MATTERS MOST MACABRE (cover reveal/upcoming book by Tylor James)

Greetings boys and ghouls,

Just wanted to bring to your attention that I’ll have a new book out near the end of April! By my estimation, this is my very best work yet, and I’m hoping you’ll even consider nabbing a copy. What we have here are thirteen tales of the strange, the grotesque, and the macabre.

Here’s the wonderful cover design by Greg Chapman:

Here are the contents/stories:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Day the Stories Died
  3. Independence Day in Holebrim, Texas
  4. The Drip
  5. Godly Business
  6. Box of Chocolates
  7. The Typewriter
  8. When the Joke Grows Sharp Teeth
  9. The Shape
  10. Helga’s Helping Hands
  11. The Thing in Gregory Thornton’s Basement
  12. Order of the Wolf
  13. Avery’s Dog
  14. Everything is Broken
  15. Concluding Essay: The Stories Behind the Stories

I’m hoping fellow readers of dark/horror/weird fiction will enjoy this collection immensely. If you’re interested in reading some tales of mine, yet perhaps not invested enough to buy this book, I recommend reading WEIRDSMITH: Issue One, a very slim book containing just two stories of mine. It will give you a quality sampling of my work. Weirdsmith: Issue One is available on amazon for just .99 cents on Kindle, and $7.99 for paperback.

In other news, I’ve got tales popping up soon in April issues of The Periodical, Forlorn, Penumbric Speculative Fiction Magazine, and a future issue of Cosmic Horror Monthly.

Stay scary, friends,

Tylor James.

The Other Stories Podcast: A Skeleton Reads Shakespeare & Other Publications! — Tylor James

Greetings friends,

Consider the following a bit of a newsletter. There’s been a bout of good news lately, writing/publishing wise, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share it with you. First, this awesome podcast:

The Other Stories Podcast has published my short story, “A Skeleton Reads Shakespeare” as a fifteen minute dramatic narration. I think they did a stellar job. The narrator (Justin Fife) is spot-on and the sound effects are chilling. All of their episodes are of high quality, and I highly recommend checking them out. “A Skeleton Reads Shakespeare” is a fine episode to start with. You can listen to it here, on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fja9JZklAZI

Or, one can access “The Other Stories” via Acast, Amazon Music, Spotify, or iTunes.

In other news:

My eerie, poignant tale “Behind the Door” has been published in Vol. 9, issue 2 of HYPNOS MAGAZINE. I was impressed by the accompanying illustrations. If you’re a fan of dark fiction/strange tales, you will not go wrong picking up one of their slick, hefty issues! Trust me on this: https://radiumtownpress.com/store.html

“Box of Chocolates”, possibly one of the strangest tales I’ve written, is a feast for the imagination. It’s now published in issue #27 in The Literary Hatchet. I’m honored to have been included in a publication alongside so many talented writers: https://lizzieandrewborden.com/HatchetOnline/LiteraryHatchet/

Last bit of good stuff: “Independence Day in Holebrim, Texas” begins as an unnerving slow-burn type of story . . . then utterly explodes with mayhem and horror! It’s one of the favorite stories that I’ve written, and if you’d like, you may read it alongside many other great tales in SCARE ME, the new book anthology from Esskaye Books. I read through this volume in a day or two — that’s how good these stories are! Check it out here, https://www.esskayebooks.com/scare-me.html

And that concludes some thrilling, recent publications. I had a good time writing these tales, and can only hope readers have just as good a time.

If you enjoy short stories, keep an ear out for my upcoming book, MATTERS MOST MACABRE, which will be out in mid or late 20201. Until then, you might enjoy my debut collection, DAYDREAMS OF THE DAMNED: TALES OF HORROR & ODDITY, available in paperback/kindle via Amazon at reasonable prices: https://www.amazon.com/Daydreams-Damned-Tales-Horror-Oddity/dp/B08732MN1J/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=daydreams+of+the+damned&qid=1606327066&s=books&sr=1-2

Well! That’s all I have to report for now. Thanks for tuning in, fellow readers and writers. I’m grateful for your readership.

All the best,

Tylor James.

A Few Poems For You

I spent a few early mornings bent over an ancient typewriter, one I purchased for $15 at a thrift shop two years back. I cleaned the thing up and replaced the ribbon. I’ve been good to it.

In turn, it has been good the me — the typewriter, that is.

