Friday, September 25, 2009

Beneath Ceaseless Podcasts

Thanks to some livejournal friends, I've discovered an excellent new podcast, online magazine, and fiction market, all in one neat package labeled Beneath Ceaseless Skies. The magazine specializes in "alternate world fantasy," stories that explicate some fantastic setting alongside character description and plot. So far, I've listened to a story about the mysterious origin of mysterious gems, a revenge-seeking pseudo-European fantasy man in pseudo-Africa, and a neat and scary story about shapeshifters and magic locks. I've liked some of them more than others - the shapeshifters and magic locks were the best and I didn't really like the Afrofantasy - but they have all been worth it. I've enjoyed the podcast and hope to enjoy the magazine when I have some time.

And hopefully so will you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

That's Three and Four

I have just heard via the livejournal of the inimitable Sherwood Smith that publishers and agents are apparently now prone to checking up on a writer's internet presence before choosing to hire, represent, or buy. Ms. Smith warns us that one of the things that annoy publishers and agents is bitching and moaning about rejection letters, so from now on, all quoted rejection letters will be accompanied by this disclaimer:

I am not out to be accepted at this point - I am out to be rejected. I am looking for rejection. I am hungry for it. Rejection proves that I am trying. I'll be happy to be accepted, sure, but I am not complaining. I have no problem with rejection or rejection letters. Failure is only another opportunity to learn.

Disclaimer aside, I have two more rejections to share with you, bringing me to a total of four.

Re: The Weight of His Words
(Please quote our reference #12398 in any correspondence.)

Thank you for submitting to Andromeda Spaceways.

Sadly, we find that we can't use your submission at this stage.

Thank you again, and we hope to hear from you in the future.

Notes from the readers:

[Cut as it's none of your business]

Hope that's of some help, and better luck next time!

Agradar the Doomed

The letter contains many good points about the story, and I'm probably going to use all of them. Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine is the second market to offer good advice alongside their rejection (Pseudopod was the first). Good advice makes me happy and responsive magazines make me happy; I'm definitely going to send more stories to ASIM.

I also got a more generic response from Weird Tales.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your manuscript. The volume of mail I receive keeps me from responding personally to each submission. And unfortunately I must often turn down good work due to space limitations and other considerations. I am very sorry that I will not be able to publish your piece at this time. I appreciate your interest in Weird Tales and hope that you will keep me in mind for future submissions.

Yours Weirdly,
Madrador the Strange

I believe that I will soon become an expert on rejection letters. They come in many flavors: some are form, some are personalized, and some are a little of both, some are gentle, some are utilitarian, but all of them are awesome, because all of them mean that I'm one step closer to being published.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Bonus... Oh Forget It

Don't look a overdue gift post in the mouth. Times are tough, and I'm lucky I'm writing this. I'm not giving up on posting once a day, not exactly. It's a goal I plan on meeting... it just might take a while. Teaching is one of those careers that gets a little easier every day. My kids get more used to me, I get more used to them, I build up a bigger store of good ideas, and I have more time for the other things that make my life go pop.

Let me say, though, that having a life where there's nothing that doesn't make me go pop is awesome. I teach, and when I'm not teaching, I write. When I'm not doing either, I'm with the Abigail.

And also, I have a huge backlog of dishes that need to be done and a staggering amount of paperwork piled up... so perhaps this new system has some kinks to work out.

For all that buildup, this is going to be a pretty lame post. I have in my brain a link to share with you, one I hope you will enjoy. John Wick (author of many, many games that I've referenced in many, many posts, and I'm too tired from wrangling hormonal teenagers to make new references) has taken a comission to create several NPCs for an upcoming RPG project. In his second-most-recent post, he talks about a fascinating potential consequence of magical healing and resurrection. Check it out.

A more substantive post about dreams and stories (and several other posts, too) coming (hopefully) soon.