Six Hundred Sixty Six Bottles of Blood on the Wall: June Update 1
Before I start, I want to sincerely thank anyone out there who checked out any of the links and stories I posted last week. I hope you enjoyed them.
I’m writing this post Friday afternoon. I’m not sure when it will be posted as I have a feeling the Grand Master of the HorrorTree is going to be a little busy over the next few weeks and probably the rest of his life 😉
So here’s an update: I’m waaaaaaaaaaay behind, but for good reason. Last week I bet that I’d his 50,000 words in the month of June. As it stands, as I write this, I’m at a meager 5,000 words. BUT I did say that I wouldn’t include revision, editing, blogs or correspondence. I owe a couple different places edits and there were a couple polishes that I needed to do to meet guidelines/deadlines. I’ve also been reading like crazy which is great for a writer, but not a writer working full time trying to hit 50k.
Oh and I almost forgot, I just started a brand new job (not writing related #sadface) with more hours and more responsibilities. But have no fear; I’m plan on fucking 50,000 words up and then some.
Here’s what I’ve been working on. Last Saturday I wrote and edited and submitted a flash fiction story of about 1,000 words to a 24 hours flash fiction contest. I didn’t win, probably didn’t even come close, but I did it and now I’ve got a story that I can either expand or rewrite/edit for another market. I’ll take it. Here’s a link to the winner http://horrornovelreviews.com/2013/06/05/and-the-winner-of-the-flash-fiction-contest-is/
I’m also working on a story for “Strange Critters: Unusual Creatures of Appalachia,” edited by one of my first ever writing buddies, Frank Larnerd. Without saying too much, I found a unique, real critter that populates the area and I’m going to make it a real asshole. I’ve got 2,000 words written on that story and just need to finish it, edit it, and send it off.
One of the stories I’ve spent time polishing when I should’ve been writing new stuff is called “Only the Good Die Young.” It’s the only story that I wrote as an undergrad years ago that I still think is any good. It’s been rejected more times than me, drunk at a bar, but I’ve given it a heavy re-write and written a new ending. We’ll see what happens. I’m sending it to Serial Killers Tres Tria. I love this story and I refuse to quit on it.
In addition to that, I’ve also started a werewolf story, I think I’ve got a fresh idea, but I hate werewolves and think they’re stupid. I don’t know much about them and it’s a challenge for me to try and write a werewolf story. That deadline is coming up fast and I’d love to make it. And to show you how cool I think my idea is, I’ll tell you about one I rejected: I hate werewolves and don’t watch movies, so maybe this has already been done and I don’t know. But wouldn’t it be something if terrorists or whoever couldn’t sneak weapons onto an airplane, but they could fly a loyal werewolf to hijack the plane during a full moon? To any TSA agent reading this that wants to flag me, I’m talking about a fucking werewolf. Calm down. I rejected that idea because I think I’ve got a similar, yet better one. We’ll see if I can get it done on time.
I’ve also got an idea for the upcoming anthology “The Sea” which will be an expansion of a flash fiction story that I wrote for a publisher that is currently on my shitlist. They won’t be there forever, but I think it’s worth mentioning as a heads up to other, especially novice writers. This kind of stuff does happen. I don’t really hold grudges, and I won’t name names, but suffice it to say for a recent anthology, _________________ didn’t even send out rejections (or at least not to a bunch of people). I think quite a few people found out their stories got rejected when they saw pictures of the finished product posted on Facebook. I’m not whining about getting rejected, happens all the time, but I still think that’s kind of fucked up. I haven’t heard their side of the story, and I’ll submit to them again, but I just really hope it’s the exception and not the rule. I understand that occasionally a story or two might slip through the cracks. Given this situation, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case.
If this continues to happen to happen at ______________ I won’t submit to them again or *gasp* BUY THEIR BOOKS, and I’ll encourage others to do the same. There are too many great magazines and small presses out there to waste time with ones that won’t even take the time to tell you that your story sucked. I’ll take a form rejection over a “here’s the final product and your name isn’t in the table of contents. Fuck you” rejection 11 times out of 10.
Hell even blog post, Facebook update or a tweet would’ve worked. “Hey all who submitted, we were swamped and behind and didn’t get to all the stories. If you haven’t heard from us by now, you didn’t make the cut. Sorry for the mistake but we were up against a deadline and to release a quality product we didn’t get to all submissions. Please consider us again in the future and good luck placing your stories elsewhere.” I don’t know, something like that would’ve been easy, quick, and a lot more courteous. And if there was, and I and several other writers missed it, I apologize for us all.