Heck, I even wrote my first professional story sale on the thing, before typing it into Word Doc. I call my typewriter “the poetry machine” because it’s perfect for writing poetry, especially at 4 AM, when my analytical mind dissolves and the subconscious takes over. The following poems are a result of a few uneasy, restless mornings. Writing them provided me comfort and joy, and I hope they do the same for you.

BEATING THE CLOCK

I am enraged by death;

I was born with a desire

to go on living beyond my years.

I am an absurd man;

A contrarian to this insensitive universe

which does not take my feelings

into account.

I am the universe.

I take my feelings into account.

My feeling is,

I don’t wanna die.

Life is a fading polaroid —

soon there will be no family

or even very distant relatives

to appreciate it.

Why do people

even take pictures?

Because they think

they’ll be remembered —

but nothing is remembered.

We are doomed to amnesia, and then

there is no ‘we’.

I am enraged by death —-

Can’t you drink to that?

Can’t you understand?

Mortality burns

and we are demanded to love it,

or deny it.

I am writing myself

into the grave,

only hoping to beat the clock.

I am pitting against

Grim Reality;

but at least for now,

you are reading this, gentle reader —-

And I have temporarily stolen Death’s scythe.

DRUNK ON POEMS

A good poem

gets you drunk

without even a stiff beverage

to touch your lips.

That is why

the best poems

are written with spirits.

Multitudinous

One moment,

I am a logical skeptic

without patience for your

silly wool-eyed superstitions.

The next,

I am a devoted mystic,

summoning spirits

at the typewriter

and cursing the muse

when she does not sprinkle her dream-dust

upon my weary, aching, grasping mind.

Restless Writers

Restless energy.

I overeat.

Chew fingernails.

Drink ten gallons of black coffee.

Devour myself.

Yet the best method

for dispelling this slow torture

of displaced being

is to write out the pain —

write out the numb agony

the solitude

and the jitters —

write until

my nerves cease to quake

my brain ceases to boil

my legs cease to kick

and a smile of ease breathes

satisfaction upon my face

and my heart whispers to me,

‘thank you’.

Feeding the Monster

There are nights when I feel

that weary ache in mind and flesh

and am only soothed

by feeding another piece of paper

into the typewriter’s bale.

And I get that sick, lovely feeling

I am feeding a monster.

Can you not hear this

feral growl of my soul?

This poem stares back at you

with hungry crimson eyes.

Unbeknown to you,

gentle reader, you have fed

this crazed, lonesome 4AM poet.

This is fine —-

For we all have monsters to feed.

Productivity

The sound

of

productivity:

CLICK CLACK

CLACK CLICK

CLACK CLICK

CLICK CLACK.

Soothing

as the swell

of ocean tides.

Perfect

as a three-part

harmony:

my hands,

my typewriter,

my open, boundless heart.

A Clever State of Mind

Good writing

is just a clever state of mind.

A shame writers are stupid

most of the time.

But they try, damn it.

I try too, however —-

cleverness, for most

is fleeting at best.

I can feel it leaving already.

And for those who will say

‘you never had it’,

I respond in kind —-

to Hell with you!

After I die,

they can weigh my soul

in the pages I wrote.

Bet it’ll weigh a damn ton.

A Confession About Poets

Poets are liars.

I don’t mean to sound

dramatic — it’s just true.

I know because

I used to be a poet.

What you are reading now,

is simply honesty and

an attempt at humanness.

It may or may not be poetry.

Most poets are liars.

They try to tell the truth, maybe,

but they just don’t know how —

and they end up writing stuff

that looks like poetry

but isn’t.

Being honest is being human.

Notice how the best poems are honest.

The best poems are vulnerable.

They read like beautiful blood —

Someone’s soul dancing upon the page.

That is poetry,

and for those daring enough

to share themselves —-

not just a pose of themselves,

is a poet.

Someone bring out

those lush green Laurel leaves,

and be prepared to wait

a long, long time.

This is Ed (Ed is Dead, Yet Productive).

Greetings friends.

I took the photograph displayed below. The gentleman at the 1940’s Royal typewriter is Ed.

Ed is dead. Has been for some time. Yet death is no reason for ceasing productivity, no sir! Ed and I are currently working on a new book of short stories. We trade places at the typewriter, inventing many first drafts to what will (hopefully) become published stories of horror, suspense, and all out weirdness.

That’s what Ed and I do, every day.

We are writers of the macabre. Someday, I will be dead like Ed.

