November Newsletter

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What I’ve Been Working On

Things Bought, Accepted, or Commissioned

In October, I worked on a story that was purchased for an anthology that should be out at the beginning of next year. The anthology is a themed one all about traveling carnivals and circuses. The story that will be featured in it is a previously unpublished short titled ‘Lucky Number 8’. It is about a child who loses their sibling to a carnival ride accident and goes on a search for the same ride so that they may join their sibling in death or the world beyond the clouds.

I also pitched and was asked to write three articles for Oly Arts and Discover Pods. The article for Oly Arts is highlighting a recent partnership between two music organizations in my community that have joined to bring classical music to parts of the community isolated from events.

Every month I write Radio at the End of the World for Discover Pods, but I also take pitches and review ideas from podcasters who want me to write a piece on them. This month I did one on the podcast Word Matters. This podcast is great for people who really love words and linguistics. 

At the inaugural Fiyahcon, I attended a workshop by Arley Sorg of Fantasy Magazine about openings to stories. The whole purpose of the class was that writers in attendance were meant to send Arley a story before the class, then during the class he would read them aloud, stopping on the story where the writer had lost him. 

In my writers’ newsletter, I’ll go into more about what editors glean from writers’ openings. To sign up for that click here. When Arley read my story, he didn’t stop and read all the way to the end before telling me that he really liked the piece and that he wanted me to submit it to Fantasy for a second approval, so that he could buy it. 

Honestly, that was my wildest dream for the class.

I turned in my scifi story ‘It Came Slowly’ that I’ve been working on and trying to sell for years with no luck. ‘It Came Slowly’ is a flash piece about the world drying up and being saved by an alien water species that slowly converts everyone into water. 

I also sent out a pitch to Cat Rambo to write a post on her blog, which is pretty huge for me because she is the former SFWA president and has a wide reach into the professional world of scifi, fantasy, and horror writers writing in tons of different mediums. I’ll be writing an article on my experience as a slush reader and using that knowledge to help other writers get their stories out of the slush pile and in front of an editor.

Things I Sent Out on Submission

I sent out a poem to Fiyah, ‘Flowers’. That one is hard to explain, but essentially it is a spell cast with words. 

I also sent out a couple stories on the fly after getting rejections back on pieces I think are great just not right for certain markets. Towards the end of the month while my partner and I moved, I sent out:

  • Dogs of More–Dark Matter Magazine
    • Werewolf story written sorta like Clockwork Orange in the sense that the language is in a way new and broken. 
  • Shut the Fuck Up, and Hold on—Dark Matter Magazine
    • Scifi story about a person learning they are a robot in the worse way imaginable, dying. 
  • Alone in the Woods Surrounded by Monsters on an Island (The New Hit Show that Pits Man Vs Nature Vs Supernatural Beasts)—Apex and PseudoPod
    • It’s exactly what it sounds like. 

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Bizness News

For over a year now, I’ve been working full-time as a writer and editor, involved in projects that I love. Recently, I made the plunge and registered my business as an LLC that I am developing into more projects like game development, comic books, and more. The name of my overarching business that will eventually house all my self-published projects and freelance services is Haus of Three Crows. 

The three crows represent the three things it takes to make a creative piece of work that touches and intrigues: beauty, insanity, and truth.

What I’m Studying

Since the beginning of the spring way back when, I’ve been taking at least one class a month that will help me develop as a writer and editor. I’ve taken TTRPG game development courses, classes on food in speculative fiction, designing monsters, and tons more. Many of them were through Clarion West’s online courses that they’ve been posting. If people haven’t checked them out, I highly suggest it. They are geared towards writers but could work for, and interest, a wide range of people.  

In October, I’ve taken five different classes in a variety of subjects:

  1. Starting at the Beginning by Arley Sorg
  2. Close Reading and Long Distance Writing by Socorro de Luca
  3. Writing Monsters for Children by Crystal Connor
  4. Hearts, Minds, and Guts: Making Horror Political by Nadia Bulkin 
  5. a Q+A session with Kate Heartfield about fiction.

All of those have helped me in so many ways that I can already see the impressions on my writing.

My scifi poem ‘Come to Me’ came from my Close Reading and Long Distance Writing class. 

Community News

When I have extra funds, I offer someone in my network or community a spot in a class that will help them gain leverage or knowledge in their chosen field. Keep an eye out for the next time that is and spread the word. I want to help as many people as I can bring their stories into the world.

If you are a Thurston County local and writer of speculative fiction/poetry/nonfiction, come check out my writers group! It is different than all the writing groups in the area because we offer more than just critiques. Throughout the month we have workshop sessions along with decompression sessions. The Olympia Speculative Fiction Writers Group is geared toward helping writers at all stages grow, build community, and get their stories published. 

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Radio at the End of the World

And like every month, I worked on my audio fiction and drama series Radio at the End of the World, which means I spent a lot of time listening to the fictional stylings of a shitload of creators. Since October is Black Speculative Fiction Month, I focused on covering podcasts and episodes that featured Black writers of speculative fiction. 

Novel Progress

If you’ve been following me for a while, than you know that I have been working on some novels for the past couple of years. One is currently on hold while I work on other projects, one of which is the other book. ‘Out of the Machine’ is the first book in a scifi duology set in the same world as Unwanteds but without the same characters. 

The book is in the final stages of edits. In my idea of what my career looks like, I want this to be my first published book. This will introduce my style, talent, and worlds to readers on a wide stage.

So, I made a decision during the month to take some time while working through my final read through to also be reading books represented by the agents that I plan on querying to help align with several different factors. After that, I’ll make my final dialogue pass before doing copy edits and sending it off to my top list agents. 

In October, I did very little work on this besides planning the next couple of months. I also built my agent list, which felt a lot like applying for colleges.

During my read throughs, I’ll be adding in more world, character, and style texture before sending it out in January—almost a full year after what I had orginally planned for the journey of this book, but I wouldn’t trade what I’ve learned over these past months. 

As many writers know, sending a book out to an agent or publishing house essentially nulls that resource if they reject it. No rewrites and resubmits, just donezo. So, what I send out on query is going to be the best work I can possibly do. 

You can read early versions of the book’s opening on my Patreon

Things Published 

Things Rejected

  • Fiyah Breathe Anthology
    • ‘Don’t They Know’
  • Fireside Fiction
    • ‘Dogs of More’
  • Nightmare Magazine
    • ‘Alone in the Woods Surrounded by Monsters on an Island (The New Hit Show that Pits Man Vs Nature Vs Supernatural Beasts’
  • Apex Magazine
    • ‘Alone in the Woods Surrounded by Monsters on an Island (The New Hit Show that Pits Man Vs Nature Vs Supernatural Beasts’
  • For the Love of the Craft: Lovecraft Country Writing Contest
    • Bringing the Dead Along

 A free read of one of the rejected stories

What’s Next

  • Radio at the End of the World November 2020
  • Lucky Number 8 edits
  • Out of the Machine edits
  • Cat Rambo article
  • Submit 5 pieces

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