A tough one…

About half an hour ago I finally submitted my story to Misha’s 21st Century Anthology. Writing it was quite the experience. Most of it not really positive but overall quite eye opening.

It took me two whole months to write and submit this story. Realistically much less than that because what I submitted was the final product of numerous false starts and abandoned projects. But that’s beside the point, taking two months to submit a pulp story falls squarely in the Fail camp.

I reflected on what caused me to spiral into such a negative mood, where I just didn’t feel like writing at all and identified two issues. First, I don’t like writing in the present world. I don’t like urban fantasy very much and as soon as you add the fantastic to a modern day story it leans towards the UF subgenre. I prefer writing in fantasy or fantasy-tinged historical settings, filled with mysticism and wonder. Writing in the 21st century made it very hard for me to grasp that feeling. pulp-fiction-coffee

The second issue is that I suck at writing to spec. I told myself I would write for this submission becoming over-focused to the point where I felt guilty when not working on this story. I write the best when I scatter around between stories, following whatever mood and idea I’m currently into then matching my story to submission guidelines instead of writing for the guideline.

I think from now on I’m going to write. If one of my stories matches what a submission wants I will send it. But writing with a magazine or anthology in mind does not suit me.

But now that I actually finished the piece and sent it I feel relieved. I can’t wait to read the final anthology, with or without my story in it.

Read Storyhack!

Storyhack Action & Adventure Issue #0 has been out for about a week. If you haven’tStoryhack0 read it yet, stop what you are doing and pick it up. My story, A Tiger in the Garden, is the cover story. It’s an action-packed Musket & Magic story taking place in a far off fantasy jungle colony. The other stories are equally great, detective werewolves, ex-military vigilantes, and a Sword and Sorcery story about a reanimated Goliath.

Pick up Issue #0 for free here in whatever digital format you prefer. If you enjoy the stories, please take the time to write a review on Amazon and on Goodreads. Reviews are critical, especially for independent publications and new writers.

Most importantly, please support the Kickstarter. The idea behind it is that Issue #0 is a proof of concept, illustrating the direction and potential for an ongoing magazine. So if you want more awesome action and adventure throw a few bucks towards the Kickstarter and support the Pulp Revolution.

Short Fiction

I am convinced that there is a direct correlation between short fiction and innovation in fiction, both in the styles of individual authors and in fiction styles as a whole. In Speculative Fiction, there can be said to be four primary movements within the 20th Century–Pulp, Hard SF, New Wave, and Cyberpunk. Each of them […]

via Short Fiction, or “What Needs To Happen Next” — mishaburnett

Misha’s posts are always thought provoking. I’m really into the peer-published anthology concept and currently working on a story to submit to his 21st Century Action Fiction. It’s about time we look at different publishing models and improve on the old format.

 

Writing Update: March 2017

I just finished the first draft of my latest story, An Eye for Eligos. A dark musket and magic tale set during the American Revolution, where I attempted to channel the darker aspects of Howard’s writing. Violence, black magic, sinister monstrosities, all of the pulpy stuff I enjoy.

I did a quick editing pass, then read it to my wife. She usually mercilessly tears my stuff apart so her input is priceless. She liked it but pointed out that it was darker, a whole lot darker,  than my usual stuff.

Tomorrow I’m going to run a few more in-depth passes, let it sit, then send it to WotF. The contest right now is a bit of a placeholder, I don’t particularly feel that this piece will place, mostly due to its horror vibe and the higher level of violence. But that’s ok because I wrote it for my planned story collection that will have a dark sorcerous pulp theme.

I also intended to knock out something for the Baen contest but I don’t think I will make the deadline. I might dig through my digital closet and pull out some old story, spiff it up real quick, and hope it magically impresses.

This weekend I will begin on something for the 21st Action Pulp anthology I posted earlier. Something about Mexico, tequila, cartels, Santa Muerte, and mustaches.  When that’s done I’m planning on moving on to space babes, sentient techno-bears, and space mutants, something I believe will be sent to Cirsova if it opens up.

In between all of this I will try to squeeze in some blog posts. I devoured a bunch of Leiber, read Vance’s Lyonesse, and have Cirsova 5 loaded on my Kindle. Posts need to be written and discussions need to be started

An anthology I will be submitting to.

