Sonntag, 29. November 2009

Ooh, someone liked one of my short stories!

Thank you for submitting The Ides of March, and I am glad to say we will be publishing this piece for Issue 9 at House of Horror. A great story, love the vampire twist and you pulled it off nicely. The ending was really good, I loved this one. Good job! Welcome to House of Horror.

That made my day that did, lol.
It's only a website, it's only a short story and it's only one cent a word but it still brought forth a grin on my face that could cook a chicken at ten paces.
I would have liked to have seen it in print but, whatever; it was a nice ego boost for my somewhat wilted literary aspirations.

The story itself is about Marcus Julius Brutus and his part in the assassination of Gaius Julius Caesar. The Horror slant is that the plot revolves around the idea that Caesar is a vampire and only Brutus knows.

Yes, but also well researched and with a nice twist at the end.
3600 words and that's that.

Right, I'm off.
Reg :-)

Donnerstag, 26. November 2009

My name is Reg Jones and I am a Facebook user.

My name is Reggie Richard Rhys Jones and I am a Facebook user.
I visit the site at least once a day and I always leave it on a separate page when I'm online

"A frivolous folly of a website, no use to any man!" I hear you wail, "Cry shame you addict!!!"

Not so, say I. It's a wonderful networking tool, designed to locate old friends, workmates, family even and bring them together. It can endorse a group or a cause to an audience that terrestrial television broadcasters can only dream about. It can be used as a medium to advertise commodities, art, trade, services and can even help sway public opinion on a current topical issue faster than any tabloid newspaper.
So stick that in your bong and get nicked by the drug squad with it!

No, I am a Facebook user solely for the first reason.
It has put me back in contact with people I haven't even thought about for over twenty years, which I think is fabulous.

All well and good Gingerboy, but what has this to do with your literary career?"
Patience Grasshopper, like the can of McEwan's that waits like a stone for the right lager lout, you must show patience…

Well you see, Dear Reader, a friend of mine from those acne ridden days of pubetic yore has suddenly popped up on my Facebook friends list. She read my profile, visited my blog, bought the T-shirt, ate the cake and then told me that she is an editor for a magazine and would like to give me a helping hand.

WHAT !!!
Tremendous, all my Christmases in one!

Anyway, I'm in the process now of rewriting my, "Vampires of Sparta" short story to send to her, and then we'll see if it's nuclear rockets or marrowfat peas for breakfast.
Don't ask me what that means, it just reads well.

So, Dear Reader, that's where I'm at right now. Oh the deep joy of the internet...
I'm in a bloody great mood I am. Does it show?

Reg :-)

Montag, 23. November 2009

After an awful lot of trouble, with emails to-ing and fro-ing like gunshot at Waterloo, I can now proudly declare that the Division of the Damned website is finally up and running... sort of.
To be honest, I'm still not happy with it, but it's a tad better than what it was. It's only for anyone who might be interested to see the idea behind the story, or to maybe give the publishers something to mull over as well.
Thanks a lot to Richard of Struggling for helping with the setting up and the angry emails, and also to Tee for her unstinting support and kind words. :-)
This is starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech, isn't it?

Right, I'll swiftly move on. I rewrote my Caesar-is-a-vampire short story, (The Ides of March) and whisked it off into the ether. Who knows, it might get printed… but it probably won't.
Whatever, it's been dusted down, given a fresh coat of ink and sent off again and that's that.

I'm thinking about phoning up the publishers who hold my manuscript again. As the 1st Anniversary of our parting draws nigh and I still haven't heard a dickey bird, (whatever that may be?), perhaps a gentle nudge might prod them into some movement on the decision front? Stranger things have happened at sea, apparently.
Think about it though, a whole year of waiting like a jilted bride, hoping the groom will turn up with the necessary paperwork for our literary marriage of convenience. I should write jilted groom there but bride reads better I think.
I'm reliably told that a year is normal but I can't seem to get my head around it.
However, as Dick Marcinko, aka. "Rogue Warrior", "Demo Dick" and "Shark Man of the Delta" liked to say, "You don't have to like it; you just have to do it".
So deal with it Reginaldus !!

