Disperser 2016 In Review: Writing

There is little chance of me adding to my body of work — I’m talking about fiction writing — before the end of the year. I can, therefore, begin the retrospective on my 2016 literary career efforts. 


Kailua Kona – Dec. 11 Street Fair

The overall progress is not very encouraging; I’m up to twenty-nine rejections . . . still a long way from my goal of eight hundred and thirty-seven rejection. Eleven of those twenty-nine came from three short stories, eleven other came from short stories that are openly available on this blog, and seven came from flash stories also from this blog. One short story is still under consideration  . . . going on 369 days as of today. 

Here are a few more details . . . 

The three short stories I am shopping around are Nancy, Shift, and Grave Matters (used to be Future Graveyard). All of those links are to password-protected posts. If you are a new subscriber hankering to read them, leave a comment below and I’ll e-mail you a password (do not post your e-mail below; just leave a comment)

The one that’s going on a year+ now is The Shirt, also password protected. 


Silver EFxPro 2 conversion

I had also found a few places that accept reprint submissions, and me having posted my fiction on this blog qualifies as having been previously published. I edited and sent in most of the short fiction openly available in previous posts. Those counted for eighteen rejections.

I’ve been shopping my NaNoWriMo 2 novel to various agents. I lost track of the number of rejections, but it’s up there. OK, OK . . . it’s fifteen. I also had submitted it to one slush pile and it was not picked up. I plan to send it out again. By the way, that’s the unedited first cut linked above, and it too is password protected.

The NaNoWriMo 3 is still in the edit stage and I like it . . . but then, I like everything I write.  NaNo 3 is an action thriller with no science fiction or fantasy. Might be writing more of those. The above link is the unedited complete first draft.

Processed: Topaz Impression Plugin

Processed: Topaz Impression Plugin

OK, so that’s the helicopter view of what I’ve been doing as far as trying to get published.  Let me now dig a little deeper into this year’s other writing-related activities, as in actual writing I did.

Early January found me still adding to the 2015 NaNoWriMo novel, but a flash challenge had me write the first draft of Future Graveyard. As this was a flash piece, it came in at just a tad over two thousand words. As I was writing it, I realized I really liked it and planned to send it out to various markets after expanding it a bit. 

The second flash challenge resulted in The Manor Above, and that is not password protected. I’ll sound like a broken record, but I like the story a lot. I also got to thinking that perhaps I should do mostly romance pieces. Except, it’s difficult weaving lots of shooting and killing into romance stories.

Musical Interlude:

Still in January (it was a good writing month) I read an article at Mythcreants regarding the use of Second Person Point of View in storytelling. I picked up the challenge and wrote THIS piece. I was then challenged to write from a female second person point of view. 

My answer was to write the same story from the female protagonist (HERE). I think this is the first time I did the same story from two different points of view. What I took from this exercise is that second person POV is difficult and limited, but it does offer — I think — a more intimate view of the character. Then again, what do I know? 


onOne Suite 10 Effects – B&W Processing

February saw me finish up the NaNoWriMo 2015 novel. I wrote my thoughts on the effort HERE. The complete novel is linked above. 

Immediately after, I worked on revising and expanding Future Graveyard (HERE). If you click on the link, you will note I was mixing my writing updates with the continuing Cruisers (classic cars) updates.  

My next bit of writing came in the form of a short flash piece (also from a prompt). 

Also in March, I was experiencing a bit of frustration with the rejections I was getting. Specifically, they gave no hint of what they thought of the stuff I was submitting. I wear big boys pants, and I’m confident I could take honest criticism of my work. Brutal criticism, even. I might not listen to it, but I will take it and make it mine. 

To date, of all the rejections I’ve gotten, only one was a bit more than a form letter. The last rejection for Grave Matters said they liked the story but that it ended a bit too neat and tidy. Also, too quick. 

I’m ambivalent about that, but those kinds of rejections are useful; it tells me why they did not buy it. It’s now up to me to decide if I believe in the story as written or if I should try to tweak it. I’m running out of places to submit it, so it would have been nice to hear that in response to my first submission, not my seventh. 

The other rejections have me wondering if they are lying when they say “we can’t use this right now.” Perhaps what they really mean is “what a load of crap! you should quit writing!” I mean, I wouldn’t quit writing, but I would quit submitting. At least then I would not be wasting my time and their time by sending in crap they will never buy. 

Kailua Kona - looking up during a sunset.

Kailua Kona – looking up during a sunset.

Also in March, I penned a few thoughts on the whole pro fiction market. 

By April, I had moved on to another rant, this time about trigger points

Continuing in April, I dabbled a bit into the process of coming up with ideas. THIS post also includes short fiction pieces. 

Topaz Simplify 4 Plugin Processing

Topaz Simplify 4 Plugin Processing

After April, there was a huge gap — a time gap — before I wrote anything again. I had an excuse. In May we decided to sell everything and move to Hawaii . . . and that’s what we did. 

