Things are looking up again, at least as far as writing goes, in the real world, not so much, but I won’t burden you with that here.   The Parable of the Shadow joins the ranks of shorts with an expected publication date in March.  I am still working steadily on rewrites and/or minor edits of my stories that are still homeless.  Last night, in the shower, it occurred to me that “Too Much Love” was just too silly and pretentious, Simon Cowell might even say self-indulgent.  In its place, a much more heart-felt and beautiful love story “Like a Desert Summer Rain” has emerged and has commanded my attention for at least the next few days.

I was going to do a Movie Review of Ramona and Beezus, which was by far the best movie I’ve seen in the last few weeks, but I will wait for next weekend and see if I’m in the mood to write properly then.  A number of my good friends from the writing community have announcements and I will start sharing them over the course of the next few posts.

It appears that my stories grow longer with every edit.  I don’t know whether that means I am becoming a better writer or simply more full of myself.  At any rate, hopefully it means I will have a quality novel to share with you shortly.  Thank you to those who encourage me every day and those inspire me by their own writing.  Keep writing my friends!

1980’s Airplane applied a star-studded cast to an inane plot and produced not just a cult classic but a masterpiece of irreverence and silliness.  Will Ferrell and the cast of The Other Guys attempt to do the same with only lukewarm results.  When New York’s action big-budget-action-hero cops inexplicably commit suicide by impossible stunt, the unlikely team of a demoted super cop (played by Mark Wahlberg)  who accidentally shot a sports celebrity and a former pimp turned police accountant (Ferrell) step into the void and go after the big baddies.  The film is fun and provides a ton of laughs, but it is unlikely you will remember many of the scenes or lines five years from now.

The lone gunman who falls in love with a prostitute and goes down in a blaze of glory is a staple of the spaghetti western so perhaps it is appropriate that George Clooney and director Anton Corbijn take a similar story to Italy in return. 

The style of the story is sparse; in most scenes, there are only one or two characters.  The feeling of emptiness and solitude pervades even the scenes of violence and graphic sexuality.  I would compare the story to a dry wine.  All of the ingredients are there for an engaging drama, but I would have to be in the right mood to enjoy it properly.

“You have the gift, but you are still waiting for something…  I don’t know your next life maybe.”  The ironic assessment of the Oracle in the first Matrix installment comes to mind when I step back and look at my work. 

Now, I’ll grant that every work has a target audience and purpose, not everything that I write can or even should be a soul-baring coup d’état of poetry, pose and passion intersecting at the root of a spiritual journey towards Nirvana, but I find, more often than not, that I am still holding back.  The reason that my horror can be less than scary is that I keep myself from really expressing the things that truly frighten me, the words that hurt to write.  I have done this before, in fact, Betrayal, which should be appearing on Chick Lit Shorties any day now was one such piece.  I’ve been only half-engaged which is a polite way of saying detached from both my writing and my life.  Isn’t it time to light the fire again?

Tell the truth, if not to your readers, than at least to yourself.  Keep writing my friends!

In August of last year, I set a number of goals for myself.  Within a year, I wanted to publish at least one Christian piece.  I'm happy to say Moon Washed Kisses and another upcoming publisher were kind enough to help me with that goal.  I set out to publish at least one children's story or poem.  While I still have a few months left, I've found the children's market to be especially tough.  My third long-term goal was to become a member of the SFWA.  So far, I have yet to get a sale in an SFWA approved market but I'm trying.  I have stopped submitting to other markets and I am questioning whether my ego can handle the stomping.

I also had mixed results with my mid-term goals.  I was able to publish a light science fiction story "International Intrigue" which will be out in a month or so.  I made very little headway on my second and third novel; in large part due to the massive number of short stories and articles that I started writing.

I was able to accomplish my short-term goals and, in the process, I have learned so much about both writing and publishing.  One of the most important things that I learned was to have patience.  Publication delays, especially in small press markets are commonplace. There are times when overburdened slush pile readers take months to get back to you, even with a rejection.  You just have to take the criticism, when you can get it.  Improve your work and as I keep going.

So, as I always say, keep writing my friends!

I know, I know.  I've been away for a very long time.  But I'm back, so there's that.
Writing for others is such a roller coaster ride.  Today, I received a rejection after six months.  The market was tough, and I was trying not to get my hopes too high but, my goodness, it's hard not to.  The funny thing is I have a number of pieces that will be in print this month or next, some of them with decent checks attached.
As one of my favorite writer friends pointed out, you really have to have thick skin.  I think that the thing that helps the most is taking the long view.  Over the past year I've had a little less than %20 acceptance rate.  I realize that some folks do better, but some folks do worse and it is my first year.  Even more importantly, I am building a library that gets better every day and when I am positioned in the right place I will be able to take advantage of the foundation I've laid.
Next time I want to take a look at the goals we set six months ago and see where we are now.  Now is the time to revaluate and set new goals based on what we've learned from the experience.
Until then, keep writing my friends!