Monday, 28 July 2008

Sale to Escape Velocity Magazine

I've just heard from the editor at Escape Velocity Magazine that they are going to publish my SF short story 'The Cone Key'. It will be appearing in Issue 4 which should be out in September. This is a nifty little SF magazine and it's great to be part of it. Definately a good start to the summer holidays!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Reasons not to Write

School's out, the sun is breaking through and the beach is calling. This is the time of year when writing takes a back seat. The Writers Circle met last night for the last time before the summer break and I've put down my pen until the Autumn. Not that I won't still be thinking about writing - this is a good time of year for inspiration.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Hanging My Bithell

Today I finally got round to hanging ‘Last Light over Charmouth’, the oil on canvas by artist Stephen Bithell, that I bought during Dorset Arts Weeks.

It’s a beautiful seascape, capturing that calm of the evening that reminds me so much of the days before we had children, when we used to go diving, straight after work. As the light faded and the sea assumed the calm of a summer’s evening, still buzzing from the dive and clutching a bag of scallops or a couple of crabs, we would turn Fast Reactor back towards the Cove where she had her mooring, and the cliffs of Bats Head or Warbarrow Tout would be lit with that same quality of light that Steve captures so magnificently in his paintings.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Wet Weather and First Drafts

I can’t be a writer from Blighty and not moan at least once on this blog about the Great British Weather, but I’m sure that river I drove along to work today used to be a road!

Usually, at this time of year, when the weather gets warm and the evenings are long and light, writing takes a back seat. I’ll be sitting in the garden in the evening warmth, supping on a glass of wine as the sun sets behind the sycamores, watching the logs in the chimnea glow red.

This year however the biting sea winds have driven me shivering back inside to my computer. Still, the one good thing about it is that last night I finished the first draft of my novel. OK, so it still needs a lot of work, but the bare bones are now in place. For now I intend to put it to one side and come back to it fresh in the autumn. So come on sunshine!

Even so, I think I’d better upgrade my sleeping bag to a four season and invest in a new set of waterproofs before our camping trip, and hope it isn’t a repeat of this trip to Exmoor a few years ago.

Poor Little Bedraggled Things

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Short Stories - Market Resources

Since this is a subject that often comes up I thought I would mention some of the online market resources I use when working out where to submit my short fiction.

I’ll start with two very useful market listing websites.

The first of these,, is generally my first port of call. Markets are listed according to pay rate with pro markets clearly marked. There are also separate pages from humour, books, anthologies and even an interesting little section called ‘Adult’. At the top of each page any new markets are listed along with any recent market updates.

Duotrope is another very useful market listing website with a nifty little search facility covering a broad spectrum of genres. It is particularly useful for its response time statistics – always good to know when you submit somewhere that it’s not going to end up sitting in the slush for over a year.

The Black Hole also lists response times, but doesn’t seem to have quite as much data as Duotrope, still, it’s another useful resource, as is Black Hole Extensions which gives the most recent responses, since some magazines seem to send them out in batches.

Storypilot is another market listing website with a search facility, specifically for Science Fiction, fantasy and horror markets. The search results link directly to the websites of the magazines that fit your specifications. However this site does not seem to be kept as up to date as the other two and lacks the response time data of Duotrope.

Of course I’m sure these aren’t the only ones, and if anyone reading this knows of any other particularly useful resources of this ilk do let me know.