Tag Archives: markets

To see the truth, to see it well (dream operator)

sub: 6

rejects: 5

Wrote a new sci-fi story this week at 4,783 words so far. Should finish the draft tomorrow. Wandered around it. Had no idea where it was going. (I never outline, everything’s in my head, but just ideas, even with novels) Did it have a right or a left political slant? Seems I made fun of both. Cool. But it still could be considered too polemic like most of my other work. I’ll try not to worry about. The world is different now. Money options are different now.

Been watching these classes on Calling Bullshit put out by The University of Washington. It’s a one credit course that they offer and so far seems interesting. A lot of it I’m familiar with but I’m learning new theories on the construction of bullshit. Life has always been full of illusion and delusion. Especially with our government.

It didn’t start with Trump and his administration; he just brought the best game and players. He’s also inspired the worst in both parties. I’ve seen a lot of bullshit in the liberal left too. Many memes that are so absurd. I’m at the point were nothing surprises me about Trump but when I see these ridiculous memes on the web I would have to be a fucking idiot to believe he did or said that.

I never considered my self a Democrat or lefty. I’m mistaken for one all the time by angry conservatives and Republicons. No, if I had to label my political affiliation I would say anarchist or progressive. Anarchist don’t want to destroy the government, we just don’t need the government to control us into doing the right thing. I know what’s right and can do it on my own. I don’t need the law to tell me what is right. Most likely I can be arrested for doing what is right.

I vote Democrat since they share the same goals as me. No, Dems are not perfect. Don’t expect them to be. Never expect a politician to be perfect. But at least a Dem gives to the country. It’s part of their agenda. A Republicon’s agenda states that it must away. Lately there are more progressive Democrats popping up locally since Sanders came around. Good sign, no?

Anyway. No matter what political party, seeing the truth is always a good thing. To figure out the truth you need three things:

  1. What you learn from experience
  2. What you learn from a book (preferably non-fiction)
  3. What you learn from other people’s experience (people in your face to face life, not Facebook and Twitter)

Mixed those three things and at the core is the truth.

So for now, I give you this:

I’m not a writing guru but…

subs: 2

reject: o

Damn, wish I had more rejections.

Revised The Creative down to 5,943 words. Feels solid. The core, the meaning, of the story finally screamed out to me. In a few weeks I’ll give it a final run through and see if I still feel the same. Tomorrow I’ll start a new story to distract myself.

I turned 43 this week. Although I feel tired and achy, I don’t feel old. I don’t know why. Probably because I’m not. My life is content at this point. The life my wife and I built has been holding steady and there are many lights ahead of us. And if those lights should keep going further back, that’s still okay. Like I said, I feel content.

I have been writing since I was 16, 15? Before then I had been obsessed with story. I wrote scripts, novels, short stories, and made movies. I’ve learned many things. I continue to do so. Especially in this self-publishing game. I won’t get into why I do it. My reasons are my own. Strictly political. I also sell short stories to magazines and zines, etc. So mull over that.

During my time self publishing (I think I put out my first book in 2011), I have learned a crap load of stuff. I waded through the gurus and the marketers and information. It can be depressing and overwhelming for a newbie. I am not a guru. This will not be a blog for such information. There are others out there who  do it better. But I will drop a tip here and there. Like now:

Self Pub Tip

Sometimes I see on Twitter or Facebook the SP writers tooting their own horn about how they are “fulltime writers” and “professionals” and how “they are living the dream” and they have these blogs reveling on what it’s like being a writer. So I check out their books and read their samples on Amazon and SMACK!

They can’t write. What do I mean?

  • They can’t form a sentence.
  • They misuse punctuation or create new punctuation.
  • They’re unaware of scene construction, how to pull a reader in, or how to create an original or interesting character.
  • Their work is redundant.

 

They can’t form a sentence

I’m  aware that something happens to our brains when we turn into an adult. We regress into apes and write as we speak instead of writing correctly. Writing and speaking are two different things, two languages. If you are picking up writing late in your adulthood and you forgot your basics, I suggest you study a writing manual. I preferred The Elements of Style. It’s tiny, clear, and concise.

 

They misuse punctuation or create new punctuation.

I spot this one a lot.

Example: “My dog is in the hospital.” He said.

Huh? Shouldn’t it be: “My dog is in the hospital,” he said.

If I find the son of a bitch whose been teaching writers this I’m going to pull his scrotum over his head. It is everywhere.

