Saturday, November 29, 2003


It used to be so easy, you know? White paper, black type. 10pt Courier, double spaced, title and word count at the top, <end> at the bottom. SSAE for return of manuscript (noone but a fule use email). Sure, you'd make an amatuerish mistake or two at first, but once you knew the rules it was a piece of cake.

But the print market for unknown short-story writers (that would be moi) is pretty much a non-starter. The only chance for the grubby likes of us is webzines. And I swear, every single bloody publication out there wants something else.

First off, it's gotta be email. Most webzine editors turn their noses up at snail mail or 'dead tree' submissions. Fair enough. But how should I format this email? One wants you to attach your story in a seperate file; another wants you to paste the whole thing into the body of the email and jumps up on the chair screaming at the mere thought of an attachment. One wants .rtf, another wants .txt, yet another insists on Word, though Lord knows why. One wants you to italicise your italics using the Italic button, another wants you to use _underscores_. Yet another wants you to use HTML tags. One wants single-space, another wants double. One gets hives if you use a serif font, another gets the vapours in the presence of sans-serif.

What really gets me is that every single one of them thinks that his or her way is right. Their way is the only possible way that any sane, reasonable adult would ever submit anything, ever. And because they're so damn sure their way is the One True Way to send an email submission, zines that haven't been up for long or are run by people with little or no experience don't actually think to have this stuff in their bloody writer's guidelines.

Hint: if you want to play Big Grown-up Editor, create a proper bloody guidelines page (better yet, have a comprhensive guidelines page and an online submissions form, like Bloodlust-uk). Don't just wait for everyone to screw up and then kvetch about it in your editorial about how all these cretins get it wrong, because your cretinously wrong is likely to be someone else's self-evidently right.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Just a reminder...

Mordant Carnival's Emporium of Negativity

There are now four smashing T-shirts for you to buy/rip off. There will be more. Check back in a day or two.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Spec fic markets.

I still can't belive there's a magazine called Gobshite Quarterly. And paying 5-10 cents a word, too...

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Selling out again.

'K, so remember when I was going to make T-shirts on and you were all going to buy them because if you don't I'll make it rain microwaves in your house? I've finally got around to sorting out my account. You can veiw my first T right here: memetically altered

Don't worry, I'll do some gothier stuff soon.

Obviously there's nothing to stop you from ripping off my idea and making your own shirt for a fraction of the price. I mean, it's not like I'd go to the trouble of creating a copyright protection servitor to hunt you down and suck your brains out of your ears with agonising slowness or anything.


Got right back on the horse after my little knock-back the other day, and punted out a thang to I'd already submitted it to another webzine which shall remain nameless, but the swines never even responded. Rude! Would it kill ya to send out one little standard email, mister big swankypants editor? Anyway, it's a killer little piece if I do say so as shouldn't.

Also finished a piece of filthy disgusting SMUT yesterday. It's not really up to much; I haven't found my SMUTvoice yet. Still, that'll come. I was trying to write a very straigt down-to-earth piece with no ghosts or aliens or prehistoric animals, and that's hard for me. I live in spec fic land so much, it's hard to come out sometimes.

Sunday, November 23, 2003


Story got rejected. I'm going to go and eat worms now.


Updateyness over at the Liber V. Spooky perverts give me prezzies now, yes?

First off, I want out of my current blockyness. Like, now. Whatever's causing it, I need to know so I can fix it. I'm writing, but I haven't had a decent splurge for a week or so now. This must end. I want to finish some filthy smut tomorrow, and also a Leftover Parfait piece puhleeeze. If nothing esle, Leftover Parfait actually seemed to be giving people a bit of encouragement to get on with their own stuff, and that made me happy.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Argh fuck.

Submitted a piece to Fables the other night-- just a short, 1000 word-type-deal. And now I'm re-reading it, and it looks like crap. No typos or anything, no identifiable clunkers; it just looks weak, derivative, lame. I wish I hadn't sent it off now. I feel stupid.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

You all look the same to me.

I suck at recognizing people. Seriously, I've got a problem. Case in point: a while back, me and the Fawning A. were watching some film on the telly, and I go "Heyyyy, I know that guy. He's been in loads of stuff. What's his name?"

The Fawning A. turns to me with a look of utter incomprehension and says "Dude. That's Robert Redford."

And I wish that was abnormal for me, but sadly it's not. I am so crap at recognising people it's untrue. Faces are not only unhelpful to me, they can actually throw me for a loop-- I can sometimes recognise someone better if I don't see hir face. See, it's not a pattern recognition thing. I recognise patterns fine-- probably better than you lot. It's just human faces that throw me.

