The Rucker Report: Week 4, 2015 – Becoming More Submissive

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It’s been a few weeks since the Ruckster has posted one o’ these writing updates, but I promise I’ve been busy tending to many things writing, and…Hello. Greetings from the snow-sprinkled lands of Central Indiana.

So Operation: Remember Me? is truly underway here in the year 2015. Three weeks in the can and I’ve submitted three offspring of literary works, though, to be fair, two of those were not what we in the, ahem, industry would call submissions on spec.  And I’ve already rescinded one of those, a flash fiction (I have different plans for it), so left remaining is the first online publication of the poem “Dream a Little Scream of Me”, the dark poem originally published in Dreams and Screams in 2010 as the intro to the antho. It’s now available to read at QuarterReads, and for the very small token of a mere quarter, you can actually read the thing, if you’re so kind and inclined.

As for the third piece, it’s never seen the light of publication, its only daylight being that it was posted in one of the private virtual offices at the Zoetrope Virtual Studio some five years back. Side note: someday I’ll get tired of saying things happened years ago, but, then again, I suppose it’s better to have experience to which to refer to, than having none at all. So I guess I’ll zip it on that. At any rate, I don’t have a stated timeframe on when I can expect to hear back on this particular submission, though I have a feeling it will be soonish. Details as they emerge.

I say all of the above to say that it’s time I become more submissive, meaning I need to be submitting works, old and new, to promising new and untapped literary markets. Part of that package deal is also anticipating and rolling with rejection, recovering from it and pushing onward still. This, of course, is in conjunction with the other crucial part of Operation: Remember Me? which is the self-publishing and digitization of out-of-print works that are in danger of being long lost and forgotten. A listing of those works are as follows:

  • “Pieces of Candice” (horror)
  • “All Things Considered” (literary)
  • “Shard” (horror)
  • “On Shadowy Ground” (YA horror)
  • “Finder Kept” (dark fantasty/sci-fi)
  • “The Underneath” (bizarro horror) – see the recently designed cover for that one here
  • “All in a Day’s Work” (bizarro humor)
  • “Call of Duty: A Cop’s Tale” (suspense)

Of course, there’s a handful of other works primed for submission, or nearly so. Conversely these are dwarfed by the number of works-in-progress, but that’s a good ‘problem’  to have for a working, progressive-minded author.

In other current events, I have taken the initial steps in launching a new pen name for the more feminine and sensual leanings of my muse. I will probably keep that particular pseudonym anonymous for a minimum of a year, maybe more. It’s an experiment and the outcome of it is something I have a strong belief in. Launching it involves setting up social networking profiles, a blog and the like. It will be weird operating in that kind of duality, but one must do what one must. Among all that will be continued cover design work for the coming e-books on Smashwords (for me and ‘her’) and another pass at configuring this here website to make into what it ultimately needs to be, despite certain limitations.

And now I suppose I should get back to juggling all of my spinning plates.

Until next time…Be well. Be merry. Be better.

– BLR


 Recently

READ: Lazarus #14, various short stories

WATCHED: Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, Constantine, Guardians of the Galaxy

LISTENED: London Grammar, Daughter, Sean Lennon, Angus & Julia Stone

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The Rucker Report: Week 0, 2015 – Big Fat New Year’s Update

28368403-vector-silhouette-of-a-man-sitting-at-a-computer-on-a-white-backgroundWell, hello there 2015. Already you look more attractive than 2014. You’re younger and full of so much promise, you’ve yet to disappointment. Yeah, yeah, it’s only Day One, but, hey, we’re off to a good start. Let’s not sully things with early cynicism. There is, as I write this, sunshine on this glorious first day of the New Year.

Greetings, and good day to you all, wherever you may be. This is the Internet, so we can pretend we’re all in a big room together as well, sharing this moment.

I trust everyone had a merry and happy holiday season. I got one big gift from the wife and it is one of those things that will only add to my distraction.

Where to begin? First, I must say I am fully recalibrated and primed to take 2015 by storm with some artistic production. On the music front, talks for a potential new band are underway, and on the fiction side o’ things, Operation: Remember Me? (I just thought to call it that just now) gets underway with the re-publishing of previously published work. There’s also the finishing of many works-in-progress. I’m going to launch a rather temporarily anonymous pen name in February to publish the naughtier side of my fiction. Additionally, I may be taking on a ghostwriting assignment for someone who is terminally ill. Coincidentally that opportunity has arisen just as I was starting to contemplate collaborating on a writing project with another writer. It’s been some time since I’d done that and coming across pervious unrealized collab projects has me thinking it’d be a welcomed endeavor at this point.

