Thursday, November 17, 2011

In which a friend writes an awesome book

Go to Cassie J. Sneider's blog. Do it now. Click on that fucking link or I swear to God I will hunt you down. And give you a stern talking to.

If you won't do that, just go to Amazon and buy Fine Fine Music. You will thank me, or thank your computer for letting you get such a great book. Then you'll feel stupid, because your computer is a machine. It doesn't understand appreciation.

Then you'll remember the end of Terminator, that maybe machines CAN feel something. And you'll apologize for all the times you gave it digital-STDs with your albino midget fetish habit. But it won't accept your apology and may decide you should be killed while you sleep.

I'm getting ahead of myself. The point is, if you don't read Fine Fine Music, you will regret it for the rest of your life. I am not even kidding.

Wordslinger-117 out

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The horror. The HORROR.

Forgive me, gods of writing, for I have sinned.

I sent a piece for consideration that I did not thoroughly edit. And holy shit I found some stinkers on my umpteenth read through. 'Due' instead of 'do'? Missing and double words? Kill me now, spare me some of the shame.

And the bitch of it? They wrote back to say it had passed first reading and was being considered for placement. I'm hoping that the story kicked so much ass they could ignore the errors sprinkled in. That's what I will hope to my dying day.

I think I made a blog post about this earlier, where the story has one of these mistakes in the first paragraph. I did not go into the vivid, horrifying detail. I may, should they say 'Clean this up and we'll publish it'. I never will, however, if they reject it after these few months. If that's the case I will delete every single post about such terrible things, and we will never speak of this again. Like a bond that people take after they've killed somebody and dumped them in a river.

So if you're reading this in the future, I have either lied or the piece was accepted.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is my blog a GOOD blog?

I recently found an old friends blog. It's minimalist, white background, black text. But it works because what she writes is fantastic. She doesn't need a hokey background or pictures or crazy fonts.

So then I look at my blog.

Crazy font? No.

Pictures? No.

Hokey "I'm a writer! Look! A book!" background? Fuck you.
If I had a book, like she does (you can find where to get them at her awesomely Spartan blog here) or if I could write such funny shit, I might not need anything else.

But for the time being, I am a writer. Just look at my blog's background. It's a fucking book. What more do you need?

Wordslinger-117 out.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What a way to start the month.

The usual Tuesday writers group is holding their meeting in the FSU Alumni center this week. I was told this last week.

As I write this, I'm sitting and waiting for the event to kick off. This is not the usual 'get a pint and have a seat' affair. No. I came here wearing a hoodie and torn jeans. Other people are wearing blazers. There is a donation at the door of ten dollars for the Second Harvest charity. I had seven dollars in my pocket. There is a silent auction. A cash bar.

Which wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't given them the seven dollars at the door with a look of "sorry, I'm not from your planet. "

So I sit here in a hooded sweatshirt with a back eye and a swollen chin.

I am sorry to say I've never even heard of our guest of honor Pam Houston. She has at least four books published so I feel like I damn well should. But live and learn.

I feel like a kid again, growing up next to Elon College, sneaking into functions for the free food. Maybe I should just feel slick for getting in at a discount. Suck it, poor people.

I kid of course. But somebody please give me a dollar so I can get a beer.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Update: Pam Houston is awesome. Get her stuff.

Monday, October 31, 2011

One for the road!

One last post for October (before the clock strikes 12!). It's been a long month, with more rejections than I would have liked, but each one makes me harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. Now excuse me, I have to do the robot. Daft Punk has that effect on me.

Anyway, all I can say is I'm keeping up the grind. Work, revise, send in, repeat. I've met some really cool people at the weekly writer's gathering - mostly poets, who I am greatly jealous of, with their ability to distill what I try for (imagery) to the purest form. They are whiskey to my beer.

And as the weather turns, I have a feeling the winter hunker down will polish my manuscript clean. Queries will go out, agents will be found, works will be published. I know this, because if I don't know this, I have nothing. Faith, friends. Faith is what it's all about.

