Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2016 Year in Review & Links

Last year, I did my first Year in Review post, and I enjoyed doing so, so I'm doing it again this year.

February 15

Eat Your Heart Out: Romance in Horror

Romance isn't necessary in horror, but that doesn't mean we always leave it out.

February 22

Do What You Want, Do What You Wanna

About HuffPo and giving your work away for free.

March 7

Publication Resources

A post all about how to track down open submissions for publications.

clker.com, OCAL
March 14 

Your Other Inner Artist

Exploring other forms of artistry. If you write, what about painting? Photography? Singing? Performing theater?

May 16, 23, and 30, June 6

Writer's Conference Basics

This was a multi-part series on everything you need to know about attending, volunteering/staffing, and speaking at writer's conferences.

Part I - Overview
Part II - Attendees
Part III - Staff & Volunteers
Part IV - Faculty

Boxing Bears, OCAL, clker.com

June 13

The Factions of Writing

Cliques exist everywhere, even in the writing world.

July 11

Let's Talk Money - Taxes, Licenses, & Square

In which I discussed things authors need to know about selling books at events, checking on sales tax licenses needed, and using/setting up Square.

August 15

Setting Up a Book Signing Table

I used a lot of my learning experiences this past year, primarily as a speaker, to put together posts to help other people hopefully get through them more easily. This was another of those. How to set up a book signing table, with various tips.

October 31

Let's Talk Horror: A Top Thirteen

This was a fun one to do. I like the fun ones. Instead of just listing favorite horror movies, I thought I'd break out various elements and list my favorite of those. For instance, favorite scene in a horror film, favorite final girl, etc.

November 21

Native American Writers, Artists, Actors, and Musicians

In case anyone was seeking out Native art during Native American Heritage Month, I listed some resources and links.

November 28

Is Post-Apocalyptic the New Western?

It struck me that westerns have been replaced by post-apocalyptic books and films, showing some of the same elements. Here, I broke them down.

Hm, it looks like I only did two of the fun posts. I'll have to remedy that this year!


Now for some links. Bear in mind I'm only passing these along, not endorsing any of them. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

The Lorelei Signal is open for submissions. Fantasy short stories, flash fiction, poetry. Any female characters must have a reason for being there. Up to 10,000 words. Pays between $2 and $7.50, depending upon submission type. Deadline February 15.

Nasty is open for submissions. Any genre, but must include a fetish. Up to 1500 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline February 15.

For Books Sake is open for submissions of short stories written by women with the theme of "ghosts." Up to 7000 words. Token payment. Deadline February 22.

Opossum Lit is open for submissions of short stories, poems, and essays. They'd like a subtle link to music. Pays $100 to $250, dependent upon type of submission.

Asimov's is open for submissions of science fiction short stories. Up to 20,000 words. Pays $.08 to $.10/word up to 7500, then $.08 above 7500.

The Cedar Canyon Chronicles is accepting short fiction. Must be set in the fictional Cedar Canyon (Western Oklahoma) and involve a monster of some sort. 500 to 2000 words. Pays $5 for the first 20 accepted stories.

Bards and Sages Publishing is open for speculative fiction, mystery/thriller, and adventure short stories. 5000 to 20,000 words. Pays $25.

Reader's Digest is open for super short stories about you. True story about you. Up to 100 words. Pays $100.

Occult Detective Quarterly is open for short stories about those investigating the strange and unusual. 3000 to 5000 words. Pays $.01/word.

Deep Magic is open for submissions of clean science fiction and fantasy. No violence, sex, graphic language. Pay varies by word count, beginning at $.08/word for the first 5000 words, and going down to $.06/word above that.

Were any of these your favorite? What was the favorite post you put on your own blog this year? Feel free to link to it in the comments. Or, if you did a post like this one, link to that. Any of these publication links of interest to you? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 Goal Setting & 2016 Review

We made it through 2016, even if it came with some new scars. It was a year of craziness, as I imagine all election years are, but we survived. 

It's always fun to recap the year then look ahead to what I'd like to achieve. Setting goals helps me think through what I want to do and how I want to end the year.

I submitted short stories and flash fiction 77 times in 2016. This is not 77 stories, just submissions, since I turn the rejected ones back around. In 2015, this number was 60.

I had 4 acceptances in 2016. This is down from 9 the previous year. I know why, and I'll address that in a minute.

