Saturday, August 29, 2015

Overheard while shopping

Mother and son. Mom says, "What's that?"

Son: "A pen."

"What do you do with it?"


Friday, August 28, 2015

Published 2x

"A Shelter Dog's Love" appears in the October True Confessions and "Halloween Hookup" appears in the October True Story.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I finished and submitted my twenty-eighth short story this evening. This one's a 3,700-word Christmas story I started writing August 26, 2013.

Friday, August 21, 2015


I received my 26th acceptance of the year this morning, this time for a 3,300-word mystery. This is my first acceptance from a publication that has long been on my bucket list of sell-to publications.

Monday, August 17, 2015


I received my 25th acceptance this evening, this time for a 7,000-word Weird Menace/Men's Adventure Magazine-type of story that's very much a throwback to the type of stories published in the late-'30s/early-40s.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


I just had my 24th acceptance of the year, this time for a 5,200-word Thanksgiving story.


I received my 23rd acceptance a few minutes ago, this for a 2,000-word confession.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


I received my 22nd acceptance of the year this morning, this time for a 700-word bit of flash fiction.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Writing short fiction for fun & profit

I will be presenting "Writing Short Fiction for Fun & Profit," a one-day, hands-on workshop in San Jose, California, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Registration fee ranges from a low of $30 to a high of $80, depending on various factors explained on the flyer.

More information and registration information is here:

Friday, August 07, 2015


I completed and submitted my twenty-seventh short story of the year this evening. This one's a 1,500-word Christmas story I started December 30, 2013.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


I finished and submitted my twenty-sixth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 1,400-word Christmas story I started July 31, 2012.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Published 2x

My story "There's a Woman in My Nightie" appears in the September True Confessions, and my story "Reflections of Pain" appears in the September True Story.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

I get knocked down

John Floyd's blog post at, "Now, That's a Different Story," posed the questions "Do you always have certain markets in mind when you craft your stories? Do you write them and only then think of where they might be sent?"

I responded to John's question in the comments secetion following his post, but thought the response might be appropriate to duplicate here:

Much of my short crime fiction has appeared in non-mystery publications. Unfortunately, many of those publications have disappeared or have reduced the amount of fiction they publish.

For several years (details in the guest post I wrote for you a while back), nearly every piece of fiction I wrote was for a specific market, either by invitation of an editor, or to fit a specific call for submission, or because the editor had previously purchased several stories from me.

That changed a bit early last year for two reasons: 1) Publishing was shifting, causing some of my regular markets to dry up, and 2) I had several unfinished stories for which there was no obvious market.

I'm still writing most of my short fiction for specific markets, but I've also been finishing those unfinished stories that have no obvious markets. I've learned two things from doing this: 1) Some of the joy of writing has returned because I am not constrained by market limitations, and 2) My ratio of submissions to sales is turning to shit.

I'm writing in genres I've not touched in several years, submitting to editors and publications with which I have no pre-existing connections, and I'm back to the tried-and-true submission process of best market first and work down. This is a humbling experience. While I've received a few incredibly nice rejection letters of the "almost, but not quite" variety, I've also received a fair number of form rejections. And I'm not accustomed to seeing form rejections.

What's that Chumbawumba song? I get knocked down, but I get up again. That's what writers with long careers do.