How’s it going? I came across a bit of interesting news I’d like to share. But first, a (relevant) detour…
We all need inspiration, right? Lots of people get inspiration by reading books, blogs, going outside for fresh air or a change of scenery, hanging out on Facebook, reading the paper, or what-have-ya. Even dinner with friends can provide tons of useful info for stories, emails, or marketing stuff if you keep your ears and eyes open (and try not to be seen scribbling in your notebook under the table).
Anyhow, one of the cool things I like to do is look for magazines that have themed issues, contests, or what-have-ya to get things rolling.
A lot of the time, that meant a trip over to Penumbra e-Mag, an online fiction magazine with a science fiction/fantasy slant (my type of story—for those of you who didn’t know).
Imagine my surprise when I found out they’re closing.
Rolling up. Folding. Outta-the-biz.
What a bummer.
You can check out the details and what-have-ya here, if you want to…
This online mag was a huge brain-stretcher to me as a writer. Not only did they have about three submission calls open at once (you had to specify which one you were subbing for, you better believe it), they also had a paragraph that went along with each call, to tell you what they wanted. These little paragraphs may have described what they wanted, what they DIDN’T want, or a suggestion of something acceptable.
All of this functioned as a huge goldmine of ideas for me—a goldmine I’m sorry that I didn’t take full advantage of.
I submitted a total of four times over the past year and a half or so. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but those four submissions were from four prompts and resulted in:
A story about a race of super-powered beings that gets enslaved by humanity
One of my first fairy/Fae stories—along with a rather sad ending
A story about a superhero who finds himself, uh, unemployed
My first-ever gaslight-fantasy story with a detective who’s part Fae and doesn’t know, who gets sucked into a situation he didn’t ask for—all in addition to being in his native 19th century London
These are things I never would’ve tried (except for that second one) if I hadn’t been encouraged by this magazine to give it a shot.
That first Fae story even made it past the first round of cuts (and the top 50), but didn’t get chosen, ultimately. The whole process (including two emails about the same submission) encouraged me to keep going–along with the mag telling me they wanted to see more of my stories. That’s a good thing.
And I’ll miss Penumbra. More than a little, I think.
My point here is to take advantage of things while we have the time, because circumstances change, we change, life can change. Just like opportunities can.
New ones come along, and unfortunately, old ones disappear, move, or dry up.
Which is true for a lot of fiction writers, copywriters, and other kinds of professional folks. Those who are on the lookout for new opportunities all the time can sometimes feel the sting less, though.
This whole experience helped me realize that it’s also great to try something new, just because—new formats, new types of copy, fiction, characters, or what-have-ya.
Which is my other point.
This seems like the end of a sad book or movie, or something. Maybe that’s just me…
It’s the first week of December (forgot to mention the 1st on Monday).
I feel like this is an early Triple F for you, but I’m still planning on doing one. Which will be on Friday.
Be sure to stop by.
Until next time,