Writing in Public: Day 30, Month 03

The Spindles Fairy Tale is finished! In all I wrote 4,303 words today, but the final word count of the story came out to be 3,825 words. Its title is now “Final Liberation.” This is a play on a few things, the first being that this takes place around the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Hong Kong at the end of World War II. It also is in reference to the liberation of the damsel in distress in the original story, and a liberation of the mind on the part of the main characters, all of whom are wounded veterans who get one last hurrah together as they go to save said damsel.

The Spindles anthology wants to have a focus on minorities and disabled individuals, and this tale managed to do both. The main characters are a diverse cast of individuals, many of whom received crippling injuries in the fight against Japanese occupation forces. The multiracial aspect of the cast reflects the multicultural effort that was involved in the defense of Hong Kong and its occupation resistance efforts. The cobbling together of remnants of Canadian, British, Indian, and Chinese units into teams of guerrilla forces led to the establishment of units that had no racial divide, a first in the British military but one that stuck following the war. At least in Hong Kong, from what I’ve read.

If nothing else this tale provided me with an excuse to read about a battle I had never heard of before. Some of the stories I encountered. There was brave Captain Mateen Ansari of 7th Rajput Regiment, who was tortured to the point of losing his legs for failing to renounce allegiance to the Queen, and who was later executed for his efforts to help fellow prisoners escape. And then there was Brigadier John K. Lawson of the Canadians who, after his headquarters was overrun by the enemy, gave his last orders over radio before facing the enemy with a pistol in either hand. His last stand was so heroic that the Japanese buried him with full military honors, a rare event. And the countless others who fought, bled, and died together in December of 1941 or in the following years while imprisoned.

Thank you all for your service.

With that said, April comes to a close with only one story completely finished. This was a disastrous month for writing. Much of it was beyond my control, but I’ll take the blame for a portion of it. Even on the worst of days there is always time to write. I just need to be better about finding that time and capitalizing on it, especially as we go deeper into Spring and outdoor gardening activities begin to take up more and more time.

  • Blog Posts: 488
  • Planning and outlining: 000
  • Short Fiction: 4,303
  • Novel Fiction: 000
  • Salable words: 3,825

Total Fiction for Month: 13,628

Total Salable for Month: 3,825

Total Fiction for Challenge Year: 129,477

Total Salable for Challenge Year: 32,534


Writing in Public: Day 29, Month 03

The rough draft of the Spindles Fairy Tale story is finished. Around 2,976 words were written today, all focused on this particular tale. I’ve decided to go with a more modern take on the Chinese Fairy Tale “Help in Need.” I had to rework the protagonist a few times. Originally it was going to be a real member of the Hong Kong Defence Force, but I settled on a fictional individual who worked closely with the real member. It made plotting a little easier, and kept me from accidentally getting the real member’s personality and ambitions wrong.

The deadline is tomorrow, so I will need to work quickly on revisions. I already know where I want to go with it, but I expect it to take most of the day to complete.

  • Blog Posts: 160
  • Planning and outlining: 000
  • Short Fiction: 2,976
  • Novel Fiction: 000
  • Salable words: 000

Total Fiction for Month: 9,325

Total Salable for Month: 000

Total Fiction for Challenge Year: 125,174

Total Salable for Challenge Year: 24,884


Writing in Public: Day 26, Month 03

The last couple of days were unproductive to the point of writing so little it didn’t even bear making a post about.

Today’s been a bit better. This morning I finished with the rough draft of the Penumbra “Hyperspeed” story. Total length of the rough draft is 4,549 words, with 3,840 of that written today in the space of a little over two hours. Proof that I can be productive when I set aside some time to just sit and do nothing but that. Now, like any rough draft of mine it’s ugly and shouldn’t see the light of day. But, the story structure is there as are most of the basic character and plot elements. All that’s left is to rewrite it to greatness. Easier said than done, but revising and rewriting is not the insurmountable task it was even a few months ago.

