Friday, November 30, 2012

Rejection-ville: Population Me

Received another rejection for a short story I submitted to the Urban Occult anthology by Anachron Press. I'm used to rejections, I have a thick skin, but what I do find discourteous is that lack of a reason why the story was rejected. As I've stated before, it's easy to slap on a simple "Due to time constraints, we regret we're unable to give specifics on our reasons for the rejection".

But I feel that's a cop out, especially for themed anthologies that necessitate a unique story rather than recycling a story in your portfolio. And don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting a three-page write-up or a line by line copy edit. But, I do feel that a simple sentence stating what the basic justification for the rejection would be the professional thing to do. Something simple like "Your opening just didn't grab me", "I lost interest by page two", or "The ending was too predictable". I'm sure the slush pile reader has to explain why a story has been rejected, even if it's something as simple as not following guidelines.

That's enough of a clue for the writer to revisit their piece. Writers need feedback to improve and if the writer takes the time to submit a story and a slush pile reader reads it, there should be some feedback generated.


Monday, November 26, 2012

NaNoWriMo Winner!

I crossed the finish this evening at 50,031 words. I lot to digest, but I'm really pleased with the story that flowed out. I'll let it sit for a little while and then work on the outline and let the real first draft begin!

I need to catch up some reading as well as focus on reading all the story for the Borderlands bootcamp. So "The Elegant Beauty of Darkness" will probably have to wait until February 2013.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

World Fantasy Convention 2012 wrap-up

The 2012 World Fantasy Convention was fun, intimidating, thought-provoking, and inspiring. Held within driving distance of Toronto, it was an easy decision to attend. The $225 price tag was expensive, but I can appreciate that the price and the limited number of tickets would keep the geek riff-raft away!

The con took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Markham, ironically the same place that hosted the PolarisCon earlier in the year which left a terrible taste in my mouth. Fortunately, this wonderful event has cleansed my psyche of the negative impression left behind by PolarisCon.

Imagine a gather of introverted writers, all coming out of their caves to meet and talk and network. Yeah, I have a difficult time imagining all that awkwardness. Maybe it’s just me! I’ve had a handful of stories published (for money, yes for money), but I haven’t broken in to any of the more significant or distinguished publications. I’m working on a novel, like everyone else at the con. I’m a professional blogger and comic book journalist/history (accredited by the San Diego Comic Con). I found it difficult to be taken seriously and had a few respected pros glance at my badge and then dart away from me.

Maybe I’m just too much of an introvert or too paranoid, but I got the impression from some professionals that they had no time to talk to anyone outside of their professional clique. And clique makes me think back to those awkward teenage years. Everyone has to start somewhere and I was hoping the “pay-it-forward” mentality would be a bit more prevalent. 

With that said, it wasn’t a complete void of thoughtfulness. There are a few classy professionals who have never made me feel that I was imposing or intruding upon them. And for that I’m thankful and appreciate the efforts they made to include me and to simply call me out by name and talk with me.

Highlights included the launch of Guy Kay's new book, an amazing panel on the Lexicon of Horror, the Chizine party where I talked comics for two hours with a PR rep from 2000AD, my cell phone going off during Peter Straub's reading, autograph session, dinner out with Ian Rogers, great food spread and beer at the hospitality suite, and panels, panels, and more panels.