Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Rejection That's Making Me Rethink This Whole Writing Thing

More proof that it's not the clarity of my writing, it's other things. A fairy story of mine has been turned down yet again. Here is what the latest rejecting editor said about the story:

"What I liked: Cleanly written. Solid characters and realistic dialogue.

Why I rejected: The story felt too predictable... There's not a huge amount of tension, and the pacing feels off..."

That's at least the second time this story has received the dreaded criticism of "too predictable". It's not the way I write so much as it's what I write.

I might be better off sticking to art. As I've said before, this writing thing is getting me nowhere.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Poem Accepted for Publication in October DEATH HEAD GRIN

In better news...

Looks like my dark poem "Never Ending Struggle" has been accepted for publication in the October issue of DEATH HEAD GRIN.

Singing the Rejection Blues, Again (With Comments)

My story's been rejected
They say it's no damned good
My story's been rejected
It's never gonna find a home

My story's been rejected
Again, and again, and again.
My story's been rejected
And now my heart is broke

My story's been rejected
And I ain't gonna write no more
no more
Ain't gonna write no more
no more
Ain't gonna write
no more

Got a story rejection with feedback from four different readers. One of four readers really liked the story and thought it was very cute. The other three had rather different opinions. They thought the story was too predictable/didn't take enough risks/had a weak conflict/was a weak story.

Hmm. Could be real flaws. However, at least one of the readers critical of the work also said it "has too much of a fairy tale feel to it". Um, it's a tale about the fairies, a story based on a true Irish ghost tale of years ago. It's supposed to have a fairy tale feel to it. It's supposed to feel like the tales the seanchaithe would tell. That was my intent.

One reader, the one who liked the story, did say something about there being some misspellings. I thought that comment was interesting. I wonder, did the reader realise that I tend to use UK spellings? Most of what I read has been penned by British or Anglophile authors. The UK spellings have rubbed off on me.

This prose writing thing is getting me nowhere fast. I can write poems editors like well enough to publish. I can write non-fiction articles that editors like well enough to publish. I can even compose artworks editors like well enough to publish. With only a few exceptions, I simply can't seem to write prose fiction that editors like well enough to publish. I can't seem to write the prose fiction editors want for their zines. I thought I could. Based on my success with poetry and non-fiction, I really thought I might be able to write publishable prose fiction, too. Apparently, I was wrong.

That was the ninth rejection for the fairy story in question, tenth if you count the time a market released it back to me because they retrospectively closed to submissions. I'll dutifully send the story back out there, but at this point, I don't know why I should bother. My time might be better spent on other things.

And I really wanted to be a writer of prose fiction, too. Unfortunately, the gatekeepers aren't allowing me through that particular gate. I guess I have to settle for poet/writer of non-fiction/artist/illustrator. I guess I can't have it all.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Illustration Published in PLASMA FREQUENCY, Issue 1

The premiere issue of Plasma Frequency has been released. My illustration for Nyki Blatchley's story "Aslahkar" appears within. You can view it if you download a free electronic edition of the zine. Better still, to fully appreciate the illustration, purchase a print copy for $9.99. My art often looks best in print.

This was an interesting illustration to compose. The editor gave me a general idea of what he wanted, but the details of the composition are my own. I think the figures are some of my most emotive yet. Their poses communicate certain emotions, setting the scene emotionally.

This one also demanded a lot of perspective work in the background. I may have fudged the perspective a bit, but the background works. It actually took me longer to draw the background than it took me to draw the figures.

I know artists often think this of their latest works, but my illustration for "Aslahkar" is one of my best yet. Check it out for yourself, and see if you agree.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Reprint Poem Accepted for Publication in BETE NOIRE

My reprint dark poem "My Darkly Dear Leanan-Sidhe" has been accepted for publication in Bete Noire. The poem, a series of four cinquains, originally appeared in the August 2010 issue of Sounds of the Night.

In the acceptance e-mail, the editors of Bete Noire said they loved the imagery of the poem. Being a visual artist as well as a poet, I think I have a particularly keen sense of imagery. I try to use that keen sense of imagery when writing my verse.