Spring cleaning outside took up the rest of the afternoon and evening, so unfortunately nothing more was done on the Spindles Fairy Tale entry. Hopefully I’ll get back to that on Monday.

  • Blog Posts: 172
  • Planning and outlining: 000
  • Short Fiction: 3,840
  • Novel Fiction: 000
  • Salable words: 000

Total Fiction for Month: 6,349

Total Salable for Month: 000

Total Fiction for Challenge Year: 122,198

Total Salable for Challenge Year: 24,884


Writing in Public: Day 23, Month 03

Today was yardwork day. Spent a good bit of time mowing so that we could get the riding mower to the shop for its once-every-couple-of-years maintenance. There are some things I can do with it, but some of it needs a professional.

Anyway, I was able to slip some writing into the day, and the time spent on the mower was productive from a brainstorming point of view. I decided what was wrong with the openings to both short stories from yesterday, and I’ve figured out how to improve on them both and get the stories kicked off a little bit faster.

Today I spent a bit of time working on the rewriting of the “Hyperspeed” rough draft (Would that be a revised draft, or just a second rough draft?) and am about 859 words into it. Didn’t get a chance to do much on the “Fairy Tale” rough draft, but I’ve got a good idea of where I want to go with it.

Anyway, tomorrow afternoon and evening should be free for plenty of writing, so here’s hoping we can push our word count back up to what we were doing last month.

  • Blog Posts: 194
  • Planning and outlining: 000
  • Short Fiction: 1,009
  • Novel Fiction: 000
  • Salable words: 000

Total Fiction for Month: 2,509

Total Salable for Month: 000

Total Fiction for Challenge Year: 115,849

Total Salable for Challenge Year: 24,884


Writing in Public: Day 22, Month 03

The opening scenes for both the Penumbra “Hyperspeed” story and the Spindles “Fairy Tale” story are finished. I’m not too happy with the way either are going, though, which is part of the reason why it’s been slow going. I think with both my protagonists are incorrect. Both characters need to be in their respective tales, but I don’t think they should be the main characters.

I will think on it more tonight and see what I can come up with for tomorrow’s writing.

  • Blog Posts: 113
  • Planning and outlining: 000
  • Short Fiction: 1,200
  • Novel Fiction: 000
  • Salable words: 000

Total Fiction for Month: 1,200

Total Salable for Month: 000

Total Fiction for Challenge Year: 113,040

Total Salable for Challenge Year: 24,884

Writing in Public: Day 21, Month 03

I received good news earlier this morning from across the giant pond aptly named the Pacific Ocean. My short story “Zombielock” has made it to the final round of selection at Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. I should hear the final yea or nay within three weeks. Regardless of how it does in the end, I’ve made it farther with this submission than I have with any of the others sent to ASIM, so it is further proof that my writing is improving and moving in the right direction.

Most of the morning and afternoon were messed up for writing, but I was able to plan out two stories:

The story I want to write for Penumbra’s “Hyperspeed” themed issue is going to be a story similar in setup to the game FTL, where a lone military ship is trying to flee enemy territory to bring vital intel back to friendly lines. To do this they have to successfully navigate a pair of hyperspace corridors while being pursued. There’s going to be some steampunk (Or present day nautical) technology despite the advanced setting, specifically in the use of speaking tubes, telegraphs, and signal lamps.

Spindles has a call out for two kinds of fairy tale retelling, one geared for children and the other for adults. Specifically, the editor wants these stories to feature diverse character, diverse places, or people with disabilities and different sexual orientations. For the adult story I’m going to be focusing on disabilities, chief amongst them amputations. The fairy tale I’ve chosen is the Chinese fairy tale “Help in Need” where a military officer must choose which of his men – living and dead – to send to help out a princess of the spirit realm. In the original story the only ones who are able to truly help the princess in her battle are soldiers who have already passed on. In my version of the story the only ones who will be able to help the spirit princess will be soldiers who have parts of their body already in the spirit realm. Think of phantom pain, and you’ll see where the idea is coming from. In this fight their disabilities are what help them carry out their mission. They do not hinder them.

