Friday, December 30, 2016

44, 45

2016 is ending strong. I received my 44th and 45th acceptances of the year this evening!

43

I received my 43rd acceptance of the year this afternoon. This one's for a 4,700-word bit of crime fiction.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

42

I received my 42nd acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for a 2,100-word confession.

Fifty-six

I completed and submitted my fifty-sixth short story of the year this morning. This one's a 5,200-word confession I began writing January 20, 2010.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fifty-five

I completed and submitted my fifty-fifth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 4,400-word bit of crime fiction I started December 13.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fifty-four

I completed and submitted my fifty-fourth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 2,100-word confession I started April 23, 2014.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fifty-three

I completed and submitted my fifty-third short story of the year this evening. This one's a 3,400-word ghost story I started November 25.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fifty-two

I completed and submitted by fifty-second short story of the year this morning. It's a 3,600-word confession I started November 9, 2015.

One of my goals each year is to write and submitt an average of one story each week. With this story, I've reached this year's goal...and I have a few weeks remaining and a few stories near completion. So, this year I might exceed my goal.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Published 2x

My story "Kicking Bad Habits" appears in the January 2017 True Confessions and my story "Surviving Cabin Fever" appears in the January 2017 True Story.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fifty-one

I completed and submitted my fifty-first short story of the year this evening. This one's a 2,000-word bit of crime fiction I started writing on November 25.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fifty

I completed and submitted my fiftieth short story of the year this afternoon, a 2,700-word bit of crime fiction I started October 19.

Friday, November 25, 2016

41

I received my 41st acceptance of the year today, this time for a confession.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

40

I received my 40th acceptance of the year this morning, this time for a Valentine's Day confession.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Forty-Nine

I completed and submitted my forty-ninth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 5,500-word Valentine's Day romance I started October 30.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Published: "The Santa Suit"

My story "The Santa Suit" appears in the December issue of True Story.

Tales from the Dark Side

My "Tales from the Dark Side," an essay about errors of professionalism that writers make, is a guest blog today at Sleuthsayers.org. Read it here.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Published: "Selfies"

My story "Selfies" appears in the just-released anthology A Dose of Murder, Mystery and Mayhem.

Order the Kindle edition at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dose-Murder-Mystery-Mayhem-ebook/dp/B01M3V2G8V/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1477874798&sr=1-2&keywords=michael+bracken

My story is the first one in the anthology, so by using Amazon's "Look Inside" feature you can read the entire story.

Forty-eight

I completed and submitted my forty-eighth short story of the year this morning. This one's a 2,400-word Valentine's Day story I started October 12, 2009.

Friday, October 28, 2016

38

I received my 38th acceptance of the year. This one's for an essay, not a short story.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Meanwhile, in NYC

 While in New York City last Sunday, I had lunch with Loretta and Stacy Folk. Loretta is Vice President of True Renditions, LLC, publishers of True Story and True Confessions magazines, and we had a wonderful conversation about the magazines, about publishing, and about potential future opportunities. (Alas, I have no photo of Stacy because he's the man behind the camera.)

That evening I had dinner with mystery writers Elizabeth Zelvin and Gerald So. Gerald So, in a blog post (https://geraldso.blogspot.com/2016/10/nizza-to-meet-you.html), and Liz her in response to his blog post, provide their take on our dining adventure.



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

37

I received my 37th acceptance of the year this morning while I was in NYC. Signed and returned the contract as soon as I returned home this evening.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

36

I received my 36th acceptance this afternoon. This one's for the story I submitted this past Sunday.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Forty-seven

I completed and submitted by forty-seventh short story of the year this evening. This one's a 4,000-word confession I started October 9, 2010.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Forty-six

I finished and submitted my forty-sixth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 4,000-word New Year's Eve romance I started writing April 9.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Published 2x

My stories "He Mall Walked into My Heart" and "Unexpected Thanksgiving Gifts" appear in the November issue of True Story.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Forty-five

I completed and submitted my forty-fifth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 3,100-word erotic romance that I started writing November 14, 2008.

