Wednesday, June 30, 2010

X Marks the Spot

You know when I started out I didn't understand exactly what a treasure hunt looking for a market can be. In my naivety I thought it was simple, write a brilliant story or book, send it out to the publisher of your choice and viola! A published manuscript would appear. :-) Ha I say, HA!

Any number of things can keep your brilliant piece from being accepted at one place or another. Maybe the imagery is too intense for that particular magazine, perhaps the brilliant plot twist you had was similar to one recently acquired by the magazine, maybe the thing just doesn't tickle the fancy of that particular editor that day. Heck maybe it just really isn't a good fit for that one magazine or anthology. Anything is possible.

But don't give up! For heavens sakes don't give up. For all the reasons that your story may not be accepted the same amount of things can get your piece accepted. then sometimes you look and look and just cant seem to find a market that fits your story. Good News! there are ALWAYS new markets coming around.

Case in point. I've wanted to write a story for a while now about someone with the same religious background as me in a purely speculative fiction setting. I haven't done it. Why? Because frankly the places I've seen that take speculative fiction generally frown on having religion as a core point in it. And the places that take the Religious stuff don't take speculative fiction. I thought it was a waste of my time to write it.

Then last night, looking at markets for a totally different story of mine, I ran across an anthology taking subs for EXACTLY that! I AM SO EXCITED!! I can't wait for another few hours to pass so I can tell a friend of mine who I know has been looking for something similar.

So don't give up. If something you have isn't getting accepted, keep polishing and keep looking. It's just a matter of time till you find that right market and get that acceptance letter. And share those markets my friends. If you've been looking for them then someone else has too. and if you dont already have these websites book marked I highly recomend doing it. Duotrope and Ralan's make market research so much easier.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pass on the vinegar, PLEASE!

I've said before how you have to be several different people to be a writer. Sensitive, determined, and rhino hide all in one. There's one person though that you don't ever want to be, EVER! and that's the pissy negative one.

It's beneficial to be humble. It sure helps a lot when those rejection slips come in. But realizing you can improve your work and obsessing over the thought that it just isn't going to ever hack it are two TOTALLY different things. There are a lot of people writing out there. Thousands of folks scribble down ideas and send them into editors hoping to have those ideas ensconced in the immortal realm of published material. and you know what? Its true that there are people out there who never will be published. But if you're serious about wanting it, and willing to work hard and to learn, then you most likely will get published.

And when you're sending out your stuff, praying for it to join that ascended realm, remember that the world of publishers and editors is a small one. taking a pissy attitude of "my work is going to be published my way and I'll break any rules I want to!" will make it ten times more likely that you wont be published. Read the writers guidelines my friends. Then FOLLOW the guidelines!

I know it can be frustrating to trim your story or expand it or only send it to one publisher at a time. Heck no one ever accused me of being a patient person. :-) But like it or not editors have to allocate their time and they aren't just looking at your work or my work. They have lots of other writers too. Like the old saying goes You'll catch more flys with honey than vinegar. So pass on the vinegar, please?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hooray for Steampunk!

So you've probably heard me mention Steampunk before. I love it! its great fun and class and grit all rolled into one. But being an emerging concept I think I'd be remiss if I didn't try and put together my views on what Steampunk is.

Plus I cant very well have you all be my little Steampunk minions if you don't know what it is. ;-)

So if you go by the all knowing ever infallible Wiki, Steampunk is "a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy, that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s."

Accurate, but dry. Steampunk to me is taking the simple complexity of steam and clockwork power and mixing it with the capabilities of our technology and even beyond. It's a genre of fiction, yes. I very much enjoy writing in this genre, in fact I'm developing a serial story concept based on a Steampunk time traveler. But boy is Steampunk more than that.

What started as some eccentric writings in the 80's has exploded into the world to take on not only literature, but art, music, fashion, and technology. One of my favorite bits about this Steampunk movement is the attitude of do it yourself. There are people out there who have made so many things Steampunk its crazy! a lot of it is pretty rough shod I'll grant you, but some of it is exquisite craftsmanship and imagination of the highest caliber.

So if you want to look at this a bit more here's a few links I really enjoy that you might find entertaining. Heck if nothing else it could inspire you to write a piece on those crazy nut jobs in top hats. ;-)

1. The Steampunk Workshop This is the place I first found the name for this style I've loved for decades.

2. Girl Genius This is a great web comic that is ALL Steampunk. Brass and gears and mad science all delivered with great art and humor. I check it out every day it updates.

3. Abney Park Holy cow, I can't tell you how much I enjoy this band! My two Favorites by them are Sleep Isabella and Herr Drosselmeyer's Doll. I listen to these guys incessantly lately as I'm writing.

4. Datamancer Another great tinkerer with an amazing knack for taking things modern and giving them an antique elegance and mystique.

5. Steampunk Emporium As soon as I get a few bucks to spare I am seriously buying a whole getup from here.

6. A Gentleman's Duel This has got to be the funniest thing I've seen Steampunk.

7. Steampunk Literature This is a list of books that fit in Steampunk. I haven't read most of them but the classics I definitely have and a few of the newer titles. Needless to say I'm working on adding my own work to this list. ;-)

8. Dr. Steel No Steampunk list would be complete without a mad scientist in the mix. His music is OK but I love his videos on YouTube.

Obviously this isn't a complete list of all things Steampunk. Heck, it's still such a fluid concept that one person's idea of Steampuink can be completely different from another person's.

So what's your take on it? Do you know Steampunk and have something to add? Whats your impression of it if you've just found it? Any other intriguing sub-cultures you know of? Speak up in the comments. :-)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Weird Yet Wonderful

I ran across this the other day and it just had to be shared. Its fun, interesting, and slightly disturbing all at once. Just as I think my writing should be.

So enjoy Brad W. Fosters's Corner of the Weird

If you know of something fun, odd, or eccentric please post it in comments! I love finding new gems of insanity. :-D

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lincoln, Lee, and ... Aliens?

Hello everybody!

So, History has always fascinated me. Normally I go for the medieval on back, but recently the Victorian era has caught my mind. And as always my brain wasnt happy to just see what happened. It had to twist it into all kinds of what if's. Hopefully some more published stories will be coming out of it.

Now what should be handed to me by my head editor the other day but something from somebody whose mind, apparently, did a similar twisting of history! A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor by Robert G. Pielke.

I cant wait to read this one. Check out it's book trailer, then you can read the first few pages of A New Birth of Freedom : The Visitor

I must apologize for my absence. Just as I was getting ready to start back up in earnest on here my computer decided to go through a major makeover. Thankfully it is limping along again and I plan on making this place live a little again.