Monday, November 2, 2009

Come & Gone But Life Goes On

It was Halloween over the weekend. My daughter dressed up as Morticia and the club had a good party during the evening.

I sat in a chair and tried to suffer in silence.

My knees are shot and my back is killing me. I seriously need to think about giving all this sport malarkey away. Yes, some people are playing who are older than me - good for them, but when my knees scream blue murder all week because of a few hours of standing in the sun, then somethings not quite how it should be.

I can see a visit to a knee specialist in the not too distant future...twice!

As a result, I've not been on the Net all weekend, apart from the sending of one email Saturday night, which meant I opened my email program of choice - which also allowed a couple of rejections to find their way home :c(

These also happen to be my two favourite short stories - very disappointing. One has already gone back out, but the second has now been knocked back six times, the last three with very encouraging remarks--but still not a yes. I'm half tempted to just publish it here because I want it out there, but before I do something rash I'll let it sit for now.

NaNo has begun for many of you and I wish you nothing but great success and clacking keys for the next 30 days (actually, 28 days now).

I'm still reading submissions for Dark Pages Volume 1. My current goal is to get my unread list below 50 and keep it there. Currently it sits at 49 but I get new subs every couple of days which sends it over again. A concerted effort later today should get me closer to something I can manage. I have been amazed at the different plots, settings, and scenarios people have come up with and the manner in which they have presented them.

I'm sure I'll regret saying this, but I'd love to see some very tight and very well presented shorter stories. I've had a lot so far but there has always been something missing. I want to see something with a beginning, middle and end, and the sharpest of hooks. Mix it with imagery I can see when I close my eyes, and tastes and sounds that are both tantalising and disturbing to the palette. Aim for 2K or less, the closer to flash (1K) you can get the better - but make it sing!

I'm doing my best to work through the reading so you still have time to submit something new before the deadline (30th Nov), but don't just cycle through the stories that have been rejected elsewhere. The first thing you sent me should have been your best, but if we've said no to that, then is there a point in sending me something you don't consider as good as the first thing you sent in? You have just under four weeks. Write me something new and exciting, get some feedback, polish it, and send it to me. Make my eyes weep!

I look forward to reading your submissions soon.


  1. I thought the pictures I post on my blog already made you weep ; )

  2. Very true, Nat, but I thought I'd stop getting on your case - didn't want you thinking I didn't love you anymore ;c)

  3. Sucks getting old(er). Maybe only your knees are old...

  4. I have the same problem with my shoulders and wrists. I can't wait for the replacement joints at this point.

  5. I'm so sorry about the joint pain-- I feel you as some parts of me don't take too kindly to sport, and I'm not even 30 yet. They don't make humans like they used to.

    Lame about the rejections. I usually don't mind rejections at all, but when they're favorites it's just hard somehow. But you know we understand!

  6. Laura - I wish it was only me knees but I think the rest of me is sprinting to catch up.

    Jamie - It is sad when we start wishing for operations to make things better but I'm seriously considering visiting a knee surgeon. It will put the whole summer sport thing on hold which is the only thing holding me back.

    Katey - Have I rejected something of yours? Have you sent me anything for Dark Pages? Am I losing my mind - again? You make me smile with the 'not even 30' comment. I remember saying similar things waaay back then. The good news is sex only gets better as you get older - the bad news is everything hurts more regardless of what you're doing ;c)

    Cate - Not sure I should ask what you've been doing on your knees for them to hate you so...

  7. Heya BT,

    Don't give up on the rejected story - there are sooo many markets that it will eventually find a home. Give it a bit of a polish (in case there's something you missed) and send it straight back out.

    I recommend and, especially if you are aiming this at semi-prozine horror. There's a metric buttload of these magazines, and surely one of them will like what you're selling.

    Never blog a story, for that way madness lies. (Plus you've then effectively done all that work for nothing)


  8. Yeah, thanks, Fisch. A moment of madness considering blogging it, but it's passed and the story has gone out once more.

    Now do you want these books, or what?

  9. I do want to get all the WOTF volumes but hoping to buy them as part of my (slowly growing) collection. If I borrow these books it's gonna take months if not years before you get them back!

  10. Be nice to authors - buy books!