Switching Gears

Despite what I said in my last blog post, I’m switching gears. I had planned to finish editing and revising The Beginner GM and then return to work on Hero Games, which I had practically abandoned last summer. However, Fantasy Faction has thrown a metaphorical wrench into my plans.
The wrench they threw into my machine is their new Anthology and the contest for the valued slots for unpublished authors.

Their submission requirements are pretty strict: anything fantasy. I can do that. Targeting about 8,000 words.

So, over the holidays, I had an idea for a story based on the Mayan calendar’s end of time. I theorized that maybe the 2012 deadline wasn’t predicting the end of the world, but a major change in the world as we know it. (A little quick research lent substantial credibility to such a theory.) So I figure, if the world is going to completely change, why not play with physics? The story I have planned will take the world from science to magic, much like it did ages ago when the pendulum swung the other way. One will slowly fade, and the other will grow in power and awareness.

So, for those who care, that’s my new agenda and why. Sometimes, a wrench in the gears just means your machine does something new.


Well, we’ve already received a response from the Nelson Agency regarding the first 30 pages of On Common Ground and they decided it wasn’t right for them. Certainly, I’m disappointed, but not at all despairing, nor derisive! The rejection hasn’t changed my opinion of the agency; I still think they are good people. I just have to keep looking.

I wonder, sometimes, if perhaps “rejection” is a poor choice of words for this process. Yes, the process is nominally called submission, because you are throwing yourself to the mercy of the agents and publishers, much like a slave casts his eyes to the floor and silently hopes that he receives a pat on the head instead of a sword to the throat. However, back to the term rejection, in many cases, the agent or editor isn’t saying the work is no good, nor even saying they don’t want it. They may just already have signed with half a dozen novels about Shapeshifting Teacher-Monkeys Taking Over the School and so, even though my Shapeshifting Teacher-Monkeys are the best ones, they need something different. (Self-note: write a great novel about Shapeshifting Teacher-Monkeys.)

I think a better term might be “Returned.” A manuscript can be “Returned with Respect” or “Returned with Love” or “Returned with a Bag of Garbage that Smells Better than this Prose!” Thus we know why it was Returned, or at least the general impression of it, and there isn’t the automatically negative connotation of it being rejected.

So, in summation, I say thank you, Kristin and Sara, for being interested enough to request the partial, and thank you for taking the time to read 30 pages that I wrote.

(Let’s hope it was Returned with something other than garbage, though they didn’t actually specify!)


So, last week, I sent On Common Ground to The Nelson Agency which publishes a blog called Pub Rants that I follow. This week, I received and email reply from them, requesting the first 30 pages!!

(Yes, I am struggling to contain my hopeful excitement, but don’t tell anyone. I’m trying to stay dignified for the kids’ sake!)

So, with a little luck, they will decide to help Gabe, Luke, Grace, and crew to find a good home. Cross your fingers!

Positive Rejection?

Well, Derek Daniels came back with superficially sad news. Writers of the Future didn’t want him. Poor fellow; but we’ll send him back out again soon with hopes for better luck.

However, there’s a silvery lining! When Nixie came back, all we got was the rejection. If I am not mistaken, it was even through email. This time, however, we got the lovely bookmark pictured here to the left and below. One side is printed vertically, the other horizontally.

So, freebies are always a nice consolation for failure rejections. However, even nicer is a message of hope! First, the letter was a form letter, even starting out “Dear Contestant,” but in ink, the “Contestant” is marked out and my first name written in! I got individual attention! Then, below, is written the message “Submit Again Soon!” and a signature. This strikes me as a message of hope, something that says I almost made it. Then again, maybe it’s a trick to make me feel good so I’ll keep submitting to them. I choose to believe the former, but either way, it means they still want me to submit again! Guess I should get writing!

The Once and Future Author

Well, in the fading lamplight of hope for On Common Ground being published with Mundania Press, I remind myself that I have at least been published, once. Then it occurred to me that I started this blog after that publication, so I decided to share it retroactively.

I was honored to be chosen as a guest blogger on PoeWar.com about a year ago. I submitted an article called “Writing as a God” and got some nice comments and attention. (Some of them were even from people I’m not related to! Can you believe it?!)

Anyways, since it has been a year, I hope John won’t mind me reposting that article here on my own blog. It’ll go up in a few minutes.