This Writing Life#52
In my youth and middle age I was a soldier on the battle field, lead vocalist for several basement rock bands, professional student, aspiring writer, college bar scene observer and participant, vegetable garden tender, Bell Telephone supply truck driver, grocery store night stockperson, fast food burgher flipper and student license pratical nurse. I would also like to modestly add, the lover of several very willing young and not so young women. Those were the days. Now, nothing.
Of course during this period I was writing, writing, writing. My old notebooks are full of the observations of my previous life, all written in exposition (telling) as essays. All my fiction is based on these notebooks. I wrote several of these essays in third person (Scott Delaney) to give distance to the observations (like my hero Hemingway did with his third person alter ego, Nick Adams). Tid Bits From My Old Notebooks is the result. It's up now under "Articles" on www.authorsden.com/guyhogan
If I can get published so can you.
How To Get Published
Okay, so you're an aspiring writer. You know your stories are well written. You revise each story several times before you send it off with the hope of publication; but the stories always come back with an encouraging comment by the editor but not an acceptance. There could be any number of reasons for the rejection of a well written story: the publication recently published a story on the same or similar subject; you didn't do your homework and sent a story to a publication that doesn't publish adult erotica no matter how well written it is; or your story didn't stand out from a slush pile full of well written stories. Maybe it's your style.
The more unique a writer's style the more his or her story will stand out. Here are some of the general parameters of my own style.
I try to use as little exposition as possible (show don't tell). I don't use adverbs or adjectives. I write in scenes (show don't tell). I use description as exposition. The resolution of a story "never" depends on coincidence. My stories are "packed" with things, action (dialogue is action) and body language. I leave as much as possible to the reader's imagination so the reader participates in the creation of the story.
That's my style. So, what's your style.
I just had a story accepted for publication by Brilliant, an eBook and print anthology of flash fiction; and another story accepted by The Steel City review, an on line journal. If I can do it you can do it. Guy--(www.authorsden.com/guyhogan).
A chilly, rainy December 25th in Pittsburgh. It fits. The Steelers lost again. Since my father died and Mom sold the old homestead and now travels around visiting all of her adult children who live all over the country, Christmas is not the same. She's in Texas now. I guess that's what happens ...read more
Two new postings at www.flashfictionnow.blogspot.com
Been away too long. See a lot of new stories on the site. Word Riot (www.wordriot.org). published "The Big 5-0" in its August issue. Check it out. Guy.
Got a good response to query letter. Now have to put together a cover letter and a proposal. Will use selected readings from www.flashfictionnow.blogspot.com to teach my students. The blog is a blueprint for writing the new flash fiction. And its free...Word Riot accepted a story for its August issue. Feeling very confident of writing. The only worry now is getting a position as an online facilitator with paying students. Will soldier on.
Working on query letter to pitch proposal to teach online writing workshops. First impression very important. Want to be absolutely professional. Working title of proposal: Writing Cinematic Flash Fiction. That ought to get some attention.
Overcast day. Same forecasted for entire week. Some rain and maybe thunderstorms, too. Getting use to being a freelance writer. Setting own schedule. Very nice. Getting lots done but have to create a cash flow. Never know how important money is until there is none. Been there. Done that.
Blog (www.flashfictionnow.blogspot.com) now has 21 posts. A good bit of work. Real nuts and bolts advise about writing stories. Have had nearly 200 clicks on blog in less than two months. Won't know for another month if it's helping to sell the book. Clicks mainly from USA but also UK, Canada, Israel and even Thailand.
Stayed up late (1:00am) last night to watch Public Television's Sound Stage. America was on. Remember America? They did "The Tin Man," "I Need You," "Horse With No Name" and lots of others. Looked good and sounded great. Music of my youth. Lots of music in the book. Even a story about a frontman for a rock band (which I was for several basement bands).
Did "Send Me An Angel" by Real Life last Friday at karaoke. Haven't done a story about karaoke yet...
Staring to work on a syllabus...
Starting to work on a syllabus to submit to an online workshop. Hopefully the MFA degree and three publications will be enough to teach paying students. The internet is the future and the future is now.
Steeler quarterback had no license. Will be charged. Steeler first round pick in trouble with police again.
Brother flew in from California for the weekend. Wish I had his money. Spent no time with him. Got lost in the shuffle. He flew back 6:00am today.
