Tag: On Publication (N)

Sloughing of the Skin

Today I recieved my copies of ‘Black Petals’ number 50, the very issue in which my story, ‘Sloughing of the Skin’ has seen print.

‘Black Petals’, a glossy covered A4 horror ‘zine located in the USA kindly took ‘Sloughing of the Skin’ off of me for a six month period for all of you, the public, to read and enjoy.

The story features a piece of art that shows that the artist, Billy Tackett had read the story before committing pencil to paper (always a good thing). I had no idea what the associated image was going to be for ‘Sloughing of the Skin’ and this piece is far more appropiate to the story than I had hoped for (and had been believed possible, from comments elsewhere about art in ‘zines). It captures the essence of narrative and probably does (I say probably because I know the story far too well to be able to comment properly) hook the reader in.

It is also oddly appropiate because ‘Sloughing of the Skin’ is a story about art and the effect it has on the both artist and the artwork.

Whilst I would hardly call it my favourite story it does have some nice touches that I am proud of. It didn’t end the way that I thought it would, and the original version had a subplot involving a next door neighbour who visits twice, both creating some interesting questions about the phenomena.

(In an ideal world you would all be singing the ‘Mamamnah’ song right now….)

However, the subplot added little compared to the amount of words it took up, and the ending the narrative forced upon me made more sense than whatever it was I had hoped for.

One down, countless more to go.

The Kindest Cut of All

Another week, another rejection letter, but boy-oh-boy, what a rejection.
     ‘Twas lovely. Absolutely lovely.
     With comments like:

‘An odd story that seemingly violates the rules of plot, but works nonetheless. I will be thinking about this one for a while.’


‘Strangely, I don’t find this story depressing, which I would have expected given its content. (Although the thought of this story going up against mine for the national short story award _is_ depressing, for me.)’

Which, as I am sure you can see, really is yet another case of my submitting work to a market that wasn’t quite right. They liked it, but couldn’t find a place to publish it.
     Judging the market is still something I must master; I’ve had a fair few rejections now which were ‘We really liked it, but it isn;t quite right for us’ and I really, really, really should be reading more widely. My other writing project is somewhat preventing me from doing that, however; come March next year, though, all will change (well, hopefully).
     Hmm… I think the ‘problems judging the market’ comment is my most repeated issue…

Publication Imminent

Yet another of my flights of fancy is about to see print… ‘Shout outs’ to ‘Macabre’, a new ‘zine coming out of New Zealand’s own Canterburym for deciding to take ‘Sport of Kings’ for their first issue.
     And I’m sure that I reported this here before, but obviously I’ve managed to delete the post somehow… Anyway, ‘Black Petals’ are printing ‘Sloughing of the Skin’ sometime in September.
     Up-ness looking a-go-go.


So one of the markets I sent a story to has died without fanfare, whilst another has resurrected only after deleting its backlog of submissions…
     But I’ve increased my total of stories searching for a home by an additional one.
     Yay me!
     I’m not going to mention the emotional rollercoaster that is my life. I would have to talk about the sequel to the story posted below (well, the thematic sequel on which the original was based…) and my father finding a wench mere moments after the separation from my Mother.
     You don’t want (nor need) to hear any of the fact. Wait until it becomes fiction. I like to share the fiction.

Postive Rejections

‘Little Boy Lost,’ a horror piece I wrote at the very end of last year, has been rejected by the good people at ‘Flesh and Blood.’ Overall they felt it was a nicely written story with a good idea, but that it did not feel right for the magazine.
     Bless them.
     Now usually polite rejections hide true motivations, but I’ve been rejected by ‘Flesh and Blood’ before, and know their style. This rejection, despite the lack of an accompanying trolley load of monies and a plainitive note asking me to write for them for ever more, is actually a step forward. They liked the work, they just didn’t think it was suited to their magazine.
     Which, in truth, I should have realised. There is an article to be written on the singular horror that is trying to read a cross section of short genre fiction. I haven’t read the umpteen hundred ‘zines out there that are publishing in the horror genre, and I thus I can pretty much guarantee that I am missing out on the most suitable markets for what I write. More on this at another time.
     Positive rejections still hurt; that they liked the story is one thing, that you were stupid enough to send it to an inappropiate market is another (I’ve had quite a number, recently, of postive rejections). But the important aspect is that they encourage more work, and give you some reason to love the story.
     It is very easy to reject your own work when others see no merit in it.
     Anyway, since I have little shame and want money I’m going to submit the story elsewhere. I’ve got a pretty good idea of where, as well.
     And there are always the host of unwritten stories to sell.
     I could grow to like this, you know.