Cyborg Sunday, update 01.07.2018: #Horror, #Blogging, #AmWriting, #Plotting

Time: an illusion

Waging war against humans.

The hour marches on.

–“Soldier,” A Haiku, by Kevin Holton

 

Hello everyone!

Welcome back to Cyborg Sunday.

To begin, I’ll let you know I’m making plans. I never make plans, so expect something big.

That said, I’ve got a bunch of other things in the works. I recently subbed to a closed call with my old friends at Siren’s Call Publications, where The Nightmare King will be published later this year. I also subbed to the Escape Pod podcast, confirmed a few book reviews for Pleiades, signed a contract for a fictional advertisement with The Mad Scientist Journal, sent my novella Amphibia Maxima to Grinning Skull Press, and sent my novel Absolute Zero off to Apex Book Company.

Grass does not grow under my feet, friends.

I’m also being considered for a job (not gonna jinx it by saying more), and finished the recordings for Harmon Cooper’s Life is a Beautiful Thing Book One.

More fun news, I’ve joined up with The Bold Mom as one of their new Dark Fantasy bloggers! They’re a very dynamic, socially-engaged group of horror writers and reviewers, so I’m looking forward to contributing.

As far as all things cyborg go, I’m officially CONSIDERING the Freestyle Libre. I’ve held out on Continuous Glucose Monitors due to their bulkiness and lack of accuracy, but this is apparently a great model, and my endocrinologist highly recommended it. I’ll be switching to humalog, for insurance reasons, and am going back on the 200 mcg levothyroxine, but hey, chronic illnesses aren’t a sprint. They’re a marathon.

I’m a little more excited for the Eversense system, because contrary to most people, I actually think it sounds really god damn cool to get something implanted in my body to monitor my blood sugar. Moreover, it lasts for 90 or 180 days, which is amazing, because no hassle! Even if I have to get it changed out, I imagine this tech will improve quickly.

ViaCyte is also doing interesting work with stem cells and islet cell transplants, and there’s the TRAFFIC system, and some are still following the Edmonton Protocol, though it’s still a bit short lived. Who knows where we’ll be next year?

All I know is that, for now, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on, as I like to say. Drop me a line below if you found any of this interesting. Talk to you soon!

Advertisements

Cyborg Sunday, Update 12.31.17: A review of 2017

Another year gone

But how can I measure change,

or quantify me?

–“Calendar Shift” A Haiku, by yours truly

 

2017 is pretty much over, and most people won’t read this. That’s okay–I’d actually prefer you didn’t, if you’re busy celebrating, meeting up with family, and all that fun stuff. If you skip my blog just to skip it, well, that’s okay too. Go live life as you see fit.

All things considered, it was a wild ride for me. I graduated Monmouth University with my Master’s, worked for the real NCIS (which, by the way, is not like the NCIS show, but was a lot like The Office), and had three novels accepted for publication in six months.

I am BEYOND excited. This January, I didn’t have resolutions, I just thought to myself, “This is going to be my year.” I thought maybe I’d get ONE novel published, but not three.

To recap:

My first was The Nightmare King, coming from Siren’s Call Publications. I got my start with this crew, and it’s an absolute pleasure to be publishing with my debut novel with them (ignoring the woeful self-pubbed novel I put out several years ago). This is a supernatural-psychological horror novel set in an overarching macroverse I like to work with, not unlike King’s repeated use of Castle Rock.

A month later, I followed up with At the Hands of Madness. This Lovecraftian-Kaiju Military horror-comedy romp (I can’t think of a shorter genre classification) is hopefully the first in a trilogy, assuming it sells well. We’ll see!

And, less than a week ago, I signed for my NaNoWriMo 2017 novel, These Walls Don’t Talk, They Scream to be published with HellBound Books, who I worked with for The Shopping Listan anthology where each story begins, literally, with the writer’s typical shopping list. My story, “The Cadenza,” featured a gay man who lost his arm due to a hate crime. Needless to say, by the end, he found a way to release his pent-up rage.

I also had work accepted to The Horror Zine, The Mad Scientist Journal, Worth a Thousand Words (An Ekphrastic anthology being independently edited/published by Delphine Quinn and company), Pleiades, The Digital Fiction Publishing Company, Rain Taxi, and a variety of anthologies.

Of things that came out this year, we have Sci-Phi Journal (237), Solstice Literary Magazine (Skin Music Review), Deadman’s Tome (Where the Missing Go), Transmundane Press (On Fire), Radiant Crown Publishing (Gaslandia), Mighty Quill Books (Dead of Winter), Siren’s Call Publications (Wicked Deeds, Monster Brawl), Fossil Lake (Fossil Lake IV: Sharkasaurus!), and Thunderdome Press (Dread State).  I got published alongside Ray Bradbury in that one, which is super cool. A number of shorter pieces also got picked up by The Horror Tree’s Trembling with Fear and SCP’s The Siren’s Call.

I even got to work on a screenplay! Co-writing Human Report 85616 alongside Kevin North Ruiz was really fun. It’s currently wrapping production, and I’ll update more when it’s viewable.

So, what’s coming in 2018, you ask?

