Tag Archives: writing

Am I Writing Again? Sort Of.

Anyone who knows me probably knows, or at least could have guessed, I haven’t been writing much of anything for a while now. It’s been several months, at least. That isn’t from a lack of interest or desire to do so. I’ve had plenty of ideas in that tims, I just haven’t been able to bring them together and assemble them in a way which I felt I could do anything worthwhile with. I believe that may now be beginning to change.

I recently (I think it was three or four days ago) had an idea for a story. That isn’t unusual in itself but this was different. This was an idea for something more long-form than I usually do, with sub plots and all. Maybe even something novel-length, like I’ve never really attempted before but have long wanted to. Then the idea stuck in my head for a couple of days and seemed to actually strengthen and develop, rather than fall apart as most have for me in recent memory.

Not wanting what might be a worthwhile idea to leave me, as I’m sure has happened a few times in the past, I began the process of outlining the story. What I have as of now is very much only in broad strokes. It is the shape of a story with no fine details. I have no definite names for characters or organizations involved, even using placeholders like CORP and GANG A in my notes for the time being. I’m also uncertain if the climax I have in mind is quite right for the story and my final resolution is especially grey, but this is all a start. It’s also a lot further than I’ve gotten with anything else for some time.

In any case, I’m going to give this a shot, hopefully see it through to the end. At the same time, I think it may help me if I blog more about the subject. I’ll be talking about aspects of the story and the world in which it’s set (one which has been cooking in my mind for years now) as well as my writing process and trying to form positive habits to make this happen. Posts will probably be irregular at first but should hopefully find some sort of groove eventually. It would be great if you’d come along for the ride with me. Maybe knowing people read the blog posts would spur me on even further. I’ll also be happy to discuss pretty much anything I post about in the comments.

Thursday Thoughts One

Here’s something new I’m going to try to do: Every Thursday, I’ll post a quote related to writing and just give my thoughts on it. Nothing fancy, just a way of trying to get myself in the habit of posting here more regularly.

001This is something I know to be true, at least for me. It’s also something I need to make myself remember. To tell the truth, it’s been so long since I’ve really written anything, I could hardly be called a writer at this point.

Get it done. No excuses.

Where I’m At

Not that I have many followers to notice, but I haven’t been posting to this blog very regularly. I have been spending more time at a computer actually getting things done, though, so it’s safe to say you’ll be hearing (or not) more from me in the coming year. I’m not ready to commit to a regular posting schedule or anything, but maybe we’ll get there, too. Writing and publishing, not only a blog but also fiction, can feel like a constant uphill battle with ADHD but I get there.

My main focus at the moment, and what I should really be doing right now, is wrapping up the details for Phase 2 Magazine issue 4. I have stories accepted and mostly just editing and formatting remain. I’m waiting to hear back on contracts from a couple of writers but if they don’t get back to me in time for this issue, they’ll just get bumped to the next or to the first omnibus (releasing early next year.) I’m planning a Wednesday release for the issue, either way.

As for that omnibus, I’m going to aim for a minimum of 50k words. I’m hoping to go closer to 70k, but we’ll see how things work out. It will include all the stories published in the first four issues of Phase 2 Magazine as well as content which will only appear in the omnibus. I might run one of those stories on the Dark Futures website as a bit of a preview. Again, we’ll see. Also about the omnibus, Jason Miller has completed a painting for the cover. You can see it on Deviant Art right here. He seems worried it’s too graphic or potentially offensive. I don’t think he needs to worry about it. What do you think?

As I blogged about before, I’ve still been following Ash vs Evil Dead. I think it’s the best damn thing on TV right now. I’m sad there’s only one episode remaining. Maybe after it’s done and I rewatch it all, I’ll write about my complete thoughts on it.

I’ve also been following the WWE, as I have been since Stephen Amell feuded with Stardust in August. That feud seems to be making a return, too. I’m hoping we’ll see another Amell vs Stardust match of some kind (the last one was a four man tag match) at Royal Rumble next month, though I’ve seen some people predicting they’ll save it for Wrestlemania, since the last one was so popular. If they do that, it would be especially great to see Stephen Amell just in the Royal Rumble match itself. I don’t expect that will happen, and he obviously wouldn’t win, but it would still be fucking awesome.

Also on that note, my girlfriend and I attended WWE Monday Night RAW live at the Target Center in Minneapolis last week. I haven’t even uploaded any photos from it to my personal Facebook page, so I have none to share right now but probably will eventually. The next time the WWE is coming back to Minnesota is March, but that’s an off night WWE Live event, so I don’t think I’ll bother to go. If I’m going to take the night off work and spend the money, I’d like to at least see the big stars. Granted, most of my favorites are closer to mid card, but still.

Anyhow, in bad news, my water heater stopped working a few days ago. Fortunately, my mother lives only about a mile away and I’ve been able to shower there. It’s just inconvenient. Hopefully that will get fixed soon. If you want to help, go buy Dark Futures and Phase 2 stuff from Amazon so my bank account will get a boost at the start of next month!

