Weeks of Writing: 4/25/22 to 5/15/22

Well, I am more than a little behind here, so let’s catch up. Three weeks of writerly doings all at once.

Words to Write By

Today’s quote is from author James Lee Burke

“Every rejection is an incremental payment on your dues that in some way will be translated back into your work.”

— James Lee Burke

Well, since I’m on a rejection streak (19 and counting), I figure a quote about rejections is appropriate. I think you have to look at rejections as accomplishments to some degree. Yeah, they’re not exactly a good time, but they show you’re working, that you’ve got the guts to send your work out there to be judged, and that, hopefully, you are willing to learn and improve. That last bit is what I think James Lee Burke is getting at. Every rejection is an opportunity to grow as a writer, even if it’s a tiny, incremental amount. I learn something with every no and not for us. Sometimes, it’s what’s wrong with a story or my work in general, and sometimes it’s don’t send this market that kind of story or even don’t send this market anything. Each rejection teaches me something, even when I’m not really in the mood to learn. 🙂

Short Story Submissions

Although April was a strong submission month, I have not been very active in May.

  • Submissions Sent: 3
  • Rejections: 3
  • Acceptances: 0
  • Publications: 2
  • Shortlist/Hold: 0
  • Withdrawn: 0
  • Pending: 11
  • 2022 Total Subs: 38

Only three submissions in the last three weeks and three rejections to boot. That’s not great, nor is my current streak of nineteen straight rejections. I have a number of stories that need to go out, so I expect to send three or four this week. Hopefully some of those will come back with a much-needed acceptance. The rejections have been particularly disappointing of late because I thought the stories where good matches for the markets, but I missed the mark. It can be hard to keep going after so many rejections in a row, but you have to keep writing, keep submitting, and know that acceptances will come. I did have two stories published recently and the reaction to those was very good. 

The Novel – Hell’s Aquarium

I may have been a little lax with my short story submissions, but I keep on trucking with this novel. I added over 12,000 words to the manuscript and broke the 50,000-word mark, which I think is about halfway. I’m writing this novel slower than usual, at about 1,000 words a day, because there’s a lot of research that needs to go into it. I’m stopping a lot to look things up, check my notes, and check my outlines. I’ve come to terms with that, and, hey, I’m still looking at a complete first draft sometime in early August. That’s totally fine. I think this novel is the best idea, concept, and characters I’ve yet created, so if I need to take it slower so I don’t fuck it up (much), then that’s what I’m gonna do.


Two publications in the last three weeks, both of which you can read for free on line. The first is a piece of crime flash called “Left is Right” published at Shotgun Honey. The other is a dark sci-fi take called “Fertilizer” in Radon Journal’s inaugural issue. Click the images below to read the stories.

“Left is Right”


Keep working on Hell’s Aquarium and send more submissions.

Those were my weeks. How were yours?

One Comment on “Weeks of Writing: 4/25/22 to 5/15/22

  1. I happen to be reading Burke’s Black Cheery Blues on the advice of a friend and fellow writer, Darius Jones, who follows you. Congrats on the publications. I’ve added a couple rejections from Radon to my collection now.

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