Tag Archives: necessary fiction

My first lines from my first stab at a novel

In 2002 I was 26 and living in Tokyo and wanted to write HARD.  What I thought that meant was, chain-smoking and drinking bourbon at a 4 AM keyboard.  Which made for the most pure writing fun I’ve ever had, and a manuscript complete in a little under six weeks.

The writing life ain’t so hard, I thought.

These florid lines, released with a grimace on my part, belie that thought.  They were meant to form the opening pages of a novel, and now finally see daylight as an exemplar of what not to do.  (Though I’m still fond of some of them, in a grandfatherly sort of way.)

I still write at 4 AM, only sober and just awakened.  Not near as much fun, but there are no hangovers, and a lot less grimacing later.

See the full floridity at Necessary Fiction. (Thanks to Steve Himmer for the opportunity to air the purple prose of pages past.)

“Some Place” is up at Necessary Fiction

My story “Some Place” is up at Necessary Fiction.  I wrote this story while I was still living in Thailand, thinking about America from a tropical distance, reflecting on my days working as a surveyor, mostly on subdivisions in Colorado (sorry, Colorado).

It took me 5 tries to crack this market and it finally happened with a story I wasn’t really sure had legs or not … a further lesson that all you can do is write the story as best you can and then let editors and / or the market decides its relative value.

A big thanks to Steve Himmer for accepting the piece, and for some very deft editing.  A sampler:

“Yep,” said Jeffroach. “From now on, be plenty of time for me to get to what I like.”

“Guess she’s going to stay in there,” said Thom.

“Fixing up old trucks. That’s mostly what I like. Take this puppy here. Wasn’t much more than a bucket of rusted-up bolts when I found her. But I got her going. Been a struggle, let me tell you, with ole horseface all the time throwing bottles at me.”

“Empty ones?”

“Don’t you know it. She ain’t about to give over a bottle she ain’t finished with. She’d say it was throwing bad liquor after a worse man. You ought to hear her sometime.”

"Some Place" is up at Necessary Fiction

My story “Some Place” is up at Necessary Fiction.  I wrote this story while I was still living in Thailand, thinking about America from a tropical distance, reflecting on my days working as a surveyor, mostly on subdivisions in Colorado (sorry, Colorado).

It took me 5 tries to crack this market and it finally happened with a story I wasn’t really sure had legs or not … a further lesson that all you can do is write the story as best you can and then let editors and / or the market decides its relative value.

A big thanks to Steve Himmer for accepting the piece, and for some very deft editing.  A sampler:

“Yep,” said Jeffroach. “From now on, be plenty of time for me to get to what I like.”

“Guess she’s going to stay in there,” said Thom.

“Fixing up old trucks. That’s mostly what I like. Take this puppy here. Wasn’t much more than a bucket of rusted-up bolts when I found her. But I got her going. Been a struggle, let me tell you, with ole horseface all the time throwing bottles at me.”

“Empty ones?”

“Don’t you know it. She ain’t about to give over a bottle she ain’t finished with. She’d say it was throwing bad liquor after a worse man. You ought to hear her sometime.”

Rejection #170, 171, 172 – Onirismes, Bete Noire, Necessary Fiction

Bit of a French theme going here.

Onirismes, which is actually in France, have studied my story.  Unfortunately, they are unable to publish it.

Bete Noire, which is not in France, found my story too political.  I found that one a little baffling since I consider my writing pretty apolitical, but okay.  I’ll bear it in mind.

Necessary Fiction thanks me, but unfortunately &tc.

Rejections #146, 147, 148, 149 – Necessary Fiction, Used Furniture Review, Ascent, Shimmer

The editor at Shimmer, E. Catherine Tobler, included a nice note with her rejection that included a very useful comment on the story.  She encourages me to try Shimmer again.  I appreciate the kind words, and I will.

Steve, the editor at Necessary Fiction, also included some very useful comments on the submitted story in his rejection note.  His points are frankly spot on, and in fact I’m going to rewrite the story in question with these suggestions in mind.  It’s great when an editor does some editing, rather than just hitting the auto-reject button; it means (I think) that your story has some legs, you just have to get it over the hump.  Steve also wishes me luck.  Thanks, Steve. 

Ascent appreciates the opportunity, but my submission is not right for them.

Used Furniture Review wants me to know that my submission isn’t “bad;” it just isn’t what they are looking for.