I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. At first, it was poetry and occasionally short stories. I was inspired by The Hobbit, and the Lloyd Alexander Chronicles of Prydain. I even attempted to write an entire fantasy novel at age 12; it was 180 pages long and horrible.
For most of the last 30 years, I’ve written poetry. I have about 30 poems I think are decent of 60 I’ve written. It was only in the last 7 years that I decided to take up fiction seriously.
My friend Kelly actually began a writing group, and she eventually dropped out but I kept it going. We’ve been meeting with some variation in membership for about 7 years now. At first, learning how to deal with critiques was very difficult, but it got easier.
My first true attempt at a novel happened in 2010. My friend Divia had told me about her NaNoWriMo experience and it got me really excited to try it: write 50,000 words and don’t worry about how much they suck? That sounded like something I could do! Since then, I began a second and a third novel, and have now managed to finish a first draft of the third one.
I’m still trying to figure out publishing. The only publications I’ve ever had were a poem in my high school literary journal and a self-publication of selected poems using Lulu (so, really, self-formatted and printed, not even really published—see below).
In the process of writing my most recent novel, The Cycler Gangs of Beta Fornax, I developed an entire science fiction universe from which I spun off what was meant to be flash fiction, but ended up being a short story (Birthday Vacation). I sent that off to one publication, got rejected, and talked to my wife (who is a professional editor, and who has been writing fiction for much longer and more seriously than I have been), and she suggested that for a newcomer to this particular universe, my short story might need higher stakes to draw people in. So that’s about where I am: waiting on feedback from my writing group on the first draft of Cycler Gangs, and about to try to increase the stakes in Birthday Vacation, and then try to get it back out there.
It’s reassuring to see that my friend, Diana, who is an experienced fiction writer, and graduate of Clarion West, has had to submit stories many many times before getting them accepted. Fortunately, perseverance has never been a problem for me.
I have a lot of ideas for stories and I realized that it would be helpful to talk about my process, my writing, and my adventures in publication to keep me engaged even when I don’t have the time or energy for getting words on the page.
So, thanks for being here to follow the adventures of my sapid scribbles!