for the rest of your life. Yes, I may not have seen her since 1993/4, but service friends are forever.

I’m not going to share any challenge updates here, I’ll do a full post on everything on October 1st. I will also do a “So This Was September” as not all news is challenge related.

Try to bear with me, I haven’t abandoned you, I’m trying to motivate all the people who have joined me in the challenge as well as keeping myself going too.

So this was July 2019

1 Aug

I’ve made 131 new submissions. 121 rejections. 5 acceptances.
3 withdrawn, none not received as of yet.

Shots Of Repatriated Bastard & Sam, I Am both sold on Jan 21st to Jouth Vol 2.
Two Tickets To The End Of The World (Unused) was accepted by CafeLit.
(Please note, this was not a sale. No money was involved)
The Subaudibles sold on Mar 18th to Aurora Wolf.
The Parting was sold on July 18th to Electric Athenaeum.

There are currently 29 stories out in submission:-

I’m still hopeful that Tuck & Roll will be published this year, 2 yrs after it was sold.

The Razors Edge is now out in issue 1 of The Weird And Whatnot.
Two Tickets To The End Of The World (Unused) is available to read for free at CafeLit.
The Subaudibles is available to read for free at Aurora Wolf.
How Have The Mighty Fallen? is now out in Insignia Vol 7.

One story has been placed on hold as the market may use it later this year.
I’m still in the reading queue for two submissions currently.

There’s some news which hasn’t been officially announced yet, so I’ll share that when it’s live.

EDIT:- This news is currently on hold. Sorry about that.

I’m really please to have finally sold The Parting after 8 failed submissions. As soon as I get a solid publishing date, I’ll let you know, as we’re currently in pre-publication edits.