What else is going on? Ah, the concept of community. I’ve recently reconnected with several of my writer friends. I do so miss the days when we we’re all in the same virtual space online, supporting each other with inspiration, wisdom and influence. Writing is a very solitary occupation and if you don’t have a connection to your audience (provided you even have one), the next best thing is the company of your kindred spirits because, well, misery loves company and all us writers and creative people are in some way or another a rather miserable lot, right?

So, what else needs addressing here? The Ruckerpedia Archival Initiative has taken to the sideline while I handle a bunch of administrative duties that a lonesome author must process (really, there are so many tasks to tackle along with the actual writing work, it’s insane). So, the under-construction pages remain so at this time. But as I continue to make this my primary online ‘home’, more declassified Rucker Files are surely forthcoming. At some point I will be getting around to a new personal initiative I have for 2015 that I’m calling The New 500 (which naturally plays in to Write-or-Flight). It may be March before that truly happens, but we’ll see. A new Station Ident will be forthcoming. Shamelessly inspired by Warren Ellis, I had fun doing the last one. I think I’ll probably do them monthly or whenever. Oh, and if you haven’t been, please do like and follow my little blog Hello, Blank Page — it’s my little online notebook of all new words of the creative non-fiction variety, if you will.

While constructing this update I had a flurry of emails and notifications to respond to and now the late afternoon has ceded to early evening. That sound you hear? Yeah, I’ve hardly eaten today, so one must go out to hunt and gather.

Before I go I just want to say that I hope we all get the chance to do everything positive we can to make sure this year is better than the last.

Be well. Be merry. Be better.

– BLR


Recently

WATCHED: Sons of Anarchy – Season 6

READ: Sex Criminals #9, Southern Bastards #6

LISTENED: Nerdist’s Writer’s Panel Podcast (w/ Brian K. Vaughan)

The Rucker Report: Week 51, 2014

28368403-vector-silhouette-of-a-man-sitting-at-a-computer-on-a-white-background I have a bunch of stories that need homes. That means I have much work to do in the New Year (and prior to it).

Hello and good day to you all. As I write this the sun is finally shining.

A bit of irony in that tidbit is that today is also the Winter Solstice. But I’ll take what small bit of luminescent glory I can from that great ball of radiated plasma in the sky.

About the aforementioned work: I has only recently returned to the world of writing prose fiction. I’d been threatening this a few times over the past three years while I basically blogged and wrote comics journalism, while also making feeble attempts at breaking into the comics industry to write comics and graphic novels. That’s a nigh-impossible task without available, competent and trustworthy artists. Admittedly I didn’t quite give that particular arduous journey the desperate push it apparently requires, but that’s a sad story for another day. Writing and publishing prose — which I’ve not done in earnest since late 2011 — is a comfy old sock for me, and not only because it puts so much more control within my hands. There’s just something very empowering about being in (almost) complete control, internally and externally, of what ultimately happens with the art you produce. Comics, movies, television — not so much. Short stories and (someday) novels? Today’s avenues to publishing are so much more abundant and the roads are far easier to travel, despite all the snow and ice that are a plethora of other writers doing the same thing. So that’s where I am, again. Good to be home.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Going it alone can be just as daunting a task (though arguably so much more rewarding). The art producing duties AND the administrative and business duties fall on the relatively unknown, small press author’s shoulders so much more than say those of an author with an eager agent, a committed publisher and a ratified book contract. So, no, it’s not what you’d call easy work. Nothing worth doing ever is. I’ve been away for a bit, so researching the market and all the options that are available is what will keep me up late these next couple of weeks. Re-reading, proofing, editing, tweaking, rewriting, formatting — all those activities tend to take place when a writer pulls up previously completed works or works-in-progress. I have an abundance of both, so I’m not even considering all-new work in this. The low-hanging fruit, of course, is the previously published and out-of-print or circulation work that’s sitting around not getting read anymore. That should not be the case. WIPs are naturally the next priority.

None of this is to say that all-new work will not be addressed, though. Most any writer’s head is filled to capacity with embryonic stories begging to be born, so much of the preliminary work — if you’re not a one-track-mind kind of creative person — is done inside the mind, often long before the writer sets pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. We’re always writing, whether it’s physically or merely within the abstract of our troubled minds.