Come September, I got on the (figurative) writing horse and wrote a fun piece that peripherally referenced some of my other writing efforts. 

Topaz Simplify 4 Plugin Processing

Topaz Simplify 4 Plugin Processing

And then, nothing until the middle of October, when I published THIS piece. Really, not a piece per se; just a scene. I also took the opportunity to announce what would be my destined to be doomed 2016 NaNoWriMo . . . little did I know that Trump would win the presidency. That, as it turned out, pretty much sunk my writing efforts. 

Continuing with my October efforts, I responded to a Vipers challenge (Vipers – alumni of the Viable Paradise writing workshop.) THIS was the post introducing the FULL STORY in the following post. 

Continuing my continuing with October — before we knew that Trump (Trump!) would be our president — I penned a short piece based on a writing prompt. I liked it.  If you do click on the link, the writing is way at the bottom (titled “Ancestor”).

Topaz Glow 2 Plugin Processing

Topaz Glow 2 Plugin Processing

On Halloween Eve, I managed to write a piece inspired by the beliefs of life after death. If it’s not clear, I do not hold such beliefs. 

On November 1, I announced my NaNoWriMo 16 bid, offering a glimpse into what was supposed to be a Michelle Maul, P. I., short story. That story, which reached 10K and is still pending completion, was my last fiction writing for the year. 

Wait . . . I missed one. In September I also wrote a very short entry for yet another flash fiction site. They did not like the story, but I do.  

Then, in November, the world changed.

I know it sounds like an excuse for not writing, but I felt — and feel — the urge to communicate and promote critical thinking and reason even as I rail against stupidity and superstition. Meaning, I have this deep urge to write about what’s going on knowing full well I will not make a difference and that no one will hear me and that if by chance someone does hear me, it will likely be rabid Trump supporters who will threaten me and try to besmirch my reputation. Well, they would if I had a reputation. 

My voice will not be heard, but maybe if we all join together . . . but no. I won’t ask that of anyone else. Life is difficult enough without dealing with the crazies. 

Topaz Impression PlugIn

Topaz Impression PlugIn

And that’s the review of my 2016 writing efforts. I probably missed a post or two here and there, but not for lack of trying to gather everything into one post.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, encouragement, or advice to better my life, know my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor is blowing right by you.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Fiction, Musings Stuff, Personal, Photography, Writing, Writing Stuff and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Disperser 2016 In Review: Writing

  1. oneowner says:

    I have to tell ya – the uke player with reflection and the palms are fantastic. Just sayin’.


  2. I never knew you played the ukulele,
    Bit surprised by the outfit though; I always think of men, of Italian heritage, as being elegantly attired; Still I expect theres more ‘donations’ if you look the part.


  3. PiedType says:

    837 rejections, eh? You’ve got a ways to go …

    Those palm tree photos make me dizzy, like I’m lying on the ground looking up and they’re spinning around me … or my head is spinning.


    • disperser says:

      Yeah, I need to write more so that I can crank up the number of submissions. At this rate, I’ll die before I get to 837. Well, I might die regardless, but the point is that I need to submit more.

      That is, obviously a straight up shot. It’s almost obligatory if one is standing amid tall trees.


  4. I admire you for many reasons, Emilio…like your writing creativity and imagination and your ability to write good stories that are fun to read…and the fact that you keep writing…and you keep submitting. That is inspiring to me! Thank you!

    I might be wrong (I am a lot :-P ), but I it disturbs me when THEY read and reject without letting the author know why…I wonder how much of what they do is related to $$ and how much they think they can make because of a story or book…and is not really about giving a “new” writer a break…or about what the reading-public might enjoy. Oh well.

    Hope you and Melisa had a good holiday weekend!
    HUGS!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Thank you, diem3; that’s very kind of you to say.

      As for the reasons, I agree it would be nice to get more detailed responses, but the industry is literally swamped with submissions, so I can somewhat understand not receiving better feedback. Perhaps the fact they are generic form letters are themselves indicators of the quality of the writing. Perhaps, if my writing improves, I’ll start receiving more personalized rejections.

      But, there might be other things in play. Even by my own admission, I write “fluff”. No big tragedies, not much drama, some emotion, and usually a happy ending. Perhaps that kind of writing has difficulty finding purchase in today’s world.

      A cynical look at what type of writing makes it and receives praise leaves me with the impression that people want less to be entertained by writing and more to have social and/or personal issues reinforced and explored. Whereas I often write — or think I write — about general struggles and human conflicts relating to human traits, it seems the trend is dealing with more personal struggles, more complex societal issues, and in general a “heavier” type of writing than the escapism I like to both read and write.

      As much as I might not like that, it does seem as if the reading public is drawn toward those types of works.

      Regardless, I don’t plan to stop writing or stop submitting. What’s that they say about blind dogs?

      Anyway, thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

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