Tag Archives: writing

NaNoWriMo 2021 Transparency Post

19 Oct

I’m rebelling (again), doing at least 15 short stories & aiming for between 20,000-25,000 words done.

I won’t be writing every day, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t make either the amount of stories or word count as I’ve already written more than 1 story a week for this year before it’s even over. Or this event has started.

The general idea is to get a bit of my Works In Progress/Abandoned Ideas pile down slightly as it’s starting to develop a life of its own.

Things which might happen:-I might only write 6 or so stories just to get me to an even number for the year. I might write nothing at all. I’ve selected 18 ideas, possibly leaving 2 slots open for stuff I come up with in the meantime & would like to write at least a dozen of them.

I’ve selected stuff which is all viable, some are already started (on paper) so would need typing up.

I’m not expecting to write 1667 words per story. It may be more, or less, it depends how the ideas feel as I write them. I have no clue if I’ll hit either target or what I’m doing if either of those things happen. The basic concept is to finish some stories & try to enjoy doing it. There’s no fail scenario, I have zero fucks to give at this point.

Have fun, go mad.

So this was July 2021

1 Aug

I’ve made 309 new submissions. 258 rejections. 12 acceptances.


Letters From The Phased Photonic Travel Company sold to Utopia Science Fiction, Jan 14th 2021.
Rescue Me sold to Hireath Publishing, Jan 31st, 2021.
Philip K. Dick Does It sold to The Angry Noodle, Feb 23rd 2021. (1st non-fiction sale!)
Exactly The Wrong Shade Of Green sold to The Lorelei Signal, Mar 7th 2021.
Overground sold to COLP, Apr 5th 2021.
The Message sold to Stupefying Stories, Apr 28th 2021.
Fixing Broken Dreams sold to Stupefying Stories, May 23rd 2021.
For Sale; Used Time Machine. No Refunds! sold to Stupefying Stories, Jun 1st 2021.
The Witless Protection Scheme sold to Flash In A Flash, Jun 20th 2021.
Officer Down, Permanently has been sold to Sanitarium Magazine. Jul 2nd 2021.
Too Hot To Handle has been sold to Stupefying Stories. Jul 12th 2021.
A Life Of Mystery sold to 34 Orchard, Jul 18th 2021.
1 SALE TO BE ANNOUNCED, AWAITING PERMISSION. Jul 26th 2021. (Not the same sale)

CAVEAT:-Be aware, I am now adding stubs for titles which have sold, but I’ve not yet received official permission to announce as sold yet. These are just an aide memoire for me, and my increasingly terrible short-term memory.

There are currently 61 stories out in submission:-


Lost Souls was released at Daily Science Fiction, Jan 27th 2021.
Grandmothers Shoes was released at Bards And Sages Quarterly, April issue, Mar 30th 2021.
Overground was released in COLP:Underground, May 23rd 2021.
Fixing Broken Dreams was released at Stupefying Stories, May 28th, 2021.
The Message was released at Stupefying Stories, June 4th, 2021.
For Sale: Used Time Machine. No Refunds! was released at Stupefying Stories, June 7th, 2021.
The Witless Protection Scheme was released at Flash In A Flash newsletter,June 25th, 2021.
Letters From the Phased Photonic Travel Company was released at Utopia Science Fiction, Vol 2, Issue 6, June 30th, 2021.
Exactly The Wrong Shade Of Green was released at The Lorelei Signal, July 4th, 2021.
Too Hot To Handle was released at Stupefying Stories, Jul 29th 2021.
Philip K. Dick Does It was released at The Angry Noodle, July 30th 2021.


Tuck & Roll will be released in Automobilia, Aug 1st 2021.
Officer Down, Permanently will be released in Sanitarium Magazine, Aug 2021. (DTBC)
Rescue Me will be released in Shelter of Daylight, October 2021. (DTBC)
A Life Of Mystery will be released at 34 Orchard, 11th November 2021.
36 Hours In The Space Force will be released in Tales From The Space Force, 2021. (DTBC)
Stranding Room will be released at Abyss & Apex, Jan 2022. (DTBC)
There’s some other stuff coming, I can’t officially talk about it yet. Just know it IS coming.

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


I wrote 6 new stories this month, a total of 7776 words. Managed a couple of longer stories this month – I also hit my target of 52 written in a year. I’m not sure what’ll happen to the weekly writing schedule now, I guess I’ll find out this weekend. I was also permabanned from Codex so I won’t be getting any further writing opportunities from there. It was nice while it lasted.

Sadly, William F. Nolan died this month. His death may impact on the scheduled release of the Automobilia anthology. I haven’t heard anything through official channels, despite my attempts to contact the publishers.

Some projects are taking longer than expected, hang in there friends, releases will come eventually!

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.

Sorry It’s Been Quiet

28 Feb

I’ve not been in a great headspace this month.

I was struggling to get 100 subs out without a break, that went on most of the month.

While I had 2 stories published, my brain chemistry hates me so I thought I wasn’t doing well. (This is a lie. Depression frequently is a liar) I made a sale, which unfortunately went south (more on that in a different blog post when I finally write it) then the following day I made another sale which I’m awaiting permission to announce.

I’ve written one new story in the last week, I’m trying to get back to writing more often. Not sure how successful that’ll be with my frequent mood swings.

Anyway, I just wanted to make a quick post before the end of the month to say I’m not dead.