Sunday, November 29, 2009

Story sixty-nine

I completed and submitted my 69th short story of the year this evening. This time it's a 2,000-word confession set during Spring Break that I started writing on October 29.

33 and published

I learned of my 33rd acceptance of the year--a bit of non-fiction--when I picked up the publication containing my article while at the grocery store earlier today. I wrote the article on assignment so I fully expected it to be accepted; I just didn't know that it had been.


Sometimes it pays to be on intimate terms with an editor. Sometimes it pays to look one in the mirror every morning.

My 32nd acceptance of the year is a science fiction/children's story first published in 2005 that I will be reprinting in a newsletter I edit.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blast from the past

A copy of Fantasy Macabre #8, published in 1986 and containing my short story "The Passenger," is now available for purchase on eBay. Opening bid is $9.99. See for yourself here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I received my 31st acceptance earlier this evening, for a 1,500-word relationship story I submitted to an anthology on October 21.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I received my 30th acceptance of the year in today's mail, this time for a 3,600-word Valentine's Day-themed confession I submitted October 26.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Story sixty-eight

I finished and submitted my 68th short story of the year a little while ago. It's a 2,200-word story of seduction, written for an anthology. I started writing this story on November 12, after I saw that an anthology to which I had already submitted a story had extended the submission deadline. Who knows, maybe the editor will take both stories...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Story genesis

I enjoy reading what other writers have to say about the genesis of their stories because they are either a) full of pretentious hooey or b) their muse is the antithesis of mine.

For example, one writer might claim that his story came about because he "wanted to explore the dichotomy of the yin-yang of male-female relationships in a post-Apocolyptic America."

Me? I just wanted to write a story about boinking a zombie.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I received my 29th acceptance today, this time for a 2,400-word Valentine's Day-themed confession I submitted on October 7.

Story sixty-seven

I submitted my 67th story of the year this morning. It's a 2,400-word "deal with the devil" story. Sort of. The devil sends an underling to deal with a lawyer.

I wrote the opening sentence on March 27, and it sat on my computer for several months until I matched it to an anthology's call for submissions. Then I thought about it for another month or so before spending the past few days writing and revising.

Monday, November 16, 2009


My 28th acceptance of the year arrived in today's mail, a contract for a 4,300-word New Year's Eve-themed confession submitted September 27.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Story sixty-six

I completed and submitted my 66th short story of the year this morning. It's a 1,100-word bit of erotica, but with a twist ending. I don't know if I had the idea before I saw the call for submissions or not, but I wrote a one-line description of this story on October 30, wrote a full draft of the story yesterday, and put the story through several drafts this morning.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Story sixty-five

I completed and submitted my 65th short story of the year a few minutes ago. This time it's a 3,100-word story about two skateboarders and a purse-snatcher. I started writing this October 22, after seeing a call for submissions and spending several weeks trying to come up with an appropriate idea.

Monday, November 09, 2009


I had a story rejected today. Not my story. Somebody else's. It arrived in one of my SASEs.

This rarely happens. After more than 30 years and several thousand rejections, this may be the third time I've received someone else's rejection.

It's an odd feeling of dismay to open the envelope and see the enclosed rejection, followed by a sense of relief that the rejection wasn't meant for me, following by another round of dismay as I wonder where MY manuscript went.

And there's also a feeling of Peeping Tomism because I read the rejected manuscript and study the editor's note (when there is one). What did this writer do or not do? How does my work compare? Do I agree or disagree with the editor's decision to reject? If it were my manuscript, how would I revise it?

In this case, the writer's eddress was on the manuscript. I've emailed her to let her know of her rejection, and tomorrow I'll mail the manuscript back to her so she can read the editor's note.

And I'll continue wondering where my manuscript went...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Story sixty-four

I just finished and submitted my 64th short story of the year, a 3,800-word St. Patrick's Day love story.

I started dictating this story on November 11, 2008, using the dictation software I purchased for my laptop when I was recovering from quadruple bypass,* and had completed the first four pages or so. A couple of weeks ago, Plot Monkey and I looked at what I had written and plotted out the rest of the story. This week I finished writing the story the conventional way (fingers on keyboard).

*I know I mention this too often, but the four months I spent recovering had an impact on my writing that I'm still dealing with more than a year later.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I received my 27th acceptance today.

I woke up this morning to find a response to last evening's query, submitted the full ms., and received an acceptance within hours.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Story sixty-three

I finished writing my 63rd short story of the year earlier this evening. It's a 2,300-word story intended for an anthology of stories about athletes. Rather than going for the obvious--wrestlers or football players, for example--I opted to write about a caber tosser.

I had a rough idea for this story on May 3, but had only written a few sentences prior to seeing the call for submissions. I did a little research about caber tossing and then wrote the story yesterday and today.

The editor of the anthology requires queries prior to submission, so a query left here a few minutes ago.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


I received my 26th acceptance earlier this evening, a bit of crime fiction to appear in an anthology of biker fiction. I knew this acceptance was coming--had even mentioned it in an earlier blog post--but didn't count it as an official sale because the editor was awaiting approval of the publisher before issuing contracts. The contract arrived today.

Story sixty-two

I finished my 62nd short story of the year a few minutes ago, a 4,000-word St. Patrick's Day confession I started writing on October 25. Rebecca--aka Plot Monkey--provided me with the idea and helped me rough out the plot before I started writing. I'm printing the final draft now and will put the ms. in the mail tomorrow.

Monday, November 02, 2009


My story "He Was a Substitute Santa" appears in the December True Story.