Ok. I’m over it. And like I said, I don’t hate this press or anyone involved with them, shit happens, but hopefully shit like this doesn’t happen again.
Regardless, I’m going to turn that flash story into a short story for “The Sea.”
On top of all that I’m working on a story about a black cat. I think this is heading to novella territory but we’ll see. This isn’t aimed at any specific market and I think it’s important for all of you reading this to not only write for the markets that you see on HT or anywhere else, but also write the stories that you want to tell. I fucking hate cats, I’m allergic, but a stray black one stole my heart in the middle of the night as I was crushing beers and writing on the front porch this week. It got me thinking and I can’t say anymore that this right now, but I think I’ve got a solid idea for a story. Don’t know where it’s going to end up or if I’ll even finish it, but I’m 1,200 words in and it’s got a little potential. I named the cat Slasher in real life and in my story.
I like writing about stuff that happens to me. Most writers probably do this, but here’s a free tip, take your experiences, conversations, ideas, people in your lives and twist it, make it extreme, amp it up to level 10 and turn that shit into a story. Don’t write it word for word, that’s a dick move that’ll probably get your ass kicked sooner or later, but if you fictionalize it, it’s cathartic and it’s authentic.
I did that with a story called “Don’t Call Me When He Tries To Kill You” and I’m working on edits from the publisher over the weekend. I desperately want to give a shout out to this publisher, but I don’t know if I’m allowed to at this point. I’ll write a whole post about them when I can because they are fucking awesome. They’ve been great to me and I really want to see them continued to succeed. Gimme a couple weeks and I’ll hook y’all up.
So this is what I’ve been working on for the first part of my 50,000 word goal for June. I’m behind, but I’m behind for good reason. And I’ll hit that mark or wear a t-shirt proposed by my good buddy Kevin Bufton that says “Kerry G.S. Lipp can’t make it past (word count I hit under 50,000) in a month” on the front and “or maintain a satisfactory erection” on the back. I might lose on purpose because that shirt would be hysterical. I’ll wear it to WHC 2014.
But I’m gonna hit 50k and this is why. Here comes another KGSL serious moment. I’m just going to copy and paste from my post on Facebook because I don’t think I can say it any better.
This week I took the toughest rejection of my young writing life thus far. It wasn’t a mean one, just a tough one. And I doubt I’ll be in a position to take such a tough one for a long time. I made the short list for my first professional market, but I learned this week that my story was the shittiest of the best.
**** before you read the following know that I blanked out the name of my story and the publisher. I don’t need anyone knowing the name of my story or the name of this publisher who I really REALLY like and has been great to me so far. It is NOT the same one that I blanked out before. Underscores are just the best way to leave names out.
Anyway, this is what they sent me, and this was my own personal response/reaction that I posted on Facebook:
Got this today,
“Thank you again for submitting to ________________. We appreciate the
time and effort you put into this piece and are grateful that you trusted
us with your work. Unfortunately, after much review, we have decided that
“_____________________” is not the right fit for this
anthology. You made our shortlist from more than 500 submissions and we
hope you consider subbing to us in the future.”
I haven’t posted about rejection lately because to be honest I haven’t gotten a whole lot of them. But I like the transparency I have on FB, so here’s recent rejection. This one hurts. This acceptance would’ve cracked my first professional market. But not this time.
After the initial hurt subsided, my thoughts weren’t “I quit” or “Fuck them” they were: Look how far I’ve come in just 1 year and more importantly:
IT’S TIME TO GET BETTER.
Great fuel for this 50,000 word June goal.
*end Facebook post.
So guess what HT? IT’S FUCKING TIME TO GET BETTER.
Get better with me. I’ll take all the help I can get. Good luck in your writing, don’t get angry when you get rejected, even when they forget to send that rejection and DON’T QUIT. This shit’s a lot like going to the gym. A motivating group or partner will help you out and take you a long way. Just don’t get caught up in talking too much about what you’re trying to accomplish. That cripples your opportunity for achievement.
Here I am:
New world horror – Kerry G.S. Lipp on Facebook.
Motivate me and I’ll shove you right back. It’s go time
Keep reading, keep writing, and keep it real,