Left foot hurts. Suspect too much salt in the diet. Threw the damn salt away.
Right now blogging and listening to classical music on the radio. Karaoke friends would never believe it. Last week did Billy Idol's "Eyes Without A Face."
Will balance check book in a moment then go on a beer run. Wonder why there's so much beer drinking in my stories?
Lovely, sunny day. Many people talking about the Steeler quarterback. He was lucky. Wonder if he will stop riding motorcycles until after football. Wonder if he does keep riding will he wear a helmet.
Tomorrow the big day. A short story and an article in a top 100 fiction ezine. Gives credibility to www.flashfictionnow.blogspot.com as a blueprint for publication. Everything learned about flash fiction in over 35 years goes into the blog. Probably will be the second book.
COMPRESSIONISM: THE PITTSBURGH STORIES also an eBook. Totally forgot all about this format. Only $6.00 at www.amazon.com to download immediately. The cover in color.
Finally, sunshine and a little warmth. Strange how the weather can affect mood. Just like in a short story. Weather is never just weather. Water is never just water. A bird is never just a bird. The concrete thing must not only be itself but something else at the same time. A pattern of signifiers on the surface of the story that hints at the understory, the real story. Can't do this all the time but wonderful when it works. Sat up late last night at the computer checking out other blogs. There are thousands. Left the url of my blog at three. Got a flattering respond this morning about PERSEVERANCE on www.flashfictionnow.blogspot.com. Many more blogs to go. Have to get the word out on Compressionism. Waiting out answers to five story submissions. Need at lease one more acceptance to be credible as an online facilator at a workshop that pays. Always this endless waiting...
Thursday Around 5:30pm...
Thursday around 5:30pm. Have been in front of the computer for hours drinking beer and listening to the classic rock station and working. Posted another session about the craft of writing on the blog (www.flashfictionnow.blogspot.com). Read a couple of stories and posted comments on Lit.Org. Cooked up some homefries with chunks of turkey and onions. Pretty good. Bad Company just came on the radio. The weather overcast and more rain expected for next few days. When will it end? Owner of hangout said he would not get rid of karaoke, just get rid of the DJ. Great. Have never done a story about karaoke. Will do Union of the Snake by Duran Duran tomorrow night...Rock on!
This Writing Life...
Got a breath-takingly flattering letter of recommendation from the Director of the Writing Program, my offical mentor, at the University of Pittsburgh. Think he was sincere, too. Waiting to hear about five submissions to different online ezines. Need maybe one more acceptance before submitting a syllabus to online workshops to teach paying students. Out of school now and constantly worrying about paying the rent and other bills. Student loan payments will kick in soon. Joined an online dating service for six-months. Probably a waste of $200. The one contact hasn't answered in over a month. Feel pretty foolish. Better stop thinking about meeting women and worry more about getting a job. Manager of the karaoke hangout is thinking of cancelling karaoke for the summer. Not enough paying customers. What the hell! Will have to find a new hangout.
The Time of The Season
School is over. Turned in a final paper Fiday and posted grades for students yesterday. Now begins life as a "freelance writer." Back out in the cold, cruel world. At the computer since 10:00 this morning looking for opportunities.
Publication of an article, "Compressionism" in ...read more
After Night Class...
After night class walked from the university to a favorite bar. Little traffic. The night chilly. Some familiar faces in the bar but no one to really talk to. A lot of students. Some older guys, too. The local professional hockey team on one of the TVs. The team losing. The 16oz glass of beer tasting flat. Wish there was someone to talk to. Graduate in about thirty days. Facing the need to make a living for first time in five years. Feeling fear. Feeling determined. 59 with an MFA in fiction. Foremost authority on "Compressionism" in the world. Must be worth something. Left the bar. Glad to be in own apartment. Watched the news on TV. Bottle of beer, some canned meat and bread for dinner. Appointment with Director of The Writing Department at 2pm tomorrow. He monitored Intro to Fiction and now will give his critique. After tomorrow's appointment don't have to be anywhere until Tuesday to teach Intro to Fiction. Have to get lots of work done by then. Now will watch a little more TV then try to get some sleep. Insomnia lately. Have plenty of beer if necessary. Will get some sleep tonight.