35

I received my 35th acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for a bit of crime fiction.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

34

I received my 34th acceptance of the year this afternoon, this one for a Christmas story.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Forty-four

I completed my forty-fourth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 5,500-word bit of crime fiction I started June 15 and had almost finished before Bouchercon last week. I went through it after returning home, corrected typos and made a small adjustment to chronology, and submitted it.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

33

I received my 33rd acceptance of the year this afternoon, for a story I submitted to an anthology June 30, 2014. On April 7, 2016, I pulled the story from the submitted queue, thinking the project had been abandoned. Surprise! The anthology's a go and today the story was accepted.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Publishing 3x

My story "I Dated My Brother" appears in the October True Story, and my stories
"His Punching Bag" and "My Halloween Princess" appear in the October True Confessions.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Published

My story "An Unhealthy Death," which appears in this month's Mystery Weekly Magazine, was yesterday's free story of the week, emailed to everyone on the magazine's email list. If you'd like to receive a mystery every Tuesday, join their email list: http://mysteryweekly.com.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Forty-three

I finished and submitted my forty-third short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 5,300-word confession I started August 18.

Forty-two

I completed and submitted my forty-second short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 2,300-word Christmas story I started December 24, 2015.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

31, 32

I received my 31st and 32nd acceptances this morning, this time for a pair of confessions.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Forty-one

I finished and submitted my forty-first short story of the year this evening. This one's a 1,000-word horror story that I started yesterday.

With this story, I have now completed as many stories as I wrote all of last year and one more than I wrote in 2013. On the flip side, my word count is lower than either of those years because I wrote a handful of short romances earlier this year intended for a high-paying woman's magazine. (I'm still waiting to see if that effort paid off.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Collecting rejections

One of my favorite blogs is Aeryn Rudel's Rejectomancy. Aeryn is a novelist and short story writer who previously worked as publications manager for Privateer Press, so he has experience on both sides of the editorial desk. He suggests that "[t]he skill of rejectomancy is largely derived from understanding what rejection, in its various forms, actually means, because it’s not all bad. Rejection is a chance to grow, to develop your craft, and to acquire the thick skin you absolutely need if you want to make writing your career."

When I stumbled upon Aeryn's blog several months ago, the first post I read intrigued me so much that I scrolled back to the beginning and read every post. I still read every post and sometimes add my two cents in the comments section.

In the comments section of his August 1 post titled "July 2016 Submission Statement," Jessica Snell mentioned Laura Maylene Walter's Kenyon Review blog post "Doubling the Rejection Goal: How I Received 215 Rejections in 2015," which was a commentary on Kim Liao's post at Literary Hub "Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections This Year," and I found myself shaking my head in bewilderment. Why would anyone seek 215 rejections in a year?

The gist of the argument, followed back through the various blog posts, is that anyone receiving that many rejections must surely receive a few acceptances as well. Proving the theory has some validity, Laura received 12 acceptances in 2015.

215 rejections. 12 acceptances.

Those kind of numbers make me shake my head in bewilderment. If my acceptance to rejection rate was that low, I might just cut off my fingers and stop writing.

In 2015, I received 32 rejections and 42 acceptances.

I don't collect rejections. I collect acceptances.

Rejections are the temporary barriers I must overcome in order to reach my goal. Much like Aeryn, I use rejections to help me grow as a writer, whether it means improving my craft or learning to better target my submissions.

But even though Laura's approach is the antithesis of mine, the conclusion she draws is very much one I learned long ago: "Submit again, submit again, submit again." If you never risk rejection, you will never receive acceptance.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Forty

I completed by fortieth short story of the year this morning, a 3,600-word bit of crime fiction. I have not yet submitted it because the publication I think it might best fit is not currently open for submissions.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Published 3x

My story "Teacher with a Bad Rep" appears in the September True Story, and my stories "A Cheater Brought Us Together" and "The Way to a Heart" appear in the September True Confessions.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

External motivation

While participating in a panel discussion at this past weekend's ArmadilloCon in Austin, Texas, I had an epiphany about the role of external motivation.

