I liked your story, but Courier? Oh My G…

In publishing, especially online, we find a great pool of practices and expectations. Tab this way, not that way. When one sent out publications in paper, the manner in which one indented ones paragraphs couldn’t be less important. Now, though, the vagaries of electronic formats, .doc, .docx, .rtf, sounds like some kind of military codebook, but as long as you get that one piece right, everything else is cake. Don’t like the margins? Slide the mouse over there. Boom! Don’t like the font face or size? That control there lets you put it into whatever size you want. Seconds of work, and yet some editors, perhaps weighed down by moveable type blocks, discard works at the drop of a hat for formatting. Formatting, for which, as I went on about in a post last year, there is only an illusion of a standard.

The real kicker, though is that after all this hoop-jumping and managing to produce your art in Times New Roman size 12 with one inch margins, using slider bars to set paragraph indents (not to mention the actual making of the art, the idea, brainstorming, outlining, drafting, editing and polishing)… it’s not their policy to contact you unless they want your piece. That is the equivalent of breaking out the good cologne, actually ironing your shirt and pants for once, digging out the suit coat you haven’t worn since that one friend got married, showing her the town on a whirlwind tour of your favorite nice restaurant, a walk in the park, dancing and drinks, and having her climb out the bathroom window instead of telling you it’s not working out for her.

Oh, hey, you’re still here, yeah, back to the writing thing. No response to a submitted piece is just downright rude and passive aggressive, not saving anyone’s feelings. If you don’t have the time to send me even a two line form letter, you don’t have time to run a publication. I have a hard time culling the list of publications to which I submit, but your door I will gladly never darken again.

In happier news, the quarterly compilation from Mad Scientist Journal with my story, Beginning Botanist’s Guide to Lair Defense, is up on Amazon and Amazon UK and Smashwords. I’ve also been tapped to write a pulp circus novelette which will appear later this year and the table of contents for Emby Press’ Dark Monocle, an anthology of steampunk monster hunting has been released. My story, Spirits of the Season, will appear there soon.

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Capes & Clockwork anthology of Steampunk and Superheroes

This is just a quick post to alert reader to my latest publication. The eagerly awaited anthology, Capes & Clockwork, available both through Amazon and B&N, is now available! My story, Aeolus, Chiron and Medusa was partly an experiment in voice and a foray into steampunk. It is not my last, however, as I have a steampunk monster hunter tale coming out through Emby Press and I will be working on other pieces soon.

Currently, I’m trying to polish up a scifi adventure tale on a very different planet, with nary a human in sight, a tale about food and the circle of life, a threshold-crossing tale of terror beyond the veil, and a Queen fighting extraordinary odds to keep her civilization in tact, or at least allow it to survive. It’s a busy month, hopefully the start of a busy an successful year.

And a Happy New Year

Here we are at the start of 2014, and here I am with the obligatory New Years blog post.

2013 was a year of firsts for me, from my first fiction sale to my first pro sale to my first child. It was also the first year I lost NaNo, and while that hurt, it was worth it. I worked on my short fiction, worked for some quick money to keep the family afloat and took care of my son.

2014, I hope, will see more sales, including pro sales. I have some pieces already drafted, outlined, etc. I hope that they will be as well received as my earlier pieces and that I can make real progress on putting out a novel or two. I’ve also started taking my knowledge base more seriously, taking free online courses through a number of outlets. I hope that these will both improve my writing and my ability to make physical things. In that vein, I hope to build myself a home foundry and start casting aluminum pieces for gaming and other purposes.

I have a number of resolutions, from getting back into karate to laying off the Facebook games again (when I began focusing on writing, I gave up on that distraction, but caught up again near the end of last year.) and setting a certain rate of production for myself. Of course, these all come in second to teaching Oliver some basic sign language and keeping him fed and all.

My story “All the Pretty Colors” and a related interview came out in Crossed Genres last night and “Aeolus, Chiron and Medusa” my steampunk superhero story should be available in Capes and Clockwork any day now.

And so I set out, shining a light on new worlds and lives, including my own.
All the best to you an yours in 2014!