Keep your heads up, and I'll keep up mine.

Wordslinger-117, out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dammit, Poetry

Poetry is something I haven't done since third grade. But can I just say I kicked ass at it? But that is not to say I cannot appreciate poetry. Poetry, good poetry anyway, boils away all the prose and filler in a story and leaves really good imagery. It's the mental slap that makes you pay attention, the metaphor that immediately connects you to the writer's mental picture, the simile that's so familiar and true you can't help but laugh or weep or groan. Most poetry is not good poetry.

That being said, I'm still attending the local writer's meets on Tuesday hoping for fiction each time. Selfish of me, I know. Whenever it's poetry, I groan and die a little inside, but I make the best of it. I hang in there and pick out little phrases, good imagery and other things you'll get from good poetry.

Sometimes it's rather good, and I laugh or clam up the way the writer wanted. Mostly I try to look interested as not to be impolite. I found myself playing with beer coasters tonight, waiting for that electric shock of a great metaphor to hit me. It did hit now and then, like a white ball bouncing around a roulette wheel. But like that same roulette wheel, it missed more than not.

If nothing else, I get to take in the people around me. The traits, the sounds. The ebb and flow of conversation, the details that make these people real. The awkward way a teenage girl holds a cigarette as she tries to look cool. The glances of undergrads at pints of beer, like caged wolves eyeing a cut of steak. The guy sitting next to me talking to somebody about how good fantasy novels have the same hitting points as literary fiction, all in a nasally voice that makes me weep to be in the 'Sci-Fi/Fantasy' bookshelves. The little things.

But if I keep going, it can't ALL be poetry. I think. I hope. And besides, networking - such a God-awful word but one we all have to do in some form or another - can always be done.

I'll keep writing, you keep reading. That's the deal. I'll see what I can do to make it worthwhile.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reach for the sky

So that fat paycheck from the story that I didn't quite expect to sell never came. Really I think I've found a happy medium for submitting my stories for publication. I'm never scared to submit to these guys, the pros, the big wigs. Am I crushed when I'm not accepted? No.

There are so many great stories out there. Somebody probably had one better than mine, or the editor just wasn't feeling it. Are the rejections going to keep me from submitting to them again?

Not a chance in Hell. Reach for the sky because tomorrow may never come.

One day, my time will come. If you work hard enough and don't give up, you can make it. I believe that with every fiber of me.

It's funny, the words I see most in my 'Submissions' folder of me email are 'Unfortunately' 'but' and 'thank you'. I like Thank You the most. Anyone who's submitted knows that 'Unfortunately' is usually the tenth or so word in the email. At least they don't string you along!

I'm just going to keep on going until I get more tallies in that 'W' column. (That's 'Wins' for the non-sports inclined).

It's not over yet. I've been down but I've never been out.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Monday, October 3, 2011


The summer is over now. My beloved Red Sox are not in the post season. Any day now, the weather here in Tallahassee will take a turn for the bitter cold of... well, it's Florida, so it won't be too bitter. But it will get colder.

What that means is that my summer distractions are mostly done now. I'll be getting that Salinger-esque 'lock myself in the office and write' thing going again, but it's been a while coming.

I made a submission just now to a publication that pays ten cents per word (!) and the idea of getting $290 for a short story is beyond my grasp. It's out there the same way the quantum physics and string theory blow my mind. That is roughly one (1) of my paychecks for a slow week right now working in the garage. I'm not holding out much hope on accepting the story - I think, personally, it's a good story, but the editor might not - if only not to be crushed. But the very concept of such prestige makes me drool.

Interestingly enough, I never know how casual or formal the cover letter for my submission should be. I don't want the readers to think that I've sent them a blanket, form cover letter (though it would only be reasonable, since they send out blanket, form rejection letters). But I don't want them to think I'm just here, clowning around. You want to present yourself as a professional, but also as a human being with plenty of personality.

Like most things in the writing gig, I'm starting to get that you need to find a balance.

