Back in the Saddle

At the beginning of the month, I posted my goals for the year in one of the forums on Scribophile. Of course, I said I was going to write and submit more. But I also mentioned that I wanted to get back to writing regular posts for this blog.

So here I am. Nice to see you again.

For this entry, I thought I would keep it simple and just inform readers about what I’ve been up to lately.

  • Since November, I’ve been working on a horror story that’s right now is roughly 6,000 words long. I won’t talk too much about this now because I’m planning on making it the subject of a future blog post.
  • I completed a fiction piece that I began around this time last year and submitted it for publication.
  • I also finished a new poem I had started in December and submitted it for publication.
  • I began some experimental pieces. I’m not sure how successful these will turn out, but it’s been fun trying new forms.
  • Speaking of Scribophile, I had been absent from it during most of the fall, but I returned to it in late December. Since then, I’ve posted some of the new works mentioned above and critiqued poems and stories by others. As I’ve mentioned before, Scribophile is a valuable resource for writers. If you’re interested in improving your writing and meeting other writers, you should definitely check it out. (In case you’re wondering, no, I don’t work for them.)

That’s it for now. What have you been up to lately? Please tell me about it in the comments.

New Year Giveaway

The Daily Rejection Blog is having a giveaway with some cool gifts. Check out the site for more details.

The Daily Rejection (A Writer's Woe)

Hey Guys!

Just want to let you know that I appreciate each and every one of my readers. To show you just how much, I’d like to share something with you on this Share it Saturday…. A giveaway! What we have here is a pretty sweet writer’s gift basket that was assembled thanks to ample holiday generosity.

The $100 value gift basket includes a “Writer’s Block” notebook, a “Writer Emergency” card pack, an “I write, what’s your superpower?” mug, and a USB color-changing “book” light (it’s made of wood and opens and closes like a real book).

Since my posts have been slightly more sparse thanks to a hectic start to the new year, I’m looking to my readers for inspiration. So, to win the gift basket, the rules are simple:

  1. Be a follower of The Daily Rejection.
  2. Send me a 1-2 sentence story prompt by Friday, January 20th. Anything at…

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New Poems

Last week, not only were two of my fiction pieces published, but I had a total of eleven (!) poems published, too. Five of them were published in Five 2 One Magazine‘s special Election Week edition of #thesideshow.

Another poem, Martyr, was published in Boston Accent Lit.

And last but certainly not least, five more poems were published in Anti-Heroin Chic.

All of these are great publications. I would encourage you to check out other things they’ve published and follow them all on Twitter and Facebook.

Oh, I would also encourage you to submit to them.

New Flash Fiction

After a bit of a dry spell, I have a few new pieces published, and I’ll have more next week.

The first is A Swan’s Memory, a short fiction piece that the good folks at Mad Swirl were kind enough to publish.

The second is The Empty Cage, another short fiction piece that found a home (or a nest, since a bird plays a primary role in the story) in the always great Foliate Oak Literary Magazine. I had originally a version of this for a contest in the Summer of ’15 but later re-wrote it with the help from my friends in Scribophile, so I would like give a big “THANK YOU” to them.

I hope you enjoy the stories. Please feel free to let you know how you like them in the comments.

A Good Rejection

In my last post, I mentioned that August was not the greatest month in terms of my writing. Well, since then, I received three more rejections, bringing my grand total for August up to 11. This is a case where turning it up to 11 is not a good thing.

Yes, rejections sting. No matter how many times you get published, that email saying “we’re going to pass” or that red “Declined” next to your submission in Submittable is always painful.

Yet, believe it or not, there was one rejection I received last month that later turned into an acceptance. And no, it wasn’t a case of an editor changing his or her mind or the result of some kind of black magic.

I simply submitted some poems to a new journal, which we’ll call Journal A. This new pub specializes in poetry that is weird and unusual. At the time, Journal A only had one poem posted, so they didn’t have many examples of what they were looking for. Even though I was unsure whether my poems were a good fit for them, I decided to give it a shot anyway.

In a little over an hour, I received an email from the editors. It was one of these “we enjoyed the poems but they’re not for us” type of emails. (I’m not going to post the whole letter because there are parts of it that may give away the publication.) I’ve received these before, but this one had something different:

We highly recommend sending your poems to [Journal B] they publish poems that are brilliantly executed but slightly off normal, We are confident they would find a place for your excellent poems.

Of course, I sent my poems to Journal B right away. Three hours and twelve minutes later, they accepted one of my poems, which will be published in November.

Now, for those new to submitting work for publication, this doesn’t happen too often. Editors may wish you the best of luck in trying to find another home for your story or poem, but they usually don’t recommend which pub you should try next. In fact, this was my first time I had received such an email, and it may be the last.

Still, this is a good reminder that sometimes we get rejected not because our work is bad but because it may not fit a publication’s aesthetic. And we shouldn’t give up on a piece (at least not right away) if it gets rejected a few times. Of course, there are times when you’ll have to revisit a piece and determine whether it needs to be revised, but if you feel the piece is the best it could be, stick with it.

When it eventually gets accepted and you want to celebrate, then you can turn it up to 11.

Until next time,

Chris

Braving the Dog Days of Summer

Edna O’Brien once titled a novel August Is a Wicked Month. Well, it’s been wicked. Here in eastern Massachusetts, we’ve had to deal with many days of oppressive humidity. (Not that I should complain – another long New England winter is just around the corner.) Drive around here, and you’ll see a lot of brown patches in people’s front lawns because of the lack of rain. And I’m sure electric companies are profiting nicely from the overuse of air conditioners (although in all fairness, I do love sleeping in a cool room at night).

But for me, avoiding the heat hasn’t been the only challenge this month. I’ve also been trying to weather what has seemed to be a storm of rejections. As of this writing, I’m now up to eight this month. Of course, I’m sure people have received more than that in a month, but it’s still a lot.

One reason for all these rejections is I submitted a lot in July — eleven, to be exact. Of course, eleven submissions have the potential to be eleven rejections, although the opposite could happen, too.

As far as submissions this month, I haven’t sent out as many. For starters, I’ve had to deal with some things in my non-writing life, which I won’t get into now but may write about later. Also, I’ve been working on some new things, some of which are ready to go and some that are close, so I plan to come back strong in September.

However, it hasn’t been all bad this month. As I mentioned last time, my Veruca Salt-inspired poem “Volcano Girl” was published. Also, I did get two acceptances, one from Amaryllis Poetry, which will publish one of my poems in November. The other was from Hand Job Zine, which published two poems on their blog on Wednesday, “Tomatoes and Radio Wires” and “Invader.” (You can read them here.)

The first was inspired by a line from Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Two-Headed Boy Part II,” while the second was inspired by a Bernard Cohen painting.

Not only is Hand Job Zine a cool pub, but co-editor Jim Gibson has been very encouraging and supportive, so I’d like to once again thank him.

So enough about me: How is your August going? Please feel free to write about it in the comments section.