 
They’re unaware of scene construction, how to pull a reader in, or how to create an original or interesting character.

 

There are millions of books, videos, and classes out there that will teach you how to write a story. A majority will teach you how to write a bestseller. They will give you the secrets on how to pull a reader’s heart strings or expectations and thrill them to no end. That’s great. Pick ONE of those books up and keep it as a reference. Something to inspire or to look back on.

You ever read clickbait on the world’s greatest writers tips for writers? One of those tips are always READ. Wanna know why? Reading is how you learn to write structure, character, and setting. Reading all kinds of genres and stories. It’s the best kind of education and it’s free to cheap. How do you think the pulp writers learned to write back in the 30s-50s? Hell, how do you think Shakespear or the guys who wrote the Bobe learned? They didn’t have writing gurus. They READ the writers before them and learned.

Now this is the important part. YOU NEED TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO LEARN. You have to be aware of what you are reading. You have to see what the author is doing and how they are doing it. Once you achieve this then you can add these tricks to your tool box and use them for your own work. Then you can mix and match these tools with your voice to develop a style as you write more and more.

A writer needs the ability to learn or they will never be a good writer. The only one that can teach you to write is yourself. You have to do the work.

 

Their work is redundant.

There are many reasons why a publisher would not be interested in your book. Primarily because they don’t think it’s marketable. A publisher is a business. They are responsible to their shareholders and keeping their doors open. Agents need to make a living and do not want to take on books that are not marketable.

What is marketable? I don’t know.

But now with the digital revolution one can publish the unmarketable and give those books a chance. A chunk of those unmarketable books seem to be books that tell the same stories that are already marketable bestsellers. Another form of the popular military sci-fi or the young adult romance. Some of these with their expensive covers stand out and make the bestsellers for a moment until the writer can make another carbon copy to chase another fad or just fade away. But there are many that gather dust by authors tooting their horn and wade in the points I mentioned above.

Although I feel the urge to condemn writers for resisting originality in independent publishing, I will say this instead. If you feel being redundant is your calling please be professional. In my experience readers can be forgiving with minor typos but not with shoddy storytelling.

So for now, the last episode of Stainboy:

2 things that bite my balls (one for each)

This week I was only able to sub 5 stories and received 2 rejections.

Was hoping for more rejections this week so I could turn more stories around. Though, an acceptance would have been nicer.

Markets are still slim. Wish there were more crime markets that paid well.

The sci-fi/ya short I have been working on this week is now at 4,400 words, tentatively called The Creative. Bland I know, but I still have some more words. I should finish the draft tomorrow morning. I’ll think of something better. I already have some notes for a second draft. Also I want to keep it under 5k but if it goes over I’m not too worried considering the genre it’s in. Sci-fi markets seem to take higher word counts and also pay higher rates.

So yes, things that piss me off. I’ll keep this short.

One, markets that make you pay to submit your work.  Many lit based markets, think University, want to charge you a fee so they will consider you short story for acceptance of their journal. I do have some lit stories that I push around and often run into these markets.

Also there is another type that will not read your submission unless you are a subscriber to their magazine. (No, this is not the market that says read a FREE issue before you submit to get a feel of what we like. They want you to pay to subscribe before submitting.) For fear that you will not know what they want to publish. For these people don’t have time to write guidelines to explain themselves. Or have SO many submissions from SO many subscribers to read. I don’t know.

All I know that they are both capitalist scum fucks that want the writer’s money or lazy, greedy basterds and you should stay away from them

Two, I have social anxiety disorder and Asperger’s. On one hand I’m compelled to stay away from people because I have things going on in my head to take care of. On the other I just don’t want to deal with people. But I still want to socialize when I’m in the mood.

When I do no one ever meets up with me. Not talking about strangers. Talking about neighbors, people I live with for the last ten years. They give me scripted talk and move on. I know nothing personal about them. So freaky and weird. This sounds familiar. I mentioned something like this before. But you know what I mean. I want to reach out and I’m the one on drugs for depression. But no one else wants to take the time. They’re in their own little world. I guess they’re Aspies too?

 

 

But we’re not those kinds of people are we?

Finished those two short story revisions and started submitting them today. The YA market is a bit edgy and controversial so I’m hoping the story will fit well there.

Of course the mystery crime markets are so fucking slim for the second story. I just subbed it to Hitchcock. Acceptance there is as slim as the pickings but I’ll give it 4 months and then sub someplace else.