I'm wibbling now, aren't I?
I'll go.
Reg ;-)
PS, Check out the website:
And no laughing!!!
PPS Check out Dick Marcinko on Wikipoopia:
Interesting chap.

Mittwoch, 18. November 2009

Bad News.

Fortune makes a fool of those she favours too much.
Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (Horace)

We never really know how lucky we are until we set ourselves against our family and peers.
Yesterday my sister gave me the shock of my life. My 14 year old nephew has been diagnosed with epilepsy. He suffered a bad attack at school, was taken to the hospital and then diagnosed there.

My sister is naturally devastated, which chilled me more than the news did as she is emotionally the strongest out of all of us.
We talked yesterday, for about an hour on the phone and as I listened to the tired sadness behind her words, I realised what an awful time my nephew and his mother and sister have had of it.
Details aside, the three of them have had a testing time to say the least and this latest news is the icing on a pretty dire piece of cake.

Epilepsy isn't the end of the world, but it is a hammer blow to this good hearted, honest little family who haven't done a thing to deserve it.The world is full of misery, I only have to look at the news to know this; but the sadness in my sister's voice yesterday made me realise how lucky I have been in life and how laughable my problems really are.

Reg :-/

Donnerstag, 12. November 2009

My good friend and literary companion, (as in person, not book) is well impressed by the Authonomy website, and I have to add that judging by the feedback she's received I can understand why.
"So why don't you send your MS in, Cowardy, Cowardy Custard?" I hear you ponder aloud.
Well, firstly, though Harper Collins is a perfectly respectable firm with a good reputation, (there's nothing bad about them on Predators and Editors, which is always a good sign), I don't actually like literary forums.
I really have had too many bad experiences at the hands of well meaning but ultimately clueless gurus of the written word who have dished out bad information to me from day one. I spent a whole eighteen months looking for an agent on the basis of what one All-Seeing Eye of a forum expert told me… grrrrr.
Do I sound bitter? Well I suppose I am, in a way. Whatever, Authonomy…
Let me explain briefly how it works. You send in your manuscript to be read by other people. If enough readers like it, then it goes to the Editors desk to be viewed as a possible candidate for publication. Along the way other people slot in their input, ideas, criticisms and praise, which gives you a good idea about what other, completely independent booklovers think about your work. Sounds good, doesn't it?
And for a lot of people it is.
So why not for me?

Well, firstly the majority, (not all but the majority) of the individuals who send their work in to any of these websites are at my level; i.e. nowhere.
So what makes them smarter than the people who have already read through my manuscript? Not much in my eyes. The people who have studied my work were BRUTALLY honest because I instructed them to be so. My words were, "prove to me that it's pants" and they did… the B######ds, I hate them all.
However, they were also interested in the time period it's set in and have a passing interest in horror. This naturally makes them a perfect feedback source as they would be my prospective target audience… if I were ever to be published.

Nevertheless, I hear you say, on Authonomy they're an INDEPENDENT source of comparison to other work in the genre.
Mmmm, yes but I don't even trust that point of view, (yes, that's how cynical and unforgiving I've become, lol).
Each and every reader on Authonomy is looking to make friends with the other writers. Friends = support and support is what brings you to the editor's desk. Nobody makes friends by giving a nasty critique because the way the world works is that they'll just give you one right back. So you don't give a nasty critique, you smile and say, "Great stuff" and blah blah blah.
The unspoken rule of you-scrub-mine-and-I'll-scrub-yours type of situation; which is cosy and could lead to that Nirvana-esque goal of publication, but probably won't.