Just as a for example, I was watching Buffy videos yesterday and was able to spot that the guy playing the demon with the horns and the beard and stuff was the same guy who played Clem, the demon with the floppy ears and the saggy skin. That sort of thing happens a lot. When the face is occluded with all latex and yak hair or whatever, I'm free to look for other cues-- voice, intonation, body language.

So I'm better at recognising demons than people. I'm comfortable with that. Most people are really boring looking. If you hom. saps. would just make a bit of an effort, I wouldn't even have this problem.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003


Okay, so I'm halfway thru an Eric script right now. Not sure why I'm bringing it up, given that a) I'll probably never finish it because of terminal literary constipation and b) I know sweet Fanny Adams about writing comic scripts so what I do write is probably incomprehensible, but there you go. Anyone up for drawing stuff? Want to poke me along a little, or just offer comic script writing advice?

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Yep, it's happened.

Fuck fuckity fuck. Totally off the fucking boil, blocked to fuck, sod everything, I hate you, suck any part of my anatomy you find sticking out from under the duvet because I'm going to bed now and even if I never write another word again as long as I live I'm still 5000000% better than you at everything and if even I suck at something it's because that thing wasn't worth being any good at.

I hated you first.

Thursday, November 13, 2003


I've got a horrible horrible feeling that I'm coming off the boil. I wrote that Eric thing yesterday and worked on my smut a bit, but that was all. I didn't write nearly has much as I have been writing. I did somethign this morning but it only came to half a page. Please don't let this have been an abberation. Please let me finish something tonight.

Feels like I'm on a comedown; tired, jangly, paranoid. I want to sell stories! I want to do this for a living! How can I do this for a living if I go back into my 200-word-a day coma? Arggh! Help! Arrgh!

Stupid writing.
Something's not right.

Way, wayyy too many of my cool friends have recently or still are going through really harsh times. I'm thinking of you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Eric and friends.

Well, I got a phonecall from my Mum and finished a story, so big thanks to my imaginary friends. It was just another Eric though, not saleable. (Thinking of boshing out a comic script based on the Eric stories but that means work: narrative, coherency, backstory, actually sitting down and thinking about the thing.) So if the invisible frotteurs could see their way clear to helping me finish something I can get money from today, that would be groovay.

I was feeling afraid that this is just a flash in the pan, that the power will run out and this terrific output will falter. I'll fall back into the 200-word-a-day living death that was my lot only recently. The fear keeps me pinned to the keyboard for most of the day, so my output remains ferociously high. Now I fear losing the fear. I will achieve some sort of equilibrium at some proximate juncture; equilibrium, or at least metastasis.

I am becoming my own fiction, an invented being of my own device, and all the stories that you create around me are thus fan-fic. I have my canon which exists unto itself and which your texts do not violate. It was foolish of me to ever belive otherwise.

In other news: a plea for you to spare the weak(er than you in some regard and in this place at this time) from your unacknowledged aggression is not a violation of your intellectual freedom. This is old stuff but I thought I'd mention it.
Well, it's morning again, half past one to be precise, and still things are not right.

Where is my huge golden pyramid full of drugs and my army of khol-eyed worshippers? Where is my novel that is better then everyone else's novel and impresses the impressionable so that they want to snuggle up to my sagging flesh and warm me with their priceless youth? Why isn't there anything good on the internet? I hate the internet, it's all full of shite. There isn't any descent booze in the house. There is kirsch, on the principle that it's always good to have some undrinkable filth in the cupboard so that you'll keep the vodka topped up rather than drink it.


I hate you all. This isn't the reality I ordered.

(Note for guides: All right, you spooky perverts, I've updated your green weblog. Now give me stuff.

I want to finish a story tomorrow, I want inspiration, I want to be magically filled with the passion and energy I need to do all the stuff I need to do, I want the door to freezer compartment to not be all iced open again, I want... I dunno, stuff. You know the sort of stuff I like.)

Monday, November 10, 2003


I'm sick of being broke so I'm channeling the relentless flood of words that has been pouring out of my twitching fingers recently into something more (potentially) lucretive. Namely: smut. Filthy disgusting SMUT. I've got my beady eye on Pink Flamingo Publications (short stories, paperbacks and e-books for the discerning perv). The bar's pretty high but my writing's come on quite a lot just in the last few weeks.

For some reason, I've never been able to finish a pr0n story till now. But things have changed lately: not only am I writing between ten and twenty times as much a day as previously (no, that's not an exaggeration), but the quality has improved. I'm becoming a better editor.

I will sell another story before the year is out. I can feel it in my boneessss. And I got some other tricks up my sleeve, too.


Dreamed this afternoon of many things, including the Two of Swords and the Hermit. My tarot cards want me to take them out and play with them.

