Independent Publisher Here I Come

I am officially giving up the chase for an agent, at least for now. I have finished the edits for my manuscript and have sent it off to an editor for one last looksee. Then it’s getting published. I have the cover all done and will be doing a reveal in a few weeks. It should be done before the holidays so you can order the book for a loved one. I need to work out a signed edition. Lots more to come. Follow me on Goodreads here.

I’ve also added a popup for signups to my newsletter. I promise not to spam your inbox.

Eff Cancer

If you are wondering why I haven’t been posting lately, we have had some serious health issues that we continue to deal with. Two years ago my wife had a mastectomy. Six months ago we found out the cancer had come back. With a vengeance. My wife has been amazingly brave throughout the ordeal. I would not wish chemotherapy on my worst enemy. The fight continues, but my posting on here will be sporadic at best for the foreseeable future.

Submission Anxiety

This is not a new thing. I’ve been through this twice before and was entirely unsuccessful. So, it’s created a cringy moment for me every time I see that I have mail in “that” inbox. I expect a “no thanks” and it is kind of crazy that it is giving me so much anxiety. To be fair “so much anxiety” for me is just a little more than your everyday getting through a humdrum day level of anxiety. My wife and kids suffer from anxiety disorder, so they know it much more intimately than I do, but nonetheless it is surprising.

My son tells me he is that way for any email. Even though he knows he may have important info in there he hates getting that ping.

I remember back in the old days of America Online and that little voice that told you, “You have mail.” It was a cool thing. Subbing has kind of ruined that feeling for me.

I have it out to a dozen agents and one publisher and have already got “no thanks” from two, which, good for them, it was super fast. I appreciate that.

I know how things are. I know I have to level up my game, and I have. I expect to get a yes this time, but even saying that I still cringe every time I see that I have a response. I want it, but my track record thus far has ingrained in me an expectation of rejection.

My mentor from my MFA program told me to sub each manuscript until I got a hundred rejections. The problem I personally have is finding that many agents that represent science fiction. I have around 90 on my list. I keep looking and hoping. I know it only takes one, “Yes.”

I would love to hear your submissions stories.

I Will Never Be William Gibson – A Review of Distrust That Particular Flavor

distrustI just finished reading Distrust That Particular Flavor, and I realize that I will never be William Gibson. It is almost ironic that he is known as a futurist, when what he really is, is a historian. He is a global hunter of esoterica. A purveyor of the detritus of sociology. He takes pleasure in the suburbia of human existence, no, just the fringes of society, or more, the artistic side streets of our past. He is well-traveled and knows a lot of famous people in a wide array of fields, musicians, artists, photographers, writers and collectors among the many. He claims not to be an expert in any of these endeavors or devices, whether it be old typewriters or mechanical watches or film-making, or any of a plethora of other human enterprises. Definitely not the internet. Although, he appears to be slowly embracing it.

He wrote this book in 2013, so a lot could have changed since then.

The one way we are similar is that we seem to glam onto one particular thing at a time and spend a lot of energy getting familiar enough with it to speak the lingo, but not to really have any serious depth of understanding. I could be completely wrong about that. He strikes me as a keenly intelligent man with a gift for noticing the oddities and accouterments of our society.

He is fascinated by Japanese culture and the way they have embraced change and live on the bleeding edge of our now, leaning as far into the future as humanly possible and but still living in this current time-frame, and you can see that in a lot of his fiction. He likes haunting photography and movies, old and new, the fringier the better. At least these are my impressions after reading this book.

It is a series of non-fiction pieces he had written for different forums over the course of twenty-one years from 1989 to 2010. Essays and critical observations and speeches. Every observation is fascinating and insightful and showcases his incredible grasp of the English language in a way his fiction only hints at. The way he describes things strikes some deep chord in my soul. If you have any interest in Gibson, I highly recommend this book.

No, I will never be William Gibson, but as my wife said to me, we already have one.

It’s a Weird Weird Weird World Right Now

This is a strange time to be listening to audiobooks about apocalyptic futures. But I was doing just that, juxtaposed against a world outside my car that looked the same, calm and normal, but it all feels quite surreal.

A Surreality.

It’s hard to wrap your head around THE ENTIRE WORLD being under attack from a virus and it is still escalating. It runs through my mind that I need to hold onto this moment, because next week might look entirely different.

The CDC put forth the postulation that the number of infected would double every four days. Here in the United States it is now doubling every third day. By the end of the weekend we will be approaching 30,000 infected and by the end of next week 100,000. At what point do we stop doing half-measures?

I’ll admit that when I first heard of this pandemic I was one of those who thought the hype was overblown. I WAS WRONG.

