Publish and Be Damned.

It’s been a busy few weeks for homing pigeons sent by editors and judges.

In the negative column came:
– The Dundee International Book Prize: shortlisted but not final listed.
From Glasgow To Saturn:  flash fiction about a fight caused by a pub quiz machine.
Asimov’s for my post-apocalyptic sci-fi story, my first serious foray into the genre.

However, the incoming positives:
Gutter 9: The Ground Beneath My Feet, a story about a disillusioned island hopper.
Stories For Homes, a charity anthology to raise money for Shelter and to raise awareness about the current housing crisis in the UK. They are publishing an old story of mine called A Cityscape At Night, an odd, humorous post-modern piece featuring a cocky, sarcastic narrator who really doesn’t like his main character.

In other housekeeping news, I finished the first draft of my gothic novella, currently called Silma Hill. It’s a lot darker than I intended when I set off, and clearly fulfills Tom Stoppard’s criteria for Tragedy in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead: “The bad end unhappily, the good unluckily.” I’ll begin the first redraft tomorrow but since it’s a simple, plot driven work with little chance of being published (vaguely toying with the idea of self-publishing it as an ebook, partly because I want to learn how to do that), I’m in no rush to get it polished and perfect.

I finished the draft quite quickly thanks in part to the Scrivener program recommended to me by Simon Sylvester. It’s a cool piece of software designed to make life easy for writers working on big projects. One of the problems I’ve always faced is trying to keep both the big picture and the little details in my head at the same time. Scrivener streamlines that process and makes navigating the mess that may one day become a book much more manageable. Now all I need is my next big project.

Finally I’m very excited to see Freight are publishing Linda Cracknell’s debut novel. I’m a huge fan of her writing, particularly the collections Life Drawing and The Searching Glance and can’t wait to get my hands on this book.

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