Another day …

… another rejection. As rejections go, however, I could definitely handle more like this.

I wrote a short story, about two months ago, that came out of a prompt which was basically to do with dreams and portal fantasies. So, in less than an hour, I had worked backwards from my initial premise of a young girl being woken from a ‘dream’ by her mother … as I love the ‘not knowing’ in stories if something is reality or fantasy … and had something that I enjoyed as both an old-fashioned style fable/fairy-story and a possible lead in to something more (that still worked as a stand-alone story).

I can’t post the actual piece as I am going to refine it and submit it elsewhere but here is the feedback:

Thank for your submission to Every Day Fiction. I regret to inform you that we are unable to use it at this time.

A great premise that is well carried out, the writing is poetic and flows nicely. Perhaps a little more of a story would help but I like this as it is anyway. The character is interesting and I’d love to find out more.
– Joe

Nice writing, but it-was-all-a-dream endings are a very hard sell at EDF, since they nearly always make us feel that the author just couldn’t think of any other way to resolve the story.
– Camille

We wish you good luck in placing the Story elsewhere.

Sincerely,
all of us at Every Day Fiction

All I can say to that is what great feedback. The people at Every Day Fiction had me simply with the pieces that they publish but to find out that their feedback is this good (not to mention nice!) has made me even more of a fan!

The only bit I quibbled with was to do with the dream ending being used purely because no other resolution could be found; just because that is true sometimes doesn’t make it universally so. :)

Anyway, I am currently in the middle of sketching out some illustrations to go with the story as it may just work as a pseudo-comic book or, at the very least, a nice kid’s picture book.

A schedule of sufferring

Ok, the suffering is simply to do with having tonsillitis, currently. Amazingly enough my throat is one of the few parts of my body that doesn’t hurt – every muscle feels like I have been kicked, I have a pounding headache and a cough that sounds like I have been smoking fifty cigarettes a day for life.

Currently on antibiotics, painkillers and other crap to stop any food that I manage to keep down inside me (as it seems to want to vacate far too fast for comfort! /tmi)

Anyway, this post wasn’t meant to be a self-pitying rant, so will leave that part where it is. I actually wanted to post a schedule – an aide memoir, so to speak – to remind myself of the fact that I have some work seeing the light of day very, very soon. In fact, my ‘publication schedule’ looks like this:

August/September – ‘Rainbow’ in Offshoot Magazine
October – ‘The Good Boy’ in Apollo’s Lyre
November – ‘Both’ in Nanoism
December – ‘To Delight in Mahler’ in Long Story Short

Now I really need to get cracking on getting something published in January, and thereafter, as there is a nice trend starting to take shape :)

Fantasy denied~!

If you recall (and if not you can read about it here – http://jayfaulkner.com/blog/archives/29 – I submitted something to my Mecca of writing, ‘Fantasy Magazine’ recently. In very timely fashion I received the response which, as nice as it was, was still a rejection.

… so, time to re-read the stuff on Fantasy and start writing something better/more suitable to submit in a month or so.

Musings on Twitter

It seems that my blog, ‘Musings’, is putting it out a bit. First of all I found out that it had been working with my Livejournal and now, lo and behold, it is trying it on with my Twitter account!

What’s next?

Swapping photos with Flickr?! :)

The Holy Grail

I just submitted something to Fantasy Magazine (http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy/)!

I am a massive fantasy fan and always assumed that it would be this genre that I would write in – the fact that the four pieces I have had published, so far, are all pure fiction, with an emphasis on reality and human emotion, surprised me greatly.

My work in progress is an e-novella which has orcs, elves and magic so knew that I hadn’t been replaced by a pod-person and that I was on track to have something, someday, on Fantasy (yes, it is currently my goal, just before getting a novel published); I was keeping a little security blanket, however, tightly wrapped around myself in that the longer I took to hone my craft – and the longer I took to submit something – then the longer I could keep the dream alive without having to have a rejection from them. :)

Today though – a matter of moments ago – I finished what was to become my final read through of a short story that I liked enough (after months of small rewrites!) to risk submitting. Best case – they accept it! Worst case – they reject it … and I know, now, that a rejection slip is nothing more than motivation to do better next time.

And, trust me, if I get rejected from Fantasy there will be a next time! :)

My WordPress blog and Livejournal are now happily married.

Thanks to the ever wonderful JFS for giving me the idea I have now linked my LJ (which is always going to be centrally to my online presence) with my personal site’s blog – now never the twain shall be forgotten.

Or something :o)

Feel free to make use of either, either (if you read that out loud is it pronounced differently … honest! ;o) ) or both.

Jay

A very short story

Ernest Hemingway allegedly wrote what is probably the most famous, and shortest, of short stories: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

There is a lot of discussion about whether or not it was Hemingway that actually wrote that but, ultimately, it doesn’t matter. In just six words we are told a complete story. It is one that makes you think, and makes you feel – like a lot of people I find it truly sad because my take on it is that a baby has died, either at birth or at the very least before being able to wear the shoes.

Being able to tell such a story, in so few words – or, to put it another way, in simply thirty three characters – is pretty amazing.