Speaking of balance, know what would help balance my checking account? $290 for a short story.

Let's hope I rolled a seven. Or a natural 20, if that's more your bag.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My how the tables do turn!

Let me just say, first and foremost, I'm a great admirer of Janet Reid. Her Query Shark blog takes the time to help out the little people, and it is appreciated. GREATLY appreciated. But I am a sucker for irony.

Yesterday on her blog - I would have a link up, but the iPhone and blogger don't get along - she posted about not getting a book from an author she loves for reviewing on her blog. For a bullshit reason, too. If I had a chance for her to review my book on her blog? I'd slap my mother's mouth to make it happen.

What I find hilarious is that the rejector becomes the rejected. It's a kind of sweet irony that only a peasant in th industry like myself can enjoy. Let me again say that I have nothing but love for her and what she does, but God if I didn't have a good chuckle.

Keep at it, sharkie. Let Harlequin hear your roar.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

This guy!

I'm starting to believe that getting published is crowded, but like most other job markets, its crowded with jackasses. I read a lot of sites about getting published (what a shocker, I know) and the more I read, the more I find myself going 'wait, they did what?'

They're ready to query an agent but don't know what an SASE is? (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope, FYI. For Your Information, BTW. By The W--okay I'm done).

They bemoan having to acquire an agent in their query letters?

They assure people it's a shoe-in for Oprah's (now defunct) book club?

Who the fuck are these people and why are they pissing off agents and their screeners when other writers are... okay, perfect analogy: you're waiting in line to get to your terminal in an airport. Security is a bitch, because hey, TSA. What are you gonna do? One guy has to go through the metal detector twice. He gets all kinds of indignant, and holds everyone else up. He shouts about his rights, about how ridiculous the whole thing is, et cetera. Everyone else behind him, waiting to pass through the required checkpoint, tap their feet and look at their watches, eyes rolling. Maybe somebody says 'Hey, asshole. Do you mind?' Maybe they don't.

See where I'm going with this? Put the research into getting an agent and getting your manuscript published, know what the industry is all about. Get with it or get the hell out of my way. I've got books to publish here.

Or, and this may very well be WORSE, the starving artists of the writing world that seem to come up as examples on many an agent's blog. Where this is their life's work! Their blood, sweat, tears, and various other cliches! It is their art! Change it? Sell out? What do you take them as? Because it surely isn't as an author!

Move along, now, sir, you're embarrassing yourself. By the way, your French Art History degree is showing. (If anyone reading this HAS a French Art History degree, I'm not trying to poke fun at you. I swear to God. I'm so sorry.)

Have an agent wave six figures - Hell, five figures - and see how far I'll go to please the editor, the publishers, my agent. I'm not making art here, I'm telling a goddamned story. Should the antagonist's name be change from Sancho to Samuel? Why the fuck not? Maybe the guy in the second chapter doesn't die. Alright, sure.

Maybe your main character should be a vampire.

...maybe you should go fuck yourself with a rake. A man has limits, you know.

So who's ready to treat his work like a product, that should be sold? This guy. Who wants to work with an agent/editor/publicist/EVERYONE to rock the fuck out? THIS guy.

Who has two thumbs and is an author?

Michael Futch, nice to meet you.

- Wordslinger-117 out.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dear Fuckface

"Did we say we liked Aurora Wolf in an interview? I'm sorry, we lied about that. Yeaaaahhh it happens. Sometimes. Here's a form rejection."

Let this be a lesson to any brave man or woman, scouring this blog: because an editor of one magazine mentions in an interview that they like another magazine, it does not mean that the story you submitted (and almost had accepted) to said liked magazine will go over well with the other magazine.

Still with me? Good. It all comes down to finding the right match with the right editor, I guess.

So there's a form rejection to add to the stack. But at least now I can submit to other people and see if I can get a match.

There's an analogy in there somewhere about blindfolds and playing craps and something, but I'm too busy to search for it. Must. Submit.

-Wordslinger-117 out.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The game is afoot!

