Become a Patron

In Ye Olden Days, the great and powerful became patrons of artists and creators because the great and powerful knew the importance of art. Doing this has sorta fallen by the wayside, but now, thanks to the internet, you can once again become a patron to those artists and creators whose work you want to encourage and support. How? By using Patreon, a website where you can choose among many different types of creatives and many different levels of support.

Once you head over to the site, you’ll see that there are a lot of creative types to choose from. How to decide? Well, if you’re reading this, then it means you like my stuff for some reason or another. Why not choose me? You can choose patronage levels from $1/month to $100/month and recieve a variety of benefits in the doing. But, of course, the finest benefit is knowing that you are helping to support art and creativity in the world. And that’s a very good thing. Just click on the button below. And thank you so very much.

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Days 16-20: 20 Days of Submissions

Write, write, write...and then submitThe End is Nigh!

Here we are at the end of my self-imposed 20 Days of Submissions. If you’ve been following this thread, then you know what that is. Otherwise, click the link and catch up on the fun. Today is Day 20!

Fun? Well, yeah, sorta. Okay, maybe not fun-fun. Over the course of the last 20 days, there have been several days where I would much rather have been doing something else — anything else — other than researching markets, properly formatting stories for those markets, and sending stories off to those markets. You’d think it wouldn’t take all that long, right? The stories are written, a basic outline for a cover letter is right there for the copy-and-pasting, and all that’s left is to attach a file and off it goes. Like, half an hour after breakfast ought to cover it, right?

Well, as we’ve seen , it doesn’t always work out that way. There haven’t been more than one or two submission days where most of my submission process hasn’t involved a couple of hours of research on markets — trying to pair a story up with potentials on Duotrope and then going to the websites to look at the latest submission guidelines and then looking for samples to see what the tone is like — and then another hour of double checking format and prepping the cover letter and arguing with my internet connection. True, there were also a couple of days where it was easy as clicking on the Submittable link and uploading a story. But those were far more rare than you might think over the course of 20 submissions.

Anyway, how’d I do? Let’s find out:

Day 16: Busy day. I spent most of my day trying to figure out where to simultaneously submit my two more ‘literary’ pieces, since that was an option. In the end, though, I still couldn’t find a target market I was happy with, so I switched gears and chose to send out “One Night During the Apocalypse,” instead — yet another piece inspired by a Shock Totem flash fiction prompt (and vaguely based on an incident where a roommate dropped my $250-to-replace Subaru Outback keys into a storm water runoff grate). You may recall that I submitted a story called “Of Fathers and Unicorns” (nee “Of Tweens and Unicorns” nee “Unicorns”) to Metaphorosis on Day 15, which I’d also sent out on Day 9. Well, I got a response back today. Metaphorosis, though, gives authors a quick-and-dirty review of submitted pieces if you ask. I asked. Here’s what I got back:

“We made our decision by the: end

– Prose: 3

– Thing you might consider:

This was ironic and mildly amusing, but too detached to be interesting; I wasn’t engaged by the narrator. Overall, it just wasn’t as fun as it was meant to be. The moral is delivered quite bluntly, and could do with more subtlety.”

Nice of them to do this–and helpful. This confirms what I had already suspected about the piece — it’s very much in Fairy Tale style and that distances the reader from it a bit. I even wrote: “re-sub, or finally admit that this story’s tone doesn’t work?” However, I do still hope I can find a home for it as is, where the tone fits the publication. As to the last point, about the moral being there in your face … well, I’d done that deliberately, but the point was well taken and after looking it over some, I changed that section a bit to make it a wee more subtle.

Day 17: I debated between two stories today — a mad scientist piece and a down-and-dirty post-apocalyptic romp with a slightly-mutated post-poc family. In the end, I decided to go with a quirky semi-Bizzaro short story about love: “This Heart in a Box.” Where to? Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine. Why not? It’s a bit lyrical. Crossed fingers.

Day 18: Okay, here we go with “Of Fathers and Unicorns” again. This time to a magazine called Capricious out of New Zealand that likes sci-fi, fantasy, and hedgehogs. Alas, there are no hedgehogs in the story. There is an even better market for this story, I think, but they have themed issues and they haven’t released the 2017 themes yet, so if Capricious doesn’t take it, “Of Fathers…” will go on hiatus until that magazine has a theme that fits. My plan for the day was also to work on a submission package for one of my novels. That ended up not happening, alas.

Day 19: “This Heart in a Box” was rejected by F&SF (not a huge surprise) and so it goes into an immediate turnaround and heads off to the horror magazine Black Static. We shall see what we shall see, as a friend of mine says all the frickin’ time.

Day 20: What we found was a rejection even as I typed the above. Fast turnaround, but what looks like a personal rejection (has the name of the piece in it and invites me to submit more, anyway). I like the look of Black Static, so I’ll definitely be tailoring some pieces toward publication there. This rejection comes late in the day, but also late in the day on a day I chose not to send anything out. This is not the same as meaning I didn’t work on submissions today. I considered sending the aforementioned post-apocalyptic mutant family farce”Girl Trouble” (with it’s new title, “Welcome to the Squish”) to Grimdark magazine, but it needs to go through a vetting still. There are some questionable aspects to the story and I’m not sure I want it to go out like it is.  And that’s the last of the stories I have in the queue that are ready to go save one … and I want to send that one to a top-tier/top-pay first. I’d also halfway planned on sending off a query packet to an agent about one of my novel-length works, but the research/prep work on that was going to take too long to accomplish in the time I had available today. So, that means no … Ah, but you know what? I do have a story I can send out. The one I just got back. Metaphorosis prefers that authors submit no more than 5 stories per month. This would be #2 … I’ll be right back … alrightie then–I just made that happen.