Matt Cardin, Carrie Clevenger, Amanda Downum, Kirk Lynn, Ari Marmell, Jessica Reisman, and I were discussing "How to Deal with Writer's Block." Having never experienced writer's block, I, of course, claimed it didn't exist. The other panelists begged to differ.

My co-panelists are primarily long-form writers (novelists, non-fiction books, etc.), while I am primarily a short-form writer (short stories, articles, etc.), and our discussion of ways to overcome those periods when one does not feel motivated to put words on paper (regardless which term one uses to identify those moments) included a discussion of internal and external motivation.

Long-form writers require, and struggle with, internal motivation to drive them through the long slog of producing several hundred pages of publishable prose. The paucity of external motivation drives them to seek it from spouses, critique groups, beta readers, and others.

I realized that I don't struggle with internal motivation in part because, as a short-form writer, I am deluged with external motivation. For example, in the week leading up to ArmadilloCon, I received contracts for three short stories, responded to an editor's request for a bio to accompany a story in an upcoming anthology, received an update from another anthology editor, received payments for two short stories, and received royalty reports regarding contributions to four already published anthologies. (And, yes, my spouse also provided external motivation by asking when I'll finish another story for her to read.)

All of this activity represents a fairly typical week. In short, I receive external motivation on a frequent and on-going basis, so I rarely rely on internal motivation to drive myself to the keyboard.

This may explain why I concentrate on short-form writing. Early in my writing career I wrote a few novels (all of which were published), but short fiction provided greater and more frequent external motivation. That external motivation contributed to a feedback loop. The more I wrote, the more external motivation I received. The more external motivation I received, the more I wrote.

Would I experience "writer's block" were it not for this deluge of external motivation?

I don't know, and I hope I never have to find out.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

28, 29, 30

I received my 28th acceptance of the year on the 24th, and received my 29th and 30th acceptances of the year on the 29th.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Thirty-nine

I completed and submitted my thirty-ninth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 2,800-word bit of crime I fiction I began writing on the 10th of this month.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Published

My story "Concerto for Cellist and Maestro" appears in the just-released anthology Sex Objects, edited by Delilah Devlin.

Interviewed

'Nathan Burgoine interviewed me about my contribution to Men in Love, an anthology of romance stories edited by Jerry L. Wheeler. Read the interview here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

27

I received my 27th acceptance of the year this evening. This one's for a 3,900-word mystery.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Thirty-eight

I finished and submitted my thirty-eighth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 2,600-word confession I began writing July 17, 2013.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Thirty-seven

I finished and submitted my thirty-seventh short story of the year this evening. This one's a 4,300-word confession I began writing August 16, 2012.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Published 3x

My story "Summer in the City" appears in the August True Story. My stories "Bar Babe Survives Shootout" and "Last Dance" appear in the August True Confessions.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

26

I received my 26th acceptance of the year this afternoon. This one's for a 2,700-word confession.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Thirty-six

I completed and submitted my thirty-sixth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 4,300-word confession I began writing on August 11, 2004.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thirty-five

I completed and submitted my thirty-fifth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 2,600-word confession I began writing  October 7, 2015.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Thirty-four

I completed and submitted my thirty-fourth story of the year this evening. This one's a 2,500-word confession I started writing on December 17, 2003.

Thirty-three

I finished and submitted my thirty-third short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 5,100-word bit of crime fiction I started on June 14.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

25

I received my 25th acceptance of the year this evening, this time for a confession.

24

I received my 24th acceptance of the year this morning, this time for a confession.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Thirty-two

I completed and submitted my thirty-second short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 4,000-word confession I began writing December 29, 2014.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Thirty-one

I finished and submitted my thirty-first short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 3,400-word bit of crime fiction I began writing on July 10, 2014.

