Monday, January 30, 2006

Lily Literary Review

I've put the link to my story in Lily Lit Review on the index. The issue with my story will appear on February 1st.

Lily takes photography as well as writing. They pick pictures to go with stories. It makes a nice issue with a picture for each writing piece.

That makes this Lit Zine a cut above some of the others. No pay, but they treat your work with respect.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Write What You Know?

I keep a yellow lined pad of paper sitting in front of my monitor. It gives me a place to jot quick notes of anything that I want to remember, not forever, but for the next few minutes, hours, or days, at most. When I fill a page, then then it gets flipped. Every so often I scan the pages and see if there's anything I really needed to keep. If not, then I toss it.

A week or so ago, I wrote the words "Extraordinary Rendition" on the pad. Why? I think it was just when I was reading a news piece. I don't recall. However, that phrase has been seeping into my subconscious for awhile. Finally, I decided I had to write something that had that as a title. I did some research and found a great quote from a former CIA agent. I pasted that at the top of a fresh screen and started to write. Yes, it was about torture.

I don't know diddley about torture except what I read about Abu Ghraib and from the work of a friend of mine who knows about such things. He knows who he is, so he can comment and let that particular feline out of the bag if he wishes.

I posted the story up on the East of the Web site for a couple of days and was told that my torture lacked veracity. Not surprising, since I'm not even a fan of horror movies. I asked my friend for some help and, man, did I get it! Even more than I wanted for this particular story. I used much of what he gave me and I'm letting it simmer for awhile to see if it turns into garbage or goulash.

Another comment on the original story was that I really couldn't write about such things as it should be conveyed only in first person accounts. I have to disagree. I wanted to ask the commenter, "so when did you own a bar frequented by prostitutes?" But, I knew that would be a provocative statement, so I just let it go.

I think I do have the "right" to write this type of story, just as much as any writer who delves outside their immediate existence for storylines. My message may even be clearer than a first-person account because I do not have the immediacy of the emotion. I can take a step back and decide what message I want to put out by writing about it.

My message is first political, but less than you might suspect. I saw it more as a modern retelling of a old story--a person unjustly accused of a crime. To illustrate an old notion that is still with us can only be a valid topic. We, as a society, fail to note history and will be forever doomed to repeat it. As long as we repeat the hideous failures, writers have the obligation to bring it to view; either through fiction or non-fiction.

I may not be the best writer for this task, but it was in my head and now is on electronic paper. Therefore, it is mine to have written. Otherwise, it would still just be a jotting on a yellow pad sitting between my keyboard and my monitor.

Friday, January 27, 2006

3rd Story Sold This Month

Well, "sold" implies actual money. No money on this one, but it's another to put on the resume.

Again, I'll post the link when the story comes out. Supposed to be on February 1st.

To Lily ezine: "If You Could See Her"

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Selling it!

I got another story acceptance today. This one from Bewildering Stories. No pay, but I get a bio page on their site.

It will appear in Issue 188 and I'll post a link when it comes up on March 8th.

I'm also supposed to have a story up on Wild Child in February, but details are not yet completed. I was doing a little requested re-write on the story, but was told I had a firm acceptance. Again, I'll post when I have a link.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Working for a Living

We all do something to earn our daily bread. I gave up the "daily" part in favor of some contract work and plenty of free time to try my hand at fiction.

Now, writing is not going to make me rich, not even well-off. As Brian Catherman points out in his Hopeless Writer blog (see index), we gotta do it even if we don't succeed.

I've been holding off the impulse for too many years. I've been writing, alright, but technical documentation. Go ahead, look me up in Amazon. There's my book, which you can buy for a mere $1.95 plus shipping (Using R:BASE by Marva Dasef).

I published a book. Does that make me a successful writer? Well, yes, is the short answer. Somebody (Que Books) thought I was good enough to spend some money actually printing copies of the book (before print-on-demand).

That ain't enough! I want to publish my stuff the way I want. Too much to ask? Maybe, but here's to trying!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is MLK's birthday. While I do believe he was a great man who did much for equality in the United States, I'm afraid that if he had not been assassinated, today would not be a holiday.

It disturbs me, but only a little, when holidays are added to the calendar which are meaningless to a large segment of the population. Yes, there are MLK celebrations going on in my city along with other cities across the US, but for me, it just means I don't get any mail.

That's okay. I am not against the day, but maybe it should be a floating holiday. That is, a holiday for those who truly want to remember and commemerate. For those who don't intend to celebrate, then why not just go to work?

As for Christmas? Well, that's just one of the days in a long holiday season, which includes just about everybody--from Hannukah to Saturnalia. Happy Holidays is, indeed, the correct greeting of the season.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Duotrope Rocks

I have a link to a site named Duotrope. This is a fantastic site for writers who actually want to have their works published.

You can find just the right publisher for your deathless work here using a very functional and useful search tool.

The Submissions tracker is a blessing for anybody who has sent out stuff all over the place. I currently have 26 outstanding submissions. How would I track this without this site? Not very well.

Duotrope has been very responsive to suggestions I've made for enhancements. They seem to be very cool folk interested in providing an excellent service to both writers and publishers; a matchmaking service so to speak.

If you write stories, novels, or poetry, you really need to use this service. Just click that link and sign up - - It's Free!

Rattlesnakes and Jackrabbits

My first officially published story is "Rattlesnakes and Jackrabbits." It's one of a series of stories about a boy named Eddie living in Texas in the 1930's. The stories are based on some amount of truth and a whole lot of tall tale. The "truth" part is that Eddie's exploits come from my father. He's little Eddie.

Welcome to My World

Welcome to my world. That's pretty darned expansive. Actually, this is just a teeny, tiny, itty-bitty portion of my world.

It may become a big thing as time goes by or it may just be a new toy, discarded after Christmas in favor of the box it came in.