Saturday, January 31, 2009

End of the Month Thing

Finished two stories in January, so I'm ahead of my own curve.

"And the Cotton is High" was finished in first draft for Dead Bait , and will be revised tomorrow for the second and final drafts.

"Cooking for One" was finished in first draft (and started) today, and finished in four hours, and will undergo revisions afer dinner and a visit by friends for Devil's Food .

"Ain't Gonna Dig No More" was rejected by Apex for "lovely writing, no a tight story, and too horrorific for our tastes". It has since been re-subbed to Allegory for their consideration after a review and tightening of certain parts I missed during revision.

"No Deductible" is still a lady in waiting over at Weird Tales with no word.

I'm looking for markets still on "Rock A Bye Baby", "Fragile Obsession", and "No Tell Hotel". The first made the first cut and was then rejected by The World Is Dead and most recently by Necrotic Tissue, the second was a submission to Ghost in the Machine , which I have since given up as a dead market, and the third made the short list for Morrigan Books' Voices anthology. If you know of any markets, let me know.

Also, stoked that I finally got Rex Storm, Large Vermin Exterminator in a story.

Stories that have seen print this year are "Many Comforting Words", "Winter Wonderland", and "Big Jim Can Wait", all of which are in the Northern Haunts anthology from Shroud. My copy shipped yesterday. I'll be one pins and needles all week.

Stories to see print are a singleton, "Crib Death", slated to appear in the next issue of Sand from Strange Publications.

A few ideas bouncing around my head thanks to some weird dreams I had last night. I have to eat more popcorn before going to bed.

Other things to happen this month:

Got Promoted
Qualified for the loan to buy the ranch house
Discovered exactly how large the tax refund is going to be (let's say I'm getting rid of some debt this winter)

On the baby front, they've started to roll over, teeth, and crawl. Plus, Maggie has me wrapped completely around her finger. Des, my wife, has started painting again, which is good. In case I've never mentioned it, my wife had a little reputation as an indie filmmaker for her horror and weird movies, and is a wonderful painter. When we first started dating (I had a mustache) she made a painting of me as a confederate soldier under a tree, staring over a blood-stained battlefield in sunset. Don't tell her, I have no idea where it is. Recently she's started doing some other art.

Speaking of art, there was an artist out there that stays in my memory. I had a friend named Kelly who went to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. I forget her name, but she said she painted her nightmares. There was one painting that hung above their couch everytime I visited, a monster of some sort. I just remember it freaked me the hell out. I wish I had offered to buy it at that point.

Oh well.

That's the news from the homefront, where I now have more time because I have an 8-5 shift again.

J.C. Tabler

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekends Rock

First off, I got the G&A job. Second, on Friday I went to the hospital with chest pains, getting rolled out of work in an ambulance. No worries, turns out I have severe acid reflux brought on by stress.

After that, nothing much is going on. Working on a rework of the Dead Bait submission, using a longtime character idea called Rex Storm to see if he works as well as I think he will. The first draft of the submission was decent, but reading it over I realized it didn't carry into a short story all that well. This Rex Storm angle just might work.

Alright, baby crying, I'm off.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Poop: It's Everywhere

Guess what I just finished doing with my kids?

Anyhow, my weekend thing. Got off the pot today and started wrapping up the first draft of the Dead Bait story, starting the edits after a bit more in the way of grocery shopping. In the same not, Cate Gardner has received her first acceptance of 2009, much later than I expected. Seriously, Cate is a pro in a dabbler's world. This woman needs an agent and a contract just so I can say "Oh, yeah, I know her on the internet!". Great writer, and a friendly person. Congrats Cate!

Outside of that, not much going on at Casa Del Tabler. We had company over last night, and agreed to do a weekly potluck rotating between three houses. On the bright side, we may be moving again from a rental home to one we own. My sister is moving out to the country with her husband, and if she does they're offering to sell us their Ranch Home at the price they paid for it about 7-8 years ago. It was a foreclosure home at that point, and has a lot of work that was done to remodel it since, so getting it at that low of a price is a steal for us. We'll see how it pans out.

Finished a few short-shorts this month, and I realized that since I've become a father of babies again my horror mind tends to go towards the evils and fears of child-rearings, from zombie stillbirth to demonic, cannibalistic infants, down to the fear that something out of our power can hurt a child (think my fear of snakes...I hate snakes, yet have this worry one will somehow crawl through our heating vents and end up in the crib). "Trolling Nature's Bounty", my Dead Bait story, is a nice break from that, and injects a little dark humor in.

Now, my end of the year submission wrap-up:

"No Deductible" at Weird Tales
"Tribe of Harry" at Annalemma
"Parable of Judas" at St. Anne's Review
"Ain't Gonna Dig No More" at Abyss & Apex

A few more that came back, getting sent back out today.

No, to drive for diapers and Happy Meals!

J.C. Tabler

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Thank you, Cate, for tagging me. It woke me out of my stupor and back into the internet.

Anyhow, here goes a short post and a long meme. First off, I'm bucking for a promotion at work, sort of. Lateral transfer, but a good chance that there's a pay bump involved.

Secondly, finished a few stories, but not sure where or when to shop them around. Right now I'm puttering through a draft of a submission for the Dead Bait anthology, as well as plunking out a few short shorts for personal amusement and outlining a longer piece, basically a restart of the NaNoWriMo piece that I blazed through half of before stopping to be a father again.

In short, I'm doing alright. 2008, my first year of submitting pieces to paying markets, started with an acceptance to Allegory and ended with an acceptance to Sand , with a couple of anthologies in between. All in all, I sold/had accepted 8-9 pieces (too lazy to do my exact count) under my name, and a couple off-the-beaten-track, embarrassing works under another name. Not a bad start, though I hope to do better next year...this year...whatever. Anyhow, goals are toned down. A story a month, something I can manage with the kids and the job right now, plus finishing this damn novel before this time next year. Along with trying to get the promotion at work, which takes me off the call floor and gives me back my evenings and weekends.

Anyhow, to Cate's MeMe:

Share seven facts about yourself in the post. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.

1. I've always wanted to be a writer, but along the way I had several other professional choices, including cop, lawyer, psychologist, journalist, and history professor. I now work in insurance, pray to go to law school, and fully expect to one day actually sell a novel...moments before my death of old age.

2. My favorite job, to this day, remains bartending at night while working on a boat in the morning.

3. I'm a romantic. I admit it. Every relationship I'd had end in the past was followed by drinking binges and melancholy for months at a time. I view my DUI arrest as being a good thing, merely because it was recounting the tale of that arrest that got me noticed by my wife the first time we met.

4. I never intended to write horror, and remain a little disappointed that's where my effort is focused these days, althouh I find it to be a freeing genre and well-suited to my screwed up mindset.

5. I've never really seen the whole appeal behind CSI or Law & Order .

6. I was raised in a courthouse, quite literally, as my father was a prosecutor and would take me along with him to court. I used to draw on legal pads beneath the table in the prosecutor's room where my father would offer deals to defendants on child support cases. I still love being in the courthouse, and my love of the law knows no bounds. It's why I spend my off days, when not writing, working as a gofer at my father's office.

7. If my wife didn't control the checkbook I'd blow every penny we have. I like buying people gifts, and will loan almost anybody I know money if they need it. When at a bar, I often buy the next round. I like to have a good time, and too often that means taking my kids to movies when we can't afford it, or taking my wife to an antique store so she can buy something old and funky. I pull a lot of extra hours to make up for this, and am thinking about just handing my money over to the first bum on the street on paydays to make up for it.

I tag everyone. Go ahead. I'm tired and there's corned beef in the kitchen.

J.C. Tabler