Thirty

I completed and submitted my thirtieth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 4,000-word bit of crime fiction I started writing on May 21, 2015.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Twenty-nine

I completed and submitted my twenty-ninth short story of the year this evening. This one's an 800-word romance I began May 29.

Monday, June 06, 2016

23

I received my 23rd acceptance of the year this morning. This one's for a confession.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Twenty-eight

I completed and submitted my twenty-eighth story of the year this morning. This one's a 4,200-word confession I started June 20, 2013.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

13 years and counting

Effective with the just-released July issues of True Confessions and True Story magazines, I have now had one or more short stories published each and every month for 156 consecutive months. That's 13 years.

Published 3x

My story "Summer School Sketches" appears in the July True Story and my stories "An Affair with My Sister's Fiance" and "New Love Caused by Divorce" appear in the July True Confessions.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Twenty-seven

I completed and submitted my twenty-seventh short story of the year this afternoon. This one's an 800-word romance I started May 17.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

22

I received my 22nd acceptance of the year this evening, this time for a mystery.

Reviewed

At Little Big Crimes, Robert Lopresti reviews "Sugar" (published in Crime Syndicate, issue 2) and calls it a "terrific" story. Read the entire review here: http://lbcrimes.blogspot.com/2016/05/sugar-by-michael-bracken.html?spref=fb.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Short Mystery Fiction Society at 20

In 2016, the Short Mystery Fiction Society turns 20. Long-time members and past officers have been invited to share their memories about the organization on the SMFS blog. Go here to read what I had to say: http://shortmystery.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-society-celebrates-20-years-michael.html.

Friday, May 27, 2016

21

I received my 21st acceptance of the year this morning. This one's for a confession.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

20

I woke up to my 20th acceptance of the year. This one's for a confession.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

19

I received my 19th acceptance of the year this afternoon. This is to reprint a story first published in 2010.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Published

My country noir story "Deep in the Heart of Texas" appears in the just-published anthology Black Coffee (Darkhouse Books, edited by Andrew MacRae).

18, Published

My recipe and 18th acceptance of the year, "Michael's Asparagus," appears in the May/June issue of Texas Gardener.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Twenty-six

I finished and submitted my twenty-sixth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 4,600-word confession I began on January 27, 2012.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Twenty-five

I completed and submitted my twenty-fifth short story of the year this morning. This one's an 800-word romance I started on May 12.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Twenty-four

I completed and submitted my twenty-fourth short story of the year this evening. This one's an 800-word romance I began writing yesterday.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Twenty-three

I completed and submitted my twenty-third short story of the year this evening. This one's a 3,900-word bit of crime fiction that I started April 23.

Reviewed

Robert Lopresti reviewed my story "Chase Your Dreams" (Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, June 2016) for his blog Little Big Crimes, calling it a "very touching story." Read the complete review here.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Twenty-two

I wrote my twenty-second story of the year today, a 300-word bit of flash fiction. The publication to which I wish to submit the story doesn't reopen for submission until July 1, so I might just sit on it until then.

Published: "Chase Your Dreams"

My story "Chase Your Dreams" appears in the June issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

Twenty-one

I finished and submitted my twenty-first short story this morning, an 800-word romance I started yesterday morning.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Published 4x

My story "Sugar" appears in issue 2 of Crime Syndicate Magazine; my story "My Daddy is a Failure!" appears in the June True Confessions; and my stories "Values in Hard Work" and "Wags and Kisses" appear in the June True Story.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Nineteen, twenty

I completed and submitted my nineteenth and twentieth short stories of the year this afternoon. Both are 800-word romances. I started one on the 28th and the other yesterday.

Eighteen

I completed and submitted my eighteenth short story of the year this morning. This one's a 5,300-word confession I started writing March 8, 2015.

