Well, a quarter of 2016 has flown by already. If anybody knows where the time goes, and has any ideas on how we can all slow it down, please let me know.
2016 has been pretty good to me so far. I’ve had two acceptances and both works should be published over the next few months. I still get a buzz when I see my work in physical print, or E-print.
Acceptances can be scary though. When a story gets rejected a handful of people will have read your submission. When you get an acceptance your work is scheduled to be exposed to the entire readership of the publication that said, YES! It’s a sobering thought and it’s exactly why you shouldn’t submit a story until you’re 200% happy with it. As a writer you should take pride in your work, and you should strive to deliver your very best for your audience.
I’ve worked on six issues of Firewords Quarterly and it still surprises me that we get submissions with really basic errors: Missing full stops, spelling mistakes etc.
Spelling mistakes is probably my pet hate. Pretty much every word processing package out there will highlight spelling mistakes. Ms Word underlines the offending articles with a big red squiggly line. There’s no excuse for an author not to make those corrections. It’s lazy writing.
The perfect submission probably doesn’t exist, and I’m not asking for it. I’m pretty sure that some of my own submissions are guilty of having a misplaced or missing comma. But is there any excuse for really basic errors?
Anyway I’m going off topic. The words have been flowing lately. Although, not exactly as planned. Quite a few times I’ve sat down to write Project A, or B, and nothings really happened. Then the muse will give me a painful elbow to the ribs, and I’m writing something completely new, completely unplanned. Two stories have come to fruition thanks to the muse: Shush and A Brief History of Doozer’s Cyclic Theory of Re-Invention. Both were seat of the pants creative outpourings and I had no idea where they were going.
I’ve also been busy with re-writes and submissions.
The Ending has been re-titled as Beautiful. The prose has been cut and submitted to Anti-Heroin Chic under a different pen name.
Dancers was tweaked following some useful feedback from my buddy Dan Burgess. I’ve entered it into the annual FictionDesk, Ghost Story, competition. I hope it does well. Any writer likes their work but sometimes a writer can’t help having favourites, and Dancers is one of mine. The standard at FictionDesk is high though, so it’s going to be up against some strong competition. Fingers crossed.
The Man On The Train has been sent to The Starving Artist. I’m pretty confident that I can place this one somewhere. Feedback has been universally good. It’s just finding the right market.
Wiped Clean has been re-titled The Remote Control Love Affair. I’m re-writing this one at the moment. This is an accepted work, but one that was never published. These things do happen.
I’ve added the new stories to the My Stories section of the blog. Rather embarrassingly I also noticed that two of my stories weren’t listed. So The Man On The Train, and A Quiet Retirement have now been added to my canon of work.
Shush was a small flash fiction story that wrote itself. I'm not sure the word 'Story' actually applies either. It's more of a mood piece. A piece of writing to reflect on. I wasn't sure what I felt about it on completion. That's very unusual for me. My gut instinct is pretty good in determining the quality of a piece of finished work. So I sent it to a writer friend of mine along with another piece of flash fiction that had already been accepted for publication*.
His response was interesting because he preferred Shush. He pointed out several elements and explained why he liked it so much. I was pleased that he liked it and surprised. Armed with positive feedback I sent the story off to Theme of Absence.
Theme of Absence publish speculative fiction. I've sent them work before and had it rejected, but they were encouraging and at the time requested to see more of my work. At the time I didn't have anything that fitted with their submission guidelines, but Shush seemed to be a good fit. Thankfully, they liked it too and it's due to be published early April. I'll post again nearer the time. Shush will be available to read for free.
* That other story I referenced... I've been playing around with pen names lately and it's an acceptance that I've had under another pen name. There's no reference to the story anywhere else on this website. I'll do a post on pen names sometime during April.
M J Wolfson - That's me.