Say that with your best Sean Connery accent and it sounds so much cooler.

So the other night I went to a local bar where, every Tuesday, they have an author come talk about their book. This week was a man who grew up on a South African wildlife preserve during the apartheid era. Very interesting stuff that made for a good read (Especially the part about lions making a kill right next to where he's sleeping). But the most important thing to happen? I successfully said to somebody I met there "why yes, I write speculative fiction." For one, it's a lot cooler than saying "geese guysh I write schi-fi novelsh!!!!11!" But another thing: I don't say "oh I write on the side when I'm not working". I fucking WRITE, son. Dig it.

I almost feel like I'm a spy amongst them. These members of academia, these people who are teachers and students and professional 'thinkers'. Here is this kid from North Carolina with no ties to FSU claiming to write! Almost professionally! "ahem... Gentlemen?"

Writer is spy!

Anyway, while not feeling like I was successfully bullshiting everyone there, I did take a lot in. It was nice.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

And there goes my swagger

So the other day I'm talking to somebody at work. Not somebody I work with but somebody who's tires I'm checking. She's taking creative writing as her major and I say "oh cool, what do you write?"

She replies "nonfiction and poetry. Do you write?"

I say yes! In fact I do!

"Oh what do you write?"

"Genre. Mostly sci-fi."

"oh. Cool."

And bam. I just went from cool guy to dork, just like that. Maybe it's just in my head - it probably is - but I could just feel the swagger of my "why yes I am an author" run away from the situation like it's ass was on fire. The follow up question: "did you write a book?" persuaded it to run faster when I answered "yeah but... It's not published. I'm getting my name out in the short story market right now."

Not really a George McFly "I just couldn't take that kind of rejection!" but I heard it that way.

I think one day I'll be looking back at this as I stroll into a convention, full of piss and vinegar, the "cool" sci-fi writer, girls screaming like I was the damn Beatles... I'll have a good laugh. But man, try saying you write science fiction and try to look like the groovy sonofabitch you know you are. It aint easy.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I have five stories floating through cyberspace

Five. I had to look at my spreadsheet to be sure. Five possible credits (and payments!) and five possible rejections. You know what's kind of scary about the whole thing, though?

I tell myself that after five short stories published, five pieces of work that I get paid for, I start querying for my book. And holy shit does that make things seem pretty real. The book is done and ready to go, but it's always seemed far off. In the future. That whole "one day" thing. But there is a reason I'm reading up on queries and pitches and all of these other things I'll have to do to get the book sold.

While reading up, I've also discovered that everyone and their grandmother wants to be a writer. It's almost disheartening when you read through comments on blogs and websites, and its all to the effect of 'Very nice. MY novel is...' and then a link to their blog.

I think the job market I'm trying to break into is a little crowded. But I'll get this job the same way I got all the other jobs I've ever held: go in there with the ability to bullshit my way into being liked and making them think I have the capability to excel at the work.

In other news, I submitted a piece to the Writers of the Future contest. Third prize is $500, so say a prayer for me.

-Wordslinger-117 out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Blogosphere

I have just swam the literary blogosphere (Jesus I hate that word) and am now surfacing, gasping for air. Holy. God.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has a blog. Most are interesting. Some are helpful. And others are just full of pretentious dicks. Which is to be expected, considering the kind of blog it is. I'm not going to name names, because that's a form of dickery. But let's just say I would not want to get a beer with these people.

There are some that are helpful but also very... rude. Well, rude may be too strong of a word. Janet Reid's blog, the Query Shark, for example, is a wonderful resource for crafting a great query. She will often go to lengths to say 'this is what you're doing wrong with your query'. But her responses to other bloggers and questions and the like? If you get more than 'no' from her, you have just performed a miracle. But she's a busy woman, and its all from the goodness of her heart. Her icy, blackened heart. So I can understand it.

I think I'll send in a query to the shark and see what she says. If it even gets posted, that is. She says 99% of them don't get on the board.

I think I can make that other 1%.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Monday, August 8, 2011

In the running!