But that will not stop me, no indeed! I’ll be clicking and clacking those type-keys with passion and reverence in the basement of Purgatory forever.

Dead Ed's Author Photo

PS, if you’d like to purchase my first book, “Daydreams of the Damned: Tales of Horror & Oddity”, you may do so by visiting the Amazon links below. The book is cheap. The stories are wild and imaginative and you are bound to have a good time reading them.

Dead Ed and I assure you of this.

Warm regards,

Tylor.

Paperback for $9.99

Kindle for $4.99

Daydreams of the Damned: Tales of Horror & Oddity.

Fellow bloggers, readers, and writers,

I have written a book. A book which will thrill you, keeping you turning the pages to find out what happens next. A book which will creep you the hell out. A book which may even make you laugh, from time to time . . .

Daydreams of the Damned: Tales of Horror & Oddity is a collection of twenty-two short stories. Need some new, thrilling reading material? Ha! What a silly question.  If you’re anything like me, you currently have a stack of unread paperbacks on your book shelf, BUT there’s always room for a new, exciting book. Even if you have to make room.

In short, I’m hoping you’ll make room for Daydreams of the Damned. I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed. Even better, this book is priced cheap.

Only $9.99 for a paperback

Just $4.99 for kindle

How about that?

Thanks very much for putting up with my sales pitch, friends. I’m just a writer trying to make ends meet.

Regards,

Tylor James.

PS: If you’d like additional info on Daydreams, just keep on scrollin’.

Daydreams of the Damned - Tylor James

Imagine the following, if you will:

Subterranean monsters with crimson eyes and needle-teeth.
A blood-thirsty tow-truck driver.
A professional gabber discovers a magic telephone.
A mad scientist feeds his failed experiments to “the Beast”.
A cursed lake with a pair of haunting eyes at its murky bottom.
A skeleton whom enjoys reading William Shakespeare.
A married couple doomed to an afterlife of bickering inside a shared coffin.
A small-time criminal doomed to transform into an underwater creature.
Two young boys discover the dark magic of Halloween in 1933, the final year of prohibition.

Daydreams of the Damned, a collection of twenty-two stories, has all the horror, weirdness, and gallows humor one can handle! Tylor James offers readers a diverse selection of tales which will terrify and entertain for hours on end.

 

Available Now: “DAYDREAMS OF THE DAMNED: TALES OF HORROR & ODDITY”

Dear gentle reader: This book is 311 pages of horror and oddity. Imagine the following, if you will:

Subterranean monsters with crimson eyes and needle-teeth.
A blood-thirsty tow-truck driver.
A professional gabber discovers a magic telephone.
A mad scientist feeds his failed experiments to “the Beast”.
A cursed lake with a pair of haunting eyes at its murky bottom.
A skeleton whom enjoys reading William Shakespeare.
A married couple doomed to an afterlife of bickering inside a shared coffin.
A small-time criminal doomed to transform into an underwater creature.
Two young boys discover the dark magic of Halloween in 1933, the final year of prohibition.

Daydreams of the Damned, a collection of twenty-two stories, has all the horror, weirdness, and gallows humor one can handle! Tylor James offers readers a diverse selection of tales which will terrify and entertain for hours on end.

And best yet, the book is cheap! $9.99 on paperback  and $4.99 on Kindle

What a deal, eh?

***

That is my pitch to you, gentle reader.

To be honest, self-promotion makes me uncomfortable. BUT, I believe in this book. I’ve worked hard on it for a year and a half. I think it’s a good read with some really interesting stories. Therefore, you may want to consider buying it!

I’ll leave it at that.

Thank you for reading. May you all stay safe out there.

Regards,

Tylor James.

 

Daydreams of the Damned - Tylor James

Dear Muse, I thought We Had A Date Tonight (Poem)

Dear muse,

I thought we had a date tonight?

I’ve been waiting a long time.

I ordered dinner and drink and

had too much of both.

Now I am overfed and undernourished.

Without you.

 

Dear muse,

I thought we had a date tonight?

I’ve been sitting at my desk

with my pen and notebook and

you’ve not dropped me a single

line, nor image, nor concept.

What gives?

 

Dear muse,

I thought we had a date tonight?

I am drowsy, weak without your light.

Life is a black ball clogging my soul.

My sighs are rancid dissappointments.

Dear muse, I have done my job.

Why have you not done yours?

 

Dear muse,

I thought we had a date tonight?

Now I’ve got a bad, bad headache,

I’m itchy & my clothes don’t fit right.

