Musing on the nature of things

There’s only two ways you can go when faced with adversity. Be drawn down into it, or rise above it, rolling with the punches all the way. After a spate a hard-hitting rejections, I’ve chosen the latter course.

Along with way, I’ve finished two short stories in two days, and feel very pumped about the whole experience. Yesterday it was The Hanged Girl. Ange has been going through it today. While it is already turning out to be one of my better ones, she is challenging me to become even better. She has big plans for me to revamp my dialogue habits. I can’t wait to get that one second and third drafted.

Tonight, I penned a 400 worder – On the Nature of Evil. Following several of my recent stories (most notably the stinging Shadow of Revenge), I find plenty of harshness – profanity and general unpleasantness – pouring into my prose. The Hanged Girl has some of it, but that story is more atmospheric than in-yer-face. Which brings me back to On the Nature of Evil – here’s a snippet:

“Whaddya think evil really is?”

“Dunno,” he said, picking at his encrusted fingernails with the tip of his switchblade. “The opposite of good?”

“Well, what’s good then?”

“How the hell should I know? Sunshine and lollipops and cherry-scented shit.”

I’m finding myself writing more and more about dingy inner-city bleakness. Worrying sign? I don’t know.

I’ve had a fairly productive day, taking advantage of slackness relating to TAFE. I’ve now completed my application for a KSP Emerging Writer-In-Residence position. I know at least one other SF writer is applying, but with three positions, I hope there are places for all.

On the negative side of the ledger, my novelette, The Savage Redemption of Gaia, was rejected by the Daikaiju crew. Again, Rob Hood has been nothing but gentlemanly about the whole thing, even offering to reconsider this, and my other kaiju stories, for a propose e-antho companion to the print antho. I guess I’ll wait and see how that pans out. I have the other stories submitted elsewhere, with hopes for success. In the meantime, I’ve printed Gaia for submission to another market.

Similarly, after the tragic rejection of Alley of Dead Whores, I’ve printed that out for posting to Amazing Stories. After re-reading it, I can only confirm it is a very good story. In some places a little adjective heavy, but not to the detriment of the overall story. It’s a little bit of a long shot, but I thought I test a market or two before I send it in to the Writers of the Future comp. I do have a strong belief in Alley.

I have also contacted the Aurealis Awards crew, and will be sending off Sobek’s Tears (Fantasy & Horror) and Hear No Evil (Horror). It was with tremendous relief I found out Hear No Evil will be featured in Borderlands issue 4 – to be released before Christmas (well before, according to their editorial hopes). This means I have two strong contenders in the awards, so I feel I can at least give it a decent shake. Who knows what next year will bring – probably Alley of Dead Whores, Blasphemy on Eight Wheels, Genesis Six, The Black Door, Firewall v1.1, The Hanged Girl and several more all in contention with decent chances each.

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