Odds ‘n’ Ends

It’s been a couple of days, and various trivialitities and mini-adventures have taken place in that time. Firstly:

The Great Move

Jacqui has scored herself a rental place in Kalamunda. So on Sunday we loaded up the trailer with all her assortment of boxes, clothes, and various odds ‘n’ ends, and undertook the epic hour long drive to get there and deliver the stuff.

This was our first opportunity to meet the other Jacqui’s parents (not counting the time we dropped off their newly purchased bed to their place in the hills a month or two ago, and were not afforded much in the way of hospitality – due to a cold or somesuch). While the encounter was fleeting (perhaps mercifully so), I have a tumult of emotions I shall withhold at present, to express in a more appropriate forum, at a more appropriate time, in the future.

The house itself is old and rambling, more suited to a retirement couple, with its sprawling gardens and vaulted rooms, than a pair of teenagers. All in all, I was fairly pleased with it. As I said (and have said to Jacqui), their choice of house (and of lifestyle in general – the isolation in particular) is perhaps one I wouldn’t make. But who knows? Different minds and different tastes I guess. Time will tell.

Disparate Whispers

IT IS DONE! Disparate Whispers was sent to Mundania Press, in the US. My realism tells my it has zero chance at the Hungerford Award, particularly after FACP rejected the original manuscript (AFTER I asked them to withdraw it).

My hopes are much higher with Mundania Press. They are a speciality genre publisher, and look to be more sizeable than most small presses around the traps. Landing DW there would be a huge step towards placing Harbinger, and a permanent, lucrative writing gig.

The Stories

A couple of micro creations have spontaneously erupted from my mind recently. These are Smouldering Eyes and A Final Kiss. I’m too lazy to cut and paste a snippet (yes, that is lazy!), but hey, they’ll be published eventually. Somewhere. Maybe.

The Submission update

I filched a piece of software from author Simon Haynes (the guy who did the Hal Spacejock series) – a submission tracking tool called Sonar. It seems to work well, and has a crisp, easy to use format. It took a couple of hours to update all my stories, from all my emails etc. but the results are worth it. Oddly, my website (with all the submission status bits) and my seemingly excellent memory have very ably tracked my submissions thus far. I have however found the submission history of certain stories and markets to be fascinating.

For instance:

Room Three and The Black Door are my most rejected stories (with five confirmed rejections each). However, Room Three has racked up four of those in the last two months! Eek!

ASIM and Flesh & Blood magazine have rejected the most number of my submissions (five each), with Ideomancer second, on four rejections (and one current consideration). I have not sold any stories to these publications (although I’ve come damn close with ASIM!).

Antipodean SF and Flash Shot are my most successful markets – with three acceptances out of three submissions (each).

My longest reponse time was from Aurealis, rejecting Midnight on the Jetty. My longest acceptance was Hear No Evil, from Borderlands.

Shortest acceptance was from Flash Shot – accepting Hell in less than a day. Shortest rejection was Room Three, from Neverary, also less than a day.

Fascinating stuff (to me that is – as boring as batshit to everyone else!). My apologies to those who found this section (and the rest of my self-indulgent, writing focussed blog) particularly tedious.

The latest (story) stuff

I’ve just received word that the story Ange despises, the seemingly indestructable On Dark Clouds Borne, is in the short list for the anthology, Cold Glass Pain, as well as the very slick magazine, The Book of Dark Wisdom. This story was first published in Antipodean SF (where it was voted 2nd), and has never been rejected. I also threw it into the Aurealis Awards. I figure, with this sorta luck, it could be a dark horse. Well, I know in truth it has absolutely NO chance of even making it to the shortlist (it’s only 500 words after all!), but I’m curious to play with the fickle fortunes of providence.

The Savage Redemption of Gaia was whisked off to Rob Hood’s Daikaiju anthology – my third attempt. I even scored a couple of words of encouragement in his acknowledgement of receipt. If I was a betting man, I’d play this as a 50/50 shot. It’s a good story. Solid. But the fickle nature of anthologies is such that if they receive something similar (and perhaps shorter), they’ll go with that.

Moist Chrome on Void was a little too ‘non-consensual’ for the Consensual 3 anthology, so it’s been sent to Scared Naked (where I’m hoping they won’t find it too ‘non-horror’ enough).

New story, Smouldering Eyes, was sent to AurealisXpress (under the title ‘Smouldering’). It has my highest hopes for that market so far.

The surreal, and largely excellent Dread Seasons Quartet, was rejected by Surreal magazine. I’m a little surprised, a little disappointed, but also have big plans for this 4-piece. Next, I’ll try Weird Tales.

And, shock, horror, gasp – my sure thing, Blasphemy on Eight Wheels, failed to rate a mention at the KSP SF Awards. I was gutted, particularly finding out others in the KSP group made the short list. I believe Blasphemy is excellent. It is currently with the Writers of the Future contest in the US, and I have expectations dammit! Expectations!

TAFE

After surviving the first week of the Web Design course, something odd happened. As I was discussing with a lecturer about changing to the other class (as the class I was in was overcrowded, and as it turned out, I was meant to be in the other class anyway, but no one had the guts to tell me!), the lecturer offered me a writing job!

Ye gads! It’s only a one off commission type thing, doing the story for a series of comics/ads to promote the local Wanneroo show, but still. With the knowledge that (according to the Celestine Prophecy, and various guff Ange and I tend to believe in) coincidence and happenstance should be acted upon, I submitted a couple of my shorter, quirky stories to said lecturer, and should find out more this week. Life is odd, but full of rewards – if you look hard enough.

Shadowed Realms

Final decisions are being made, and another volley of emails are to be sent out – advising of successes, and failures, and obtaining more info from featured writers. It all looks fun! I’m still impressed with the quality of the submissions. We’ve had to let a number of promising stories go. The first issue is shaping up to be the short story issue – due to the influx of quality longer stories we’ve received. There is also some excellent flash lined up, but it will be a top-heavy issue by every indication.

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