Now, I am in no way trying to compare myself to Hemingway (or whoever did write it, of course) but I have recently been lucky enough to get my own ‘very short story’ published. Nanoism (www.nanoism.net) publishes fiction that is no more than one hundred and forty characters long – that is, for those of you who Tweet, the maximum size of a Twitter message. I tried three times, recently, to get something published by Ben (editor/owner of Nanoism) and while each story was good in its own way it wasn’t good enough.

Nanoism – and writing a complete story with such brevity – became a challenge to me; my own, personal Everest. Finally, yesterday, I got word that I had conquered it. Ben liked my most recent submission – he liked it enough to publish it. I can’t post it here, of course, but if you check out his site on the 16th November 2009 you will be able to see what is my own shortest of short stories.

Jay.

A good day!

So today has been a good day, as the observant among you will have gathered fromthe subject of this very post! :o)

Apart from having a great day with my family – so my beautiful wife, Carole, my 30 month old baby Mackenzie and his delightful little brother Nathaniel, who is 6 months old – which is honestly a rare occurrence thanks to work pressures I ALSO managed to get some other stuff done:

1 – my personal web site is coming along nicely. I have used a template that I found online because it is close to what I was trying to do and I don’t have to reinvent the wheel :) I have the core of the site up and running, with a blog nicely linked in too – obviously, if you are reading this ON the blog then you already knew that ;) – feel free to check it out at www.jayfaulkner.com as any thoughts, feedback or blank cheques are gratefully accepted.

2 – networking is going apace. I have a twitter account, a facebook account an e-novella account and an Irish writer’s site account all up and running now. I was told, by someone who knows what they are talking about, that it is not just about writing but about letting people know that you are writing :)

3 – got an email from Chris Howard, author of Seaborn from Juno Books and Saltwater Witch (http://www.saltwaterwitch.com/) to let me know that I am getting a couple of prints from him … when you check out his site (which you should do – now!) you will see why I am happy about that. His style is amazing and the stories that got with it are great too. I don’t know him, yet, but have a feeling that I will be lucky to call him friend sometime down the line.

4 – I have been editing/re-writing a couple of pieces and hit a great run of words, for a couple of hours. I think that, after the rewrites, I have two very strong stories from what were – being honest – just ‘ok’ previously. Amazing what simply moving a near end paragraph to the start does for pace and tension ;o)

5 – I have a new site in the works, which will be a submission-based site for flash fiction, micro fiction and poetry. Don’t want to say anything other than that, yet, but I have high hopes for it as I am enthused and inspired already!

6 – I got another piece accepted for publication. That is the good news (as is this is something that I have tried to crack three times previously, only to get the rejection slip each time … admittedly it was both gentle and personal rejections, with good advice each time, but still it WAS a rejection! :o) The problem is that my accepted work is getting smaller in length – my first piece was just under two thousand words, my second just under a thousand, my third was two hundred and forty two words … this one is one hundred and forty characters. YES – characters! I have had a piece accepted at www.nanoism.net :o)

… what next, though? Will I be writing a three-word story?

You never know.

;)

In for a penny …

That title may not make much sense but, here in Britain, the phrase ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ simply means that if something is worth doing then it is worth doing all the way.

So, on this very auspicious date – 09/09/09 at 09:09am – I am starting things* off!

I have been writing for nearly as long as I have been reading; I have been reading since before I could run – admittedly I could walk, but I think that was only because I got tired of waiting for my parents to push me to the library. Speaking of which, I have had a library card since I was a very young thing indeed; it used to amuse my parents to take a phone call, from whichever library was our local at the time**, and hear them ask for ‘Mr. Faulkner’ as this was never, ever my father … the books that had been ordered were always for me.***

Anyway, like I was saying, I have been writing for a long time, in one form or another. Short stories, especially of the more fantastical nature, always were my favourite and – probably over the last year or so – I realised that I had to make a decision: keep on doing what I was doing, namely write for my own, personal pleasure and never let anyone see my work, or take a chance – risk rejection**** – and make the step from writer to writer.

What? You don’t see the difference between the two words, the two titles?

Neither did I. Until the day that I got word that something that I had written, one of MY stories, had been accepted for publication. When I got that first acceptance***** I suddenly realised two things – 1/ what an absolutely fabulous feeling it was to have something that I had created liked enough, by others, to take up space in a magazine and 2/ that I had to do it again.

That brings us to here. And to now, actually.

The decision I made, the ‘something’ that was worth doing all the way is what you will find on this blog and on the associated site. I decided to actually try to do ‘something’ with my writing.

Namely write! :o)

*By things I mean the ‘publicity’ end of writing – a website, blog, twitter, facebook, etc.
**My father was in the Royal Air Force so we moved around – a lot!
***One of the first that I can actually recall doing that with was Susan Cooper’s ‘The Dark is Rising’ series – I still read the five books every year.
****For the record the first piece I submitted for publication was rejected. It would have been nice if it were otherwise but then this would be a True Hollywood Story rather than a blog.
*****August 2009, ‘Rainbow’ for Offshoot Magazine … there have been two more acceptances since.