Weeks of Writing: 9/27/21 to 10/18/21

Got a little behind on these, so here’s three-weeks of writerly doings.

Words to Write By

This week’s quote is comes from Carl Sandburg

“Beware of advice–even this.” 

– Carl Sandburg

The writing world abounds with folks giving advice. Hell, I do it all the time right here on this blog. Thing is, especially as it pertains on how and what to write, a lot of advice is not all the useful. When you start out as a writer, you tend to listen to all of it. Anyone with any kind of legitimate experience is considered an expert who knows the magic formula for writing success. Then, as you write and publish, you start to see the holes. When one editor rejects your story for the same reason another editor accepts it, you start to understand what Carl Sandburg is saying. Don’t get me wrong, you should listen to advice from other writers and editors, but that advice must be viewed through the lens of what is right for you and your work. For example, I tend to follow Elmore Leonard’s advice about no dialogue tags other than said and Stephen King’s advice on cutting out adverbs (though I’ve softened on that last one). This is good advice for the kind of fiction I tend to write and absolutely terrible advice for some well known epic fantasy authors. So, what am I saying? Weigh all the advice that comes your way but always with the understanding this is not a one-size-fits-all business. Use what works and is helpful, and, well, beware the rest. 🙂

Short Story Submissions

A solid three weeks of submissions.

  • Submissions Sent: 6
  • Rejections: 4
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 0
  • Shortlist: 1
  • Withdrawn: 0
  • Pending: 16
  • 2021 Total Subs: 93 (94)

Six submissions in three weeks isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, but it’s enough to push me up to 93 total subs for the year (a 94th went out this morning). Only four rejections–two standard form and two higher-tier–and no acceptances. I did get a very nice hold letter, the second for a new story I have high hope for. . I still have a TON of submissions pending, and I think a number of them are going to come in this week or next. There are some indications the next batch of responses could include some acceptances, but I know better than to get my hopes up. Okay, I don’t know better, but what are you gonna do? 🙂 There’s no doubt I’ll hit 100 submissions for 2021. The real question is will I also hit 100 rejections. Normally, I’d be fine with that because I usually have a bunch of acceptances to go along with all those rejections. This year, though, I’m in a slightly different frame of mind.

The Novel

I’ve stalled out around chapter twelve in the revision of Hell to Play. Though I did find time to send my other novel out again along with my new novella. I also took a bit of vacation at the end of September and into early October where I didn’t write or work on much of anything. No regrets there, honestly. I’ll get back to the novel when I put the latest round of commission work to bed.

Freelance Work

I’ve been working on an adventure for the Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying Game (IKRPG for short). It uses the popular 5the edition roleplaying rules, so this project is like getting reacquainted with old friends. I used to write a lot of Dungeons & Dragons (and D&D adjacent) material, and it was my primary occupation for a bit (both as a staffer at Goodman Games and as a freelancer). I’m also, of course, intimately familiar with the steam-powered fantasy world of the Iron Kingdoms, the primary setting for Privateer Press, with whom I’ve published novels, short stories, articles, and just about everything else. So with this adventure, I get to revisit both, and, well, it’s a blast.

My adventure is a stretch goal (almost there!) for the current Kickstarter campaign for an IKRPG expansion called Borderlands and Beyond. You can find out more about that campaign by clicking the (awesome) graphic below.


Finishing the adventure is the primary goal, and, as usual, I want to send out more submissions, Maybe I can hit 100 by the end of October.

Those were my weeks. How were yours?

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