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 02/23/2014

I spent more time this week writing rough drafts than I did getting salable material out the door.  That’s not necessarily a problem, but it will become one if that’s all I do is draft.

On the resubmission side of things, only one story was resubmitted.  That was “Starting From Zeroth.”  It was originally submitted to the Asimov-themed issue by Penumbra.  It made it to the final round of selections (Which I was pleased with) before ultimately being rejected (Which I was not pleased with).  Still, it says good things about the story that it made it so far into the selection process, so I fired it off immediately to somewhere else, and then somewhere else (More below).

One new story was finished and sent out this week.  That was the previously named “Ninja Mama” story that has now become known as “Amidst the Swirling Sakura Petals.”  I admit it sounds a lot more pretentious than “Ninja Mama” did, especially considering that the origin of the story idea came from a quote by Chief Arino of Game Center CX (Specifically when he was playing a game and said “Papa did this with a Ninja once”).  What started out as a lighthearted tale became a very serious one that explores revenge, salvation, and motherhood.  And Ninjas.

Can’t forget the Ninjas.

Summary: 1 New, 1 Resubmission

“Amidst the Swirling Sakura Petals” submitted to Flash Fiction Online.


“Starting From Zeroth” resubmitted first to Clarkesworld (They move fast!) and then to Strange Horizons.

Writing in Public: Day 04, Month 01

Today was another day marked with more planning, outlining, and research than with actual writing.  I was able to begin the rough draft of “Listening Post.”  The first page is written, and I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go with the tale, at least from the perspective of the first draft.  Revision is where the story’s framework really coalesces for me, so I’m looking forward to getting started on that as soon as possible.

While out shoveling snow I spent a good bit of time thinking about “Listening Post” and “A Gentle Breeze” and I’ve come to the conclusion that “Listening Post” stands a better chance of fitting the more traditional superhero mold that I’m assuming Penumbra is looking for.  On the one hand the main character, Listener, is not going to be your typical superhero who’s capable of duking it out with a volcano despite never having been to the gym nor having any kind of flame retardant clothing.  He’s more of a desk jockey, his abilities tailored less to combat and more to behind-the-scenes intelligence gathering.  On the other hand, he is part of a team that does include the more rough-and-tough superheroes we all know and love, such as Pugilist and Shootist (He’s a John Wayne fan, as you can probably tell).

Anyway, on to the breakdown:

  • Nonfiction: 240
  • Planning and outlining: 825
  • Fiction: 300
  • Salable words: 000

Total Fiction for Month: 3,468

Total Salable for Month: 000

Writing in Public: Day 03, Month 01

Today was not very productive from an actual fiction-writing standpoint.  I spent a good bit of the day reading articles on writing technique from Superhero Nation, a website devoted to the writing of superhero novels, short stories, and comics, and also writing in general.  I had gone with the intent to look up some common tropes of superhero stories to either play off of or avoid entirely, and ended up reading a bunch of articles on general writing techniques.  It was well spent.

The reason for the superhero interest has to do with Penumbra‘s superhero theme this month.  There were a few different ideas floating around in my head, and two coalesced rather nicely today.  The outlining is ready to the point that I should be able to get rough drafts for both finished tomorrow.  They’ll be sloppy (Rough drafts always are for me), but they should be finished and ready for revision Saturday morning.

It’s obvious that all of my writing goals won’t be met for the week, but there should be five stories finished.  And the number of stories I wanted to write was five, so…

Anyway, today’s numbers:


  • Nonfiction: 206
  • Planning and outlining: 2,806
  • Fiction: 000
  • Salable words: 000

Total Fiction for Month: 3,168

Total Salable for Month: 000

Goals for the Week Ending 02-16-14

Starting today, every Monday there will be a post of my goals for the current week. This will include writing goals as well as reading goals. Reading is as important to a writer as writing, for both are learning experiences that help us to grow in our craft.

Or, so I like to think. Anyway, on to the goals!

Writing Goals (Any titles listed are working titles):

  • Write “Fallout Ariel”, a flash fiction story of a technical diver meeting a mermaid at the outset of nuclear war. (1,000 words or less)
  • Write a flash fiction piece for the Kazka 713 “Journeys” flash fiction contest. (1,000 words or less)
  • Write “Songs of Fate”, a fantasy short story for Crossed Genres‘ “music” theme. (4,000 words or less)
  • Write “What Use, This Strength?”, a short story for Penumbra‘s “superhero” theme. (3,500 words or less)
  • Write “Interstellar Explorers”, a science fiction short story about human prospectors discovering – and dealing with – a pre-spaceflight alien race that is very warlike and will be a threat if they do reach the stars. (6,000 words or less)
  • Write outline for the second draft of “Into the Wastes”, a fantasy novel about a company of crusaders sent into their kingdom’s northern hinterlands to deal with one threat, only to discover multiple threats.

Reading Goals:

  • Read each of the five stories that Daily Science Fiction puts out this week.  It’s free to subscribe, so I highly recommend it.  They put out many wonderful stories of varying sizes, shapes, and stripes.
  • Re-read my notes for “The Wastes” and lay the groundwork for a second draft.
  • Re-read portions of Elizabeth Haydon’s Symphony of Ages series, mostly for how she incorporates music into her writing.  This will be important for my own musically-themed stories.  Plus, it’s a good series!

Submission Sunday – Week Ending 02/02/14

Starting today and continuing each Sunday I will post a list of submissions completed for the previous week.  This will serve as a form of accountability for me, as when weeks go by where I submit nothing (Either new or resubmissions) I can now be publicly shamed over it!  Even with writing happening, if nothing is getting submitted it can’t be considered a productive week.  From a short story standpoint, anyway.

So, without further ado, here are my submissions for the week:

Summary: 4 New, 0 Resubmissions

New Submissions:

January 29th, “Starting from Zeroth” submitted to Penumbra Magazine.

January 31st, “Supply Chain Management” submitted to Crossed Genres.

January 31st, “False Light” submitted to On the Premises.

February 1st, “Paper Planet” submitted to Unlikely Story.