Oh boy, I sound bitter AND twisted on this one, don't I?
I'm not really.
There are obviously good, honest people on every forum who have talent and integrity. I just met the wrong kind when I started out and it has somewhat coloured my view of the whole "scene".
Also, if I send it off to be read by strangers and the publishers do catch a flying pig and get back to me, would the fact that my MS is already in the public domain affect the situation?
I don't know and I don't think I'm going to tempt fate and find out, to be honest.
So now you know peeps.
F.Y..I., I sent the first 10,000 words of my initial draft off to "YouWriteOn" a couple of years ago. It has significantly altered since then but I received two reviews and I think it's only right to tell you of them.
The first was really nice but I had the distinct impression he or she hadn't read the passage and had cheated on the quiz afterwards. It was all very general, with no specific examples to elaborate on the praise that was so forthcoming.
The second review was the best. The assessor complained that I shouldn't start a story with a vampire and an SS officer as that would alienate the reader and they'd lose interest in the story. Oookaaaaay…
I, in return wrote three critiques and they were all, in my humble opinion, brilliant pieces of prose that should rightly be elaborating the libraries of all the major centres of learning in Europe, and not wallowing on some internet book bin…
I'm such a fake.

Sonntag, 8. November 2009

The Colours

The Colours
Stand fast stand fast, your head laid bare,
Take heed the ringing bell.
Pay your dues to those brave few
Who for their country fell.

No questions asked, no dissent broached,
They gave their best so willing,
To prove this Crown and Sceptred Isle
Is worthy of their Shilling.

They, the cream of a nation's age,
Who we called to perform,
Did uncomplaining march to war
To perish in the storm.

And yet now times seem trouble-free
And conflict far away,
The brasses on our gratitude
Show tarnish and decay.

How quick forgot their gallantry,
The bloodshed and the loss,
As tales of splendid bravery
Soon lose their modish gloss.

And while our leaders dredge for sludge
And question choices made,
The soldier stands his thankless watch;
Still ready, though betrayed.

So be grateful for the backbone
The Services provide.
Those lions that safeguard our shores
And bear the flag with pride.

No capricious musing, nor
Hollow fashion trend
Will ever weaken their resolve
The Colours never bend.
R. Jones Nov. 09

Montag, 2. November 2009


It's November and I still haven't heard from the publishers. This time last year I was coming to the conclusion that trying to find an agent was not the best idea and that maybe I should just strike out for a publishing firm and to hell with the middle man. I still think it was the best move actually.
The fact that they've had my book now for eleven months fills me with neither optimism nor fear. I've reached such a point of indifference that I hardly even think about it anymore.
Whereas once I ran to the mailbox like a hyperactive, underfed Doberman whenever I heard the postman's car puttering down the drive, or scrambled to the computer everytime I returned from where ever I had been; nowadays I send the kids out for the mail and my Facebook notices attract more attention than any unknown email address that just might be the publishing firm.
However, that said, after such a long wait I think rejection will probably tell on me more than usual.

I like to put on a hard man act and say things like, "Well, I'll just send it off again. No big deal…"
However, I know I'll be gutted if rejection is the reward for my patience and fidelity.
As a kid, (which means last week in real terms) I would seek portents and signs in everything I did when waiting for news or a possible treat.
"If I eat these cornflakes in under five minutes I'll get the Action Man Scorpion tank", (Which I didn't by the way).
"If I manage to pee into the toilet without splashing the seat I won't get in trouble for forgetting my Maths homework", (Which I invariably did because Mr. Foss did not like me at all).
"If I can castrate this dingo with only a pencil sharpener, a bag of lemon drops and a ball of string I'll be allowed to work in Disneyland… etc. etc. etc."
Yeah, I know the last one was silly but you get the idea.
However, sadly, I haven't the imagination for such reliance on blind luck to organise my day anymore. I suppose it's a good thing that I have finally taken responsibility for my actions instead of leaving it all for fate to decide but it's nowhere near as interesting.
What am I wibbling on about?
Oh yeah, it's eleven months and I'm kinda hoping to hear something positive soon… That was it.

Reg :-)