WIPika Fridays: What Draft Is This Again?

Another week, another bit of productivity.

First on the block is the editing for “The Lone Blue Strand” for Fictionvale. I received the edits on Sunday night, and have spent an hour or so every day this week working on it. There’s still a little bit left to do tomorrow, but for all intents and purposes it’s finished. I’ll send it off tomorrow morning and wait for the second round of edits to come back my way.

Second accomplishment has been the short story codenamed “Evaporated Ocean.” It’s actually a rewrite of a short story I wrote back in 2012 that didn’t go anywhere with publishers. Looking back on it, I understand why: it’s unreadable! There are aspects of it that are neat (Such as the setting), but the characterization and plot were blah. Not coherent in any way, shape, or form. The core setting is largely the same, but the characters and plot have been changed almost completely. I’ve completed three outlines of it, and have started on what could be the second/third draft of it. I plan to finish that tomorrow, and then Sunday work on heavy edits for it.

First line from it:

Jisan paced along the dry ocean floor.

The name of the story will have nothing to do with evaporated anything, so I hope the idea of the ocean floor being anything other than wet will stand out to readers and make them want to continue on. I try to start my stories either with a conflict, or with a strange premise that grabs them. Don’t know that I succeed at it, but I know I’m a lot better than I used to be.

That’s something I should post up one day. A list of story first lines, from my earliest works to now. Should be amusing for somebody, at least.

The novel outlining has had its ups and downs this week. I’ve completed more than I probably would have had I not been on any sort of schedule, but I’ve officially gotten behind. I don’t know that I’ll be able to make up any time Saturday, but Sunday I will have to put my nose to the grindstone and get caught up. Even if it takes all afternoon and evening, it’ll have to get done! Fortunately we have leftover pizza that we made last week, so dinner’s sorted.

Where reading’s concerned, I’m also behind. I had hoped to finish with Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson before the weekend, but that’s just not happening. Same goes with Writing the Blockbuster Novel by Albert Zuckerman. I want to take my time with them and really read them, so it’s taking longer than expected. Alas.

Still, not bad for the second full week of adjusting to a new writing schedule. I need to hold onto this level of productivity, and ratchet it up. As long as I don’t slide backward, it’s all good from here.

Fictionvale Episode Five is Out

Fictionvale5Fictionvale Episode 5: Of Magic and Mayhem comes out today. My short story “Harmonious Bedlam” is featured in there along with nine other tales of fantasy, mystery, or something in-between.

“Harmonious Bedlam” follows the life of a soldier-turned-baker who must turn herself into a soldier again if she is to protect the life she has built in a new land. For a sneak peak at the story itself, check back here on Wednesday. “Harmonious Bedlam” will be the focus of this week’s “Drafty Wednesdays” post. I haven’t decided yet if we’ll look at just the first scene, or if we will dive a bit into scene two, as well. It won’t be more than a couple of pages, though, but I hope you will enjoy the breakdown of it. Further, I hope it will be enough to entice you to pick up a copy of Fictionvale! For those of you who write, please consider contributing to the magazine. I have worked with editor Venessa Giunta on two stories now (Soon to be three), and the experience has been both enlightening and fun. I’ve come out of both editing phases a better writer, and I hope the same will occur with this third time.

Fictionvale Episode 5 can be found both at Fictionvale.com and at Amazon.

Introducing “WIPika(*) Fridays” and “Write 1 Sub 1”

On November 28th, while mass riots break out to see who will limp home with that 50″ TV that’s on sale for $99.95, I will start posting up weekly reports on how my writing is going. This will be a little different from the Writing in Public posts, which will begin again December 1st. In those posts I am just giving a basic update on the day’s activities and writing, but with WIPika Fridays I will post up brief excerpts of what I am doing. It will be done in the form of a few sentences or paragraphs of a piece to be submitted, or I will go through some of the things I’ve been brainstorming and how that works for me, or I may show a bit of the outlining process. Or, maybe I will do all three! It depends on the week, and what I think is the most interesting accomplishment for that week.

W1S1 2014 - Weekly ChallengeThis will go hand-in-hand with the Bradbury Challenge  (Also known as Write 1, Sub 1) that I am also starting Thanksgiving Week. My plan with that is to be a little bit more ambitious and actually Write 2, Sub 2. I want to write a flash fiction story each week, and a full-length short story each week. Will I be able to handle that? Well, we shall see. I am starting this during the holiday season for a reason (And not just so I could rhyme back there). Between November 24th and December 31st there are 38 days, or 5.5 weeks. Let’s be ambitious and say that’s six full weeks. Going by Write 2, Sub 2, that means I should have written and submitted 6 flash fiction stories and 6 short stories. I also want to write a novella-length work and get it out to Writers of the Future. That’s 13 stories in six weeks. If I can manage to do that during the general craziness of the holiday season, then maintaining that pace through 2015 should be a lot easier, barring any family emergencies or illness.

Will it happen? Maybe, maybe not. I know it won’t happen unless I attempt it and maintain a positive attitude while doing it. At the very least I will get more written in the next few weeks than I would have had I not pushed myself.

(*) The name of this section was inspired by 2:30 from the following Sequelitis Video by Egoraptor. Warning: profanity, hilarity, and the tearing down of an iconic video game will ensue!

