Slow Burn

June/July 2021 Writing Wrap-Up

We’ve only just reached August, and already this summer is on fire! Figuratively and literally–since my wife and I have returned to Idaho, it’s been smoke-filled skies every day, thanks to the wildfires burning in Oregon. That haze has done little to curb the heat, with temps regularly going over 100F. At least it’s a dry heat (badum-tiss!).

I, on the other hand, have not been on fire. In fact, it’s been a very slow couple of months on the writing front. This is largely due to me having my hands full with other people’s manuscripts. That’s right, my editing business has been taking off! I completed four manuscript assessments in the last two months, including a 320k word whopper of a book that puts the epic in Epic Fantasy. I also had the privilege of doing a little developmental editing for two short stories of the horror genre–my favorite. So in that respect, things are going well.

Also, my mojito game is on point

Short Stories

Unfortunately, hitting the right balance between working on client projects and my own has proven a bit of a challenge. I’ve got three short stories that I feel are finished and submittable; you can read more about them in my previous wrap-up. Two of them are still under consideration, but the third one has been passed on by seven markets now, so I think I’m going to retire it for a little while and come back with fresh eyes in a month or two.

I did get some writing done, though. I submitted a piece for Molotov Cocktail’s Flash Vision contest, a weird bit of sci-fi called “Time Management”. It centers on the idea that sick people going to the doctor are really only looking for one thing–time. I really enjoyed the piece at the time, but upon further consideration, have decided it maybe isn’t my best work…which is probably why it didn’t place or even get an honorable mention in the contest. But hey, at least I tried, and it’s something new that can be reworked into something more complete.

I also finished up a ~3.5k word story called Motivation. It centers on a writer who gets shot in the face and survives. I used a lot of onomatopoeia, fragments, altered punctuation, and stream of consciousness, which made it super fun to write. This actually might be my best work–in my eyes, at least–but it’s got a lot of hard sells, so who knows if this damn thing has a future. Since I don’t read or write a ton of experimental literary fiction, I’m not sure where to even begin submitting it, but I’m doing my research and will be getting it out there soon.

Come on, how’m I s’posed to get any work done when there’s stuff like this out there in the world to see?


This is the section where I’m supposed to tell you about the latest progress on the novel. However, there isn’t really much to say. I’m still waiting to hear back from agents regarding The Glass Frog, but it’s looking more and more likely that I’ll be self-publishing…in which case, I’ll have A LOT more to say in the coming months. Stay tuned.

As for what comes next, I’m not quite sure what I want to do. The problem is a lack of ideas, it’s a surplus. I’ve actually started two different new novels in the months since I finished The Glass Frog, which is a great way to half-ass two projects at once. One is a fun, light-hearted romantic comedy that focuses on a guy who starts going to a support group for alien abductees. The other is a gritty thriller about an Arab-American who gets kidnapped by white supremacists, and the FBI agent who ends up inadvertently saving him while investigating a terrorist cell. The time is fast approaching when I’m going to be forced to choose one to pursue. I love them both.

It’s a real pickle.

And so, as we head into the hottest month of Summer, my challenge is to pick a direction and run. Thankfully, we’ll be staying put for a while, which will make the task of sticking to a daily routine much easier. And I’ve got myself a calendar filled out to help keep my writing and editing tasks from overlapping. Overall, I’m feeling pretty optimistic coming off of this little mini-slump. As always, thanks for reading!

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