The earth turns senseless. After all,

what purpose in life if not to create?

Dear muse, I thought we had a date tonight.

The Writing Life: Publications, Rejections, Submissions, & Unsolicited Writing Advice!

Welcome to The Writing Life! This column is dedicated to the art and craft of writing.

My name is Tylor James. I’m a writer of dark fiction. My intention with The Writing Life is to inform and entertain — all the while allowing readers and aspiring writers a peak into my creative life.

First, the good news. ACCURSED: A Horror Anthology features my first paid publication, The Typewriter. This excellent volume of short stories about cursed items (everything from typewriters, to Christmas ornaments, to tattoo ink!) was published in paperback and ebook earlier this December.

I’ve been published in previous anthology books before, yet never paid for my work — until now. As you can imagine, I was pretty excited when the book arrived in the mail. Take a look at the wonderful cover artwork done by Eloise J. Knapp:

Accursed

Working with editor Jonathan Lambert was a great experience. He was very courteous to me and helped fashion The Typewriter into the very best story it could be. For that, I’m thankful. I recommend fellow writers of horror to submit their work to Jolly Horror Press for their future anthology releases, so long as they think they’ve whipped up a good tale.

Honestly, ACCURSED is a great collection of stories, all of them written by a talented writers. Therefore, I highly recommend fans of the genre to check it out!

One other positive news item: My fifty word story BLUE CHRISTMAS, was accepted and published by Fifty Word Stories, an ezine. Although Fifty Word Stories does not pay for stories, they do have a drawing for “best story” at the end of every month, which can win a writer $10. For those interested in reading my flash-fiction piece: Click Here.

I GOT THEM REJECTION BLUES

And now, it is time to mention some of my most recent rejections!

For writers, rejection is a constant game of, “Oh? Rejected again? Well, TAKE THIS!” and the writer submits his work to yet another publisher for consideration. It’s like Newton’s third law: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Wolfpak Publishing and 18thWall Productions reject my creature-feature horror novel, They Dwell Beneath. This novel is currently be considered by eight other presses, and I’m hoping to hear a ‘yes’ back from any one of them.

Aggregate and Tell-Tale Press rejects by short story, The Ultimate Torture of Charles Nevermore. This is a futurist tale about a literary outlaw and a subversive, underground movement of readers and writers.

TDotSpec rejects my shot story, The Eyes of the Lake — and yet provided very helpful advice in regards to re-crafting the story.

The Dark rejects my short zombie story, No Way Out.

Monster Porn Podcast rejects by short story, Bad Brains — and yet editors Bret and Matt were impeccably kind, lending advice regarding the betterment of the story.

Have you had work rejected lately? If so, just remember it’s only part of the business. Keep submitting, and keep writing. 

In Other News

This is the last column of The Writing Life for 2019. Looking back on some of the things I wrote in January and February of this year, I notice how far I’ve come in my ability to craft effective prose.

A lot of things I’ve written this year, in fact most of what I’ve written, has not been good enough to publish. But, I’ve also written plenty of damn good stories too.

So, for the record, here’s the tally for 2019:

I’ve written approximately 265,000 words.

I’ve never written so much in my life as I have this year.

And yet, when comparing it to some of the early 30’s and 40’s pulp fiction writers, it isn’t all that impressive. Those guys (Erle Stanley Gardner, for example) had an output of nearly a million words per year!

It’s hard to believe those writers were even human. In fact, I have my suspicions . . .

Yet, I am proud of the work I’ve done this year. I’ve come a long way as a writer, and have a long way to go still. I suspect there will never come a time in my life when I have finished learning how to write serviceable prose.

Writing is an art with a depth that is truly infinite.

Of the 265, 000 words I’ve written, I’ve created one short novel (They Dwell Beneath) and forty-five short stories. Plus several blog posts, The Writing Life Column, dozens of poems, songs, and essays. Not a bad year at all!

And thank you, fellow readers and writers, for putting up with my bragging.

UNSOLICITED WRITING ADVICE

This is advice about the craft of writing. Advice you never asked for, and which perhaps could hinder or outright destroy your aspirations as a writer. Without further ado, and as non-glamorous as this week’s advice is, behold:

Keep writing! 

When a story is looking ugly, don’t stop writing. Either finish it, or start a new story, poem, essay, whatever it is. But do not get up and walk away from your art. Sit down and write. Even if it is just one page.

