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An Unexpected Writing Update

There are a few mantras you have to repeat to yourself when submitting short stories. “Keep it out there” is an important one – never let the story sit, eventually it will find a market. “Keep track of your submissions” is a super valuable one that I don’t think gets enough press. Whether you pay for Duotrope, use the amazing services of The Grinder at Diabolical Plots, or run your own homebew solution, you have to keep track of where you sent a story and when. This helps you not send it to the same editor twice, but it also let’s you keep track of how long it’s been out.

Take me. Lately, my stories have been novel length. That doesn’t mean I won’t write a short story if it bites, but most of the stories I’ve been working on of late have been, well, longer. That wasn’t always the case, and with some downtime yesterday I reviewed where I had stories pending still. To my surprise, and thanks to pure neglect, I had a few stories that had been out long past the point that I should have heard something back. So I did the only thing that made sense.

I wrote the editors and asked if they were still considering the story. This may seem a bold move if you know me, but at 100+ days, I figured it was about time.

This morning, one of the editors responded. Which is why I’m happy to share that I have my second publication (pending), a sale to the Enter the Apocalypse anthology. I don’t want to give too much away yet, but consider the story has both kaiju and vampirism in it, and this song was in my head when I wrote the first draft.

And happy Friday!

Does Cummings Actually Write?

I’m in a bit of a doldrum, folks. I am committed to finishing the first draft of this fantasy novel. The problem is, life’s insurmountable distractions aside, the capricious thing I call a mind is trying to convince me that the story is boring. That it’s time to move on to work on other things, more exciting things. Everything on the other side is shiny and new and untouched, and the fantasy novel is dull and boring and uninspired.

That might actually be true. It doesn’t matter, but it might be.

So why continue ploughing forward? Because I feel this way as I draw to the end of every novel. I know there are flaws in this draft – the hints I started the novel with that I never brought up again. The guns I placed on the fireplaces but left to collect dust. The shape of the novel evolved as I wrote, but I’m letting the part of me that knows there’s inconsistency cloud my judgement.

So it’s time to write it forward. I’ve said this before, I know. Frequent readers have heard me pledge I’m going to speed this up and finish writing, and yet here I am a month later and barely 10k further along.


To answer the question – I cannot say with any alacrity that Cummings has written lately. A few thousand words here and there, but nothing that distinguishes me as a writer. But I’d like to finish this novel before GeekGirl Con, which means I have just over two weeks. If I apply myself, that should be enough time. I’ve been using Novlr for the last few weeks, and really appreciate it as a soon-to-be scrivener online. I’m working through a bug with the developers (my most recent chapter is being moved around on me), but that aside really enjoy the app. Plus, it lets me utilize my Chromebook completely now, which is always a plus.

OK, enough babbling about that. I need to get some work done so I can settle in for an intense writing session later.

I’m sorry I stared

I’m sorry I stared.

I can’t help it. It’s a curiosity born of intrigue, a deep abiding need to know.

Is this your first time reading about Rand and the heron marked blade? Or is this your Catcher in the Rye, a book you read until it is rags and then buy a fresh copy to start anew with?  Have you never been to battleschool with Ender? Has Lilith learned about the trade she made to save humanity? I don’t mean to stare, honest. I’m too shy to walk up to you and ask these question. Too afraid of your reaction when I ask, has the Prism revealed his hidden, dark secret yet? Do you dream you can cast in shades of red, or is it all green?

To all of the folks that don’t spend their entire ride staring at a phone or playing their music real loud while pretending to be cool, but instead sit, stand, and lean with a book in their hands – you are my heroes, my inspiration. Occasionally I see a few of you on the same car, and I get excited. Maybe this is a clandestine meeting of the book readers club, those folks that would rather a well worn paperback as they move around the city, meeting in the warrens of the transportation system as they reveal the hidden worlds they have found.

But I’m sorry I stared.

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