Reprint questions

I have my first story, published in the Return to Luna anthology from Hadley Rille Books, available to submit as a reprint. I’ve read/heard a few good discussions about the economics of reprint sales but I am woefully uneducated on them otherwise. Help me, hive mind. Any best practices to follow or traps to avoid?

In exchange for this valuable information, I offer you this post-Halloween treat:

Writing update, October edition

One good thing about being broke is that paper and ink is cheap and ideas are free.

I’ve managed to do a fair bit of new writing in the past couple of months but I’ve been bad about blogging about it. New stories written, old stories rewritten, a handful of submissions and nearly as many rejections. I even submitted to the Writers of the Future contest after years of talking about doing it. Five stories are in the wild right now. Hopefully I can double that by years end.

I’m toying with the idea of attempting NaNoWriMo again this year. I’ve tried it off and on, most recently two years ago. Life went crazy an ended that effort prematurely. Two ideas are vying for attention — the urban fantasy I started in 2007, following three long-lived brothers with magical tattoos hunting the non-sparkly bad guys that killed their parents, and a more contemporary fantasy but with Dwarves, airships, and a clockwork army. Think steampunk but with lightning instead of steam. Sparkpunk. If I don’t do NaNo, I’ll at least knock out a few more short stories, possibly in these two worlds. They’re both fun to play in.

My TODO list for October resembles the following:

  • Revise my Hodag story, due by October 15th
  • Decide if I’m going to do NaNoWriMo
    • Outline NaNoWriMo story
  • Write a Zombie flash fiction story, due by October 16th
  • Organize my list of upcoming anthologies/themes that I want to submit to
  • Revise and submit “Starry, Starry Night”
  • Revise and submit Augmented Reality story
  • Rewrite “Recycled Dreams”

What are you working on?

Deadline: Crossed Genre’s LGBTQ Issue is open until 9/31/09

Crossed Genre is celebrating their one year anniversary by publishing a special double-sized issue, focusing on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer characters. Science Fiction and/or Fantasy must be part of the story, please. The deadline is coming up quickly, though: 9/31/2009.

If you miss that deadline, Scheherazade’s Facade is a Fantasy-specific anthology open from November 1st, 2009 through February 28th, 2009.

I’ve had a story in my head (what I affectionately think of as my “trans” story) for a couple years now. I’m not sure it’s ready to come out in time for either deadline but both of these markets are worth your attention.

Rock the Queer

Outer Alliance

Today is Outer Alliance Pride Day. Wassat, you ask? It’s the day that we, members of the Outer Alliance, announce our support and advocacy for all things Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered.

As a member of the Outer Alliance, I advocate for queer speculative fiction and those who create, publish and support it, whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity. I make sure this is reflected in my actions and my work.

Real life, as represented by fiction, should be diverse. We as writers shouldn’t be afraid to tackle sensitive issues. In fact, we should go out of our way to raise awareness of them. We are storytellers of the cutting edge, oracles of the future. We should rush in where religious conservatives fear to tread and show them a future where everyone is equal regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.

When I started writing, I wrote generic characters with no color, no pride, no depth. Bland, bland, bland. I didn’t know any better, because I was learning by example. I’ve learned a lot since then. It’s never too late to change. Writers, write well-rounded characters. Lead by example. Don’t ignore sensitive issues because you’re afraid of alienating readers. Stand up and be heard.

Markets & Anthology ruminations

Writing is fluid but deadlines are not. Looking ahead six months or so, there are several upcoming anthologies and contests that I have my eye on. Previously, when there’s a hard deadline involved I’ve ended up submitting at the last possible minute (literally). This year I want to plan ahead and submit early. It’s less stressful and will, hopefully, produce better quality work.


Space Cops – I have a story perfect for the theme. Deadline is January 30th, 2009.

Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest – Also co-sponsored by the National Space Society, who co-sponsored the Return to Luna contest last year. Near-future manned space exploration. Deadline is April 1st, 2009.

PARSEC SF/F Short Story Contest – This year’s theme is “Dark Glass”. I just missed the cut last year. Hopefully this year will be better, but my money is on Andrea. She’s got a great story ready for it. Deadline is April 15th, 2009.