Friday, April 22, 2016

16, 17

I received my 16th and 17th acceptances of the year this afternoon, both for confessions.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

15

I received my 15th acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for a 5,200-word confession.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

14

I received my 14th acceptance of the year this evening. This one's for a story that straddles the line between dark crime fiction and non-supernatural horror.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The bookwork is killing me

Keeping track of 1,100+ short stories that have been published or accepted and are awaiting publication is a time-consuming task. Unfortunately, things sometimes fall through the cracks.

For example, today I learned that two stories were reprinted in 2013. I'm unsure if I was unaware of it at the time or if I knew, forgot, and failed to record the information in my files.

Regardless, my stories "In Love With the Easter Bunny" and "Easter Magic" both appear in the anthology Enchanting Easter.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Seventeen

I completed and submitted my seventeenth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's an 800-word romance I started writing during a road trip yesterday.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Sixteen

I finished and submitted my sixteenth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 4,100-word confession I started writing March 14, 2013.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

13

I received my 13th acceptance of the year this afternoon. This one's a bit of crime fiction I wrote by invitation back in 2014. Unfortunately, the periodical for which I wrote the story ceased publication before using it and I had to find a new home.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Published 3x

My story "Mother of the Year" appears in the May True Story, and my stories "Mom's Midlife Crisis" and "Windows" appear in the May True Confessions.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Fifteen

I completed and submitted my fifteenth short story of the year this evening. This one's an 800-word romance I started yesterday.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Lifetime Achievement Award

Today I learned that I am the recipient of a lifetime achievement award for my involvement with short mystery fiction. The Short Mystery Fiction Society honored me with the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer.

To see a complete list of this year's Derringer Award recipients, visit: http://shortmystery.blogspot.com/2016/03/2016-derringer-award-results.html

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fourteen

I completed and submitted my fourteenth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's an 800-word romance I started yesterday.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

12

I received my 12th acceptance of the year, this time for a private eye story, back in February. I didn't count it then because the acceptance letter wasn't explicit. Luckily, an email I received this morning confirmed that it was, in fact, an acceptance.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Thirteen

I completed my thirteenth short story of the year today, a 330-word bit of flash fiction I started June 26, 2015. I've not submitted it yet because I don't yet know of an appropriate market.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Twelve

I finished and submitted my twelfth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a confession I started writing August 19, 2005.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Published

"To Live and Die in Texas," a noir bit of crime fiction, has just been published at Honeysuckle magazine's website: http://www.honeysucklemag.com/to-live-and-die-in-texas/

11

I received my 11th acceptance of the year a few minutes ago. This one's for a 4,800-word noir story, accepted by a new periodical that released its first issue last summer.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Eleven

I completed and submitted my eleventh short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 5,200-word confession I started writing April 4, 2013.

Published

My story "Bathhouse Backstabber," a romance involving a would-be mystery writer, appears in the just-published anthology Men in Love (Bold Strokes Books).

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Always spell the first word correctly

A mention on Twitter about a book on writing caught my attention. I found the book on Amazon. I used Amazon's "Look Inside" feature. I started to read the book. The first word was misspelled. I stopped reading.

Sigh.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

8, 9, 10

I received my 8th, 9th, and 10th acceptances of the year this evening, all for confessions.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The "King of Confessions" rules

Earlier today, in my guise as the "King of Confessions," I spoke to the Creative Minds writing group at the West Waco Library in Waco, Texas.




Ten

I finished and submitted my tenth short story of the year this morning. This one's a 3,800-word confession I started writing March 12, 2013.

Monday, March 07, 2016

The Unacceptance

Today, in a guest post at Rejectomancy, I write about the most disheartening rejection of all:

The Unacceptance Letter by Michael Bracken

Sunday, March 06, 2016

7

I received my 7th acceptance of the year today, this time for an essay about writing.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Nine

I finished and submitted my ninth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 1,400-word bit of romantic magical realism I started on December 15, 2015.

