Sunday, August 30, 2009

Story forty-five

I completed and submitted my 45th short story of the year a few minutes ago. It's a 3,300-word Christmas confession. I had the idea for it and started writing yesterday morning. I finished writing this morning and let the manuscript sit for half a day before proofreading it and sending it off.

Friday, August 28, 2009


This has been a good week. I received another acceptance today--my 18th of the year--this time for a hardboiled bit of erotic crime fiction. I finished writing this story in early January and it sold to the second editor to see it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I received my 17th acceptance of the year a few minutes ago, this for the 5,300-word confession I submitted on August 19.

Friday, August 21, 2009


My story "Lower Standards" appears in the September/October issue of New Love Stories Magazine, hitting newsstands right about now. When I wrote the story back in 2007, I hoped to sell it to one of the confession magazines. All the confession magazines rejected it.

The up side? NLSM paid almost twice as much as the best-paying confession magazine would have given me.

Sometimes rejection pays off handsomely.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Story forty-four

I've quit counting the days, but I did complete and submit my 44th short story of the year earlier today. It's a 5,300-word confession that I started writing on January 13, 2002. I had completed a good draft of the first two scenes--1,000-words, give or take--sometime during the years since starting work on it. I picked the story up again last Friday morning and worked on it until I left for ArmadilloCon that afternoon. I returned to work on the story after my return, spending a few minutes on it Sunday night and several hours on it last evening and this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another market fades

I received an e-mail today letting me know that one of my regular markets has just gone on hiatus "until at least January 2010." This market has purchased and published many of my short stories, all under one of my pseudonyms, so it's distressing to see it go on hiatus. I hope that it returns next year and that "hiatus" isn't a polite way of saying "dead."

Monday, August 17, 2009

ArmadilloCon rejuvenated me and threatens to set my Plot Monkey free

I began my writing career as a science fiction writer. Well, actually, I began as a science fiction fan with an intense desire to be a science fiction writer. Despite that early desire, most of my recent writing success has come from crime fiction and women's fiction.

ArmadilloCon last weekend, my first SF convention in several years (and ArmadilloCon's the only SF convention I've attended since moving to Texas in the early '90s; this was, I think, my third ArmadilloCon) was a bit of an eye-opener. I've been away from active participation in the SF community long enough that I do not recognize the current crop of SF writers, and I've been away so long that whatever limited notoriety I had as an SF fan and even more limited notoriety I had as an SF neo-pro all those years ago has faded from the collective consciousness.

(For example, only two people showed up for my reading on Friday evening, and one of them was Rebecca [a.k.a. Plot Monkey], attending her first genre convention of any kind.)

The nice thing about ArmadilloCon, though, is that it does draw a few crime fiction writers. Rebecca and I had an all-too-brief conversation with Bill Crider and Joe Lansdale on Friday evening, and we spent most of Saturday evening in the bar with Victor Gischler and a slowly evolving group of writers, hope-to-be-writers, and fans. An editor from Tor--Jim Frenkle--even joined us for a bit.

Except for all-too-rare poker games hosted by local mystery writer George Wilhite and his wife Becky, I have no face-time with other writers; my contact with other writers is limited to e-mail and participation in a couple of on-line communities. So, having spent much of Saturday evening talking shop (and talking about a zillion other things as well), I came away from ArmadilloCon refreshed.

Over the course of the weekend, Rebecca* and I came up with nearly a dozen story ideas, one of which she brought to the table almost completely formed. All I did was take notes as fast as my pen could fly and add a kick-ass title. As soon as I complete the story I was working on before leaving for the convention, I'll try to write the story she gave me, and hope I can do it justice.

In the end, it's obvious that my writing career has taken me away from my roots; it's even more obvious that time spent among other writers--writers from any genre--can be quite rejuvenating.

The weekend at ArmadilloCon even has Rebecca thinking about writing her own stories instead of feeding me her plots.
*She's MY Plot Monkey and YOU can't have her.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day two-hundred-twenty-five, story forty-three

It's been a long, hot summer, and I've not been writing much. A few minutes ago I finished and submitted my 43rd short story of the year, a 3,000-word romance/confession that takes place on Thanksgiving.

Yesterday I saw a call for submissions from an editor seeking "a dozen or so" Thanksgiving-themed romance/confession stories by Monday morning. I had written the first 400 words of a Thanksgiving story back on July 18, 2007, and had left it sitting on my hard drive. Yesterday afternoon I blew off the digital dust and then spent a few hours yesterday evening and several hours this evening completing the story.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


ArmadilloCon--a science fiction convention that draws a few mystery writers--takes place in Austin, Texas, next weekend (August 14-16).

I'll be there; I'm doing a reading Friday evening and I'm on a panel Sunday morning.

If any blog readers also plan to be attend, feel free to say "howdy."