SHINE Anthology – Optimistic, near-future SF. Lots of ideas for this one. Submissions accepted May and June 2009.

Anything by Hadley Rille Books, because I love everything they do.

These are the ones that have caught my interest. You can find more anthologies on Duotrope, Ralan’s. or the list I maintain on Absolute Write.


People say that short fiction is dying, but I disagree. It’s transforming. Magazines are making the transition from print to electronic and vice versa. I have yet to see my ideal zine business model implemented but I think we’re getting closer.

There are quite a few great markets both large and small to submit to. Some people start with the best paying and work there way down while others submit to the smaller, non-paying markets because the odds of acceptance appear to be higher. There are a few markets I’d like to get into as a badge of honor. The rest are markets that I’ve read and enjoyed. Ultimately, it boils down to who I think is the best fit regardless of rate.

Apex Magazine – One of the few magazines that I’ve read cover to cover (before they went online) that I thoroughly loved.

Abyss & Apex – Another great market that publishers great works.

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (ASIM) – The first electronic market I ever submitted to. I sent them a Feghoot, before I knew what it was and why they should be kept locked in a trunk.

Byzarium – I love their flash fiction contests.

Clarkesworld – I used to be afraid of these guys (Nick Mamatas can be intimidating, but a) he’s moved on and b) anyone who publicly talks about wrestling is alright in my book). They only publish two fiction pieces a month, but they’re good pieces.

Strange Horizons – What can I say? SH is awesome.

Electric Velocipede – My current favorite market. The first issue I read was #14 and I read it cover to cover. I can’t wait to sit down and read the #15/16 double issue, which also has a story by Michelle Muenzler.

Fantasy Magazine – Another wonderful market I hope to crack one day.

Futurismic – Near-future science fiction and fact. Read it for the news, stay for the stories.

Lone Star Stories – Good stories and the fastest response time on the market.

The Big Three – Asimov’s, Analog, and Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF). All very prestigious markets. I haven’t read much of Analog in recent years, but I just let my subscription to Asimov and F&SF lapse. I’ve found that I only enjoy one or two stories per issue. I will probably re-subscribe after the move, though.

Markets I need to get copies of

Andrea and I scour every bookstore we pass for SF/F magazines. We’ve managed to pick up some rarities, such as Space and Time and Weird Tales. It’s a constant hunt for a new small press SF/F magazine we haven’t seen or read yet and I’m open to suggestions for what I should be reading.

I really, really want to pick up a copy of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (LCRW) and while linking this discovered they have a map of bookstores that carry them on their website. There are three in the Chicagoland area that may have them in stock. I think a road trip is in order very soon.

2009 née 2008

2008 is past, replaced by a new year and new hopes.

It was a rocky year, filled with good and bad. Divorce, and marriage, deaths on Andrea’s side of the family. Kittens and a new puppy. A historic election and rocky economic times. We’re still in for a bumpy financial ride but everything else is looking like its trending upward.

I did alright on my goals from 2008. Not bad, but the best I could manage under the circumstances:


  • Finalize the divorce
  • Get out of debt
  • Be happy


  • Write 12 new short stories (finished #13 on New Years Eve)
  • Revise and polish 12 stories
  • Submit 12 stories for publication (sent out 21 submissions, 2 accepted (1 electronic, 1 print), 1 pending, 1 anthology in hand)
  • Submit a story to the Writers of the Future contest quarterly


  • Finish migrating out of my hands-on role to more of a managerial one
  • Successfully manage and complete all planned projects
  • Come up with brilliant new projects for people to work on
  • Grow the company

For 2009, I want to continue the good trends I’ve already set. It’s going to be another busy year but I’m more prepared to tackle it. My goals for 2009:


  • Be a better husband (because there’s always room for improvement)
  • Build a better budget and get out of debt
  • Apply for Permanent Resident & move to Canada
  • Lose the weight I gained in 2008


  • Less micromanaging, more delegating
  • Hire, hire, hire.


