War Journal 01: Storming the Beaches (of pro pay)!

In July 2009, I got out of the Air Force after twelve years of enlisted service.  Up until that time I had only written a fistful of short stories, read a couple of things about getting published, and shopped my little clutch of stories around to a few magazines and zines.  Nothing major, never something serious.  But with me getting out of the Air Force and becoming a defense contractor, an old chapter of my life was closing and a new one was opening.  I was deploying to Iraq.  I was also committed to serious self-improvement.  I decided it was time to stop messing around, tighten up my skills as a writer and get published.

A year and some change later, I’ve put a few notches on my belt.  I sold two stories for what the industry calls token pay (less than 1 cent a word).  I turned around and sold two more stories for semi-pro pay (between 1 and 4 cents a word).  Those semi-pro sales allowed me to get a AuthorCentral page on Amazon, which felt like a graduation present when I got it.  I also got Honorable Mentions in L. Ron Hubbard’s “Writers of the Future” Contest and Crossed Genre’s “Science in My Fiction” Contest as well as placing in the top 20 in Parsec’s Fifteenth Annual Short Story Contest.  Not bad for the first year and some change.

But it’s not enough.  The biggest challenge, eyes on prize, is getting that first pro sale.  It’s the Normandie Beach to my D-Day, and I’m determined to storm it.  I’ve written a lot of new stories within this year.   And virtually all of them are floating around someone’s desk somewhere.  Any one of these could liberate the shores and hook me up with pro level recognition.  Not to mention 5 sweet sweet cents a word (or more).

This is the war journal that got you up to speed to where I am now.  You’re watching an up-and-comer up and come.


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