So a magazine sent me an email today. It looked something like this:

Dear Michael,

This letter is to inform you that your submission has passed first reading and will be read by the full editorial board in October. It is not an acceptance letter. You will be notified of our final decision in early November.

Important: Please respond to this notification confirming that this submission is not under consideration elsewhere.

All the best with your writing,


And my thoughts? Hell YES I will wait for another couple months if that mean's there's a chance it will be accepted!

And the terrible thing? I started reading through it again and, in about the sixth paragraph, slapped my forehead. There was one jumble of words that missed my editing. BUT that's okay, right? Because that's what editors are for, right?

Right. But that's good news, though. Once again, it's that feeling: somebody who I don't know read my work, and they liked it enough to push it forward.

Next step? SELL something. Sweet Jesus, getting paid for my writing? I'll feel like I've up and robbed somebody, as sure as I put a gun to their head, got twenty bucks, and shoved a manuscript into their hands.

-Wordslinger-117 out.

Monday, August 1, 2011

BOOM! Sphinx!

Rejection letter number... okay, so I don't keep track. But I open it up and BOOM! Yummy! Personalized. And not just personalized, my friends, but edited.

Edited. They went through my manuscript, wrote down notes, and sent it back. This is the first time my work has ever been edited by somebody in the profession, and it feels nice. Better than nice, I feel like a pro.

Most of it was getting away from the passive 'was' in my gerunds. There was a bit about cleaning up the F-bombs, but that's probably more the editor's taste, which I can appreciate. It makes publishing it in a magazine a lot easier. A couple things of motivation and continuity, but overall I get the feeling the story made it to the 'maybe' pile, and possibly even into the 'short list' pile for consideration.

What's more, this is the short story that is part of the larger universe. A short set before the novel. The one I always thought of as incomplete, probably never would do well. Seems I was mistaken! Oh ho HO!

So, possibly the best rejection letter I've had since I started. What I need to do now is edit according to the recommended changes, sit on it, re-edit, and send it off again. I've got a feeling that this one is a winner.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Elements of Shit I Already Know

I picked up a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. I don't want to sound like a know it all, or a pompous... something, but as I go through the little book that everyone rants is mandatory for all writers, I find myself saying "yeah, I knew that" over and over.

Don't get me wrong, I did find a few things that I was unaware of, and there are a couple good tips I've picked up. But at the same time, I know most of this shit already. I know to put an 's after a name that ends with an S such as Chris's. To be fair, I didn't know that the same does not apply to "ancient proper nouns" such as Jesus or Zeus.

Having gone through 3/4 of the book now and learning only a few new things, I wonder: did I just pay attention in English Comp. as compared to most other people? Am I just good at this? Like Neo and the Matrix, can I do better than everyone else, right from the get-go, while they work their asses off?

Probably not. But I can dream, right? Fuck yeah. I'm awesome.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Goodnight, Sweet Prince...

Borders is filing for Chapter 7. Everything must go, all assets liquidized.

As a former Borders employee, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand: BURN IT ALL! TO THE GROUND! Dance around the funeral pyres of the establishments, lifting your wailing voices to sing the ruin of their corporation! I remember working and Borders and absolutely despising upper management. I hated the corporate rules handed down by some unseen force to essentially make my life suck. $6.50 an hour to have your soul constantly eroded was the going rate.

On the other hand, I had fun. A lot of fun. I met some of the coolest people I ever have working there. Borders Books, Music and Cafe in Stony Brook, New York had great people working there (for the most part. I'm talking about YOU, Jillian! Hater! (actually I loved Jill, she was cool... for a hater)). I managed to get paid for putting books on shelves, screwing around with friends, and occasionally helping people who didn't know how to type things into the Info computer. The hours sucked, the pay was shit, and the boss was a soulless she-beast who would only lumber out of her office to yell at us, but I had a great time working there.

So it is an end of an era. Eric over at Pimp My Novel has said he expects this to hasten the transition into new media, to make print books secondary to electronic. Probably true, much to my chagrin. It's a little scary, trying to get into this world, this career, especially as everything is changing so radically.