We are looking for 21st Century Pulp Revival stories. Who’s we? Well, there’s me, Rawle Nyanzi, Kevyn Winkless, and Sky Hernstrom. There is also a good chance that, once complete, the anthology will be published by Superversive Press. Right now payment details haven’t been worked out, but I’ll be honest, this collection is not likely […]

via 21st Century Wonder Stories: Call For Submissions — mishaburnett

A Good Day

toryshighball.jpgI woke up this morning, checked my phone, and was greeted with a fresh rejection email. Not a big deal, rejections are part of the game. But this one was cool, it was a detailed, personal one. Something about getting a more in-depth reply makes the experience a bit more pleasant and motivates me to continue messing around with the submission game.

But the highlight of my day came while I was at work. My favorite story got accepted. Not only that, but it got accepted exactly where I wanted it to go. The market I sent it to matches the style of my writing and the story is a perfect fit. I look forward to sharing more details when everything is finalized.

Cheers!

Writing Goals

The last couple of weeks I have been writing on and off, working my way through some short stories. I have two pieces out for submission right now that I am excited about and hope to get back this week. Most importantly my writing and my outlook on short fiction are revitalized. I am 100% into the pulp revolution and digging deep into old Fantasy fiction. The community inspired by Jeffro’s Appendix N, the discussions, the debates, and the reading recommendations, is hands down some of the best writing inspiration I have ever come across. I’m excited to take all this inspiration and put it down on paper, bringing my own ideas and concepts to the table.

Mura

My spirit animal. 

 

Right now I’m aiming for some fast and heavy writing. My short term goal is to submit to Writers of the Future and The Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. Both contests have an April 1st deadline. That means I need to sit down and knock out up to 25,000 words in the next two weeks. An achievable goal, but one that will be tough with my work schedule.

My mid-term goal, one that I want to accomplish by the end of the year is the indy release of a short story collection. I want to put out a 40,000 to 60,000-word collection, of my pulpiest fantasy stories. I want to do it indy and punk rock garage band style. I’m already putting together some outlines, picking my favorite topics, and coming up with some crazy crap. The pulp rev guys have inspired me, especially reading Hernstrom’s Thune’s Vison. A badass, indy published collection of fantastic stories.

I plan on having a productive spring and summer.

 

Writing and Chinatown

cat

So after a long burst of non-stop work, I am finally on vacation. Tomorrow Judy and I will go on our first vacation since moving to Japan.  We will be flying to Taiwan, where we will be doing a bunch of exploring, a bunch of drinking, and lots and lots of eating.

Besides being excited about our upcoming trip. I’m feeling good because these last few days I managed to actually sit down and write a lot. I finished and edited a great Pulp Fiction story that I’m really proud of. It has jungles, muskets, powdered wigs, shapeshifters, and sorceresses. I also started the outline for my next story. I’m really aiming for a lot of writing this year.

We also managed to get to our local Chinatown for a few drinks, a bit of the Lunar Festival, and some exploring. Check out that crazy cat building. I don’t want to know what horrors go on inside.

Attempting to Define the Pulp Revolution: What It Is and What It Is Not

The Pulp Revolution and the focus on Appendix N fiction are to me the most exciting thing out in SF&F right now. It has greatly influenced my current writing by inspiring me to go back and apply the same adventure and excitement from my childhood imagination to new and modern themes.

The “Pulp Revolution” seems to be met with confusion, misunderstanding, and conflation when those unfamiliar with what is going on first catch wind of it. As such, I wanted to try to def…

Source: Attempting to Define the Pulp Revolution: What It Is and What It Is Not

Near Mt. Fuji

My work week was a bit atypical. I got the opportunity to fill in at one of our branch clinics, so I took it. The benefit, of course, was that the branch clinic was at the base of Mt. Fuji. So, my week was cold and mostly boring but I had a majestic view of the old man.

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The weekend was mostly mellow. We went walked around and visited nearby Godzilla Park. Godzilla is a giant slide btw. Drank a few whiskey highballs, ate some ramen, and relaxed around the house.

The majority of today was spent re-editing a pulp fantasy story I wrote a long time ago and decided to finally prepare for submission. I keep struggling with deciding the best course of action for my short stories. Should I attempt to constantly submit them in the hope of publication in a semi-pro or pro market or should I bundle them and attempt the self-publish route.

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The idea of professionalism through established publications appeals to me. Yet, reading all the SFF magazines I can’t ignore the fact that none of them publish the kind of stuff I read or write.