Friday, December 30, 2011

Short year

One of my goals this year was to limit my fiction reading to short stories, including all variations of less than novel length. With only two exceptions--the final proofread of my novel Stud and a rereading of William Goldman's The Princess Bride--I accomplished my goal.

I started the year reading mostly crime fiction because I had several back issues of AHMM and EQMM and several crime fiction anthologies in my to-be-read pile. As the year progressed, I added fiction from other genres, including fantasy, horror, literary fiction, and science fiction.

I read books and magazines; anthologies and single-author collections; stories written by male and female writers; stories written by gay, straight, and lesbian writers; stories written by black, white, and hispanic writers, as well as stories by writers of other ethnicities; stories by young, middle-aged, old, and long-deceased writers; stories by new and long-established writers; stories that were funny and stories that were sad; stories that turned me on and stories that turned me off; and all manner of other stories.

My original goal grew out of the realization that the bulk of my fiction reading consisted of novels, yet the bulk of my fiction writing consisted of short stories. I was becoming insular, my knowledge of the current state of short fiction increasingly limited to what I was selling and not what other writers were creating.

As the year ends, I find myself having learned one important lesson:

There is no single correct way to write a short story.

Will I continue to limit my fiction reading to short stories in 2012? No.

Will I include more short fiction in my reading mix than I did prior to this year? Yes.

Will I continue to concentrate on writing short stories rather than novels? Absolutely.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I'll be away from computers for the next few days, celebrating Christmas with family and friends, so I'm taking a few minutes now to wish all of you a Merry Christmas.

This blog is primarily a public journal where I track my writing progress--sales, publications, and occasional thoughts about the process of writing and publishing--and I appreciate the comments y'all leave on the blog and in personal emails.

So this holiday season I wish you all health, happiness, and increasing success.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I received my 73rd acceptance of the year this evening, this time for an erotic crime story.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

71, 72

I received two acceptances today, my 71st and 72nd of the year. One is for a story about a pickpocket and the other is a romance.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Published 6x

My stories "Dance Partner for Life," "Just My Type," and "Love in Aisle 6" appear in the January 2012 True Story.

My stories "Kissed and Dismissed," "When New Year's Eve Came Twice," and "Heartbreak in the Homeland: Is My Son a Killer?" appear in the January 2012 True Confessions.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


My short crime story "Woman in White" appears in the December issue of Big Pulp.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


I received my 70th acceptance of the year in today's mail, this time for a Valentine's Day-themed confession.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Published 2x

My short mystery "Chalkers" is now available from Untreed Reads (read an excerpt and order a copy through the The Untreed Reads Store

When eleven men return to their college alma mater for homecoming forty years after graduation, do they dare reveal the long-held secret that binds them to one another?

From the publisher: "We are also running a special in The Untreed Reads Store that if a reader adds both Chalkers and News Flash" -- my previous release from Untreed Reads -- "to their cart, they'll save 30% on News Flash. That's good through December 31st."

Also published: The November issue of Bohemia includes a reprint of my ghost story "Pushing Coal."