But like those corny motivational posters say, ride the wave of change or be crushed under it.

R.I.P. Borders

Wordslinger-117 out.

Friday, July 8, 2011

I've read that one before.

Another day, another two rejection letters. FORM rejection letters. The worst was from Lightspeed Magazine, a magazine that seems to have some good shit. And I want my good shit in their shit.

Their notice was something like 'Thanks, but I'm going to have to pass. It just didn't work for me. Thanks and good luck'. This sounded familiar, so I look at my rejection letter from Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine, and weeeelllll! Lookie here! Butter my butt and call me a biscuit, it is word for word the same letter!

Jesus H. Christ, come on. At least put a 'man' or 'bro' or something in there. Throw me a bone!

But like the man said, you gotta keep on keepin' on. Life's a garden, dig it? They haven't heard the last from me.

Wordslinger-117 out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This is my blog. There are many like it, but this one is mine...

I'm not going to do the whole credo about my rifle/blog. But I need to respect this bad boy some more. I may also have to invest in a the Twitter. See, I used that 'the' ironically, because it's what older people call it sometimes.

I should also not blog late at night. I get stupid.

So, on the writing front: another day, another submission, another reading. I went back and read 'There Will Come Soft Rains' by Ray Bradbury again. It is the pinnacle of what post-apocalyptic fiction can be, I think. Well crafted, with just enough visualization (some of it very stark, carries a lot of impact). You should read it, because it's awesome.

The more I go through the market for short stories, the more I find publications that don't publish profanity or violence. While I respect that it's their publication, they can do whatever the hell they want with it, I can't understand how you can rule out a good story because of these things. Profanity, when done correctly, makes dialogue real. Unless you're a seventy year old lady baking a cake for the church's bake sale, when you stub your toe you don't say 'Oh darn!'. You shout! 'FUCK!' or 'FUCK ME!' or 'MOTHERFUCKER!'. You can be the nicest person, try to live the cleanest, keep your language inoffensive, interjections care not one bit about these things.

Violence is perhaps even more bizarre to me. Any story must have conflict, otherwise its boring and nobody wants to read it. Conflict and resolution drive plot. Sure, there's the court room conflict, the lover's conflict, all kinds of conflict. But there is no baser form of conflict than violence.

That's just me bitching, though. While I have my reasons for thinking that, I'm sure the editors have their reasons for thinking otherwise, and their reasons are just as valid.


But maybe not...

Wordslinger-117 out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I can get published, but its a sonofabitch

No news really. I figured I should post to keep the cobwebs from building up again. Really been doing my best not to let this blog just become a random outpouring of crap from my life and focus more on me as a writer. Since that's the goddamned title of it.

Got a good rejection letter the other day (after submitting the story 10 months prior!). The gist was: good story, I would do this but it's good... BUT... not what we're looking for.

YOU'RE NOT LOOKING FOR GOOD STORIES?! Bullshit! Actually I do understand that it just doesn't fit with what they're looking to publish. Immediately after I got that letter I made my adjustments and sent it off somewhere else.

I also wrote my first 'lit' short story, and it was different. With sci-fi and genre, there's so much explanation. There's setting and history and blah blah blah to get out there so people have a sense of context, but with basic literary form, there's nothing to get out of the way. People know the world, they know the setting. All the stuff they see every day, I just get to put down the characters and what happens to them.

I also made a pitch to write an article on - oh how the mighty have fallen! But I really enjoy that site, and I said to myself 'Hey, Michael, you're a funny guy, you can write, and you can tell decent dick jokes, maybe YOU should write something for them!'. I immediately responded 'You're damn right I'm funny and I can write' so... here we are. It is in no sense of the word being an author, but it is writing.

And I think that would suit me just fine for the time being.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Star Wars quotes can get you in trouble...

Nothing to do with writing today. But a case of not paying attention.

