Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Think I Have Writer's Cramp

I've mentioned in the past how things seem to go in cycles as far as writing is concerned, at least for me. I'll go along and have several short stories appear in print more or less at the same time, and then a few months go by with nothing.

Part of that is probably due to my own disorganization. I tend to write my short fiction in bunches, composing several stories over the course of a few weeks and then doing nothing with them for a while, leaving them to season on my hard drive. Then, in a burst of enthusiastic energy - also known by its official medical terminology, manic-depression - I will submit a bunch of stories to various publications at roughly the same time over the course of a few days.

Of course, each publication has their own timetable for responding to submissions. Some are relatively quick to get back to the author, either with an acceptance or rejection, while others, maybe because of the volume of submissions they receive, maybe because they hold stories in limbo while trying to decide whether to use them, take much longer.

But inevitably, when you send stories out in clumps, you tend to see them get published in clumps. This summer has been one of those clumps for me.

It started with my novelette, "Uncle Brick and the Little Devilz," which appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of the venerable online mag, Mysterical-E. This was the followup to my Derringer finalist story from the previous summer, "Uncle Brick and Jimmy Kills." Then "The Waiting" appeared in the Sumer 2010 issue of the brand-new, super-cool print magazine Needle: A Magazine of Noir, followed smartly by "Dance Hall Drug," maybe my darkest and most disturbing story ever, which showed up in the brand-new, super-cool online 'zine, Dark Valentine.

This past week, the print magazine Twisted Dreams, not brand-new but definitely super-cool, published their October 2010 issue featuring my story, "Under an October Moon," and just yesterday my dark revenge story titled "Dead and Buried" popped up at the ambitious and always-entertaining online site called A Twist of Noir.

Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it. But I'm also pumped, because the thought of my work being exposed to the readers of all these different online and print publications is both exhilerating and extremely gratifying. After all, the point of submitting your work to publications is to see it in print. Otherwise, you might as well just keep a journal.

Some of this material is available for free, the rest at a very reasonable cost. You probably spent more for that Mocha Grande Cappucino thingy you ordered at Starbucks on your way to work this morning.

But just in case you don't have the extra cash to buy Needle: A Magazine of Noir or Twisted Dreams, don't you worry about it. All you have to do is click on over to my website,, and then navigate to the "Contact" link on the left side of the home page, then sign up for my email newsletter by October 18. Do that and you will be eligible to win a free copy of the latest issue of each of those magazines, and you can read "The Waiting" and "Under an October Moon" to your heart's content.

Think about it: Free Stuff. And you might just find either or both of those magazines to be such outstanding reading you'll want to get the next issue, and the next. Before you know it, you'll toss your TV, trash your iPod, call in sick at work, and curl up in bed, reading.

Just don't blame me if you get fired.

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