The kind of backslap that comes with a good solid pricetag attached is nice, but d'you know what? The other day, when Cholister referred to my Leftover Parfait gubbins as "fics," I felt heckofa validated. I mean a) I didn't know what to call those hideous red-headed textual abortions that fester on my Lj and now I do, they're fics, and b) fics is a term that's fairly specific to the fanfic/slasher community, and I felt like Chol was giving me an honorary community... errr... thing. An "OKAY!" type thing. Coz I don't write fanfic. I could, and I don't have any real problem with fanfic or anything, I just, y'know, don't.

Anyway. It was nice.

Sunday, November 09, 2003


Guess who's just flogged another story? :D

Or something. I'm processing something big. The night before last I had this minor freakout: loads of stuff from the past coming up, how crazy things seemed when I was growing up. Stuff like my folks getting their post opened because they were in CND, the way we all felt so vulnerable because of the homeschool thing, the way we had to be so damn careful all the time because other families who homeschooled were getting hauled up before the courts and having their kids taken into care left, right and centre. That wasn't what got to me, though. What got to me the impossibility of getting people to understand what it was like, that we weren't just being stupid and paranoid, that these fears were real and justified, and that the world is just such a fucking crazy place.

Realised that although I've begun to put the fear behind me, I've never really dealt with the anger at other people's blank incomprehension. And I need to free myself from it, get it off my fucking throat and pucnh its lights out and shoot it full of tranks until I've got it chained up in the cellar with the rest of this crap. Then I can use it, make it into my creature.

So anyway, all that came up and here I am a couple of days later, with a fever and a gunky throat (blue chakra flashing like an ambulance). And I'm thinking: This is it. This is where I get the poison sweated out and burned off. I think I'm getting to the bottom of where my voice is. The nature of the beast that rises up and chokes me.

When I find it, I'm going to kick its arse.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

"Killing people at work is getting cheaper!"

I'm going to do that annoying thing of posting the full text of an email on my blog. You need to be thinking about this stuff.

The "Health and Safety" Executive today announced that the average fine for a conviction on a health and safety offence has dropped by 21 percent over the last year.

Commenting on this news - which shows the grubby reality behind the
government's spin about promoting a safer workplace - Mick Holder of the London Hazards Centre said

"This is very bad news indeed. Employers are getting away with killing,
disabling and injuring their workers at the expense of a paltry fine.

"Many cases involving the death of a worker are still heard in the lower,
Magistrates Court, which does not reflect the serious nature of the crime and restricts the fine to a maximum of £20,000. Nothing will change until errant employers face real sanctions such as prison and much higher fines that reflect the seriousness of the crimes."

Tchhh. When will these knee-jerk liberals understand that weeding out the weak in favour of the strong is a good thing? I mean, obviously, if you're desperate enough to be in a job that threatens your life or health, then you're inferior to your employer.

Examples of fines in recent court cases:

* SUPERMARKET chain Asda was fined £4,000 recently after Brian Costin, 42, a warehouse worker was crushed to death at one of its Yorkshire stores in July 2000.

Graham Naden, who trades under the name Roof Build was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £3,750 compensation to the family of Terence Severs, one of his workers who died after falling off a roof. Huyton magistrates heard that Terence Severs life could have been saved if safety scaffolding which costs just £100 had been used on the job.

Farmer James Thompson was recently fined £7,500 following the death of seasonal worker Sean Dodds, 24, who died when a forklift truck he was driving toppled over at Redhouse Farm, Hepscott, near Morpeth in October 2001.

Information for health and safety activists at

Sure, to the Guardianistas who worry about this kind of thing, the fines might not seem like a lot. They probably spend that much on pashminas every week! But you have to look at these things in context. What's the point of bankrupting companies or imprisoning decent, honest businessmen, just because they were unlucky enough to have a little accident occur on their premises? You have to ask yourself: how much is the life of one of those sorts worth? It's not like they're real people; why, I bet some of them weren't even homeowners.

If you ask me, the UK has gone safety mad in recent years. The nanny state has far too much power. Don't people realise that financial weath is a clear indication of a person's worth, of their fitness to survive? We don't need more saftey precautions in the workplace, we need fewer! And while we're on it, what's all this namby-pamby nonsense about child labour laws? We need to weed out the undesirables at as young an age as possible. What Britain needs is a rolling programme of realistic safety targets and conscription for any child over the age of seven who flunks their SATs. Your bleeing hearts are diluting the gene pool, people!

Monday, November 03, 2003


The forces of synchronicity have declared this Bottled Fetus Month. Every time I turn on the TV or surf the web or anything: bottled fetuses.

I really hope they don't mean what I think they mean. If this is a missed opportunites thing then I'm going to be very cross with a certain pair of entities. I'm trying, guys! Throw me a bone!