Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Awaiting the Captain's Ghost" in DEEP CUTS & Goal Updates

The horror anthology "Deep Cuts" is live now on Amazon.com. This book includes 19 short stories including my own Civil War-era tale "Awaiting the Captain's Ghost." I've been working occasionally on writing stories which are inspired to one degree or another by English and Scottish ballads such as those collected by Francis James Child. [SPOILER LINK WARNING: Clicking the link in the next sentence and reading about the related ballad will give hints as to where the story is going, in part.] "Awaiting the Captain's Ghost" explicitly references one such ballad, "The Knight's Ghost."

I'm very happy with how this story turned out and looking forward to reading the other stories in the collection. I hope that if you purchase this book (or if you already have it on its way via their Kickstarter effort from last year) that you enjoy the book and my story.

And now, for goal updates! Here's where things stand for January as a whole.

  1. Submit four stories for the first time. - Zero submitted so far. I've continued to be bad about keeping up with submissions this month. This is getting unacceptable and I think I need to pick another day soon to do a submission-palooza.
  2. Read fifty short stories. - I'm sitting at 16 right now. This is a good bit behind pace for 50. The good news is that 50 would be well above the pace I need to hit 500 for the year.
  3. Submit programming interest form for Marcon. - Done. Huzzah!
  4. Publish a revised blog strategy. - Also done. Also huzzah! [And it's a good thing that sticking to this strategy isn't one of my goals for the month since this post "should" have gone up yesterday.]
  5. Reply to all Kazka Press flash fiction submissions by the 25th. - In progress.
  6. Have some point during the month where all of my stories which I consider to be on submission are out the door to a market. - See #1.
Part of the reason I'm running behind here is that I had underestimated how much effort/time would be involved in the reading I'm doing for a contest on a private writers' forum. I've read and made brief comments on 108 story drafts for that contest in the past ten days. (I do NOT count unpublished stories in my count for #2.) These are all flash stories, 750 words or fewer. But still, that's a novel's worth of reading and 108 separate sets of brief comments and it's taken up a large chunk of my time.

Nevertheless, I press onward. If I fall short on #2, I won't be too upset, given the forum contest work I described above. But if I slip on #1 and 6, I'll feel that I probably could have allocated time better.

I hope that the month is treating everyone well!

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