A Letter to My Younger Self


There’s so much to be said. How can I sum it all up in one letter? I’m you, but older; much older. Life hasn’t been kind to us. You’ve already been through a lot and there’s so much more you will go through.  It seems unfair, but everything has a purpose.  I don’t expect you to understand that, but one day you will. And believe it or not, things will get better.  Then they’ll get worse only to get better again.  That’s how life is; ups and downs.  The ups are never as great as you think, and the downs are never as bad as you think.

You’ve got another 25 years before you start to understand all the things that happened to you.  Why do you feel what you feel?  Why do you think what you think?  The answer will come.  My advice to you is to always trust your instincts.  In many ways, your instincts are the only thing you can trust. They help you survive.  They teach you.  They protect you.  People will come and go.  This will hurt, but you’ll keep going.  You’ll have trouble trusting them, but don’t judge them too harshly.  They’re like babies and don’t know any better. Sometimes you make the same mistakes they do.

You’re going to feel alone for a long time.  Don’t let it bother you.  Loneliness can be a strength and sometimes it helps you survive.  Be careful not to let it consume you.  That’s a darkness that’s hard to escape.  Sometimes you’ll want it to consume you.  Just know you’ll always find your way out.  Your future doesn’t have much love, but there is some there. It may not be the kind of love you want, but I promise it’s the love you need.  You won’t be much younger than me when you finally understand what love is, but it will change your world for the better.  It will make you a better person and a better friend.

Believe in yourself and don’t listen to any of the negative things you hear.  Don’t listen to the negative things you tell yourself.  You have to make your life something you enjoy. You have to mold yourself into the person you want to be.  No one will help you and most people won’t care.  You’ll know you’re doing something right when more and more people want to spend time with you and talk to you.  It will feel too-good-to-be-true because you’re used to people being awful.  Not everyone is awful, and miracles do happen. Everything you’ve survived and will survive makes you a walking miracle.  Remember that.  You are a miracle.  Never give up!  Never surrender!

 

A New Ebook

Personal Blog Header
My newest eBook went live today.  Dollar Tales from the Morbid Museum: Flash Fiction.  It includes four flash fiction stories and an introduction that is in its own way a story.  It’s a little introduction to the Morbid Museum and the curator of the museum, Mister Siris Grim.  There will be one, or possibly two, more installments of Dollar Tales from the Morbid Museum leading up to the release of the full collection of short fiction titled The Morbid Museum.  This will be a collection of horror, true crime, science fiction, and other genre fiction curated around the theme of death.  So exciting!

The first story in this new release is titled “Clyde.”  It’s about the ghosts of the Pac-Man game from the perspective of Clyde, the orange ghost.  Fun Fact: the orange ghost in the Ms. Pac-Man game was named Sue.  The next story is titled “Highway 491.”  This is a real highway that goes through New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah (partially).  Prior to 2003 it was called the Devil’s Highway because it was U.S. Route 666.  What kind of spooky things happen on the Devil’s Highway?  You’ll have to read to find out.

The next story is “Blue Ridge Mountain Hop,” a ghost story set in the Appalachian Mountains which are sometimes called the Blue Ridge Mountains because of the misty hue they reflect during certain times of day.  This is followed by the last story “Jesse’s Lament.”  This is a tale about a young man during the Civil War feeling homesick and missing his twin brother.  This story takes place during the Battle of Gettysburg on Culp’s Hill.  “Blue Ridge Mountain Hop” also includes some apparitions from the Civil War which is why I put those two together.

This new eBook will be available for free this week on Wednesday, July 4, only.  The promotion is in celebration of Independence Day and will only be available for free on that day.  As always, reviews are greatly appreciated, and any feedback will be heard and considered.  Who doesn’t love free stuff?  If you don’t have a Kindle device, you can download the app for free to any device from the App Store or Google Play Store.  I hope you enjoy the stories and I hope you’ll keep an eye out for any future works I publish.  I promise more are coming.  You can check the Projects page to see what else I’ve published.

Story Submission Struggles


I have spent many years studying and learning about the publishing world.  I believe this has gone on for somewhere around ten to fifteen years.  I’ve studied the self-publishing process and the traditional publishing process. Self-publishing is easy, but you have to put in all the work for marketing and selling your book. Traditional publishing is difficult to get into, but once you’re in, you’re good to go.  In attempting to get something published in the traditional fashion, I have learned what writing mistakes I use to make, and I’ve been correcting them.  Writing is a skill that one must develop over time.  Nothing happens overnight.

I have sent many stories and poems in for consideration to many online magazines, and a few that still print magazines.  And with the continued rejection, I persevere.  I want to make something clear.  I am not angry about these rejections and hold no animosity towards these magazines.  Sadly, I will never know what caused the rejection.  I assume it’s because my writing isn’t up to par, but for all I know, they may not have liked the subject matter or the story overall. Unfortunately, I don’t have anyone in the publishing world who can critique my work.

Every one of these rejection letters sounds the same.  “Thank you for the opportunity to read your work, but we will not be considering it for publication.”  Or something like that.  They always say thank you for the submission and ask you to submit again.  Part of me wonders if they have to reject new authors X number of times before they will publish something.  It doesn’t matter because it causes me to continue growing and improving as a writer.  Eventually, I’ll write something they want to publish.

I now want to share a list of the many stories I’ve written and the publishers that rejected them. This is not a dig on the publishers. I want other writers to see who I’ve submitted to and maybe they’ll feel less discouraged after receiving a rejection letter.  Rejection is part of writing and I’m proud to have these rejections.  The purpose of this post is to help other writers.  I also want to note, I am not including word count or any guidelines to these submissions.  Look it up on your own if you’re interested.  I’m including the progress on unfinished short stories as well just for fun.

      • The Demon’s Favor
        • Rejected by – Clarkesworld Magazine, Underbelly Magazine, Apex Magazine
      • Where the Bullfrogs Gather
        • Rejected by – Apex Magazine, Strange Horizons, Flash Fiction Online, Stupefying Stories
        • Currently submitted to Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
      • Insanity Kills
        • Rejected by – Clarkesworld Magazine, Apex Magazine
      • The Puppet Maker
        • Rejected by – Apex Magazine, Clarkesworld Magazine
      • Vexed Ventriloquist
        • Rejected by – Flash Fiction Online
      • Ceres
        • Rejected by – Clarkesworld Magazine, Apex Magazine, Unnerving Magazine, Shimmer Magazine (Ending All Publications in Fall 2018)
        • Currently submitted to Strange Horizons
    • The Sapphire Cat – 12.5%
    • Gladiators – 12.5%
    • The Dragon Sanction – 12.5%
    • Escape from Century – 62.5%
    • NPIA (National Paranormal Investigative Agency) – 62.5%

This is not a list of all the short story publishers out there and it is a little different from the novel publishing world.  I found these online magazines from the lists on the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the Horror Writers Association.  These are basically writing unions and one day when I actually have money, I will pay and signup to become a member of these associations.  Perhaps that will help me improve my writing.  I am including link to all these other magazines, so you may submit to them if you wish.  And no matter how many rejections you get, never stop writing.  Never give up; never surrender.

Apex Magazine

Clarkesworld Magazine

Flash Fiction Online

Strange Horizons

Stupefying Stories

Unnerving Magazine

Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show