Tag Archives: humor

War Journal 75: The Shift in Gears, The Seriously Funny

It was a good while back, around the time I started this blog, that I decided it made better sense to build a name in this industry writing short stories before I started writing books.  That way I could hit the publishers and be like “Hey, James Beamon here… you know me, the guy with the fan base a legion strong… the dude who hasn’t quit because the world’s decried he’s too legit.  Attached is my debut novel.  Since your submission guidelines said nothing about simultaneous subs, I’ve also sent it to three other fairly large publishing houses.  I look forward to hearing back from you.  Sincerely Yours (for a price), James”

I mean, it makes sense right?  The thing is writers don’t actually listen to business sense so much as the story that’s beating in their writerly hearts.  And so while I was working to get into the biz one short at a time, the big story… the novel story that’s currently spanning trilogy lengths was beating in the heart.  So I’d take time out of the story game to write the novel, going back and forth and back again.  I finished the first novel without making too much of a splash in short stories.  Same went for the second novel.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve acquired a healthy number of people who dig what I write along the way, love you folks and your awesome sense of taste and style.  I’ve gotten to SFWA recognized pro status, a mountain of an endeavor, at least I think so.  But the novel writing was definitely messing with the volume of stories and hence my takeover of the game via shorts.

Flashback to August of 2015.  I had gotten zero short story sales for the year, I mean zero with the hollow circle, one less than the loneliest number.  We were getting into the “-ember” part of the year, you know, the ass end.  And the last sale I had was back in August of 2014.  So the business sense kicked in, along with a healthy dose of fear that this would be the year of the goose egg.  I basically mothballed third novel and got a LOT more shorts written out.  And many of them sold, Daily Science Fiction, F&SF, Apex, Sci Phi Journal, and more.  At the end of 2015 and going into 2016 I got 11 short stories accepted, published or both depending on the speed of the venue.  I made the Nebula Awards Recommended Reading List… twice.

It’s April 2017 and the smoke’s cleared after my writing/submitting blitz on the marketplace.  More to the point, I feel really good about where my stories landed, the viewership I attracted, and my visibility.  And while I don’t think I’m in any position to send that ultra-brazen letter to the publishers I posted above, I do think that I couldn’t ask for a better year in terms of how I hustled.

Since I’m not about going through 2017 with more of the same, I figured it was time to do the full switch of gears.  It’s novel finishing time.  I still have some stories out there, waging war with the world’s slushpiles, but I’m not looking to write write write more stories this year.  I plan to finish the third novel, put some honey glaze on the whole trilogy, and send it out to you guys for your consumption.  Granted, I may pen one short or two if the distracting pull is strong enough, but I’m fairly focused, like a laser pointer with only one bad battery.

The last part of this post involves my serious pursuit of the nonserious.  April is Unidentified Funny Objects month.  This year we’re on the sixth volume and I’ve been an Associate Editor ever since the first one.  If you’re a writer then we need your funny.  I’d love to read what you’ve done… as long as it’s funny.  So if you wrote something that makes you laugh and/or makes others laugh and everyone laughing is laughing for the right reasons, send it to us.  Guidelines are here.

Leave a comment

Filed under War Journals

War Journal 69: The One That Is, The One That Will Be, and The One Remembered

Some troops deploy stronger than others...

Some troops deploy stronger than others…

So it’s been a busy month, not the least because I’m waist deep in slush for Unidentified Funny Objects 5 [SIDENOTE: Writers! Send us your funny!!].  Anyway, in the space of like a weekend I’ve got news of new stories.  It’s a trifecta folks, which is strange considering how we got here.

First, the one that is.  Freshly printed in the inaugural issue of the new prozine Compelling Science Fiction, check out my hard SF story “Opportunities for Lost Children.”  This one was one of my wife’s favorite pieces, full of old money, augmented reality, luchadors and a dude named Joke Roosevelt.

Secondly, the one that will be.  Specifically, my latest story “Episodes from the Abner-Mortimer Karmic War” sold to the folks over at the No Sh!t, There I Was anthology.  Conceived by Steven Saus and edited by the illustrious Rachel Acks, these stories promise to be the most awesome over the top tales you’ll find anywhere.  Currently the Kickstarter to support the project is live.  I hope you check it out.  Preorder!  Your money raises my pay rate… papa needs a PlayStation VR headset, which is likely the closest I’ll come to a holodeck in my lifetime.

Finally, we have the one remembered.  Ares Magazine bought my story “King of the Shell Game” like forever ago.  I’m talking like March of 2014.  They said they wanted it, would pay on publication and… went quiet.  It was that deathly stillness horror in the fog kinda quiet.  That process let me know authors age in dog years when they’re waiting to see their stuff hit print.  A year later, March 2015, the folks over at Ares hit me and said my story would appear sometime within the next three issues.  Cool.  Months went by.  And I just plain stopped checking.  I finally got an impulse to look into it and there it was… no announcement about it or nothing.  It’s just hanging out there, quietly being a story I really enjoyed writing, this cool concept of energy beings wearing other sentient races as shells and absorbing the host’s attributes for a short while.  I urge you all to check it out.

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under War Journals

War Journal 68: Leapolution II

I looked this good 4 years ago... the hell have I been eating?

I looked this good 4 years ago… the hell have I been eating?

Leap Day!  Some of you, two handfuls in fact, remember the last time I posted on Leap Day.  It only comes once every four years, so that first time I wanted to catch my blog in its infancy and see how it grew the next time Leap Day rolled around.

For the many more that are new, here were the stats back then:

I was in Afghanistan.  That kinda sucked.

I had 2 out of 3 pro sales to make SFWA qualifications.  I would later learn that one of those sales didn’t count.  At the time, that sucked even worse than Afghanistan.

I had 16 subscribers.  16!

I had a fierce thirst for more.

Now, four years later, and the only thing that’s still constant is the thirst!  Current subscriber count is 169, which is awesome.  I’m SFWA recognized.  I’ve sold 12 stories at pro pay to places such as Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, AE: The Canadian SF Review (making me an international player!) and the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology.  Speaking of, I also became an associate editor, directly affecting the landscape of speculative fiction comedy.  And it kinda rocks reading the work of other writers in the trenches, trying to get their funny on while battling the slush.

Who knows where we’ll be the next Leap Day.  Maybe 1699 followers and a book deal?  Your man can hope.

In the meanwhile, thanks for hanging out with a brother.  It’d be a lot lonelier in the trenches without you.

6 Comments

Filed under War Journals

War Journal 67: Settling Beef

Hello small yet growing fan base and the random theoretical folks that somehow wondered onto my site!  Those of you who belong to the latter group may not know, my latest flash story Settling Beef debuted today over at Daily Science Fiction.  This marks my first new story published this year, with a bunch more coming (I actually guarantee this)!

The fallow year is over folks.  In 2016 I’ve settled that beef!  To those who are fresh and new to the site, welcome.  That welcome comes with a smile that you can’t really see on your end of the Internet.  It also comes with a recommendation that if you liked Settling Beef then you should definitely check out Saviors, also at DSF.

In much related news, my friend, peer, and overall stand up guy Anatoly Belilovsky (seriously check out his Kulturkampf, text or audio!) sent me a video to commemorate this latest story.  It was too awesome not to share with you all!

5 Comments

Filed under War Journals