If you’ve been reading this website – somebody, anybody….. – then you may have noticed that there’s a new story been posted called Alien Interviews (go check it out on the stories page, it’s there).
When you click on this link, rather than going to another page on this website, with my ‘cool’ title ‘artwork’ it goes to another site altogether: www.abctales.com. This is my first foray into using “free-to-internet, publish-what-you-like” (terms I think I made up) websites. And I have to say that I’ve been fairly happy so far. Thirty-eight people have read my story last I checked (and only three of them were me checking the layout etc), there have been two comments, both saying nice stuff, and although I couldn’t find out exactly what the cherries mean I think they might be a good thing.
Abc Tales seems like a good site: you keep all rights (relatively standard) and it looks fairly well-organised. There’s plenty of genre categories, as well as competitions and regular themes (under the heading “Inspiration Point”) and since one of the nice people who wrote comments said I should post something again soon, maybe I will…….
So what is the milestone at which you decide you can consider yourself a real writer? Completion of your first story? Completion of a first novel? Maybe it’s the first thing you submit for publication? Or does only publication itself (I hope not) count?
Got my first couple of rejection letters recently – one the day after the other – from Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Apex magazine. Not that they should come as a surprise or anything – how many writers get the first thing they submit published? Was still a tiny bit hopeful when I saw the emails in my inbox though.
I think this is the milestone (at least for now) that I’m going to say separates the amateur from the would-be professional. Now I can say that I think I’m finally doing this for real.
So Pavlov’s dogs vs Schrodinger’s cat has turned out to be a piece of flash fiction of 795 words about a couple of scientists exprementing with controlling dogs by stimulating their brains. The stimulus sounds somewhat like a bell, and salivating is one side effect. They want to catch the cat – and eat it – but when they all race into an alley, out of the view of cameras, who knows if the cat’s alive or dead?
Moving on – rather slowly – with this bestselling-author career of mine, I’ve sent another couple of stories off: to Apex magazine and Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
Apex (I think) were once a print market but are now electronic only (except for some print anthologies). You can read most of their stories on their website (www.apexbookcompany.com), but get a few extra if you purchase a copy or subscribe. Not a bad system.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, display all material for free on their website (www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com), they’re “literary adventure fantasy” set on other worlds – a niche that seems kind of under-represented out there, and exactly what I’m looking for.
And so, as since 365 Tomorrows, the waiting game continues……
In the meantime, I’m about to embark on a new short story with the working title “This Darkness.” It’ll probably be pretty short, about the secret life of the things that go bump in the night. And speaking of titles (sort of) I wonder what I could do with “Pavlov’s Dogs vs Schrodinger’s Cat.” Hmm…..
I discovered by chance the other day that amongst the formatting that doesn’t seem to copy from Open Office to WordPress is scene breaks. By scene breaks I just mean the extra blank line between scenes in my stories. Even tried putting them in manually in WordPress, but no luck. The problem is fixed with a # mark now to mark where scenes break – maybe one day I’ll create a little symbol or something in GIMP to put there instead – or a mini illustation if I ever get good at art.
Ah, well, dreams are free.
Also discovered that some of the links to my stories are linking to the same story on my test website. Luckily tech support – and by that I mean my beloved husband – was able to fix that problem. So all is good. Full steam ahead…..
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
So the single step of today is this: a small step for man, a drop in the ocean for mankind, but today I submitted my first story to an actual market. Not a paying market as such, but the website is still pretty cool.
I’m talking about: www.365tomorrows.com
This is a website that publishes a piece of Sci-Fi flash fiction every day of the year, and has been doing so since 2005. They seem to have staff writers as well as accepting stories by submission. It’s a simple story (given the 600 word limit it sort of has to be really) about making the right decision. So here’s hoping. It takes somewhere between four weeks and four months to hear back, so keeping reading I guess…..