In better news, I’ve easily written more this month than I have in the preceding several combined. I hope to continue this trend. One of the things written this month was a bit of flash fiction written for a writing contest in the Space Opera: Writers group on Facebook. I may post that here eventually, but it got a little rushed, so it may see another revision first.

I also completed a story which was for an upcoming Writerpunk Press anthology and is a cyberpunk (or probably more specifically post cyberpunk) retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. It uses a character I had developed for a WIP (but now possibly put to rest) novella and fits in the cyberpunk setting I’ve been very gradually developing over the past couple of years. I intend to write a lot within that setting. Hopefully I do.

I’m currently working on a story I hope to submit to the Altered States 2 anthology, but I think I got a bit carried away with the outline and it could turn into something longer instead. We’ll just have to wait and see.

And, finally, as always, I’ve been keeping up with the Cyberpunk Writers Facebook group I run. Activity died down a bit around Christmas but it’s starting to come back around.

That’s all I’ve got for now. This has been a general update on me and what I do. Is there anything in particular you’d like me to cover next time? Anything you’d like to discuss that I’ve mentioned here? I’d love to hear from you. We can talk in the comments here or my About Me page will tell you where else you can get a hold of me.

Open Sci-Fi Markets 10/05/2015

I’ve let it be far too long since I’ve posted here, but I’m going to make up for that right now with a post that’s actually useful. Useful to some, anyway. I’m going to list and give my thoughts on a few sci-fi markets that are currently open for writers. This list will be by no means exhaustive.

Now, I will admit that I’m doing this in part for my own later reference. However, I feel it’s still worth mentioning Dark Futures, which I am the Editor-In-Chief or and produces Phase 2 Magazine. Dark Futures is a paying market and that’s something which is very important to me. At this time, that payment is a flat $5 per accepted story and that includes reprints. Agreements are also nonexclusive. One potential downside is our turnaround time for reviewing submissions can be quite lengthy. You can, of course, withdraw your submission at any time. We also accept simultaneous submissions, we just ask that you let us know if you need to withdraw your submission because it was accepted elsewhere under an exclusive agreement. You can find our full submission guidelines here. You can find out more about Phase 2 Magazine here.

Now onto Altered States 2. This is a cyberpunk anthology to be released by Indie Authors Press. It is being edited by Jorge Salgado-Reyes and Roy C. Booth, both of which are moderators with me in the Cyberpunk Writers group on Facebook and have been published in Phase 2 Magazine. There’s no firm deadline for this anthology. They are instead simply saying “until filled”. This way you know they’re working to accept only the stories worth accepting. They have a ways to go to fill it yet but, if you’re interested, don’t wait too long. They prefer stories between 2,000 and 10,000 words but say they can be flexible. Of course, keeping it in their preferred range is probably your best bet. They will consider reprints but they’re not preferred. Payment on this one is a flat $10. You can find full submission guidelines here.

Next up is a sort of bucket list market for me: Analog Science Fiction & Fact. This is one of the few sci-fi lit zines you can walk into a book store and buy a hardcopy of. They pay pro rates (which is $0.07 per word these days, if I remember correctly). These are the big boys, no doubt about it. Their turnaround time can be a bit slow but the payoff is huge if they accept. Full submission guidelines can be found here.

Crossed Genres Magazine is one of the zines I have a subscription to because I like what they’re doing. I’ve submitted to, and been rejected by, them once, myself. They’re not exclusively sci-fi, but that is one of their accepted styles. Each issue has a theme so they have what you’d call rolling deadlines. I think each theme is open for a month or so. They pay pro rates and probably get fewer submissions than someone like Analog. Full submission guidelines, as well as a list of upcoming themes, can be found here.

Finally, we come to what may currently be my favorite literary zine and is definitely a bucket list market for me: Grimdark Magazine. They’re not exclusively sci-fi, but they do accept it and the term grimdark actually originated with sci-fi. Warhammer 40,000, specifically. And, boy, am I a 40k junkie. I also happen to know, from numerous discussions on Facebook, their editor is a big 40k fan. They’ve also recently been publishing authors known for writing 40k fiction, both with Black Library and on the Games Workshop end of things. They pay a pro rate, more or less. Payment is in Australian currency and since SFWA standard is US currency I think it technically comes up a little short but it’s still damn fine money. Full submission guidelines can be found here. Be warned, this is a tough market to crack. They’ve been getting a lot of support from well known authors of the style and that’s a lot of what they’ve been publishing. Hell, Duotrope lists them as having a 0% acceptance rate. Of course, that just means anyone who reports on Duotrope has never been accepted by them.

That’s all I’ve got time for right now, but if this post goes over well I’ll do more like it in the future. I’ll even get into smaller, less known markets and possibly ask editors some questions for all of us.