Short Story Marathon (Writing Update)

I said I wouldn’t push myself too hard, but that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. My New Year’s resolution was to submit at least three stories for publication. So, I’ve found three anthologies that are right up my alley.

Unfortunately, I should not have started this resolution two-thirds of the way through the year. With the short deadlines (all within the next two months), I’m spending whatever time I have writing and polishing them. It means the rest of my life is taking a backseat.

Three stories in two months may not sound like a lot. After all, I’ve been writing a story a week. But if you include my obsessive editing and the seven to ten days it takes my editor, I’m pretty crunched.

Still, productivity is a good feeling. Mostly.

The Installation

This story is a culmination of ideas that have been swimming in my head for some time. A camping couple is abducted and brought to a secret underground installation where they are used as bait for a dark evil.

They say write the stories you want to read, and I did exactly that. The anthology calls for underground horror, and I feel my concept is “out there” enough to be noticed. The story sits at a whopping 6,100 words (the anthology’s limit is 3000 to 7000). While there is a good chance I’ll be rejected, the joy I experienced writing it has made it worthwhile.


Art by Lynne Hansen I picked up at KillerCon

Halfway through the month, I attended the extreme horror convention KillerCon in Austin. It was my first year in person (the last two have been virtual due to the pandemic). I went to some great panels, met some great people, and had a blast.

I talked with some literary titans such as Wrath James White, John Skipp, Shane McKenzie, Max Booth III, and Jeff Strand, and made many new friends. After visiting the vendor’s tables, I came home with 25 books and 2 pieces of art. To celebrate the final night, I bought the ingredients for my favorite cocktail: the caipirinha. The drink was well-received to say the least.

While I enjoyed myself thoroughly, BizarroCon will always be my home. Still, I plan to attend next year’s KillerCon. I unfortunately agreed to participate in the Wings of Pain contest, which involves some of the hottest hot sauces out there.

Art by Dan Henk

This month’s post is a little short due to time constraints. Hopefully, next month I’ll have some updates on how my submissions went. Cross your fingers for me!


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