My Chinese kickboxing coach, Alex Zhao, commented this evening that I can throw quite a good hook to the jaw. I guess this is an important attribute for a fantasy and horror writer. Still, I need to work on my staff and spear – never know when it may come in useful when I’m describing a fight scene in a story, or when I take that time machine back in time and am forced to fight with bandits or gangsters in an open field.
I got a pleasant surprise today. Checking my emails on the computer at 6AM, I saw an email from Flash Frontier, an international online flash fiction magazine. They want to publish my 250 word story, ‘Rubble’, in their June issue! This makes me very excited. It’s a great publication with high editorial standards devoted to short fiction, the June edition is an international edition, and it will be my second publication.
I’m still waiting on replies from work I’ve submitted to other publications. Maybe some of my horror poetry or stories were accepted. Or maybe I’ll get a hook to the jaw. Gotta roll with whatever occurs.
I’m finding it enormously productive to listen to audio-books when driving. Instead of listening to songs I don’t like, ads, or inane comments on current events or rugby, I can ‘read’ some more. And if I can ‘read’ this way, and then in text, it’s even better. I’ve listened to a lot of Sherlock Holmes stories, classic horror, and a couple of Andrei Sapkowski’s ‘Witcher’ novels while travelling from place to place.
I bought another Neil Gaiman book today: ‘The View From The Cheap Seats’. It’s not a novel, but a collection of non-fiction essays, articles and speeches. Like with the introduction to his short story collections, I find reading his ideas on writing, storytelling and how he put his stories together very inspiring. It also has the text of his speech ‘Do Good Art’, which I think has something to offer any writer. The speech itself is here:
I’ve been following Charlie Brooker’s advice (see the last post), and the month of May has been my most productive and destructive yet: productive, as I’ve made submissions to eight different magazines, ezines and competitions; destructive, in the amount of sentences chiselled away into the dark void in the impossible quest for perfection.
I’ve discovered deadlines in Pacific Standard Time are very forgiving on people from this part of the world, and that setting monthly targets is an excellent idea. I’ve also realised that although I would like to write from 6-7 AM, my current work timetable doesn’t really work in with this. Maybe in a month or so my situation will change.
Tomorrow I’m going to the XCHC to take part in an event called ‘Book Buzz‘. The award-winning Christchurch poet and children’s writer James Norcliffe will be launching his new book ‘Twice Upon a Time’ there. Other writers have book launches at the event too, but I don’t know them yet – check the link for information. There’s also an opportunity to take part in open mic, which I am very keen on. Should be fun.
Until next time,