I had 9 stories published in 2016 (the 4 accepted, plus end of year acceptances from 2015.)

6 stories submitted in 2016 are still pending.

Which means I had 67 rejections in 2016. Not up to my 100 goal yet, but creeping that way.

And here's another stat to add: I had 4 speaking engagements in 2016. A standalone for Pikes Peak Pen Women, 2 workshops at Pikes Peak Writers Conference, 3 panels at Denver Comic Con, and 4 panels at MileHiCon. In addition, I participated in 5 signings. So cool!

Last year, my goals were:

  • Finish first revision of novel #2 (UF above). Done!
  • Do a second pass through on novel #1 (YA above). Done!
  • Start novel #3. Done!
  • Continue writing short stories, revising them, and submitting them. One per month would be fantastic, and give me time to focus on my novels, but we'll see. Nope (did not achieve one per month)
  • Finish all short story revisions pending. Done!
  • Submit those short stories once revised. Done!
  • Have one of the novels (#1 or #2) ready by April, so I can query an agent at PPWC. Nope
  • Continue experimenting with my writing and finding the joy in it. Done!
  • Get back to my photography (what? I just slipped in a non-writing goal...) Sorta
  • Continue with the horror reading/review challenge Done!
Not bad! I mentioned above that I know why I didn't have better numbers. It's the same reason I didn't have my novel ready by April, and the same reason I didn't get more short stories written. I got insanely busy between two volunteer jobs, and it did not let up until the end of May. My writing suffered severely, which actually led to a mega bout of depression about having fallen behind in my writing, as well as destroying the progress I'd made the previous year. It wasn't until school got started again that I caught up on my writing, so we'll see what happens with these new stories I've got out. I've also pulled a couple to do some re-writes on.

My goals for 2017, understanding that I set goals knowing life is fluid, and that my goals and circumstances may change at any time, are as follows:

  • Final revision on Novel #2
  • Query Novel #2 in April at PPWC
  • Finish Novel #3
  • Write at least one new short story per month
  • Finish current pending revisions
  • Continue to book speaking/signing opportunities (so far, I have 1 definite and 2 possibles)
  • Evaluate Novel #1 to see if I want to continue pursuing it or trunk it for now
  • Continue submitting short stories - aim for 100 rejections and 12 acceptances this year
  • Write for at least two themed issues or anthologies that are outside my normal comfort level
I think that's more than enough goals for now. Part of me wants to achieve one short story per week, but I don't believe that's realistic for me right now. 

Onto links! Bear in mind that I'm passing these along, not endorsing them. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Broken Eye Books is open for submissions to their anthology Ride the Star Wind: Cthulhu, Space Opera, and the Cosmic Weird. They want space opera combined with cosmic weird horror. Short stories of 3000 to 6000 words or flash fiction of up to 1000 words. Pays $.08/word. Deadline January 31.

The First Line puts out a quarterly first line, which acts as the prompt for a story. This quarter's first line is: "Eddie tended to drift into whatever jobs were available that would pay the rent." Story should start with the first line, which cannot be altered. 300 to 5000 words. Pays $25 to $50. Deadline February 1.

Skirt! Magazine is open for submissions to their January theme: The All In Issue - stories about going all in, taking risks, etc. Personal essays relating to women and women's issues. 800 to 1100 words. Pays $200. Deadline February 1.

Mofo Pubs is open for submissions to two literary erotica anthologies: Hotel and Sacrilege. The title is also the theme. 1000 to 5000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline February 3.

Splickety Havok is open for submissions in the theme Tyrannosaurus Reads. Think Jurassic Park. 300 to 1000 words. Pays $.02/word. Deadline February 10.

Bundoran Press is open for submissions to a science fiction anthology entitled 49th Parallels: Alternative Canadian Histories and Futures. 1500 to 7000 words. Pays $.05CAD/word. Deadline February 14.


Creative Writing Ink holds a monthly writing contest. Free to enter. Short stories up to 3000 words or poems up to 40 lines. Any genre/theme. Prize is web publication and £10 Amazon GC. Deadline January 31.

The Chicago Tribune is sponsoring the 2017 Nelson Algren Literary Awards. Fiction short stories up to 8000 words. Prizes of $500, $1000, and $3500. No entry fee. Deadline January 31.

Did you create goals for the year? How about last year? How did you do on those? Do you do resolutions or goals? How strict are you about your goals? Do you go beyond goals and make a plan to complete each item? Are any of these links of interest to you?

