Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Priming the pump

There're bits of the dead everywhere, and I'm not referring to last night's dinner. Though I wonder how long flesh keeps in the fridge...

Back on track, though, today I found out there's an anthology known as Bits of the Dead that's opened up for zombie flash fiction of no more than 500 words. 500 words, for me, is like twenty minutes of work. So I started on a story after attending a rally to lower college tuition (who am I kidding, I was there to avoid hearing about Africa in another course and to try and look socially aware). Twenty minutes later I had a 499 word piece finished, first draft, edit, rewrite, second draft, another edit, and sent off (though right after I submitted it I found one, count'em, one mistake in the final version and started kicking myself. It's a lot of dialogue, and a bit more light-hearted than I think they're looking for, but I like the way it turned out. I'll find a home for it even when I get the rejection slip back from them. There's just not enough good conversational humor about zombies out there today...

Speaking of zombies, we're at day 67 of the Aberrant Dreams wait for a response. I did get a confirmation that they received the work right after it was sent, but that apparently doesn't mean anything. I've been hearing some real horror stories about their response times, and a few folks have told me they just don't seemt o get back to writer's quickly, or have a habit of never getting submissions. I'll give it 40-60 more days, then I'm withdrawing "Dead Air" from them.

Shoved "THe Tribe of Harry" into a condensed form and handing it over to my writing class today. On Friday I'll be on here about getting ripped to shreds again, but hey. You live, you get critiqued, you get Luvs. Sorry, commercial moment there. Plus, April will be the last month you can read "A Question of Freedom" over at Allegory. C'mon show me some love and read the piece, then blast me out of the water for it.

Got another piece called "Stranger in a Strange Land" (yes, I know I stole the title. I don't think the dead men to use it before me will really mind.) in for submissions at

Let's see how it goes, eh?


J.C. Tabler

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blocked like a cheap toilet

I've got nothing. Haven't ad anything for the past couple of days. This entire weekend I meant to sit down and do more writing, but other things...mostly baby things...kept coming up.

Let me go on record now as saying this: I don't care about baby clothes. I don't care about my own clothes most of the time. I don't view them as cute, hilarious, or adorable. I view babies as those things. I view their clothing as to put on those babies. I do not, in any way, shape, or form, have an interest in looking over the dozens of onesies my sister bought us while I'm trying to work on something. I know, you're in baby mode, but I'm in deadline mode.

Please, all ye pregnant women of the world, stop expecting me to jump for joy because you've signed us up for lamaze, stop talking to me when I'm trying to write, and give me an hour, maybe two, after work to get something on paper, okay? It's all I ask anymore.

J.C. Tabler

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Shelving It

Well, after todays rejection from Mindflights, I'm officially shelving "A Dream of England" in the kindling box. I like the story, but I know it isn't publishable. The only reason I've kept it on life support this long is because my mother really enjoyed it and wanted it to be sold. So I compromised, and offered it up a few more times before saying it was time to toss it aside and get to work on some other stuff.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Every time we "go out" I end up drinking more than I should, then coming home and passing out, feeling like crap in the morning. This is probably I sign I should just quit drinking altogether. I think, seriously, that I'll give that a shot.

I've got a few story ideas niggling around in my head, but with the ones I still have to finish (Sci Fi Molly, Paying the Rent, The Long One, etc.) I don't want to start anything new until I have at least one of those done. Today was going to be a writing day, but I think it may be better just to lay back down with my wife and watch TV for most of the day instead.

Still looking for a full time job, and becoming a cop is starting to look better and better. Ran into a fellow last night whose wife is on the Civilian Review Board during the Chief's Staff interviews. He more or less assured me that as long as I can make a mile in under 18 minutes, the physical standards won't be a big deal. Had a couple more drinks with him, then came home to hear "Where's your shirt?". I...well...sorta took it off on the car ride home. It was nice and cool out, not too cold, and I wanted to feel the air on me for once.

We've got names picked out, at least if it's a boy and a girl. Henry Billingsley Tabler, after her grandfather and my maternal grandfather, and Violet Margaret Tabler, because she likes the name and Margaret was my grandmother who passed a year and a half ago and pretty much raised us. I wanted Margaret as a firs name, but Des is insisting that her father would go crazy. Apparently it was the name of his first wife.

not much else is going on. I've been productive over the past week or so, writing, rewriting, and editing two stories and getting them off for submission. Both are good, and I made certain that if they get rejected (as they were pretty much tailor made for a couple anthologies) I can make some medium-sized changes and make them much less anthology-specific. I like both of them, even if they are horror stories.

Got a cat. Named him Faulkner. We now have a dog named Hemingway and a cat named Faulkner. They already hate each other. Now if i can just talk her into renaming the sugar glider Steinbeck, I can spend my time drinking with my favorite authors at home.

By the way, I've been playing Ikariam. Someone has decided it was a good idea to attack my tiny colony, apparently without realizing I have a massive capital with a big army. This, ladies and gents, is going to be fun.

Go ahead, play Ikariam at It's free, easy to learn, and if you're on World Eta we can whup on folks together.

Till later,
J.C. Tabler

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Real Quick

Submitted "No Tell Motel" to Voices anthology. Watched Survivor. Going to bed.

J.C. Tabler

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Puppy Pee and the Howlings

Brought Hemingway home last night....our puppy, not the rotting corpse of the famous writer. Though if you get me a shovel, I'm sure I could dig up a conversation piece.

He's a sweet guy, can't stand to be alone for more than a few minutes and terrified of going outdoors. So we're starting off with paper training, moving on to the outside stuff a little later. Right now, neither is going that well. I need to tell our landlord about him today or tomorrow, then pay the deposit on Friday.

Other than that, not much has happened this month. Finished the Harvest Hill submission, then sat down after editing and sending that off to work on a submission for the Voices anthology. Got around 3,000 words done on the first draft in one day, took yesterday off, and will be getting back to the grindstone on it tonight when I get home. I like this one, mainly because it allows me to use my knowledge of scummy hotel rooms.

Still waiting on those rejections, but I'm a lil pissed. Seemed "someone" signed me up for some "free promotional offers", so now I get a ton of spam every hour, on the hour. Luckily the spam filter catches most of it, but I still have to scan the titles to make sure it isn't catching anything that's non spam.

J.C. Tabler

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's been a bit

Let's see, we got ourselves snowed in today. That's the big news. I'm also about to brave the winter cold to run for cigarettes. I am out of smokes.

Now, on to the other stuff. Started a story the other week about a Prohibition agent in 1924 who has, at the end of the story, a supernatural encounter that changes everything for him. This was written in a week, finished today, and edited a couple hours later. I then turned around and submitted it to Harvest Hill Anthology by Graveside Tales. So we start waiting on the rejections.

Speaking of rejections, I got another one for "A Dream of England" from the second volume of the Eclipse Anthology. Not a big deal, they take extremely good work, and this story just isn't it. I'm going to shelf it for a bit, then do another major rewrite on the story to see if I can fix whatever problems there are with it.

Got a rejection for a short piece submitted to Lone Star Stories, though the rejection letter was extremely nice and personal.

Still haven't heard back from Aberrant Dreams for "Dead Air", McSweeneys for a story whose name stays under my hat for the moment until the rejection comes back, Allegory for that short (very short) ghost story I was working on, or Modern Drunkard for "The Tribe of Harry". Among those four, the only one I never expect to hear from is the last, as their staff, for some reason, refuses to send out rejection letters.

I've got another story I'm working on, which I'm referring to as "Sci Fi Molly" for the moment until I finish it, edit it, and stick a title on it.

Till next time,
J.C. Tabler