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.
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
- 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.
Flash Fiction Online
Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
I am unemployed. I search for work almost every day. Now and then I get lucky and get an interview, but they always find someone else who’s more qualified for the job. I feel I’m not qualified enough for any job. But still I search and apply. I have an internal battle every day. I want to push everyone in my life away and become a hermit who hides from everyone and everything. This hiding isn’t so much out of fear but because I can’t learn to function around other people. No matter how long I’ve known them, I find myself feeling out of place and lost everywhere. But still I try to connect with others and force myself into social settings.
I have several things I want to do; several ambitions. Being unemployed and barely having money for food or utilities has put many of those things on hold. It’s an issue of priority. Basic needs must come first, followed by security, and then pursuing the many ambitions I have. It’s never easy foregoing one’s dreams to deal with basic necessities. But still I pursue those dreams. Though at a slower pace than I would prefer. The dreams always feel too far away to reach. But still I reach. The negativity in my mind holds and pulls me down deeper and deeper into a black pit of darkness. But still I fight to break free.
I’m beginning to feel that my only options are to move to another city and another state to find work, reenlist in the military which means I’ll be sent who knows where for at least 3 years, or do something that will send me to prison just, so I can have food and a place to sleep. Each of these scenarios means moving farther away from my dreams and ambitions and giving up everything I’ve built thus far. I grew up being told by everyone to follow my dreams. All that has brought me is more struggle and pain. But still I dream. If I had given up on my dreams, I would be even more depressed and miserable than I am now.
I don’t know what the future holds. I feel stuck and trapped and it feels like my situation keeps getting worse. I know things will get better, but my concern is how long that will take. How long will I fight and struggle and lose everything before I can move forward? Will I keep fighting to the bitter end or will it all finally get to me, break me down, and cause me to give in and give up? I can’t give up because I have nothing else. I feel I’m stuck in a room full of people, but no one is allowed to speak to me or help me. I’m an outcast; a pariah. Even when I ask for help, I still have to fight it alone. But still I persevere. I never give up and never surrender. I never let the darkness keep me.