May you find your Muse.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

IWSG: Lumps & All, Mni Wicon, Stats, Links

It's the first Wednesday of January, which means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

The purpose of the IWSG is to talk about our doubts and insecurities, as well as to support each other. We post the first Wednesday of each month, and anyone is free to join. Go to the link above and enter your name on the linky, then jump in!

Our co-hosts this month are Eva @ Lillicasplace, Crystal Collier, Sheena-kay Graham,Chemist Ken, LG Keltner, and Heather Gardner! Be sure to drop by and say hi to them, and thank them for all their work.

This month's optional question is: What writing rule do you wish you'd never heard?

I can't list just one. My problem isn't with any one writing rule. However, when you attend workshops and conferences, read craft books and blogs, and otherwise study the craft of writing, it's easy to stagger under the inundation of rules. For me, I had to find a happy medium between learning to hone my craft and leaving myself free to write. Otherwise, I end up overthinking my writing, and I don't think that makes it stronger. Not for me. There are more introspective writers who gain something by over-analyzing their writing, perhaps, but I'm not one of them.

Writing is a creative pursuit. Like anything else, it has rules, but when creativity is the goal, I think it pays to break rules much of the time. Being a grammar nazi, there are rules I obviously think it pays to follow unless that inhibits the story, but the rules I'm talking about are those generalities that impact story lines and plots. I'm sure we'll see tons of those in posts today! For example, show, don't tell, can tie someone up mentally if they're focusing too much on that rule instead of their writing.

Having said this, I believe it still pays to learn from those who know more than we do, to attend workshops and the like, to continue honing our craft. It's just that I also believe it needs to be mitigated, and that we need to carefully riffle through the things we learn to pick out the gems, while discarding the aspects that won't help us, and being careful to use it as an aid, not as something that kills our creativity.


Before I get to this month's stats, I'd like to announce that the Mni Wicon Blogathon I posted about here has been extended, courtesy of the holidays! A lot of people were out for the month, so we've added a week. It will now be ending on the 7th of January. Full details can be found on my previous post, but here's a picture of one of the prize packs that will be issued to a random winner.

If you'd like to see examples of letters to the banks, Nicole has posted at The Madlab Post.

We'd love to see some folks letting the banks that bankroll corporate greed get an earful.


My stats for the month of December were as follows:

2 pieces published in magazines!
5 submissions
4 rejections
9 pieces currently on submission

I'll recap my stats for the year in a post next week.


Now for some links!

Bear in mind that I'm not endorsing these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Three Drops From a Cauldron is open for poetry and flash fiction submissions for A Face in the Mirror, A Hook on the Door. Urban legends and modern folklore. Pays in a percentage of profit. Deadline January 30.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is open for submissions with the themes Demons, Premonitions, & the Unexplainable; Stories About Cats; Stories About Dogs. Up to 1200 words. Pays $200. Deadline January 31.

Pen and Kink Publishing is open for submissions of vampire romance for Triskaidekaphilia Book #2 - Ravenous. 1000 to 15,000 words. Pays $10. Deadline January 31.

Martian Migraine Press is open for submissions of short stories dealing with possession, whatever your definition of that might be. 1500 to 7000 words. Pays $.03CAD/word. Deadline January 31.

Nashville Review is open for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Up to 8000 words. Pays $25/poem, $100/short piece. Deadline January 31.

Recompose is open for flash fiction and poetry. They want you to walk the line between literary and speculative fiction. Up to 1000 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline January 31.

Kristell Ink is open for submissions of short speculative fiction for several anthologies: Infinite Dysmorphia, Terra Nullis, and Holding On By Our Fingertips. 6000 to 10,000 words. Pays 10. Deadline for all January 31.

The Cantabrigian is open for submissions of literary fiction. 800 to 8000 words. Paying market, but does not give specific payment amount. Deadline January 31.

Hyperion & Theia is open for submissions of fiction, poetry, and art. This year's theme is Saturnalia. They take poetry, short stories, novelettes, and novellas. Word count varies by type. Pays $.01/word. Deadline January 31.

Grivante Press is open for submissions of erotic horror. Up to 5000 words. Pays up to $30 depending upon length. Deadline January 31.

What are your insecurities? What writing rules do you hate? Will you be participating in the Mni Wicon Blogathon? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share? What did your December stats look like?

May you find your Muse.