Sunday, June 30, 2013

"What Fates Impose" from Alliteration Ink

Alliteration Ink, the publisher of the Sidekicks! anthology which includes my story "Learning the Game", has a Kickstarter running through July 14th at 9 PM Eastern US time for their anthology "What Fates Impose: Tales of Divination". I've been looking forward to reading this anthology since the Table of Contents was released and have backed it on Kickstarter. There are a lot of fantastic short fiction writers in this book and it should be a lot of fun to read.

Since I've worked with Alliteration Ink before, I was given the opportunity to have a sneak peak of several of the stories from the book. If anything, I'm even more excited about holding the anthology in my hands now than I was previously.
  • Keffy R. M. Kehrli's "Gazing Into the Carnauba Wax Eyes of the Future" is a bit sad, a bit hilarious, and a bit crazy. Which, when you realize it's about trying to predict the future via marshmallow Peeps, seems just about right.
  • Ferrett Steinmetz's "Black Swan Oracle" is a science-fiction story through-and-through even if the main character's name is "The Oracle." Again, a bit funny. And this time quite a bit sad.
  • And then there's Beth Wodzinski's "One Tiny Misstep (In Bed)." Holy. Shit. I don't know what else to say about this tale of a marriage gone stale and fortune cookies and the alley outside a Chinese restaurant and... Oh my. Imaginative, realistic in its characterization, and absolutely crushing.
Yeah. This book? Go help it get released into the wild. Go Kickstart it!

Mid-Year Goal Status and June/July Goals

June has ended up being my best writing month in a long time. Like I said in my mid-month goal check, I'm not quite sure what changed, but I'm very happy and it seems to be continuing.

So, here's how I did for June:
  1. Make 20 non-reprint submissions of short stories. - KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK! I more than doubled my goal by making 44 non-reprint submissions of short stories. Along the way, I reached a new personal best for number of stories out for non-reprint submission -- 43.
  2. Submit one backlog story for each full week in June. - KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK! I more than doubled my goal here, getting not just four backlog stories out for the first time but nine! On top of that I got three new stories out the door from late-May and June which don't really count as backlog, but brought my total for stories which went out the door for their first time for the month to TWELVE!
  3. Write at least one story. - KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PART! Two stories (one flash, one about 2000 words) were written this month and also went out for their first submissions. I also completed two more stories (again, one flash and one about 2000 words) which will likely get submitted for the first time in July.
  4. Read at least 30 short stories. - DONE! I count 41 short stories read this month.
  5. Reply to all Kazka Press submissions by June 23rd. - NOT QUITE. I didn't get all my responses in to the publisher until a couple of days after that self-imposed deadline but as far as I know, everything got to him with plenty of time to be ready to roll with the July issue.
A very satisfying month. Now to see where I stand for the year as a whole and set some goals for July.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Learning Curve" is Live at Metro Moms

My science fiction short story "Learning Curve" is up on the Metro Moms website. I'm pleased to have placed a story at that site and am hoping that some people who haven't come across my other stories will read it there and possibly check out the rest of what I've written.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mid-June Goal Check

Umm... Okay. So, this is a bit of a surprise.

After having been in the doldrums much of the year to date, I've hit my stride this month and have made serious progress on not just my June goals but my yearly goals as well!
  1. Make 20 non-reprint submissions of short stories. - DONE! I've gotten 22 non-reprint submissions out the door.
  2. Submit one backlog story for each full week in June. - On track, 2-for-2! Not only that, but I've gotten FIVE backlog stories total out the door so far. So even if I didn't meet my defined goal (by failing to submit a backlog story this week or next week) I'd still have met the big picture goal.
  3. Write at least one story. - DONE! In fact, I've gotten two new stories written this month. They're both flash and one of them isn't quite submission-ready yet, but I'm still pleased with this. I've also put a couple thousand words on a longer story that I don't feel like I quite have my hands around yet.
  4. Read at least 30 short stories. - On track! At 19 for the month so far.
  5. Reply to all Kazka Press submissions by June 23rd. - On track! I've read all the submissions which had come in as of last weekend and will be doing more reading early this week.
I also got the "A Fatal Error" ebook designed and published this week and did a handful of reprint submissions. I'm not quite sure what flipped my "getting stuff out the door" switch to ON but I'll take it!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Fatal Error Released on Amazon

It's been almost a year since I published "Write Every Day" and during that time I haven't released anything new for the Kindle. As of yesterday, that changed with the release of the first of my Chip Rawley baseball mysteries, "A Fatal Error." This is a novelette, just under 9000 words or about 30 pages if you prefer to think of lengths in those terms.

Chip Rawley is a former professional baseball player who never quite made it to the big leagues. Staying close to the game, he became a trusted confidant of Branson Waters, the owner of a major league team. In "A Fatal Error" Rawley investigates the death of Mark Feist, whose botched catch kept his team out of the World Series.

If you read "A Fatal Error", I hope that you enjoy it!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Columbus-Area Folks: June 8, 2013 Sidekicks! Reading at Whetstone Library

This Saturday (June 8th, 2013) I'll be reading my story "Learning the Game" from the Sidekicks! anthology at the Whetstone Library in Columbus, Ohio. There will also be readings by Stephen Lickman, Matt Betts, and K. W. Taylor. And the anthology's editor, Sarah Hans, will be in attendance along with its publisher Steven Saus. All in all, it will be quite the sidekick-y hootenanny.

The event is from 5-7 PM. The library will be closed to new entrants at 6 PM, so if you want to come, arrive before that time. The readings will probably be mostly done by 6 PM, as the second hour is intended to be mostly Q&A time with the audience and the authors/editor/publisher.

The event is free to attend and if you bring your copy of Sidekicks! I'll be happy to sign it for you (as would be the others involved). However, we can't sell the books at the event, so if you don't already have a copy you could either order it right now off Amazon or contact me and we'll work something out.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kazka Press June Issue Released

The June issue of Kazka Press has been released. My editorial introducing the stories (and introducing our themes for the upcoming months) is included below.

May Goal-Check and June Goal-Setting

The year is almost half-over. Toward the end of this month I'll look at my progress on my 2013 goals overall. (Spoiler Alert: It's not gonna be pretty.)

For now, though, I'm going to focus on the month that just ended and the month that's beginning.

Here were my May goals:
  1. Make 15 non-reprint submissions of short stories. - Got it. In fact, I surpassed it with a total of 20 submissions.
  2. Write at least one story of more than 1000 words. - Done.
  3. Submit at least one story for the first time. - Done.
  4. Reply to all Kazka Press submissions by May 25th. - I came up a bit short... err... long on this. I made all my first-round decisions by the 25th but didn't make final cuts until the 27th. Since we try to put issues out on the 1st, that really put the publisher in a time crunch. So I'm going to aim to be better about this in June.
Speaking of June. Let's have some goals!
  1. Make 20 non-reprint submissions of short stories.
  2. Submit one backlog story for each full week in June. - If I do this, I'll get four of the stories out of my "backlog" of drafted-but-not-finished stories out the door.
  3. Write at least one story. - Writing new fiction isn't going to be my main objective this month, but I do want to meet my Write 1/Sub 1 monthly goal.
  4. Read at least 30 short stories.
  5. Reply to all Kazka Press submissions by June 23rd.