That sci-fi/ya story I was on the fence about last week I started on Saturday. Doing 2 finished pages a day with screaming kids and wife around (he he), I managed to get over 2k words (11 pages) as of this morning. Looks good. Any doubts of repeating myself are not there. Stupid me, right? I’m liking it. Feels different from anything I did before. Think I’ll be done with it by the end of the week, hoping.

Son had his dental operation on Friday. The brave little booger had three teeth pulled, not two. The third was just a loose baby tooth that was hanging out and the dentist said, “What the fuck. We might as well take this one too.”

The insurance worked out. We only had to pay for the anesthesia. Considering the whole bill would have been almost 2k I’m not complaining. Plus, how can you let a child be awake for a thing like that. I had one tooth pulled and those needles were a nightmare.

Son had no pain when he came home and all through the weekend. With any luck he’ll have no more broken fillings with cracked teeth. But we’re not those kinds of people are we?

Anyway, I forgot Stainboy last time. Here is epi five:

Even years from now they may mesh

More work on third chunk of Kharma part 12.

Ideas/threads to carry over into future stories pop up in my head as I edit along. I write them down in my little book for later. Bits for the next story or even the third or tenth story down.

Can’t stress enough to a new writers how important it is to carry a tiny note/sketch book. Things pop into you head at any time. For me it’s when my brain relaxes or is distracted, in meditative states. Listening to music, watching movies, reading, showering, or by water. Like David Lynch says, You gotta grab them. Write them down even if they’re not perfect. You never know what they can be later. Even years from now they may mesh with something else that could pop up later. 1+1=3

Went over final proof before publication on short story for Unwinnable Magazine. Yes, that was the short that I did many revisions on. “You Are Disturbing The Peaceful Mood I Am In” should be out in their May issue soon.

Oddly the editor wants me to send him an invoice for payment so he can remember to pay me. Which is fine and honest of him. Sometimes these editors forget to pay. Sometimes they never pay. So I will do that.

I discovered that Thomas the Tank Engine will release a new character with autism this summer which is cool. Then I thought, shit. Not for the character. For the fact that the vaccine people out there will put it down like they put down Sesame Street and their autistic character. How it’s bad to normalize, create acceptance and enlightment for autism, how parents shouldn’t be okay with their children being defective, and okay with doctors and the pharmaceutical companies making them that way.

Grrrr, poxy fuckers.

No. I’m not going to get into it.

Thomas is good. Thomas is good for autistic kids too with those big expressive faces. My son loved watching Thomas. God, the little bastard ran tracks through out the apartment and sped ten trains at a time. I had no place to walk with out tripping and stepping on them. We had all the DVDs and I had to watch that Alec Baldwin movie. I did like watching the episodes with George Carlin in them, though.

Still have the tracks and trains in storage. I should bring them out for my daughter to play with. She’s gonna be 4 this summer, she’s just about right for them.

Anyway, here is episode 3 of Stain Boy:

people have more business than they need than to be annoyed by a bunch of weirdos

Started the 3rd block of Kharma part 12, pages 80 – 120 today. Should be done with it on Friday. Don’t plan on doing any writing on Thurs. Have to see my son get an award at school and then take my wife to work.

Finished the second draft of the short story over the week end. Waiting to hear back from editor.

Next part of the day we took our son to this pediatric dentist to look at his bad tooth. When we got there the two nurses, who soon became witches, told us that our insurance wont cover the visit. But we got them, ABA Pediatrics, from our insurance company. Yes, but your son is 10. We only work on kids 5 and under.

What the fuck?

Mind you my wife called them and verified all this. So we spent the next hour in the dentist office with the insurance company trying to get around it, to get an exception, to get the dentist their money, and almost did. The insurance company faxed over some papers to ABA Pediatrics and the witch wouldn’t touch it. The blond chick who’s accent I couldn’t place stood five feet away from it like it was the plague and said she will not fill it out. They made good witches. Had clipped, irritated voices when talking to us. Even had a kid screaming for thirty minutes in the back like he was having all his teeth pulled out.

In the end we left with nothing but the fax. I went back to the general practitioner dentist to have them fill it out so we can take it to another pediatric dentist.

Just so frustrating dealing with insurance companies and receptionist/nurses, having people act like they hate you doesn’t make it much easier. Funny, in this case the insurance people were the nice ones. I don’t know. I guess some people have more business than they need than to be annoyed by a bunch of weirdos.

