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A Fictionish Spell

Posted by Rob on 9th September 2015 in Writing |

It’s been a bit of a nice spell for me. I sold my third story to a little market called The Colored Lens, a free online speculative fiction magazine, where a friend of mine previously had his story “Cuts” appear. It should be there in the autumn. Also, I got word back that my previous story Crescent Cross will be getting picked up for the upcoming Acidic Fiction anthology, in both e-book and paperback format, so a story of mine will actually be available in a printed medium for the first time. And on top of all that, I got word back that my first sold story The Bone Merchant is creeping ever closer to that elusive actual date of publication. It’s all good stuff.

Mixed in with this, you get the usual blend of rejections and stories-that-are-lingering, the latter of which is a maddening exercise in “Is it being considered, or has their rejection gone missing?” History suggests it’s probably about a 75% chance that it just went missing, or that’s where the chips have landed in the past. But I can’t stop myself from hoping, all the same, even though I’m probably daft to.

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Hope springs eternal.

But against this, there’s also a downer — my friend (he of the aforementioned Cuts) had sold a story to a nice little anthology, which would probably have been his highest profile sale to date. But for some reason, after starting out with that anthology as one of their first announced titles, they’ve proceeded to release a bunch of other stuff and then, eventually, just scrap the anthology. A lot of people, my friend included in their number, are quite upset about it. The only silver lining here is that they’ll apparently still be paid for their stories, and that is a nice action on the part of the publisher, as they’re not required to do that — but all the same, it robs him of a decent publishing credit.

Unfortunately, this sort of thing does happen — an acceptance doesn’t necessarily equal a publication, or a sale for that matter, and not every publisher is actually any good at getting their publications to market. And while I’ve yet to have this happen to me, I imagine it will, eventually — so that’s something to look forward to…

6 Comments

  • The Ould Git says:

    Slowly but surely, you’re moving towards your goals.
    It’ll be good to see you in print proper – well -earned!
    The road to any degree of success is scattered with pot-holes waiting to buckle your wheels, evidently, if Mike’s experience is anything to go by.
    The main thing in all of this is determination and self-belief.
    Keep those spare wheels and tyres in your toolkit and you’ll get there in the end!

  • Martin says:

    I can’t decide if this is a positive or negative post – it’s a perfectly confusing blend of both. Good news about your stories though. I love your picture and its caption – it’s very appropriate for the theme of the post. Did you take it yourself?

    • Rob says:

      Alas, no — the photo is taken from the wonderful internet, always happy to help with things like this. It took me a while to find a picture close to what I was looking for, though.

      And yeah, it is a bit mixed, as posts go — I’ve had a little good luck, while my friend’s situation is a bit more frustrating. However, his story’s released to try at other markets now, and he’s chancing his hand with those, so maybe he’ll find another market soon. If he’s lucky, he might even wind up selling it to a better one.

  • Marion says:

    Good to hear that you are getting there Robert. Writing being one of those so frustrating experiences of depending on other peoples timescales and responses. Even when its made the first stage. as you say, the further steps can be tedious and potentially end in nothing. So glad you are persevering though. Somewhere, I still have one of your earliest stories. Can’t remember now if you deliberately wrote it for me, or I just got a copy somehow. It’s one that Mum loved. Now I’m going to have to search for it aren’t I!.

    • Rob says:

      I’m thinking that’s probably “What Happens When You Die”, not least because that’s the only story I’m sure that Granny saw — I wrote it when I was fourteen, when Granddad died, and mostly wrote it just to write it, sitting in the living room of Bytakes Cottage hunched over a little table with a pen and paper. I don’t have a copy of it any more myself, though.

  • Mum says:

    I’ve lost the link you sent for the anthology. I meant to buy it but didn’t get round to it. Can you send it again please.

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