You had an intention to write. Now it is not going as well as planned. That’s okay. All the same, you must continue to write. That is how we improve our work.

Practice.

Thank you to fellow readers and writers for their interest in The Writing Life. I hope you’ve found this column to be serviceable and entertaining. A very happy new year to you! May it be filled with love and art.

your friend,

Tylor James.

Badly Written Stories Are Your Friend & More —- The Writing Life!

Greetings, and welcome to The Writing Life! In this week’s article, we’ll be discussing the importance of believing in one’s self, the latest updates in my personal rejections & submissions, as well as finding value in badly written stories . . .

THE WRITING LIFE (issue #3)

It has been said that if you want to make it in the arts, you have to be mad. Whether you want to be a writer, a painter, a musician, a cartoonist, or whatever, you have to be mad.

And being mad means this: you have full confidence in your talent and abilities as a creative person and, above all else, you will turn it into a career. There isn’t any doubt in your heart that it will happen. You have complete faith in yourself and the understanding that through extreme devotion to your craft and plenty of endurance, it will only be a matter of time before the world recognizes and values your good work.

That’s what being mad means in the arts. It also means throwing aside pragmatism, throwing aside the dire warnings from family and friends about the economic fallibility of living off one’s creations, AND, ultimately, it means not listening to anybody but your own true self.

Think of the arrogance of such an attitude!

It is, nonetheless, the attitude one must cultive if one desires to make it in the arts. This is not just my opinion. It’s also the opinion of such legendary artists as Ray Bradbury and Gayon Wilson. Both men have spoken eloquently about the necessity of this outlook in lectures and interviews.

In addition to fostering one’s skills and abilities and believing in one’s self, a good bit of leg work in the way of making a career out of art is often done by sheer luck.

So, dear friends, fellow writers and artists, may you be good to the muse (that means show up and do the work, every day, relentlessly) and may the muse be good to you (that means may you get damn lucky and everything works out).

There’s plenty of room in this world for artists of all kinds and stripes, in my opinion. It isn’t a competition, or a battle for first place. There’s no need to fight over who’s the best writer or painter or dancer or singer. There’s room for all of us.

The muse is wonderously vast.

***

I GOT THEM REJECTION BLUES (My favorite segment of The Writing Life!)

It’s time for me to share the latest rejections of my stories. Every once in a great while, they can get me down, but most of the time, they make me smile. Whenever I read a rejection slip, I just say ‘Ok!’ And send out another submission straight away.

In the hope of inspiring fellow writers with the notion that rejections CAN be fun, here’s the latest:

Cast of Wonders rejects my story, Love From Another Place, a supernatural tale of love and loss. This tale is almost ashamedly adolescent in nature, BUT, hey, some people dig that. Teenage girls, for one.

87 Bedford rejects Love From Another Place as well (double your money!).

The Forge Literary Magazine rejects The Hating Game, a flash-fiction piece commenting on such contemporary topics “online trolling” and “cyber-bullying”.

The Future Fire rejects ‘Til Death Do Us Never Part, a story about a bickering married couple whose problems follow them even when they’re both six feet under! This is a comedic, philosophical horror tale, which I’ve recently adapted for the stage. There’s a good chance it may be performed live before an audience in 2020, along with two other strange tales of mine.

SUBMISSION NEWS

On the other hand, I’ve sent out:

Fish Out of Water, a strange fiction tale which merges pulp-style writing with Kafkaeque horror, to Automata Review.

I’m really proud of this tale, and I hope someone picks it up.

The Hating Game to After Dinner Conversation and Confingo Magazine.

Blue Christmas, the shortest story I’ve ever written, to 50-Word Stories! Read this one if you want to cry on Christmas.

Crash Landing, a lost-genre science-fiction story, to Planet Scumm.

LOVE the name of that last one, don’t you?

***

IN OTHER NEWS/WRITING ADVICE

I’ve had a great time tonight writing a zombie tale entitled, No Way Out. It’s got a hell of a lot of descriptive, gory passages and, what I hope are, some sympathetic characters.

First draft adds up to a little over 6,000 words. Tomorrow night I’ll be editing, re-writing and generally making it look like I knew what the hell I was doing the first time around.

NOW, time for this week’s edition of UNSOLICITED WRITING ADVICE FOR ASPIRING WRITERS— advice you never asked for, and which may or may not damage your writing career.