Return to Luna

I’m happy to announce (a few days late) that the Return to Luna anthology has been released by Hadley Rille Books. The anthology contains stories from eighteen up and coming writers, including my story “Misdirected”. The forward is written by Harrison H. Schmitt, an Apollo astronaut and the last man to step foot on the moon.

Return to Luna

You can buy it direct from the publisher for a discounted price of $12.95 or from (although at the time of writing, it is out of stock).

Week in review

Another busy week or two and I’m still failing to blog consistently. Mea culpa.

A week ago Thursday, Andrea and I went into Chicago to see The Most Interesting Show in the World, hosted by Jim Rose. It was a slimed down version of his famous circus, featuring The Amazing Kenichi, Melody Sweets, Leonid the Magnificent, Johnny Fayva, Lilian Stepanova, and Mark “The Knife” Faje. We had great time, apart from the show starting an hour later than we were expecting and the parking ticket. I’d love to catch Jim Rose again, but probably not inside such a small club. There were no more than 30 seats available, all of which were taken or reserved by the time we arrived.

We went to Windycon 35 on Saturday. I saw Trey and Tim from the writers group, met Tobias Buckell briefly, and got my copies of Mike Resnick’s “This Is My Funniest” 1 & 2 signed. Not a bad day. The theme of next years Windycon 36 is steampunk. I can’t wait.

I finished the story I’ve been writing for the Footprints anthology and submitted it on Friday. Today I finished a story for Byzarium’s Flash Fiction contest. The contest uses a piece of artwork as the prompt for a 500-word story. This was the second story I’ve written using the artwork of Kiriko Moth as inspiration. She’s an amazing artist and I hope to see more of her work in the future.

My two immediate writing deadlines are met. Next up I need to type up and start revising my Tesla story. I met my goal for the year of twelve new stories, but now I need to revise them and hit the slush piles hard. Somewhere in the middle of all that, I’ll be working on stories for the upcoming Federations and Shine anthologies. Lots of hard work ahead but I’m looking forward to it.
We picked up some new books this week. I’m slowly getting caught up on the reading I want to do, so expect more posts in the coming week, along with a book giveaway.

Return to Luna artwork

The Return to Luna anthology, containing my story “Misdirected”, will be released in December 2008. I’ve done the usual things new authors do, squeeing over the proof and breaking out into giggles at random. I just received the cover (jacket?) artwork. This will be my second publication, but the first one to see print. I can’t wait to hold this in my grubby little hands.

Return to Luna
Cover art (c) Walter Myers

I don’t have the details on where and how to buy yet, but I’ll be sure to add them here when I have them.

While will is strong, habits are formed

I’ve been working on developing better writing habits lately. I haven’t been the most organized or consistent of writers. I wrote in bursts and often complained about the lack of time available. No more.

Developing a habit takes roughly three weeks. A habit, like brushing your teeth or combing your hair, is something done in such repetition that to do otherwise feels unnatural. It’s not something we fret about not having the time for; we just do it.

I spent a few hours building a spreadsheet to track my writing statistics. It keeps me accountable, knowing that at the end of the day I need to enter my word count and it lets me see how my productivity changes over time. I’m not much of a math geek but I do love my statistics.

I set a weekly goal of 3,000 words. Over time I expect to raise this but I want to start out with reasonable goals and move up from there. This week (Monday-Sunday), I wrote 3,253 words. I averaged 465 words/day, and my most productive day was Saturday, with 1,046 words written. I’ve written all but two days this month, and those at the beginning. The going is strong.

During the CSSF Workshop in the summer of 2007 I outlined a SF alternate history story involving Nicola Tesla. I have a fascination with Tesla and wanted to do something challenging with that. I started writing the story around the beginning of October (pre-spreadsheet) and finished it on Saturday. The handwritten first draft ended up around 6,300 words, just 100 words shy of my original estimate. I’m pretty pleased by how it’s shaping up. I’m going to sit on it for a few weeks before typing it up and beginning the revision process.

I started work on my story for the Footprints anthology. Nothing like waiting until the end of the submission deadline to get a story ready. The guidelines are fairly narrow and it took a while for an idea to develop. I’ll be spending the next few weeks getting this story up to snuff before the deadline on November 15th.