Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Story thirty

I finished writing my 30th short story of the year a few minutes ago. It's a 6,100-word Christmas confession I started writing on May 2, but I only wrote the first few paragraphs back then. I picked the story up again Sunday morning and finished writing it this evening. The final version is printing out now and it will go in the mail tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Submitting to the mathematically challenged

I've been surfing the net this evening, searching for places to submit unsold stories, and I've stumbled across too many "paying" publications that reveal mathematical ineptitude in how they describe their pay rates.

For example, one site that claims to pay professional rates states that they pay .05 cents per word.

Say what?

Five cents per word is usually considered a professional rate.

One-twentieth of one cent per word is not.

If they truly pay a professional rate, then they should state that the pay rate is:

5 cents per word


$.05 per word

but NOT

.05 cents per word

As it stands, their stated pay rate is either abysmally low or their editors lack proofreading skills. Either way, would you want them to publish your work?


Mail delivery was quite late today, but well worth the wait. In it was my 39th acceptance of the year, this time for a confession I wrote back in early 2008.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

OKC in 2011

I've received--and have accepted--an invitation to lead two sessions at the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc.'s 2011 Conference in Oklahoma City, May 5-7.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I received my 38th acceptance of the year earlier this evening, for a confession I wrote back in 2008 and revised earlier this month at the editor's request.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Story twenty-nine

I completed my 29th short story of the year today, a 6,600-word Thanksgiving-themed confession that I started writing on July 18, 2007. I'm printing the final draft now and expect to drop it in the mail tomorrow.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

34, 35, 36, 37

I received my 34th, 35th, 36th, and 37th acceptances of the year a few minutes ago, all from the same publishing company in England. One story was accepted for an anthology being put together right now and the other three for future projects. The oldest story was written in 2005; the other three in 2009.

With these four acceptances I've now received exactly the same number of acceptances as I did all of last year, and I'm placing stories faster than I'm writing new ones.

Why am I unhappy?

In "The Creativity Crisis" (Newsweek, July 19, 2010) Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman write, about creative people, "They're not particularly happy--contentment is a kind of complacency creative people rarely have."

That explains a lot.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's happening at my Barnes & Noble

The section for westerns at my local Barnes & Noble is growing while the section next to it--anthologies (which contains both fiction and non-fiction)--is shrinking.

The section devoted to books about writing is shrinking rapidly.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I received my 33rd acceptance of the year in today's mail, this time for the romance/confession I submitted July 4.


My story "Professionals," which first appeared in the second issue of Out of the Gutter back in 2007, has been reprinted in The Baddest of the Bad, a collection of the "baddest" stories from the first three issues of the magazine.

When "Professionals" was first published, Bill Crider noted that it "reveals that Bracken is himself a real pro when it comes to crime shorts."

The Baddest of the Bad, edited by Matthew Louis and published by Gutter Books, is available directly from the publisher at, Amazon, and other retailers.

Monday, July 12, 2010

31, 32

I received my 31st and 32nd acceptances of the year this morning. One was for the 5,000-word Halloween-themed confession I finished and submitted this weekend; the other was for a 3,000-word Thanksgiving-themed confession I wrote in 2009.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Story twenty-eight

I completed and submitted my 28th short story of the year today. It's a 5,000-word confession/love store tied to Halloween that I started writing back on May 5. I wrote only part of the opening scene back then and wrote the bulk of the story this week.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Story twenty-seven

I completed my 27th story of the year a few minutes ago. It's a 4,800-word confession/romance. The final draft is printing now and it'll go in the mail the next time I pass a mailbox.


I have four titles available for the Kindle, and sometime overnight my latest--"I Slept With My Sister's Husband" (Lady Leo Publishing)--became by bestselling title, surpassing All White Girls (Wildside Press) in second, my self-published Unbridled Love in third, and Just in Time for Love (Hardshell Word Factory, recently bought out by Mundania Press) in fourth.