But, first, research and re-publishing. On the hunt for online venues, new and old, as that’s an area I’ve largely not conquered since I was more focused on print. Several markets have come and gone in both print and web during my three year hiatus. That’s always troubling, but I soldier on. A new potential market I’ve found for flash and short-shorts is QuarterReads. The tagline is A short read at a fair price. Perfect. No one’s trying to get rich here at Ruckerpedia (wait, what?). And I wouldn’t dare think to charge more than a quarter to read a 800 word flash piece over at, say, Smashwords. No, Smashwords is where my longer works once were and shall be again (or at least that’s the plan). When the 250 word micro Shard was available there it was available for free. It will be again. But of course you’re here now. You could just read it here.

Speaking of free, a couple of free book reads I recently grabbed for the old Kindle are: Fade to Black and Ducks In a Row by my friends Tim McBain (w/ LT Vargus ) and Michelle Garren Flye, respectively. Check’em out!

Fade to Black (Awake in the Dark Book 1) Ducks in a Row


 Recently

LISTENED: Metronomy, Duran Duran, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Brandon Rucker’s Sap

WATCHED: Chris Rock: Kill the Messenger

Update: Selection & Rejection

In addition to finalizing the Local Heroes manuscript in prepartion of it going to press soon for an August release, I am also in the selecton and rejecton process for the next issue of Liquid Imagination Online (issue #10 goes live August 31st). I have to select six pieces of flash fiction for that particular feature of the webzine. With that small number of stories to feature, I have to reject far more stories than I accept (duh).

This is the most regretable part of the entire editing and publishing process. Rejection. Any editor who is also a writer knows all about the sting of rejection from being on the other side of the process.

It’s a necessary yet dreadful part of the process. Even if I had an assistant who did all the dirty work of rejection for me, I’d still be affected by it.

So far I’ve selected 4 of the 6 and I am happy to report that they contain elements of either the surreal, the fantastic, the bizarre or the anthropomorphic.

I sense a certain kind of mood for this next issue, which will be my third as the flash fiction editor of our quarterly periodical.

If you are a writer and would like to submit short stories, flash fiction, poetry or artwork to us, you can do so via Submishmash. Our guidelines can be found here.

About us – Liquid Imagination Mission Statement:
Our mission is to publish a wide variety of art, creating visually stimulating publications of the highest quality that combine many artistic avenues, including graphic and digital art as well as traditional illustrations and paintings; speculative and literary fiction, flash fiction and poetry; music and audio works; digital poetry and digital flash fiction; and other artistic forms. The publication of these convergent arts will also support our mission of advancing the education about and research of autism. Our books, DVD, online magazines and other media combine two or more art forms to create new hybridized art, augmenting traditional art with new technologies. Serving the art community and the autism community, and promoting quality artists are keystones for our company.



Weekend Report: The Silver Pen Midwest Summit

This beautful shot of our campsite was lovingly shot Friday night (July 15, 2011) by Sue Babcock (yes, that’s my big dome glowing under the lights)
The first ever Silver Pen in-person meeting (and camping adventure) was a success. I even arrived about 20 minutes early to our meeting place on Friday after a 3.75 hour drive (complete with a few detours, most of which by fault of my own).
Association Directors in attendence were Liquid Imagination publisher and Managing Editor John “JAM” Arthur Miller (Secretary) and Sue Babcock (Vice President), Silver Pen and SilverBlade founder/publisher, Karl Rademacher (President), lawyer John Krupa (legal consultant) and Me (Treasurer). That’s 5 of the 14 of us on the Board of Directors.
Friday was for camping, conversation, gossiping, brainstorming ideas, fire-kindling, relaxation, eating (chipotle brats, YUM!), the boardgame Blokus, urinating in the woods, firefly armada observation (two small children were in tow and in awe), and much spraying of various cans of OFF! bug repellent. And sleep, which I did surprisingly well, all things considered. Didn’t get any reading done, though.
Saturday was the day of our actual conference at the office where we had other Directors call in for an intense meeting of the minds for how we plan to procede with getting Silver Pen truly off the ground. It all pretty much plays off of an idea that I concocted and proposed back in April, plus another initiative that’s already underway that focuses on child literacy.
After a nice luncheon at Olive Garden where even more intense discussions emerged, we finally adjourned Saturday afternoon to return back to our respective corners of the world with plenty of agendas to further develop in the future and lots of work to do on our immediate initiatives.
Good times.
About Silver Pen Writers’ Association: The Silver Pen Writers’ Association is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. We started with a concept: provide information and mentoring needed to produce quality writing and quality online publications to showcase excellent stories, poems, essays and novels (in a nutshell).