My son’s not in pain, so that’s good. If he is we could just take him to the ER in Newark and get it done today but it is my wife’s birthday is today. I don’t think that would have been a fun time for her. Instead I took her to South House on Newark Ave and filled her with chili and wine.

Saw that actor Powers Booth and author William Hjortsberg died in the last 48 hours. Just crazy. Two more factors of my youth.

To cheer you up, I leave you episode 2 of Stain Boy:

I only need to be burned once to learn a lesson

Started working on pages 40-80 of Kharma part 12 (for sake of not calling it ‘a short story that turned into novel’). Still going well. Decided to hold off on other short story revisions until next week so I can catch up on do other things. Friday I have a lot of family related stuff to do.

Uploaded a few books to Bundle Rabbit. I hear these bundle sites are good for exposure and a few bucks. Mights as well give it a try. It’s free. Can’t argue with free. So many expensive scams out there that make promises to bring in readers, exposure. I just don’t have the money and I only need to be burned once to learn a lesson.

Now I find readers spending almost no cash. I thank you for finding me. I assume you found me by accidently reading my work for free and somehow connecting with it. We all win, right?

Heard back from one of the short story rewrites. The market request one more revision with a tight deadline. Said I could swing it. So that will put other projects on hold for a day or two.

And I received a nice rejection from another market. It was a flash fiction market that liked my story but felt it would work better as a short story. Maybe if they printed short stories too they would have requested a rewrite. Ohs wells.

My son received some good news in the mail today. Earlier in the year he applied for the Advancement Enrichment Program for two of the middle schools next year. He had to write an essay why he would be a benefit from/for the program and take a test. Only 400 out of 700 kids are accepted. He was one of them.

Of course I’m proud of him but I did prepare for the negative. I know my son is smart. Acceptance is not based on grades or intelligence. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. He could still go to regular public school and then test for the smart high school later. But now he can fast track into that smart high school and whip through the levels.

I never pushed him to do this. I explained how it works and sort of talked him out of it but I think that’s what he likes about it. He wants to do it. I don’t want my kids to do things they don’t want to do in life. I hope he does well. Lately he’s been bored in school. He could use the challenge.

Tonight I leave you with a little something from one of my favorite directors, Tim Burton.

They have people to answer to and I don’t

Another draft on that requested rewrite. Feels pretty good. Think just one more go through for typos and I should have it ready for resubmission and I can focus on something else.

Have two other stories, longer ones I want to polish up. Two culturally challenging ones: police shooting and child pornography/how mothers train pre-adolescent daughters to be whores. I had trouble finishing them a while back but then I was reading that book by Anne Serling and became inspired by Rod Serling’s words and I just had to finish them, you know. The man challenged the world with his writing. Not sure I could do the same with my own. I doubt I could sell them through major markets. I’ll try. I’ll hope for the best but will assume they will just be collected and I’ll sell them to the readers myself.

No stories to submit today. Have many out I still haven’t heard back on. Need some rejections or acceptances first. And no new paying markets about. But there’s a noir market opening tomorrow that I want to submit to; I have a story on the side for that.

Continued to work on the new Kharma story revisions. Nothing to complain about there. Maybe slight doubt. Sometimes I wonder if I’m understating. Do I need to spoon feed. Has the world dumbed down the reader so much that they might not catch what I’m feeding them? We live in such a saturated world, still. Books 80,000 words or more. Scary monster books that make kids not want to read in school. Hell, they even scare most of the adults. They hold your hand and brain and when something small and delicate comes along and tries to be subtle with subtext with breezy action…

No. readers are smart. The real ones. The die hards. And the ones that want to invest. Don’t me stupid.

One of the best things about the internet/digital revolution is the minimal aspect. Writers can now make a living writing smaller works. Short novels, novellas, long-short stories, or short stories; sell them individually if you want. Selling series still do well. At least for me. No one buys my other works. It’s all Miki Miki Miki. The Kharma series is still early. Maybe I can get you folks into her later too.

But yeah, the series for books can be short, even 10k words. People are so into long form storytelling. Maybe they love the compactness . They love to binge and then stop and then binge again. The soap opera. I dig a good trilogy or series.

Repairman Jack/Adversary Cycle

Sailor and Lula

Barrytown Trilogy

Timmy Valentine Trilogy

Matthew Corbett Series

Book of the Art

Abarat

You get the picture.