Eight

I finished and submitted my eighth short story of the year this morning. This one's a 5,000-word Father's Day confession I started on the 25th.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

5, 6

I received my 5th and 6th acceptances of the year this afternoon, both for Mother's Day stories.

Friday, February 19, 2016

4

I received my 4th acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for a Mother's Day story.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Speaking about writing confessions

Creative Minds – all writers welcome, Saturday, March 12, 2016, 11:00 a.m., West Waco Library-Conference Room, 5301 Bosque Boulevard, Waco, Texas – Guest Speaker: Michael Bracken - Writing Confessions for Fun & Profit.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Seven

I finished and submitted my seventh short story of the year this morning. This one's an 8,000-word private eye story I started January 18 in response to an invitation to contribute to an anthology.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Published

Now available in paperback, A Slice of Sin contains my erotic Viking story "Saga of the Sailmaker's Widow." Order a copy at Amazon.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Published

My erotic romance "Heart On" appears in Gym Boys (Cleis Press). Though the anthology was published in December,  I received my copies today.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Published 3x

My story "Spring Break Surprise" appears in the March True Confessions and my stories "Cemetery Fundraiser" and "Marking Territory" appear in the March True Story.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Six

I finished and submitted my sixth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 4,000-word confession I started October 24, 2015.

Friday, January 22, 2016

3

I received my 3rd acceptance of the year while I was sleeping. This one's for a confession.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

2

I received my 2nd acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for an April Fool's Day story.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Lida Bushloper's 30-year story

On her blog today, Lida Bushloper writes about her experience writing and then shepherding to publication "The 30-Year Story," which isn't the title of the story but how long it took to find a home, and she mentions my role in its eventual publication.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Interviewed at Rejectomancy.com

I've been interviewed by Aeryn Rudel at Rejectomancy.com, a blog about being rejected and what writers might glean from the various ways in which editors reject submissions. Read the interview at: http://rejectomancy.com/2016/01/13/ranks-of-the-rejected-michael-bracken/.

1

I received my first acceptance of the year this evening, this for a 4,200-word bit of Texas noir.

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 in review

41 acceptances (vs. 42 in 2014).

32 rejections (vs. 21 in 2014).

37 short stories published (vs. 36 in 2014), 3 articles/essays published (vs. 1 in 2014).

I completed 41 short stories (vs. 53 in 2014).

I completed (to final draft) 153,000 words of short fiction (vs. 198,000 in 2014).

That's an average story length of 3,732 words (vs. an average of 3,375); the shortest story was 1,400 words; the longest was 7,000 words.

I completed and submitted an average of .79 short stories each week (vs. an average of 1.02 each week in 2014).

(I only track completed short fiction word counts, not words written for incomplete projects, nor words written for other forms of writing.)

Observations:

My productivity decreased last year, my rejections increased, and my sales remained stable. There are several reasons these things happened.

1) I married and moved. Moving took up a great deal of my time during the final third of the year and still impacts me now as I prepare to sell the home in which I lived for 21 years.

2) I was engaged in a year-long writing-related project that involved no actual writing. I recently completed that project.

3) I continued to write a few stories just for me rather than for specific markets. These stories are often difficult to place because they don't clearly fit the needs of existing markets with which I am familiar. They often collect rejections while I work my way through potential markets.

Five

I finished and submitted my fifth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 2,600-word Mother's Day story I started writing March 22, 2013.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Four

I finished and submitted my fourth short story of the year. This one's a 1,300-word bit of crime fiction I started writing October 12, 2014.

Three

I just finished and submitted my third short story of the year. This one's a 3,500-word Mother's Day story I started writing February 9, 2013.

Two

I finished and submitted my second short story of the year, a 1,300-word Mother's Day story I started writing July 3, 2005.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

One

This is a new year and the count starts over in my annual goal to write and sell an average of one short story each week.

A few minutes ago I completed and submitted my first short story of the year, a 2,700-word confession I started writing December 7, 2009.