Quick Combo Update: What’s Happening

Item 1 – Silver Pen Midwest Summitt

Gotta boogie today as I have a bunch of things to do before I traverse the interstate to northern-central Illinois for the first ever Silver Pen Writers’ Associaion Midwest Summitt. Essentially we’re just getting started and we’ve got ton of things to get to on our agenda list, so plenty of talking and planning…and camping? Yeah. Been seven years since I last camped. At least there’s very little risk of a cold morning this time.

Item 2 – Like Frozen Statues of Flesh

The lastest anthology to feature my fiction (two pieces, actually), Like Frozen Statues of Flesh, a bizarro anthology published by Static Movement, is now available at the Pill Hill Press Shoppe. It was compiled and edited by jumpin’ Joe Jablonski. He was kind enough to accept both my stories “All In a Days Work” and “The Underneath” (funds have been deposited into your Swiss bank account, Joe, as agreed). The book should be available at Amazon soon as well.


Item 3 – Local Heroes is in Editing (still)
The anthology I’ve compiled to be published by Static Movement next month is currently being edited, proofed, re-edited and formatting by me. I estimate this process will take me to the end of the month. After which of sending it off to be published, I will then move on to selecting and editing flash fiction for the next issue of Liquid Imagination.

Item 4 – Announcement: Tooth and Claw
I only mentioned it in passing in a previous update, but never officially announced it. I will be providing originally composed, performed, and recorded theme music (produced by yours truly), as well as a kind of spoken word introduction (think Vincent Price) for the enhanced e-book Tooh and Claw: A Werewolf Anthology, to be published by my crew at Liquid Imagination. Enchanced means that it will contain audio (aformentioned music, spoken word, plus story narration), as well as thematic artwork for each story. I’ve seen the early cover designs and although I can’t reveal that yet, I really like what I’m seeing. This will likely be available for a variety of e-readers. Those details are being analyzed and reviewed now. We are aiming for a Fall (October) release for this in time for Halloween, but we’ll see how things go.
Item 5 – A Journalistic Future?
It seems that going after something on a whim can sometimes pay off. It appears that I may be entering the realm of pop culture journalism (well, topical editorials, columns, reviews and the like) soon for a rather up and coming website. There is a primary pop/geek cultural focus to this website, but believe me I will fit in just fine. More on this pretty soon, I would imagine.
I think that’s all the info I can squeeze in at the moment. I need to get a move on and hit the road soon. Will probably have spotty web access this weekend as we wild it in the wildeness of Illinois.

(no time to spot check this, so apologies for any times that exist. I’ll fix them later)

Update: Big Ass List o’ Things To Do

Figured posting it publicly will help keep my ass honest and accountable for the work that I need to be doing.

In no particular order:

  • Finish editing final two stories (well, three counting my own) for Local Heroes antho
  • Finish putting together the LH book manuscript in Word, making sure it’s in at least near-perfect form before sending it off to Ms. Bartholomew for finalization and publishing.
  • Redesign this blog
  • Set up all kinds of web shit for my pen names, including blogs, Twitter, Good Reads (and down the road Facebook accts)
  • Attend Silver Pen Writers Association Midwest Summit in northern Illinois next weekend (4-hour drive)
  • Finish up “Cult Storm” and get it off to One Hour antho editor, Dorothy Davies.
  • Publish short story e-books under assorted pen names on Smashwords, after a thorough spot-checking of the stockpiled works to be presented.
  • Design e-book covers (fun, necessary, but tedious, time-consumng and I’m a hack at it)
  • Select, edit and accept flash fiction stories for issue #9 (Aug) of Liquid Imagination
  • Continue/finish reading the assorted stack of books on my desk that I’ve amassed from the library, some of them for entertainment, others for research.
  • Start “Self-Observations” and “The List” series on this here blog
  • Finish Battle of the Bands Tournament that was started in March and unceremoniously postponed in April
  • Write Paperboy review for Daniel Clausen’s book review website.
  • Compose/record theme music piece AND write poem/lyrics for spoken word overdub (my voice) intro for enhanced e-book, Tooth and Claw: A Werewolf Anthology for Liquid Imagination
  • Put together much smaller version of short story collection (than originally planned) to be published on Smashwords; perhaps as a hard copy chapbook as well in the Fall
  • Re-commence intense work on novel (was supposed to be in July, but looking more like, shit, I don’t even know, probably the Fall now)
  • Stop taking on new projects; get plate clean, calendar cleared and get more selfish, demanding and possessive about creative free time (novel can’t be written by osmosis via brainwave transcriptions)

So much to do.

So little time.

Not nearly enough Me by a huge margin.