Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

So today I have received, so far, four rejection emails. Some were quite disappointing, submissions I’d had my hopes up about a bit.  But that’s okay. One of the stories rejected today has already gone back out. Some of them will be waiting a bit for the proper market to get freed up to send them in. But they will all continue to circulate, sooner or later.

Also today I’ve finally gotten started on the actual writing of my Jersey Devil story. Its coming along steadily, if a little bumpily. It’s not a story I fully understand-I’ve worked out a lot of the backstory for it, but less of the actual events of the narrative. So many aspects, it seems, I’ll be doing seat of the pants style, this time. But I’m hoping the results will be something interesting and meaningful and maybe a little different. Also, look for the “Letter F” post in my A to Z series soon.

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So I thought it was about time to post some updates and junk. Last night I got an email from Electric Spec, they are holding “A Destroyer, A Protector” for voting. Back in February I also learned it’s past the first round of reading (simultaneously submitted) at a new publication called Nine: A Journal of Imaginative Fiction. Hopefully between the two it will find a home. Also, I queried Pedestal Magazine about “Dark Arts” which had been out with them over sixty days, and it is apparently still in their “active file.” I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I know they’ve kept it much longer than they have any of my other stories so that’s somewhat hopeful. And I’m still waiting to hear back from New Myths on “Damsel in Distress,” which passed the first round of their reading some month or two ago.

I’m nearly finished with Chapter 8 of “The Dawn Prism.” And I’ve been getting together notes for my Jersey Devil story. When Chapter 8 is done I’ll begin work in earnest on the Jersey Devil story, while simultaneously working on outlining some more novel-story. I also have a couple of crits I need to work on. Work has been very workish and sapping a bit of my energy but I hope to get back on the bandwagon properly in the next couple of days.

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So, I haven’t really been posting a whole lot. I’m still getting used to working again. I have been getting a little bit done. I finished what will now be Chapter 7 of the “Dawn Prism”. I know what happens, more or less, in Chapter 8 and I’ve more or less fully concepted the giant monster that will be needed for that chapter. I’m currently working on an extensive story-crit for someone, but when finished I will set in on that next novel chapter.

I’m waiting for one more set of comments on “Galateon” before applying the finishing touches and sending it out. Got several stories that’d been sitting around back out yesterday. I don’t like having stories sitting unsubmitting, but since I have so much material its been happening more and more lately due to market overlap. I have to let them sit until a good place to send them frees up. This is further complicated by the tendency for many markets to close to submissions for long periods, and the new and growing trend of magazines wanting you to wait a week after a response to send them anything else.  Strange Horizons seems to have really picked up the pace on their responses, though, so hopefully I will hear back from them soon about “Book of Sorrow, Tears of Hope.” I have a story, “Damsel in Distress,” in the second reading-tier with New Myths and a few other submissions that, judging from their time out, seem to be under deeper consideration, so perhaps I will have some good news to post soon.

Also, sometime soon I plan to put the two stories I’ve posted here on The Key of the Twilight on my old Elfwood page, along with a link to the blog in hopes of one or both getting a Moderator’s Choice and perhaps creating a little more traffic and interest. So, with that I will head off into the land of critting, and post when I have more interesting events to share.

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So, been a while since the last post. I’ve started working again, so that’s taking up a bit of my time and/or energy. It hasn’t been a total loss though…I revised my last short story, “Galateon” and after a run past a couple pairs of eyes to check for errors I’ll be getting it ready to send off, probably starting with Clarksworld.

My next trick will be to figure out exactly what happens next in “The Dawn Prism.” Actually, I know more or less what happens, I just need to figure out how and with exactly what.

At the same time I am mentally percolating the beginnings of a story involving the Jersey Devil.  I saw a Jersey Devil movie a week or two ago and while it wasn’t that great, it did inspire me. I plan to use the Mother Leeds legend and the Leeds devil to explore themes of shame.  In light of this, I ask anybody who is from New Jersey or has otherwise spent time in the Pine Barrens and/or is well versed in the legend to share any personal stories, insights, regional information or anything else you feel might be helpful for or should be included in a story set in the Barrens and dealing with the legend. I want to get the feel of the place right on all sensory levels, but I’ve never been there so its more difficult.

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I’ve made the short story “The Open Hand” available for viewing in the “Stories” section and added a character profile for Sephias, the theoretical protagonist of “The Dawn Prism.” I also received an email today from Shimmer magazine. My story of family drama and giant monsters, “Silent and Still They Wait” has been passed on to the full editors board for further consideration. While not an acceptance-yet-this is rather exciting to me because this is the first time in eighteen prior submissions that this has happened. So please, cross all appropriate appendages for me, and enjoy the new additions.

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I’ve made some huge additions to the site. I’ve added a “Stories” page where I will make some of my work available for your perusing pleasure. Currently it contains the short story “Pilgrimage” a tale of obsession and sea monsters. I also updated the character profile for hot-headed Red mage assassin Meteos, and added a page for his current co-workers, the Onphar Nine, and a page for the Nine Hierophants.  Feel free to browse and, especially, comment.

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So, some while back I’d rented the actual DVD of the classic movie “The Wicker Man” which I’d never seen but knew I needed to. It’s a great movie that I also recommend, as long as you can handle the mild trauma of Christopher Lee in drag. Anyway, that movie put me in the mood for British horror and “pagan” rituals and so when today I decided to spend a little time, as I often do lately, simultaneously reading and watching stuff-mostly low-budget horror films-on Netflix instant viewing, my attention was attracted by a movie called Wake Wood, which I had noticed before and seen being compared to “The Wicker Man.”

So I watched it and I was quite pleased. The film isn’t life-changing, but for folks who like British atmosphere and Celtic/Brythonic “paganism” its very enjoyable. The story revolves around a couple who have lost their small daughter to a very vicious and somewhat graphically depicted dog attack. They move to the small town of Wake Wood and over the course of events come to learn that the residents of the town are familiar with an ancient ritual which can bring a dead person back to life-but only for three days and for those three days, the resurrected person must remain within the bounds of the township. 

Of course, things wind up going terribly wrong, but I won’t go into the details. The movie features a really great performance by the ever-wonderful Timothy “Peter Pettigrew” Spall as the leader of the town (who is also the one who performs the main parts of the ritual) and some interesting, if lightly touched upon mystical concepts. I didn’t find it especially scary, but then it takes a lot to have that effect on me, though the squeamish should be warned there are some relatively bloody scenes, some of them involving animals, children or both. I wasn’t bothered by any of them but I, usually, have quite a high tolerance. The story and the acting are very nice and the end, now I think about it, is pretty chilling. I definitely recommend it. It is also, I came to find out, the first film produced in 30 years by Britain’s venerable Hammer production studio, responsible for so many great horror movies in the 70s. I think this film lives up to its august predecessors well.

On a brief writing note, I made a bit of progress with a section of “The Dawn Prism.” I finished a 2100-word sequence which may end up being part of Chapter 6, all of Chapter 7, or part of Chapter 7, depending on how things go, and overall, I’m pretty pleased with it. Next up, a brief stop in the city of Vierlion and then, off to the land of Kazephyria!

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