Some lovely words about “Mouths Filled with Seawater”

Last week (on my birthday, no less) my friend Kev Harrison let me know of this interview over on Writers, After Dark.

Mercedes M. Yardley, the editor of Arterial Bloom, said some lovely things about my first ever published story “Mouths Filled with Seawater”.

“It is dreamy and obsessive and terrifying and beautiful.”

Mercedes M. Yardley

On top of that, I was in the top three stories she chose from the anthology!

Needless to say, I was levitating for the rest of the day.

It’s a great interview and packed with interesting bits about publishing, writing, and submitting to anthologies.

You can listen to the full thing here

Arterial Bloom Review

“Arterial Bloom injects the ‘literary’ piece into the horror genre with works that excel in well-crafted surprises, powerful senses of place and character, and works that stand out from the crowd. Contributors to this anthology are diverse in their approaches, plot development, and themes, and so under the general ‘horror’ umbrella there is no unifying purpose other than to gather works that are truly exceptional.”

http://donovansliteraryservices.com/april-2020-issue.html?fbclid=IwAR0E0a3NGli8zKQaenuKV3m9xfSMrgmSyPN6rmhZokNxHl3xcziZHOlNp3M#abb

The Fire of Fiction

So this is a little celebratory post* for myself because…

Just hit 10,000 words on my current WIP which I shall name – OPERATION MEZZANINE.

It is named for the Massive Attack album which I first listened to on the day I began writing this draft (March 19th). And also my girlfriend’s cluttered mezzanine where I hope to one day craft an office space… if she’ll let me.

During this whole quarantine period it’s been nice to have something to work on that’s long and can distract me for long periods of time. Plus I’m always thinking about it in the back of my mind.

This is my third? or maybe fourth? first novel draft I’ve written. The others were very bad and very unworthy of being read. And that’s okay. But I’m feeling good about this one.

Even if it doesn’t go anywhere I’m making it as weird and personal as I can which should be a lesson I’ll try to keep putting into practice Post-Quarantine.

(*I told myself I’d post on here at least once a week last month but so far I’ve been negligent, however, I have lots of *actual* fiction writing done. Which is a good trade off. )

Six Easy Steps to Never Get Published

My housemate and I were recently talking about jiu jitsu and goals. I say recently, but really we talk about these things every other day. 

Essentially, we were talking about having hard and soft goals. 

With jiu jitsu, for example, I aim to get to AT LEAST 1 class per week – this is my HARD goal. A goal that I pinky-promise CANNOT break. 

But *ideally* I’d love to get to 3 or even BONUS ROUND 4 – this is my SOFT goal. A goal that would be cool to get but if I don’t no big deal. Life happens. 

It helps my mental state because if I hit 1 class then I’ve done my job for the week. I’m never going to compete in ADCC or a huge international IBJJF tournament. Nor am I looking to transition to the world of MMA. So training SUPER HARD isn’t really very important to me. 

I do jiu jitsu because it’s exciting, invigorating, and is really different from most of my other hobbies which are largely spent sitting about on my bum. 

“Write every day” will kill you

Well maybe not you per se, but quite possibly your will to create and isn’t that the same thing? 

It seems reasonable on the surface but there are a rake of reasons why this might not work for you. And as you miss days you’re going to feel shittier and shittier about yourself and your writing.  

Writing every day is the Soft goal.  

Livia Llewellyn only writes on the weekends and she’s amazing so, take that as your model, if you want. 

Six steps to obscurity 

So now you’re on board, what else can you do to add to the HARD/SOFT game? 

My new addition is “actually submitting stories.”

I’ve been writing in a serious capacity for about 6 years now. But I have practically zero publications. 

Why’s that? I hear you half-heartedly ask, worried I’ll continue on. 

Well, I’ll tell you, eager reader, in the form of a list. 

Below I give you Jonathan Cosgrove’s 6 Step Guide to Never Getting Published

  1. Spend an inordinate amount of time writing a story 
  2. Show it to one or two people 
  3. (Optional Step: Submit to one magazine)  
  4. Throw in digital-drawer 
  5. Forget about story
  6. Repeat 

If I were to show you my Submission Grinder it would be hella embarrassing. I just don’t set aside the time to submit and I genuinely wonder why I’m not getting published. 

But this year/decade/I’m changing all that. I’ve added Submitting to my goal setting. It’s equally as important as the writing, I think. Especially if you’re looking to actually get anywhere with the aul writing. 

So my goal is now 1 day to submit a week. 1 story – 1 magazine. 

At the moment I have three stories out so I’m well above average but likely some of them will be rejected.

Hopefully when the rejections come in I’ll hop back on Submission Grinder and submit that shit right away! 

Happy hunting.