2018 and the List of to Be Read Books

First of all, Happy belated 2018 to the fellow writers, readers, and bloggers.

Holidays are a good time to receive those books you wanted – though my haul consisted of three, two which have been read: Captive Prince and Coraline – but they’re also a good time to finally get round to those books that have been sitting on your shelves for the past few weeks or months. Years, even. I, for one, have many that are collecting dust as we speak. Those are the ones that I aim to read this year, even if they remain unfinished. At least I’d then be able to buy more books without guilt weighing on my back.

The list includes a mix of genres, though the titles are mainly within the fantasy area, and it looks something like this:

I’d be fooling myself if I said these were all the unread books on my to-read shelf, but they’re the ones calling out to me most. I’ll certainly be reading several other books along the way, such as finishing off the Percy Jackson series after years of making my way through it, or delving into a little bit more non-fiction with Lion: A Long Way Home.

Even if the list remains uncompleted, it won’t be the end of the world, but it would be a relief to finish them all – or some, a few, even one – giving them away for the next person to read.

Do you have any books you’re planning to read in 2018? Have you already started to? How many?


Rejection, Rejection, and More Rejection

In December 2016, I started submitting short stories to magazines. A year later, I’ve had about thirty rejections and two acceptances, published by Flash Fiction Magazine and Body Parts MagazineYou’d think that after a couple of publications – or even many more than that – receiving acceptances would build up and submitting in general would become easier.

Oh, how wrong I was to think that.

While not all my submissions (there were many more stories that were rejected and then abandoned), these are the current ones, two awaiting responses, along with a third that I’m trying to search for a magazine to submit. Nowadays, I expect rejections. In the past, it would’ve crushed what remained of my battered spirits, but what I’ve seen from other authors and writers is that rejection is part of the process.

It might seem devastating when receiving that apology letter, but it can be seen as a good thing. You take a step back to see what to do next time, how to improve, gearing yourself up for the next round of writing. My first ever submission was about a mysterious door that led to dangerous and dark things, and I assumed the editors were wrong when they rejected it, but comparing it to my current stories (while some aren’t quite fitting to some magazines) I had much to work on. My writing has grown over that time, experimenting with different ideas, showing that trying new things could be the path to take.

Some people might see that as a way to change their genre or ideas, which if you want to do that, that’s great, but write you. Use your voice. There will always be people out there who want to read it. And even though it might take weeks, months, even a year before we’re are published again, each rejection is a stepping stone towards one.

If you’re looking for places to submit, some resources to aid you include: