Writing Update: Spring 2023 — 200 Rejections and Counting!

…And I’m back!

Well, it’s been a fast and productive start to the year. So, here are my writing updates for Spring (Jan.-Mar.) of this year.

New Flash Horror Story Out
My first-ever Flash Horror story “Go Ask Alice” is out now over at Carmina Magazine. “Alice” appeared in the March 2023 issue of the magazine.

I’m proud of this little story. It’s got Alice, it’s got the Rabbit. It’s got Horror, it’s got a little philosophy (Theory of Mind, actually). It weaves together all those polished, elevated elements of Horror with all the Earthy ones. It has all those mythological and folklore aspects that make it a great fit for Carmina.

Please stop by and read it (it’s free!) and tell a friend or two…Thanks!

(PS: I should have more news on this story’s second-life soon. Stay tuned!)

Short Poem Accepted for Publication
In more good news, my short “Symmetry” has been accepted for publication by Star*Line Magazine, the official journal of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. The poem will appear there later this year.

It’s about the “missing antimatter” mystery in modern physics (AKA “Baryon asymmetry“) and this poem arose from me thinking about what those “Missing Realms of Antimatter” might be like. It came all at once, but then went through a deal of tweaking right up to the last minute before I hit “Submit.”

“Symmetry” is the second poem I’ve had accepted by Star*Line (last year they published “The Darkness) and I’m excited to have a new poem upcoming with them once again!

I will let you know which edition it will appear in as soon as I know.

200 Rejections…and Counting
So…That’s all the good news. Here’s the not-so-good news: I recently passed a career total of 200 rejections. I’m actually today at 248 rejections (including “Never Heard Backs” and “Returned” manuscripts). So, 300 is not too far away.

That’s right! In total, 248 of my novellas, stories, and poems have been rejected by various publishers. Rejection used to hurt so badly…Sometimes, it still does. But mostly now I just roll with the punches.

If you’re a new writer out there let me encourage you to do the same: ROLL WITH IT! Most people only have death and taxes to look forward to…But we writers get one extra: Death, taxes AND rejections. Don’t look at it as some defect, consider it a sign of a healthy, authorial life!

Nowadays, my ability to absorb rejections and keep on rolling has become only one thing: A sign of my seasoning and increasing professionalism as a writer. It’s simply what we writers do.

For a walk down Memory Lane, here are the other “Rejection Milestones” I’ve chronicled:

I Am Now a Member of Two Critique Groups
Another new thing for this year: I have wormed my way into (or is it “faked my way” or “insinuated myself into”?) two small critique groups.

First, I found a small poetry group (since I need all the help with poetry that I can get!). One of the first poems they critiqued for me was “Symmetry.” So, a big shout-out to the whole gang–thank you! You’re helping to elevate my verse in a thousand ways!

Second, I’ve found a very small Horror critique group to bounce things off of. This is really helping. It’s brand new, but we exchange and respectfully critique each other’s work.

For both of these groups it was vital for me that they’re experts and practitioners in their areas. I know not everyone agrees with that, but I’ve noticed the quality of feedback I get on my poems from poets is generally higher quality than from non-poets (but not always!). I also feel I get better Horror-specific insights from Horror writers.

But hey! Find what works for you!

New Headshot
Also, I have a new headshot now. I had been putting this off for awhile… But I “won” the 2nd Worst Headshot in the NVWC‘s contest last fall. And one of the winning prizes was getting a new headshot.

It was odd to sit for a solo portrait. But in the end, I was very pleased with the outcome. It even captures some of the essence and mood of who I am as a writer–or who I want to be.

Anyway, the morbidly curious can check out the headshot on my About page.

Headed to StokerCon
I will be at StokerCon this June in Pittsburgh, PA. It’s my first time going to a Con(venti0n) in years (I skipped them during COVID times). And this will be my first time at StokerCon (the offical Con of the Horror Writers Association), so I’m very excited!

If you’re coming, please drop a note in the Comments below or DM me on Twitter and let’s try to meet up. I want to make the most of this one!

All for now, see you later this year (end of June) for my Summer Update.

Till then: Keep Reading, Keeping Writing…


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