Thursday, April 14, 2005

My Dream Allows Me No Time To Sleep

I should be writing Earth Scorched right now. I had thought to start that on April 1st. I'll be lucky to start it on May 1st.

Turns out I have to edit A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation for print. Lida Quillen from Twilight Times Publications contacted me. I should have had it in ages ago, but with the changes the company was going through, I really never had a clear date and admittedly, I kept putting it off for projects that were due. Now I'm cramming at the last hour again.

A Creative Edge is a seventeen-story anthology that's 93,000 words long. It includes all my early work including classic stories such as Music to My Ears, Born of Darkness, As Luck Would Have It and the Necklace of N'larikan. It differs from the very first ebook version that was published, with the addition of the short story Tales of Speculation. This was added as an afterthought.

See, I have a method for naming my anthologies. Dream Sequence and other Tales from Beyond was named for the titles stories Dream Sequence and Tales from Beyond. They are the first and last story in the book respectively. A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation starts with the story A Creative Edge, but lacked a story called Tales of Speculation at the end, so I wrote one. It's probably not as aptly named as it could be, but I wanted to use that name and the truth is, it's such a fun story no one has noticed that the name might have been better chosen. Naturally, I have to go and ruin everything by confessing here.

I have enough short stories for at least another anthology, maybe two. The tentative title of my third anthology would be Dream Warriors and other Rites of Passage. Rites of Passage was published in Twilight Times magazine, where as Dream Warriors, one of my favorite stories, remains unsubmitted. I really have to do something about that in my copious free time.

I just submitted my story Dead Wrong to Quantum Muse a new market for me. They don't pay a lot, but I can't think of a pro market that would take Dead Wrong and it was all edited and ready to go. I have a lot of stories like that, just about ready to go, sitting on my hard drive doing nothing. Should I sell them all for ten bucks a piece, or shoot for the gold? I guess I'll try a bit of both, depending on the story.

If you've been reading this blog, you'd know that two of my stories have recently been published in ezines (A Matter of Grave Importance and Euthanasia) and I'm looking to spread my name around a bit, and gain a wider audience by sending out some others. I don't care if I give them away, it's free advertising. That's how I look at it. Hell, Alaric Swifthand, Reflections of a Recovering Servant and Confronting the Void were all given away at one point for free, and they were a lot more work than a short story. But they helped me build a readership.

So now, I go back to my roots, submitting stories, in some cases for a pittance, trying to increase my share of a jam-packed market.

And instead of starting the new projects I have lined up (Earth Scorched, A Game of Ghosts), I have to try to get A Creative Edge: Tales of Speculation as clean as possible for print.

Can I complain? Not really. I'm writing full time. I'm so far ahead of where I was two years ago, it's not funny. Sure I've got a long road ahead of me, and I may not yet see the light at the end of the tunnel, but at least I've reached the tunnel.

So if you don't hear from me for a while, I've got my head stuck in an edit. Hopefully I'll have enough strength at the end of each day to post here.

By the way, if you recognize the title of this blog installment, then consider yourself a die-hard fan. I used this title as the subtitle for one of my Shattered Fragments columns that appeared in The Wandering Troll Ezine years ago. If you didn't recognize it, that's cool too, because I only just thought of it now myself.


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