Sunday, July 29, 2007

Another contract

Yesterday I received a contract for one of the two stories accepted last week.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Postal workers are my friends

Today's mail include a contributor copy of a magazine containing two of my short stories and a check for two short stories published in May.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Received, signed, and returned a contract this morning for one of the stories accepted earlier this week.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Happy holidays!

It's the dead of summer and time to contemplate the upcoming holiday season. Periodicals work many months in advance, so the deadlines for November and December issues are rapidly approaching. If I hope to place any holiday-themed short stories this year, I need to get to work.

Earlier this week I wrote the opening lines or opening scenes for seven Thanksgiving stories and seven Christmas stories. (Why seven each? Coincidence.) I have a rapidly shrinking window of opportunity for submitting any Thanksgiving stories I write, a window only open until early to mid August, and a slightly larger window for submitting Christmas stories.

I placed four Christmas stories last year, but no Thanksgiving stories. Perhaps I'll do better this year now that I have a stockpile of ideas. So, to get myself in the mood, perhaps I should prepare a Turkey, don my foam antlers, and put on some Christmas music...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bumped, or bumped off?

I was going through my files a few minutes ago and found three short stories that had been accepted (contracts signed and returned) and tentatively scheduled for publication in 2005. Stories get bumped to subsequent issues for all kinds of reasons, but I can't recall ever having any stories bumped more than a few months. So, were they bumped, or bumped off?

I just e-mailed the editor to find out...


I received my 29th acceptance of the year a few minutes ago, this for a short confession. The acceptance came via e-mail and a contract will follow soon.

A P.O. Box in New Jersey

"Where do you get your ideas?"

Every writer hears this question, and it's easy to respond with something cute, such as, "I order a dozen at a time from a P. O. Box in New Jersey."

Many times a snappy answer is sufficent. Sometimes, though, if the person asking the question is sincere, a simple explanation may be appropriate: "I ask myself 'what if?' What if my neighbor isn't digging a new flower bed, but is digging a place to bury his wife? What if a woman suddenly started hearing other people's thoughts? What if a man caught his wife cheating with another woman? What if a ghost suddenly appeared in a woman's bedroom? The story is how I answer that question."

But what if the person asking the question, the person who wants to know where you get your ideas, isn't interested in cocktail chatter, but is a potential companion--friend, lover, spouse, etc.--and is sincerely interested in how your mind works? How much do you reveal? (How much do you even understand about yourself?)

I have no answers, only questions.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I received my 28th acceptance of the year earlier this evening. The acceptance came via e-mail. A contract will follow soon.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I finished a new short story earlier this evening, a love story set at Halloween. It'll go in the mail tomorrow morning and my fingers will be crossed that I haven't missed the deadline for the October issue of the magazine I'm sending it to.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Published 2X

My stories "Woman on Top" and "Bad Boy to the Rescue" appear in the August True Confessions, which just hit the newsstands in central Texas.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Film treatment

I read my first film treatment today, a dark work that sent a chill up my spine when I finished reading it that was co-written by the editor who turned me into a crime fiction writer. It read much like a novel outline so, if I ever figure out how to outline a novel, I can easily adapt that skill to writing a film treatment.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I just learned that my story "Sketches" was published in the March issue of Futures. Alas, I've not yet seen it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Maybe later

I've been floating anthology proposals around to various publishers and today received word about one of them. The publisher likes the concept, can't take it on right now, but want me to touch base at the end of the year.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Reviews: "Professionals"

I have not yet seen Out of the Gutter #2, but I have seen reviews of the issue, which include comments about my story "Professionals."

Rob Lott at Bookgasm writes, "[...] followed by the even-better 'Professionals,' in which Michael Bracken spins a story of a male prostitute who gets into big trouble with one of his johns."

And Bill Crider writes on his blog, "Michael Bracken's 'Professionals,' [...] reveals that Bracken is himself a real pro when it comes to crime shorts."

Monday, July 02, 2007


Today's mail included a contract for a short story. This is my 27th acceptance of the year.