East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Non-paying markets are not markets

I’ve just submitted two stories to the same magazine – they accept multiple submissions, they pay ten cents a word, and they have only one slot open, so it’s really a long shot. Very hard market, lot of competiton from people that’s way better than me. Why not double the chances?

In fact I had mailed just one story, two days ago, but then I got caught in a discussion about paying and non-paying markets and…
Ah, I’m a bad person!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Stuff in the mail and an ice-cold chinotto

Hey, you might say, were you not supposed to take the day off and wonder the sun-baked streets of Nizza Monferrato?
Well, I am – just got home for a few minutes to drop the shopping bags and put some things in the refrigerator.

But it was a good thing that I took a moment to come back home, because I found my contributor copy of DreamForge Magazine #2 (the one that features my short story “Sapiens”) waiting for me in the mailbox…

… plus the galleys for an anthology that should come out in August and carries a story of mine…

… and the final editor’s rev of another story that should get out in a few weeks in another anthology.

Also, a letter by the editor that received my Sherlock Holmes pastiche, and that will give me his opinion in September.

So what can I say, it’s good to be home.
I’ll drink an ice-cold chinotto (a somewhat retro drink, if you will) to that, and then get back to Nizza, where my brother roams alone at the moment.


The first submission of the year

I have just mailed off to the editor the first submission of the year, a 3100 words story called The Melancholy of Princess Bilkis – a Tale of Zothique. As I have mentioned in a previous post, this is for me the opportunity to publish a story in celebration of Clark Ashton Smith, an author I greatly admire.

I wrote the whole story last night, starting at 1 am and finishing at 7 am. As soon as I finished my story, LibreOffice, which I used for the final edit and revision, froze three times in ten minutes, each time forcing me to recover the text and start anew. And then my PC hung, and restarted itself.

Let’s consider these hangups a sign that my story is good, and will probably sell, and the ghosts that haunt my house once again tried to make my life a little harder.


Another sprint

I’ve devoted a lot of space recently to my writing, which I realize is boring to a lot of people out there.
Sorry ’bout that. This is my last writing-related post for a while.
Fact is, you know, that talking publicly about what I am about to do forces me to stick to my guns, and actually do it. It’s good motivation.
So here is what I am about to do: I am about to spend tonight revising the last bits of Hope & Glory – the plot point campaign called The Flight of the Ostrich in particular.21844978
Then I will drop everything else for two days and spend those 48 hours doing a short story about Aculeo & Amunet.
I have a few ideas I need to sort out, I can do that tomorrow morning while I am queuing at the tax office, and then I’ll start writing, and in two days I’ll have a 6000-words story, and I will submit it to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress 32.
I learned too late that the submission window for the anthology closes on the 14th of the month, that is this Sunday. And on Saturday I am away for a job, probably.
So I will have to do a sprint-writing thing, and by the evening of the 11th at the latest I need to have my story.

The anthology guidelines specify

Stories should be the type generally referred to as “sword and sorcery” and must have a strong female protagonist whom the reader will care about.

0c6581662f0d6b2882dded6b8741c36dWill the reader care about Amunet, when she is usually so keen telling us she does not care about anybody but herself? Hopefully so.

I’d really love to get into the Sword & Sorceress anthology – apart from being an excellent market, it is also an excellent showcase for an author.

And if I’ll get tangled in some other thing and I’ll miss the deadline, because it is a well known fact that we must expect the unexpected, well, I’ll have another Aculeo & Amunet story, and I will look for other markets.

The good bit about writing is that nothing gets wasted.
But enough talking about writing!
Wish me luck.