Now, to print up, fill in, and send off that contract!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another for HUNGUR

Looks like a poem I wrote to go with art I had previously sent to Hungur has been accepted for publication in that zine. Well, the editor says she loves the poem, anyway. More details, like what issue, when they become available.

"Adrift in Another Dimension" in Dreams and Nightmares 92

This past Friday, I received my contributor's copies of Dreams & Nightmares 92. My weird sci-fi filler artwork "Adrift in Another Dimension" appears on page 12. The artwork is in my bold black and white style. It contains elements similar to the elements in some of my other works, like "Wander the Ether/Ethereal Journey". However, I think the composition in "Adrift in Another Dimension", with the elements streaming toward a point in the centre, is especially effective and dramatic.

This is my fourth piece of filler artwork published in Dreams & Nightmares. A fifth has been accepted and is awaiting publication in a forthcoming issue. A sixth is awaiting a final "yea" or "nay".  I'm hoping to compose more filler art for submission to Dreams & Nightmares in the near future, once a rather protracted move is finally over and done with (am in the middle of the move right now).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Plug for Sam's Dot

Even though some may shun them for not necessarily paying pro or semi-pro rates, I've always found the various editors at Sam's Dot to be decent, reasonable, folk, who've always acted in a professional manner. I highly recommend the various Sam's Dot publications. Of course, I'm a bit biased; I've had a number of pieces published in various Sam's Dot publications, and continue to see my works accepted by several different Sam's Dot editors. As a matter of fact, my very first acceptance for publication in a zine was from J. Alan Erwine, for the publication of my poem "Explorers" in the September 2007 issue of The Fifth Di... So, you see, Sam's Dot Publishing got my roll a rolling.

So, thanks to all you Sam's Dot editors who've kept the roll rolling, who've given me the encouragement to keep going, who've actually made me believe in the worth of my creative endeavours. You know who you are!

Poem and Art Accepted for Dec 2012 AOIFE'S KISS

Another acceptance, this time, a double...

My poem "Pixies in the Porridge" and its accompanying illustration have both been accepted for publication in the December 2012 issue of Aoife's Kiss. Once the "Pixies in the Porridge" poem and illustration have been published in December, that will be the second time a poetry/art combo of mine has appeared within the pages of that particular publication. The first one ("Gothic Window") was also in December, way back in December 2007 .

"Pixies in the Porridge" is a series of three haiku. One of the haiku has appeared previously on my blogs, but the whole series of three has not. I added the other two haiku and composed the illustration so I could include the poem and art in a fairy poetry collaboration. Alas, the publication of the collaborative anthology never got off the ground, so my collaborators and I decided to use our works separately.

I'm especially glad that "Pixies in the Porridge" has found a good home. It's a fun poem/art combo; the editor called it "entertaining". It's also lighter than many of my works, exploring the mischievous rather than the malignant side of the fairy realm. As much as I'm adept at penning darker works, I don't want to spend all of my time in the dark.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Poem Accepted for Publication in THE SCAREALD

My dark poem "Redcap of Dunnor Peel" (not to be confused with my horror short story "The Redcap of Glamtallon") has been accepted for publication in the October issue of The Scareald. Yes, this is the second time I've written about a redcap. I couldn't resist writing a poem about that gruesome border goblin; I think the redcap is a particularly creepy creature of fairy lore. While there are similarities between poem and story, mostly due to the fact that redcaps reside in certain places and behave in certain ways, each one covers somewhat different ground. At least, I hope they do.

An interesting, if useless, bit of information: the redcap poem will be published first, even though I wrote the redcap story over a year before I penned the poem.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Poem Accepted for Publication in Night to Dawn #23

Received word that my poem "Weretiger", a sort of horrorku series, has been accepted for publication in issue 23 of Night to Dawn. Another work that had been included in at least one version of the ill-fated dark poetry collection will finally see publication, in print nevertheless. Thank goodness!