Thursday, December 10, 2015

Achievement Unlocked: Story Sold!!!

I'm happy to report that I've sold one of my short stories, "The Collector," to the speculative fiction magazine: Space and Time. Huzzah! Let the rejoicing begin!

I used to read this magazine a lot when I first graduated college. It's been around since just before I was born, but I didn't discover it until I was browsing through the mag racks at a local Barnes & Noble in downtown Manhattan during one of my lunch breaks. I picked it up for the catchy cover, of course. And because it was in the section with all the other big-name Speculative Fiction magazines of the time: AnalogOmni; Asimov's; The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction; etc. Those were good years to be young and possessing so much free time! *sigh*

Anyway, this is very exciting news for me to say the least! Due to personal struggles in recent years--the details of which some of you already know--I've been way behind in my writerly output. Wouldn't you know, but it's very hard to find inspiration when your life's going all topsy-turvy. It's been 5 years since my last sale, believe it or not. Something I would be ashamed of only if, in fact, I had been writing in all that time. Which I was not. Not regularly, anyway.

Still, it's a good feeling to know that things are *finally* starting to return to normal for me on the creative front. And I'm very happy that it was this particular story, "The Collector," to help me clear away the cobwebs as I get back to the grind of fiction writing again. This story is very dear to my heart, and features the first time I've ever written in the 2nd-Person narrative (think those old choose-your-own-adventure books for reference; "you open the door to the hidden room...").

"The Collector" is a tale of what happens when an ancient enemy of Mankind falls in love with a mortal woman, and has to chose between duty and happiness. I wrote it a few years ago, revised it a couple of times, sent it out to various places last year, got it rejected by all those places, sat on it for a few more months, polished it off some more, and then finally found a publication willing to buy it off me.

As they say, perseverance pays off!

Space and Time Magazine marks my first foray into semi-pro payment markets, which typically pay 1 - 5¢/word on short stories. Before now, all my sales have been to so-called "token" markets, which usually don't rate per word, but instead only pay a nominal amount of between $5 - $35 per story. Which ain't bad when you're starting out, and I guess you have to start somewhere. But it had always been my goal to keep advancing my game up the pay scale as I practice my craft, and so I have done just that with this sale. I love progress!

Also, my previous sales have all been to electronic-only markets. Which means: online sites only. This recent sale will mark the first time a story of mine will appear in an honest-to-goodness print publication. And that, my friends, is very nice!

And there you have it. The good news I wanted to share. I've known about this for several months now, but only today did I read through my contract, sign it, and send it off to the publisher. So I guess that makes it official! I had to write a little author's bio as well, which was certainly surreal for me. So much has changed since the last time I had to write one back in 2010. Wow!

As of right now, there has been no specific issue number or date relayed to me for when exactly my story will appear in Space and Time. This has yet to be determined by the publisher. But once that changes, you'll definitely be the first to know about it here on The Bimillennial Man.

And, one last thing: Thank you to all my regulars here, silent or otherwise -- some of whom are part of my crit group -- who have always supported me and suffered through some early drafts of previous stories I've shared. It truly means a lot to me. You all do!

Onward and upward, y'all!

Monday, December 7, 2015

So, Houston ... It Looks Like I Will Be In You Soon!

No, not in the biblical way. Har, har.

I know it seems rather last minute, but in fact I've been planning to visit my younger brother for some time now. He's lived in Houston since 2003, and in all that time no one from our family has ever stopped by to visit. That changes this Christmas season!

True, it will only be myself visiting him for the holidays, but that counts for something! I haven't seen my little bro since his Vegas wedding back in 2012. The wedding was supposed to take place in Houston, but the venue got changed to Sin City rather abruptly and so the fam never did get the chance to visit his fair city.

My bro and I at his wedding.

So here's my dilemma:

Houston peeps, what the hell is there to DO in your neck of the woods? Keep in mind that I'm from New York City, so it could be that I'm rather spoiled of course. But try as I might, I just can't figure out anything to wile away my time with while I'm there. I'm going to be in the Katy/Houston area for 6 days--from mid-week on through the weekend and beyond. I won't say when exactly, but you can probably guess considering the time of year and all.

So, can you help a fella out? Any suggestions?

I have to say, I'm really liking the weather in Houston this time of year. Nothing but 60s and 70s to be seen. Occasionally a few 80s, even. Whoa! So, I guess this really is the only time of year when the city is not sitting in a thick pea soup of humid hotness, eh? NICE!!!

So, there you have it. I'll be hopping on a jet plane shortly. It looks like the flight is only 4 hours. I've been on longer day drives to upstate New York. All right!!! You know, I think this will be the shortest flight I've taken in over a decade. Even the Vegas one was longer!

And, naturally, if any of you would care to meet up during my brief stay in your city -- you know how to get in touch with me.

Or, you know, just drop a comment in the box below. That works.

Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...