  1. I aim to get to 100 short story publications (reprints count).
  2. I’d like to have a book of short stories accepted for publication (doesn’t have to come out next year, just slated for release) (I have two leads on this).
  3. Ditto to a book of poetry (I have a lead on one, Painting the White City Red, already…)
  4. I’d like to revise and send out Before My Eyes, a slightly older novel set in the The Nightmare King macroverse (I have a publisher in mind).
  5. Same goes for Amphibia Maxima, a novella about ancient, car-sized, man-eating frogs (not in the macroverse) (got a publisher in mind here, too).
  6. Have a solo-written screenplay accepted for production.
  7. Appear on a podcast.
  8. Get my Twitter verified
  9. Branch out into noir and, maybe, extreme horror. We’ll see.

I have some fitness/cyborg goals, too, of course. I want to get back into routine yoga to fix my overly-tight legs/shoulders, then run a 5K at some point before June (deadlines, as we all know, are important). I’ll be considering the Freestyle Libre, as it comes highly recommended by a bunch of my cyborg friends on Instagram, but no promises. Insurance has to cover it. If it works out, I’ll update.

Naturally, I need a job. Gotta keep the lights on.

I’ll be crossing these off as I accomplish them, updating the list throughout the year. I’d love to hear yours, too! Drop a comment on your goals below, if you have them. Either way, thanks for stopping by. Have a great NYD and 2018!

5 #Writing Tips on Being a Writer

Hi everyone,

I was browsing the internet and found this article. While good, I figures I could add a few more points to help out those looking to get out there and make their stories known. Here’s some info for you, especially if you’re interested in the publication process:

  1. Diversify. Don’t publish all your work with the same company! Having a few different groups on your bio shows you can cater to different styles and genres, which will make you a better writer. This will also make it easier to get published.
  2. Look up how long the process takes. Patience really is a virtue, and if you send a short story out, it may be months before you hear back. Novels take even longer. Assuming your story gets accepted, it could be months, even years, before it gets put in print. One of the best ways to assist your writing career is to understand that the gears grind slowly.
  3. Keep notes! I have a Microsoft Access database tracking every submission I send out, where I’ve sent it, and when I should hear back. If accepted, I move the entry to a different table within the database, tracking when I should expect publication–if it has a date–and how long until the rights transfer back to me, to avoid legal issues. If you start sending work to multiple companies, as with point 2, you’re going to want to stay organized.
  4. Look up what people hate about your favorite books. It’s easy to be blind to faults when we love something, and even if you experience the writer’s curse (near-crippling self-doubt), you might still find it’s hard to revise. Seeing the faults in other, already published books will help you with your own.
  5. Write every day. I want to emphasize you don’t have to write the same thing every day, just keep writing. I bounce between fiction, poetry, and non-fiction all the time. Sometimes I even count the essays I do for class, or items I have to write for work, to avoid strain from over-use. Should you have a blog, you can count that too (I do!).

I hope this helps you acclimate to the writing world. Whether you’re new to writing or have been around a while and looking to build yourself up, these tips should help you build the skills and traits you need to succeed in today’s ultra-competitive literary world.

No more HarperCollins ebooks?

Hello, friends,

I read this article today which says the publishing giant HarperCollins is refusing to renew their ebook contract with Amazon. It has an interesting theory, in that the author feels HC may just want to share the publicity Hatchet got when fighting with Amazon, which may explain why this revelation feels like old news.

The article also reports that HC set up a website in 2013 that would allow them to sell ebooks.

The thing is, I have no problem with this. Sure, it’s mildly inconvenient to have to go to a different website if you want HC books, but if you really love their work, then this shouldn’t be a problem. However, most people don’t buy based on the publisher. I have no knowledge of where any of my favorite books were published, and unless I’m like, “Wow, I haven’t heard from this author in a long time,” and Google him or her, then find out s/he’s an HC author, I’m not going to go to their site to find new material.

Their contract doesn’t seem to include print sales though, so this wouldn’t be relevant–I’d just be buying the hard copy.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of ebooks. They’re convenient, yes, and for someone as environmentally conscious as me, you’d figure I’d be all on-board to this product, but I just can’t get past the weirdness. For one, ereaders don’t have two-sided viewing. There’s no ‘left and right’ page, so I can never remember where my favorite parts are. I also can’t visually recall, “Oh yeah, that part with the sponges was near the beginning, around 75.” Plus I can’t really write on or highlight an etext.

I think holograms would be a good solution to this. A virtual, interactive representation of a book would be awesome, eco-friendly, and mirror the hands-on aspect of a physical work. The technology doesn’t seem to be near that yet, but hopefully it will be around within five years or so.

Any thoughts on this? I’d love to hear them below.

All my love,

Kevin

Publishers Don’t Give Social Media as Much Weight #getpublished #pubtip

Hi everyone,

I was really happy to read this. It’s short, but for a while, I was really worried about the state of publishing. As someone who loves writing but isn’t too tech-savvy, I was terrified at the thought of my work getting rejected because I don’t have a huge online presence. I’m glad to see that’s becoming less of a concern now.

The link to the original post is below. Have a great day!

Kevin

Publishers Don’t Give Social Media as Much Weight #getpublished #pubtip.