Today’s advice is more to do with one’s attitude than it does with the craft of writing, although it is nonetheless vital:

One ought to greatly value every lousy, bad, terrible story they’ve ever written. You know you’ve done it. Admit it! You’ve written a lousy tale or two; a story that might have germinated from a good idea, but couldn’t quite stand on its own? Even the best writers in the business have done it.

It’s not a bad thing, and here’s why: By completing a lousy, no-good story, you learn things. What you learn, especially, is what not to do the next time around. So for every lousy story you write, you are paving the way for all the good ones. You are gaining experience, and likewise, knowledge about your craft.

And that’s where I leave you: pestered and possessed by the muse. Until next time,

Your constant writer,

Tylor James.

 

 

Write What You DON’T Know: This Week in . . . The Writing Life!

Greetings, friends.

It’s getting cold outside, so come on in, get cozy, and welcome, to another edition of the The Writing Life. 

Life. It is to be lived, of course, but for a writer, it is also to be written. One cannot help but write about what one goes through. It’s a part of that old cliche, vomited from the mouths of countless authors and instructors: “Write what you know.”

I agree, and I disagree.

On the one hand, if we write only about what we know, how are writers ever to branch out and create something vast and new? If we are to write only what we know, how is one to write a story about extra-terrestrials on a far away planet? Surely we know nothing about that. Or how is one to write about an alternate dimension poulated by tiny humanoids? Or a history that never happened? It is, I think, to live inside an oppressive box — writing about only what one knows.

On the other hand, as I’ve stated, one cannot help but write what one knows. What one knows seeps through the spaces between the words we write. It lingers upon every thought, like a strange odor one is never able to get rid of.

We write, ultimately, about ourselves and what we think and feel about the world. What we know. As Henry Miller so aptly said, “The writer writes in order to discover himself.”

And so it is. For example, this evening I’ve written 1700 word short story about an old, world-famous playwright. He’s terribly and morosely addicted to coffee and he obsesses over his work to the point of fatality. When I took a step back from the story, I realized I was writing about myself, and my addiction to caffeine, and my obssession with words and the work I put into my writing.

And so, although we are not always conscious of doing it, we are writing about what we know all the time. We must.

***

THEM REJECTIONS BLUES

(My Personal Favorite Segment of The Writing Life!)

Oh, boy, folks! We’ve got some exciting news in rejection emails today! Believe me — I’m not being factitious, I’m being thrilled. Here’s the low-down, for the record:

Metaphorosis (magazine) rejects my science-fiction story, Crash Landing, and my strange-pulp tale, Fish Out of Water. A nice thing about Metaphorosis is this: the editor has a quick response time, and will leave feedback, if you so select that option in your submission.

Möbius Books rejects my debut horror novel, They Dwell Beneath. This is only my second rejection of this novel, and am waiting on plenty more. I look forward to each rejection like a bite of delicious pie. The right attitude is the only way to survive in this game.

Writers Resist rejects my story, The Hating Game, a flash-fiction piece which comments on the contemporary phenomena of “online trolling”.

Asimov’s Science Fiction & Fantasy rejects Crash Landing. The editor politely advised that I submit using the standard manuscript format. I thought I’d been doing that, but, as it turns out — I haven’t! I am learning things every day, and this, ladies and gents and fellow pronouns, is a biggie. In the immortal word of Homer Simpson, “Doh!”

Not One of Us rejects my story, Johnny Bad Apple, a story I’d written in 2018, about the vicissitudes of fame and fortune in the life of a rock star.

In submission news, I’ve sent out at least ten to fifteen submissions to various magazines as of this week. Wish me luck, fellow readers and writers, as I wish all of you luck.

Yet, a quick addendum to that — as writers, we make our own luck, don’t we? With much practice and endurance — yes, that will be our luck!

***

WRITING ADVICE 

To conclude this week’s fine edition of The Writing Life, I shall disperse the usual allotment of unsolicited advice. It is this:

Write what you know AND, if you can manage it, attempt to write what you don’t know. By this I mean, quite simply, write about your loves and hates and passions (what you know), but try not to “stay safe” by not taking chances with your writing.

When you take chances, you may end up with thousands of words that fail to capture a compelling story. But, those thousands of failed words will teach you things. And the things you learn, as long as you keep reaching for the ungraspable, will lead you to bigger and better stories. And it will lead you, not least of all, to a bigger and better future. 

“Man’s reach must exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” — Robert Browning, English poet and playwright (1812-1889).

Until next week,

your constant writer,

Tylor James.