The first issue of Ghostlight Magazine is now available through LuLu. My poem “You will be Visited by Three Ghosts” appears in it. While the title comes from A Christmas Carol, the poem itself is really about growing up, getting a job and then looking back at what you wanted when you were young. Sort of. It’s also about rock n roll. More or less. I think it’s pretty funny, but I suppose that’s for the readers to decide.

This is a magazine put out via the Great Lakes Horror Association, which I am a member of and write a column for. I felt I had to mention that, even though I still had to go through the same submission process as everyone else. No favoritism, I swear.

This piece marks the beginning of an interesting couple of months for my publications. I’ve had a number of acceptances that are due to be published right around the same time. As always, something can set these back, but here’s some that are supposed to be coming up soon.

I’m the Spotlight Scribe at the horror site ChoateRoad.com for the month of November. My story “Before the Ink is Even Dry” will be up there all month (along with a bio and my ‘Elvis’ photo!)

Ghostlight – “You will be Visited by Three Ghosts” November

A Thousand Faces – “Everyone is the Hero of their own Movie” November

Star*Line – “Godzilla’s Other Half” November

Ethereal Tales – “Dancing with the Scars” This piece appeared in their magazine a few months back, but the editor decided to produce an audiobook of the stories and had all the pieces recorded and put them out on cds, in pretty cool packaging. November

The Journal of Experimental Fiction – “Everything Must Go” Winter issue

Ruthless Peoples Magazine – “UFOs over Toledo Spell out Dirty Word” No firm date yet

Space Westerns – “Where it all went Bad” This is another one without a firm date, it was tentatively slated to be up earlier this year, but it sounds like it could happen soon. I just signed a new contract for it.

There are a few other things coming up in the Spring, but these are the stories and poems appearing in the next two months or so.

I kept thinking, when are these finally going to appear? When I put all the dates together, it turns out to be a pretty interesting Winter for me.

Is it possible to be overexposed and obscure at the same time?

To paraphrase from the movie Ghostbusters “You don’t want me exposing myself”!

It’s wonderful to see these things find print – it’s a similar process as writing a novel. You work for months and years on a novel, then rewrite it a few times and then set about finding an agent or a publisher. If you find an agent, that agent then has to find a publisher, then there’s about a year wait or more after a publisher signs on before it hits the stands. It’s stop and go, hurry up and wait.

With short stories and poems you put a bunch of work into them, edit them and then start submitting. As those are out, you start writing something entirely new, while editing the other pieces fielding rejections, rewriting other work and making notes for new stuff. It’s much like the novel process, only accellerated. If, like me, you send out several short stories and numerous poems to many different markets at once, you’re constantly fielding rejections, sending things back out, watching for new markets, re-editing pieces based on feedback and waiting, waiting, waiting.

It’s sort of like throwing a swarm of bees out the window and then trying to figure out how to keep them from coming back. It’s annoying, it’s crazy and I have no idea why we do it. But when the bees stop coming back, it’s rewarding. Occasionally, people even pay you for the bees you’ve lobbed in their direction which seems a bit weird but some people like angry insects flying in through their mail slots. There is absolutely no accounting for taste.

I may have actually stopped talking about writing a moment ago, but I’m back on track now. Sorry.

When I started working on this new novel, I assumed my poetry and short story work would slow down, but they haven’t. It’s kind of nice to have it to fall back on when I’m stuck on the book or don’t have enough time to really open the novel file and pick up the storyline.

Plus, it’s nice to have those little ego boosts along the way. You know? There were times when I started questioning how I’m doing and whether I’m on the right track as a storyteller – to get an acceptance for a piece or just an email telling me something’s coming out has made a big difference.