Tomorrow the plan is to get the rough drafts written for both. The first story can be no longer than 3,500 words, while the second can be up to 5,000 words. The due date for both is the 30th, and I have more stories than this to write. So, expect it to be a busy week! It’s my hope it will be a busy week, in any event.

  • Blog Posts: 456
  • Planning and outlining: 1,200
  • Short Fiction: 000
  • Novel Fiction: 000
  • Salable words: 000

Total Fiction for Month: 000

Total Salable for Month: 000

Total Fiction for Challenge Year: 111,840

Total Salable for Challenge Year: 24,884

Submission Sunday – Week Ending 04/20/2014

Well, turns out I was lying about that whole “starting on day 18 of month 3” that I stated the other day. Easter weekend proved to be a busy – but fun – time of fellowship with church family and friends of said family. Some networking with an aspiring author was also done, so I hope some fruit for us both will result from that.

Anyway, this last week I did a flurry of resubmissions of stories to new markets. Nothing new written, but I still have my goals in mind for the end of the month. Crunch time is coming, but hope is not lost.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Summary: 0 New, 8 Resubmissions


New Submissions:



“Starting from Zeroth” submitted to Third Flatiron Publishing.

“A New Face on an Old Place” submitted to Daily Science Fiction.

“A Matter of Upbringing” submitted to Inscription.

“An Unquiet Peace” submitted to Spacesuits and Sixguns.

“The Sky Has Fallen” submitted to Black Static.

“Unit Zero” submitted to Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.

“Familial Obligation” submitted to Ruthless Peoples Magazine.

“Harmonious Bedlam” submitted to Shimmer Magazine.

Where I’ve Been

The last couple of weeks have been strange for me. Up until a few months ago I was not actively writing on my blog, nor was I actively keeping up with my daily word counts. At the end of approximately 8 weeks of doing just that I felt like I was in a good rhythm and ready to keep going forward with it! Before March was over I had made my April schedule out, and was going to get more written than in the past two months combined!

Or, so I thought.

A couple of hours after getting the wonderful news about the acceptance of “Mechanicis Solis” by Fictionvale, my wife’s car broke down. It had been acting up, but I thought I had fixed the problem the weekend before. It was running great all day, so I decided to go pick her up from the office in her car. Big mistake. It waited until I was almost to her office to start giving me problems, and we were almost home when it finally gave out. Had it towed back to the house since – once again – I thought I could fix it. It hadn’t been acting this bad since I changed this one part out so obviously changing that part back should have fixed it, right? Well, you can see where this is going.

Then, to make matters worse, both of my day jobs exploded with more activity than I knew what to do with, and that has yet to let up. As such, no writing has actually been done at all this month to any great degree, though I have made some headway on planning for a few of the April 30 deadlines that I want to meet. Further, I’ve been reading through my recently acquired copy of David Farland’s Million Dollar Outlines and learning quite a bit. I’m about a third of the way through it, and plan to post up some of my notes from the book. I’m also considering taking one of his online courses later this summer, so if anyone has done so please let me know how it was! I’ve heard nothing but good things about them.

Anyway, I am going to cut down on some of my goals for the end of the month, but here are the ones I’m still committed to. If the good Lord is willing, it will be possible to pull off even with the extremely busy schedule I’ve been hit with:

Novel Goals:

  • Finish reading and taking notes of Million Dollar Outlines.
  • Choose which of two novel concepts to outline, and outline that one.

Short Story Goals (In no particular order):

  • Crossed Genres Time Travel, Entry 1
  • Crossed Genres Time Travel, Entry 2
  • Spindles Fairy Tales, Adult Version
  • Spindles Fairy Tales, Child Version
  • Penumbra Hyperspeed Issue
  • PARSEC Contest Entry

I will be starting up the “Writing in Public” challenge again tomorrow. Not sure how productive the end of this month will be, but let’s do our best!