My surreal, flash fiction story is LIVE today at Every Day Fiction.
Read it. Like it. Love it.
Like poor Jessica.
My surreal, flash fiction story is LIVE today at Every Day Fiction.
So, you’ve been wanting to read one of my longer stories? (Note all the flash fiction to the right.) Well, here’s your chance! In fact, you can read 14 stories from Writers of the Future finalist-level authors. That’s right, every story is by a high-caliber author. (Wait, I’m high-caliber?)
My finalist story from 2011, “The Factory Amidst the Stars” is included:
So if you want to read my story: (click the pic to) Buy the book. If you want to read a bunch of GREAT short fiction. Buy the book: If you want to support me, Buy the book!
I’m blogging, because I haven’t, which isn’t a good reason to, but I have updates. So that guy can read them. Thanks, Guy.
I had a press release! http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12152295.htm
Yup. That’s me. And if press release were on my bingo card, I would have put a check on that box.
I made finalist in WotF again! http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/01/prweb12420386.htm
Which is kind of like… a press release. :p
I sold a story! http://www.everydayfiction.com/final-message-by-dustin-adams/
Guy read it. He reads all my stories. Thanks, Guy.
I sold another story! I know, two in one year. That’s like, record and earth shattering. This story was my semi-finalist from last year. (I blogged about that!) Venue and link to follow. No, really. I’ll blog again. Promise.
I wrote a story with a friend. I know, a collaboration? Isn’t that dangerous? Not in my case, because @ is awesome. And she has an awesome name. Jennifer Chicks. I mean, come on, how awesome is that? And she just scored a semi-finalist in WotF, so… More awesome.
My job is ok.
And I’m in for WotF 3rd quarter, and my story for Q4 is under heavy editing, so I *will* have a story two quarters in a row. That’s practically a record.
My wife is often asked by aspiring writers how they can improve their writing. They both already know the usual advice, and good advice it is – write more, read more, etc. – but she very often tells them to live a full life.
This is the best advice of all, certainly. Travel, that’s obvious. Read non-fiction, listen to others’ tales, love fully those who you are closest to. These are all things of a rich life. But what if you are fully entrenched in the rut?
One of the reasons, I believe, that I am not as prolific as other writers is that I neglected to properly accumulate activity memories while I could, while I was younger. I saw what I saw, and experienced what I experienced, and I draw on it now while writing – but it’s a small pool.
Those who are best at what they do often start exceptionally early. There’s a video of Tiger Woods on the Bob Hope show putting at age two. Two!
I started writing early enough, albeit inconsistently, but I spent more time playing video games than expanding my horizons. Growing up poor contributed to this, but I’m not sure I can blame my apathy for that. My desire to go be do is currently brimming, so I don’t feel like it’s a personality thing. More of an availability thing.
Growing up, I merely existed. I was a passive character. And now I’m 42 and my job is consuming and travel is difficult and I’m doing it again. But now I can analyze and ask myself if I’m simply making excuses, if that’s just me, or if I can break free and observe and b r e a t h e.
So when my wife says, live a full life, she’s really telling us to fill our cups. Take part in our fellow companions’ lives, our settings, our feelings, and the world around us. We can start at any time, as long as we turn on the mechanism.
Do whatever you can to lead a full life, a rich life. Be part of the action, not the scenery.
Exist like crazy.
Oh, so I haven’t blogged this year. So much for that resolution…
It’s not that I don’t have blog thoughts, it’s not that I don’t write them in a .doc file on my desktop called “blogs”. It’s that I don’t come here and forge them into coherent sentences.
Well, I will try, just for you dear reader. Whoever you are.
Today’s blog is a little about my writing, and reaching a place I didn’t think I would, and what it means to me.
On receiving a semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest:
I didn’t think this story had a chance. I was just hoping not to get rejected. So when I saw that calls were going out, I figured I had my result in my e-mail. When I saw the words “Congrats, you are a semi-finalist” I literally didn’t believe them.
I printed the e-mail and read the words again because that somehow made them more real, and then damnit I got all choked up. Why? Because this is the validation I’ve been waiting for. No, my first finalist didn’t do it. Not on my 3rd WotF entry, and only my 5th submission anywhere. No, not my flash fiction sales. They are great, I’m not knocking them, but I can sell an idea. I want to sell a story.
So why is yet another rejection so validating? (I still haven’t sold anything over 2K) Because A. It’s from a different judge. And B, because all those people who told me back in 2011 that I could do it again had thusfar been wrong until that moment. (Yeah, I know it’s not a finalist, but as we’ve been told and reassured, a semi is a finalist that simply didn’t fit into the top 8.)
Translation: I’m a real writer. That’s how I felt at that moment and the moments after. I felt like I’d arrived. And if anyone ever asks, that’s the moment I’ll tell them. Not after selling to X or Y, but right then. I know there are plenty of rejections to come, that’s just part of this whacky thing I do, but now I can finally believe the words I’ve heard again and again, “editor taste” not “needs improvement”.
So my college classes are over. College classes? Yeah, I don’t blog as much as I should. I spent the past 16 weeks back in school taking Psychology 101 and Contemporary Short Story 221. I can’t believe the sheer number of hours I just spent on only two classes. How on earth did I ever take and pass five? Oh, right, I was in my twenties.
But now I’m back to writing in the mornings before dawn in Iceland and I’m enjoying the heck out of my WiP.
OK, so I’ve given you my mid-year stats, but how about career?
Recently, I reached the milestone of my 50th submission, so I thought I’d share some more stats.
Submission 1. Writers of the Future contest. March 20, 2010. Result – Honorable Mention. (Still a rejection, but a nice one.)
Submission 15. March 5, 2012. A flash fiction story sent to Fiction365. My first acceptance!
Submission 50. Sept 6, 2013. IGMS. Oddly enough, a rework/rewrite of my first submission.
So, right now I’m at a 12% acceptance rate. (Assuming the pending 5 are rejected.) Pretty good, I’d say!
Here’s to the next 50, may they not take 3.5 years to happen…