Please take this seriously. It may not kill you, but it might kill someone close to you if you get infected. I worry about my family, some of which have  asthma and might not cope well. I would love to stay home, but I am still being directed to work, and I don’t have enough vacation time to stop. I know how lucky I am to still have a paying job, and I don’t take it lightly. I’m praying for all of us. Please wash your hands a lot, and stay home if you can. I anticipate all of us being directed to stay home with a national curfew before the end of the month.

#Pitmad

pitmadI recently finished a complete overhaul of my latest manuscript, after getting some great feedback. The story has changed drastically, so have a lot of the characters.

I noticed that PitMad was coming up so I decided to brush off the pitch and see if I got any bites. The event is sponsored by Pitchwars.org

Kurestin Armada (@kurestinarmada) an agent at Root Literary said this in a Tweet:There are so many pitch contests now that most of the agents I know are fatigued and sit out more than we join—so if you’re feeling like your pitches aren’t getting a lot of traction, it may very well be that the right agents for you just aren’t doing this round
So there’s that. And she’s not wrong. I applaud the efforts of those trying to support writers, and all of these pitch contests are free, except for the time the writer has spend preparing.
You only get to do three pitches and the contest goes between 8AM and 8PM, so you have to space them out for maximum effectiveness and hope you get some RTs and likes. The likes are supposed to be reserved for AGENTS. Anyway, here are my three Twitter pitches. Had to stay under the character count:

Cole’s life is in disarray after his memory is stripped in a brutal attack that destroys his neurochip. Now the centerpiece of a government cover-up, he must expose the truth behind hundreds of mysterious deaths before they shut him up for good. #PITMAD #A #S #SPF #SF

A brutal attack destroys Cole’s neurochip, strips his memory, and leaves his life in shambles. Now the centerpiece of a government cover-up, and unable to trust anyone, he must expose the truth behind hundreds of deaths before they shut him up for good. #PITMAD #A #S #SPF #SF

A brutal attack destroys Cole’s neurochip, strips his memory, and leaves his life in shambles. Deep state treachery and a manhunt make exposing the truth a daunting task. Blake Crouch’s Recursion meets William Gibson’s Zero History. #PITMAD #A #S #SPF #SF

 

I have the book out to a few Beta Readers and will be sending it out again on sub when I get their feedback. So far it has been positive.

Good luck to everyone out there trying to get some attention for their manuscripts!

 

Island Beauty in Blown Glass

IMG-0261

My wife and I recently took a trip to Hawaii and on the last day we found this amazing work of beauty. It is the same size as the conch shell it emulates, made by Emily Thomas. She is a native born Hawaiian and calls herself a glass artist. This is just one example of the beautiful pieces she creates. You can see more at her website: Emily’s Art Glass

Throwback Thursday – Free Your Fireflies of Imagination

793ae-fireflies_orangeThis is from April 2011. I had been on a writing hiatus here for some reason. I noticed a big slowdown in posting here as well.  I have learned a lot since I wrote this, and realize that relying on the muse is not something a professional writer can afford. When things aren’t sparking and you have a deadline you still have to write. There is where understanding how the craft of writing comes into play. The are no hard fast rules for writing, but understanding structure and story design are a must.

Writing regularly does spark ideas. Think of it as a lubricant. It does create a more fruitful mind for creativity.


Not writing has been a weird place for me.  I think about the act of writing during most of my free time now, but my muse has been strangely silent.  I think about the fact that I am close to finishing and know I have a few scenes left to put together, but there is no spark.  This leads me to believe that writing, the actual act of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard actually sparks the muse and keeps the creative juices flowing.  The more you write the more these creative pathways open up and tap into that right side of the brain and free the little fireflies of imagination.

I have often heard people ask writers where they get their ideas.  I’ve had people ask me that very question, but from everything I’ve read or every time I talk to other writers they all say the same thing, ideas are the easy part.  Writing seems to snap into place a cable in your mind that lets the creative side of your brain be heard over all the stuff the left side of the brain is dealing with on a daily basis, trying to get you through your work day. (unless you are an artist of some sort of course).

The answer to where do the ideas come from is, they come from the writer’s brain.  It’s almost like a muscle though, it needs to be exercised.  You need to read…a lot!  You need to actually write, not just think about writing or talk about writing.  You need to actually do it!  World building is fun and is a nice creative outlet, but don’t stop there.  Create some characters and give them a problem to solve and write some scenes.  You will be surprised what your mind will come up with if you give it a chance.  The more you do this the more other ideas will pop into your head, stuff you never dreamed of.  Then you get to connect the dots or rearrange the puzzle pieces to make a story outline.  It’s really that easy to get started.

Good luck with your writing!

 

Clear Ether!