The town had a parade today. It was the usual affair: floats, people from the community, et cetera. I stood outside of work with some of the guys and watched it. The Star Wars fans were in attendance, people from the 501st Legion, of the Galactic Empire that is. Pretty cool, bunch of guys in storm trooper uniforms. And a Boba Fett. Always need the Fett man.

I said to one of them: "These are not the droids you're looking for. Move along."

"That only works on the weak minded!" He said through the storm trooper helmet. It was funny. The parade moves up a bit. They're near the end of the line.

The guy in the back of the formation was pretty tall. As Princess Leia says to Luke when she first meets him, I said in the general direction of the guy: "Aren't you a little short to be a storm trooper?"

The tall guy slowly looks over at me like I just said "Hey, ugly, I had sexual relations with your wife." I could tell he was not happy, even with the storm trooper helmet on.

One of the guys I work with, Frankie, says "Dude, that's not cool."


"He only has one leg, bro."

The clone trooper in front of the tall one did indeed only have one leg. The other one was a prosthetic.


"I didn't... I mean, that wasn't..."

Frankie doesn't know many lines from Star Wars. So by the time I'm trying to explain that no, I wasn't picking on a guy for missing a leg from the knee down by calling him short, it's become one of those "whatever you say" moments.

So this is what George Kastanza felt like. So if anyone is reading this that's in Tallahassee's 501st Storm Trooper legion, Vader's Fist, please tell the clone trooper Lieutenant (the man had blue on his armor, he was a goddamn officer) that it was a complete misunderstanding.

Dear God, I will never quote Star Wars again.

At least not for another week.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Formatting be damned... feels good to see my stuff in print. Well, in pixels.

My story went up today ( and good God does it look good. There was some formatting that didn't transfer over from the way I wrote it, in basic manuscript format, but it doesn't really matter. Internal thoughts just aren't in italics. It gives them a Chuck Pala... Pahla... the guy who wrote Fight Club feel. (Chuck Palahniuk, by the way, very talented).

Now we get back to the hard stuff. Writing. Editing. That pain in the ass process of getting the story from my brain to the page. But for now; lets have a drink!

Monday, February 28, 2011

What is this funny feeling in my tummy...?

Go to my email inbox. I see 'From: Sara Ferguson, Editor'. I think "Another rejection slip. Well, at least they got back to me at a good rate."

I read:


This is in response to your submission, “Castle Heldeur ”. We are accepting your submission.

I'd like to thank the Academy.

My first acceptance. It's a little online e-zine, maybe not so little really, called Necrology Shorts. They also have a Kindle deal where it will go out to subscribers on their kindle. I don't get any money, but my name is now out there. My work is published. You like me! You really like me!

So keep an eye out on for the debut piece of Michael Futch: 'Castle Heldeur'.

And thank you, Sara Ferguson, for reaffirming that yes; I am an author.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cobwebs. Cobwebs everywhere.

It has been a number of months since I posted here. Mainly because I have been lazy. Laziness, my dear America, breeds incompetence! That was a Fallout 3 reference. Big props if you got it.

The writing gig hasn't gotten any easier. I'm doing what I think will be my least favorite part of the chosen career: editing. Going through and correcting what I got wrong the first time, rewriting so it flows, taking ENTIRE chunks of the manuscript out. But it's not that I don't like taking a pair of hedge clippers to my work. Oh no, my dear America, it's LAZINESS! AND LAZINESS- you get where I'm going with this.

But that's why they call it work. And if you're an author, you still have to work. And I'm coming to terms with wanting to call myself an author. I saw the movie about Eddie Izzard and really identified with him. Not that I want to wear a woman's clothes and speak with an English accent, but that you've got to believe. He said "If you want to be a comedian you've got to BELIEVE you're a comedian. If you want to be an actor you've got to BELIEVE you're an actor. If you want to be an astronaut, you've got to BELIEVE you're an astronaut."

I believe I'm an author. I'm not an accomplished author. Not a renown author. Or even a PUBLISHED author (yet). But I'm an author.

Now what?