#6 – Where Ben Calls, And I Answer

Hello readers.

Though a more accurate and personal greeting is obliged… Hello Ben, how are you?

Yes, this here is an update that my one and only reader so woefully reminded me had been less than satisfying in its regularity.
He’s currently trying to sue me for Breach of Contract – a contract he slyly had me sign with clever use of carbon paper.
He’s a git, I tell you – but a correct git, which makes his gittery even more unbearable.
In fact, he’s likely to be so gittish as to print this blog out, present it to me with highlighted mistakes, and then laugh and laugh and laugh and keep on laughing until he gets second-laughing-wind and laughs some more. At which point he then plays the recording of the laugh, thus truly giving him the last laugh. To borrow some most excellently placed words – He’s Mr Punchline. He’ll outlive God trying to have the last word.

I think I’ll start calling him Ben Nevis because he makes me feel very small very often.

But I have been slacking with the Blog. So on with it.

It’s funny. I always thought writing a Blog would be easy to keep up-to-date with, since it barely takes any time to whip out, and it serves a great purpose when it comes to creating an organised and disciplined writing structure that fits into my life.

So imagine my surprise when I find myself with a healed shoulder. The same shoulder which hindered my fitness levels, made me all sullen and depressed as I couldn’t go riding, and generally was the sole cause of a stampede of creation.
I said to myself, ‘balls to this writing lark – I’m going to crush the cross-country, burn the berms and blitz the bomb-holes.’
And that’s what I was doing instead of blogging.

Not to say that writing has taken a pillion. Not at all. Just this Blog.

When it comes to writing, my ten followers will be pleased to know that a finished story is doing the rounds, albeit very slowly.

The story is called Never A Dull Moment and you can read a tiny, teeny excerpt at the end of this Blog.

The other story I’m working on, codenamed Eat Carbon, Crap Diamonds, Get Rich is currently residing in the Planning folder on my PC.
This story is still going to be my first crack at a novel, and I have sights set on a few publishers with whom to send it to already.

But, back to Never A Dull Moment.

What is this story, you wonder? For anyone with the same memory problems as me, I’ll give a quick, no punctuation re-cap.

Deep breathe…

A woman in love with a man dearly and forever is taken aback when he suddenly decides to go on an elaborate adventure to some secret destination with her in tow and when they get there she thinks the world is the happiest place ever but as the trip unfolds the real reason for it becomes not apparent to her but damned scary and all she has worked for in life and and all he has worked for in life is crushed in an instant and there is only one victor and its an entirely unexpected one at that.

So, with that being written, I’ll now write about what it is like sending to publishers.

No fun.

Now let’s talk some more about sex.

No, let’s not. you saw what happened last time and this just isn’t the place. Clearly, Damien, you are trying to validate having sex in your blog so it can legitimately use the word as a tag, thus gaining more attention. It’s really quite pathetic.

Okay, reasoning, you win on that round. No sex.

Only an excerpt. But soon.

Publishers really are fickle things, and for good reason. I can’t imagine the slew of stories that come their way from all the wannabe Stephanie Meyers and J K Rowlings. So I implore, if you want the kind of attention you intend to live off, then pay attention to the submission guidelines. Not doing so just get’s the manuscript thrown away.

They also take a massive amount of time to please.
Most publishers don’t seem to enjoy simultaneous submissions. Just imagine if the story lands on two mats, both publishers enjoy the story, and both get in touch. The idiocy of having to make them barter is ludicrous and all too common, and I for one applaud the measure – decent content is worth fighting over, but not at the cost of lauding the author beyond his ego. It’s unprofessional and disrespectful for the industry as a whole. It creates problems both for licences and legal – such is the literary world, and I for one will not be so sly as to go against those particular grains.

Because of that, it takes time finding a publisher. Time spent editing to their guidelines,  in sending off and waiting for the reply.

One way I found of making it quicker is to just accept the story will be rejected, and get to work making it worthy for the next publisher. Most like it the same way, but subtle changes are often required.

I’m currently waiting on Asimovs to get in touch after using their online submission. Yet I have already received a form rejection from Interzone. I’m working my way down a large list, with the biggest targets at the top. I’m not sure if that’s a good strategy, considering where my level of writing is at…

Any who, that’s my problem. Here’s the tiny excerpt. Don’t be angry with it – I’m just covering myself in case a publishers actually wants to go ahead and buy it. If they did, I might have to remove it. I don’t know.

Enjoy. Hopefully…

The night sky above Aylesbury, forever saturated by light-pollution lacklustre and suffocating had robbed the town of the beauty above for decades. Yet, as the entire town and surrounding villages unexpectedly lost power, the pervasive haze vanished, leaving silver moon-kissed clouds as the only illumination to cast down on the peaceful, enchanted residents.

Some of the clouds would part briefly, revealing a glimpse of the rich universe; diamonds set in obsidian. For Ruby Hart and so many others, it was like a magician had ordered the stage lights off, commencing a grand and epic illusion enrapturing and fearsome, rewarding and punishing.

As the clouds parted directly above her, Ruby certainly felt a sleight of hand contrived to lure her somewhere mysterious. Feelings started to stir delicately.

Insignificance overwhelmed Ruby, making her feel completely irrelevant to the shrouded scheme of the universe.

And that’s it. All you’re getting. I’m protective over it for some reason – which is an odd sensation. I can’t pin it down exactly just yet, as it feels churlish and immature, so I’ll work on that, but… well, I feel it could do with some moulding, and for that reason, I wonder if anyone would care to comment below about it. I’m opening up to discussion, though appreciate this may not be the forum for it.

As for other projects, a Facebook challenge has got me completely blitzed with work overload.
I asked for people to give me three words, and a location, with which I would build a story I intend on selling.
Those words were:

1. Morgue. Bassoon. Tampon. Pterodactyl.
2. Wendover. Innuendo. Psychotic. Spontaneous.
3. Rio de Janeiro. Men. Quietly. Scream
4. Sharm El Sheikh . Truth. Anxiety. Rebellious.

All interesting, challenging and taking a good portion of my time – which is good as being kept busy is a life must for me right now! Really!

And that’s in addition to my main project, you know, the Uallus Duff one, AS WELL AS…. The Communion Novel. Yes, another project novel set in the same universe of Never A Dull Moment. I can’t wait to tell you more!

and at that, I’m off. Hopefully this coming Sunday I shall return with more news – hopefully good from the likes of Asimov, but who knows.

Take care, and a special thank you to Ben.

Kind Regards and Seventeen Kisses
(also a title to another short story I forgot to mention)


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