 

 

“Once Upon an Apocalypse” Now Available

Once Upon an ApocalypseIt’s been a long time coming, but the Once Upon an Apocalypse anthology that my short story “The Little Red Survivalist” is in has finally been released! The book came out in ebook format some time ago, but the paperback came out more recently. Both can be found at Amazon.

The book is basically a retelling of fairy tales with zombies included! The second volume of this series will feature similar fairy tales but with Lovecraftian-style settings and monsters.

Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

 

 

Fairy tales are fantastical tales in which anything absolutely anything can happen. Most fairy tales don t involve fairies. Some have morals, some don t. Some are for kids, some aren t. The oldest were told by adults to adults.

Fairy tales are populated by the weird and the bizarre. Elves and dragons, bridge trolls and deep-sea mermaids, sprites and goblins, talking animals and talking trees and sometimes, even fairies. There are no limits to what can be used in a fairy tale, or to what a fairy tale can be about. Once Upon an Apocalypse contains fairy tales about zombies. Or, in some cases, zombie stories with fairies, or even fairy tales in which zombies also appear.

If you ve never read real fairy tales then you might ask: Wait, aren t fairy tales cute stories about talking bunnies and Disney characters? The answer is yes and no.

Not the old ones. If you never read the Brothers Grimm are you in for a shock! The ‘fairy tale ending’ we ve come to know is a far cry from what Jacob and Wilhelm were writing back in early nineteenth century. Things tend to end very, very badly for the characters even the good guys.

Not all of the stories in Once Upon an Apocalypse are scary. Some are hilarious, some are tragic, and some are disturbing. However each contains a spark of real magic that special element separating these stories from others of the horror genre.

In fairy tales absolutely anything can happen. There are no rules and there are few happy endings. These are fairy stories, and they re zombie stories, and they are absolutely magical.

And we mean that in the least-comforting way possible.

Table of Contents:

  • Forward by Jonathan Maberry
  • Wednesday’s Goats by Justin Short
  • Ali Baba and the Forty Zombies by Suzanne Robb
  • Steadfast in the face of Zombies by Trisha Wooldridge
  • The Oven by Sean Eads
  • The Seven Ravens by Celeste Hall
  • The Undead Rose by Christopher Peruzzi
  • Undead and the Shoemaker by T. Fox Dunham
  • And the Beast by Rachel Kenley
  • Alice’s Undead Adventures by Amber Keller
  • Mary Had a Little Limb by Wendy Dabrowski
  • Cinders by Katherine Marciniak
  • Thumbelina’s Bloodbath by Herb Shallcross
  • The Zombie Bridegroom by Sheri White
  • Matches by Randy Lindsay
  • Pin by John Boden
  • Seven by K. H. Vaughan
  • Giuseppe Cavaletta and His Aunts by Jeffrey C. Pettengill
  • Foxy and Wolf by Brian M. Sammons
  • The Pied Piper of Cottageville by Tracy L. Carbone
  • Metzger of the Acres by Sean Logan
  • Little Red Survivalist by Benjamin T. Smith
  • Four and Twenty by Stephen D. Rogers
  • More Than Watchmen Wait for the Dawn by Joe McKinney

I am still awaiting my contributor copy, but once it comes in I will dive on in! I’ve heard good things about “The Undead Rose” by Christopher Peruzzi.

If you like horror and fairy tales, I hope you will like them both combined! Pick up a copy at Amazon today.

 

“The Lone Blue Strand” Accepted by Fictionvale!

I’m happy to announce that my steampunk ode to Robocop has been accepted by Fictionvale! I received the news earlier today from Venessa Giunta, the editor-in-chief over at the magazine. “The Lone Blue Strand” will appear in Episode 6, a mashup of steampunk, cyberpunk, dieselpunk, and likely some piratepunk stories and appropriately titled “Pick Your Punk!” It will be the third story of mine to be accepted for the magazine, and the second that could be classified as steampunk, though I suppose the argument could be made that “Mechanicis Solis” (In Episode 4) is of the gaslamp fantasy genre.

Once I get the all-clear from Miss Giunta, I will dedicate one of the upcoming “Drafty Wednesday” postings to the opening scene to this story. As I recall it went through several iterations before it wound up in its final, submitted form. And, if “Mechanicis Solis” and “Harmonious Bedlam” are any indicator, it will go through a whole lot more when the professional editing phase begins!

“Harmonious Bedlam” Accepted by Fictionvale!

I am in the middle of working on an “abbreviated epic” for the upcoming Third Flatiron Publishing anthology, and I happened to notice a new message in my inbox. It was from Venessa Giuntas, Editor-in-Chief over at Fictionvale Magazine. Fictionvale has graciously accepted my fantasy short story “Harmonious Bedlam” for Episode 5 of the magazine, due out this upcoming November. My thanks to her and to Fictionvale for the opportunity to submit, and for the acceptance!

Another of my works, “Mechanicis Solis”, will be published by Fictionvale later this month in Episode 4. Venessa and I have worked back and forth on editing the story and it has been transformed into a much, much better piece than the one I originally submitted. I learned quite a lot from that one story, and so I am looking forward to repeating the process with “Harmonious Bedlam.”

Once again, thank you to Venessa! I look forward to working with you again.