So, in the end, did I succeed? Technically, according to my own rules, no. There were two days when I didn’t send out anything. But even if not a single story gets accepted anywhere, I’ll still call this project an overall success for what I’ve learned from it. Okay, now let’s see what the numbers look like.

20 Days of Submissions Breakdown

Total Submissions: 19

Unique Pieces submitted: 14

Total Unique Markets Approached: 16

Rejections: 6

Withdrawals: 1

# Pending: 12

Acceptances: 0 (so far)

Lessons learned: Quite a few, actually. Most concerning time management. This 20 Days of Submissions thing was a good exercise to get me submitting on a regular basis, but I went about it in a rather clunky fashion. In the near future, I’ll be sitting down and mapping out the submission plan for each of my unpublished (but publishable) stories — find several markets for each and then order the list in my order-of-preference, then send off a rejected piece to a new market as soon as it comes back (and is edited, if need be, based on comments). This time was mostly a rush each day to find a good (decent) fit for each story the day I was trying to submit it. That promotes sloppiness.

The next lesson is one of tailoring. The stories I wrote, I wrote because I had an idea for them, of course — usually a prompt from some fiction workshop or another, but not always. However, during these 20 days, I’ve found several markets I like a lot, and though I found pieces that sorta fit their style, there’s no reason not to write a story specifically for that particular market. I’ll be using the magazines themselves as my ‘prompts.’

I’m looking forward to writing … and submitting. How about you?

END

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Days 11-15: 20 Days of Submissions

Write, write, write...and then submit

If you’ve been following this thread, then you know I’m in the midst (the final stretch) of a 20 Days of Submissions self-challenge. Today is Day 15, so it’s time for another update. Another exciting five days, I tell ya — plus a harrowing Election Day 2016 (my thoughts on that, if you’re interested).

Day 11: Rough day. I’d planned on sending off a superhero story I like quite a bit, or this horror piece I wrote in response to a Shock Totem prompt, but I ran into existential angst over the plots, presentation, and execution involved. In the end, I think I have decided to re-write the horror piece from scratch to build the tension and the, y’know, horror; while for the superhero piece, well, my superhero may need a new name and she definitely needs a different or modified ending. Work will be involved in both stories and that’s not really what I’m going for here with the 20 Days, so I didn’t submit either of them. In fact, I didn’t submit anything at all. Does this mean I’ve broken my rules? Yes. Does it mean I’ll stop submitting now that I’ve “failed.” Erm…no?

Day 12: More (continued) angst over those two pieces and what to submit next. Everything reads like crap to me when I look it over. No submission for today. Maybe I won’t continue on after all. In addition, I withdrew the poem I’d sent to PULP Literature magazine (for the reasons discussed in Days 6-10). This made me sad, because I like the story of the poem considerably. But I may turn it into a novel or novella. Meanwhile, I did get some writing done on a new short story. Yay!

Day 13: I’ve been sending out genre fiction (and poetry) — horror, fantasy, some science fiction (sorta), but I have some more literary-like pieces in the catalog, too. So on Day 13 (Election Day), I sent out “The Red Speckled Gecko” and “Contemplations Over a Dinner of Lamb” — the first rather surreal, the second based loosely on a visit I had to Crete. Both went to EVENT Magazine (Fun Fact: a lot of literary magazines are based in Canada. Who knew?), since EVENT allows multiple submissions (two). Does this make up for one of my missed days? Well, according to my rules, it doesn’t. But in my head, it does. So there. Phhbbbbt.

Day 14: Post-Election Day angst. But I work my way through it (and about a gazillion posts on various Social Media sites) and somehow also send out “On Cold Water,” another ‘literary’ piece, to Gray’s Sporting Journal. I know, weird, right? But, check this out, if you’ve got a piece of fiction about hunting or fishing or something related, consider sending it to this magazine. The pay scale is excellent. Also today, Shimmer rejected the older version of “Of Father’s and Unicorns” I sent (See Day 9). But it shall find a home. Durn it.

Day 15: I was planning on sending out “Red Speckled Gecko” and “Contemplations Over a Dinner of Lamb” again, since EVENT allows simultaneous submissions. But I just wasn’t happy with the options I’ve found for them yet. If I had, my head would have counted it as having completely made up for Day 11’s and Day 12’s lack of submissions, despite the rules (who makes these crazy rules up, anyway? Oh yeah, me. Heh). Instead, the correct and updated “Of Father’s and Unicorns” goes off to see what happens at Metaphorosis. I was going to submit to a top-tier pro-paying market, but Asimov’s submission site wouldn’t load today, so I’ll have to send them something else later, possibly even after I’ve finished this challenge.

Only five more days left in the challenge. My intention is that at least one of those submissions is a novel query to either an agent or directly to a publisher. Find out which I choose in the next post!

 

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