Horror Short Fiction Contest


The polls opened today for the reader’s choice fiction contest presented by The Bold Mom blog. A grand total of 76 stories were entered into this contest including one of mine. “Ceres,” #22 in the lineup, has a lot of competition so I’m asking for your help in voting for my story. I understand you may not want to read 76 short stories. I hope you will at least read mine from the link I have provided. The polls are open for one week, so you have plenty of time to read a couple other stories.

This is one of my favorite stories I have written. The first title of this story was “Vampires of the Caribbean” and the idea was pirates and vampires. Who wouldn’t love that? As the story evolved, I decided to change the name of the story to the name of the ship. Ceres was the Roman Goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. Other than the ship being home to its sailors, this wasn’t the reason for the name. The Greek counterpart for Ceres is Demeter, which is the name of the ship on which Dracula travels to London in the Stroker novel.

I’m excited to be a part of this contest and also to have the opportunity for others to read my work. With the vast number of stories in this contest, I’m apprehensive about winning. Nonetheless, I’m spreading the word as well as I can, and I hope you will enjoy it. Click the Bold Mom link to vote and click “Ceres” to read the story. Thank you in advance for your vote. It is greatly appreciated.

The Pulitzer, Publishing, Contests, and Beta Readers


I mentioned a few posts ago that I had a short story accepted for publication on Jitter Press. I have recently had another story accepted for publication for another online magazine, Uncaged Book Reviews. As the title suggests, they write and publish book reviews. For their October issue, they were seeking a few short horror stories to include for this Halloween edition. I sent in a story and they’ve agreed to include it in the publication. There is no payment, but it’s great exposure and I’m looking forward to seeing my stories published in different places.

With the publication of my recent work of poetry, “Men Are Garbage,” I felt it had the right social commentary to be considered for The Pulitzer Prize in a collection of Verse. I paid the $75 entry fee and sent four paperback copies of the book to the people who judge works for the Pulitzer. I feel this is a gutsy move and I’m not confident that I have the skill to win. I submitted anyway just to say I did. I won’t know anything one way or the other until next Spring. I am happy to forget about it until then.

I plan to submit some work to a couple writing contests. One of them has not responded to my email with questions about guidelines and things and their deadline is quickly approaching. I may wait on that contest until next year and focus instead on the one for the Tucson Festival of Books happening in March 2019. Their contest submission deadline is the end of October giving me plenty of time. Their contest rules are also straight forward and don’t require me to email them questions. I can just submit once I have the money for the submission fees.

Speaking of saving up for submission fees, I’m working three jobs (sort of) not including anything I do for writing. I am a partner with Starbucks, a stagehand for Centennial Hall (the home of Broadway in Tucson), and I work with local nonprofits and artists with publicity and marketing. I have a full plate and still find time to do some writing. Some of my third job work in pro-bono too meaning I don’t get paid for all those things I do. However, staying busy keeps me from going insane or falling into the darkness.

I’ve also sent my novella to my small group of beta readers. I’ve gotten a little feedback which pointed out I still have many typographical errors to fix. This is why we have beta readers. Imagine if I had self-published this work anyway. I am grateful to the readers I currently have but I am always looking for more. You can find that information on my Beta Readers Page and also search for it on Facebook. Those are the current crazy updates and I’ll have many more. I’m still trying to figure out how to get some VaudVil shows going again. The future looks bright, busy, and exhausting.

 

The Poetry Is Coming


I immersed myself into a tornado of emotion and diligence over the past week and so much poetry burst forth from my brain. I don’t know if this was extreme inspiration or if I’ve finally become comfortable with writing for hours at a time. I wrote about 70 poems over the course of five days. I think the most I’ve ever completed was two poems in one day. My record now is 14 in one day. I became a poetic beast and stopped once I had a total of 100 poems that I could publish. Written over the course of nine months.

I am in the process of preparing a new paperback and eBook for these poems. I am awaiting the proof copy of the paperback so that I can run through it with a fine-tooth comb and correct any errors before official publication. Sadly, that does not arrive in the mail for another week. After making those final revisions, both the paperback and eBook will be ready for publishing. I still have not decided on an official release date, but it will be before the end of September for those of you who are concerned.

Some of my new poetry is featured on my Instagram page, @jamespackwriter, as well as some of my older poetry from my previous collection of poetry “Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry.” My newest poetry is certainly of a higher caliber and I think will be more popular than my previous works. Also, the new collection will be smaller which means it will be cheaper to purchase. I know you’re excited and you’re welcome. I am still working on a few short stories and some of them I am still trying to get published in online magazines but eventually they will be published in a collection in paperback within the next 12 months. More exciting adventures to come!