MonthJanuary 2021

Managing Yourself

This post introduces an essay with ideas and resources on personal productivity. It is the third in a three-part series on entrepreneurship. 

Like other business owners, I learned along the way and grew into my role as a CEO. Possibly the biggest lesson has been the importance of rigorously, even ruthlessly, managing my time and energy.

In practice, we tend towards self-indulgence and do the things we like to do, or want to do in the moment, rather than those things that help us achieve our goals. Having clear priorities and a sensible approach to managing time has helped me tremendously, and will help you, too.

Click here to read the essay.

Stories 2020: How Did It Go?

In 2017, I began submitting and tracking my fiction writing and then posted updates in 2018 and 2019. How did it go during 2020?

  • In 2020, I submitted versions and revisions of 33 stories 128 times to 64 different outlets. This included 5 contests.
  • Between January 1 and December 31, 2020, I received 114 rejections (including several for stories submitted in 2019) and eight acceptances (6.6%).
  • Several rejection notices included brief comments from editors. A few to give the flavor:
    • “Too much to pack into a flash piece…”
    • “Your avenging aunt is, of course, an attractive character, bringing justice…”
    • “It so accurately shows how cruel kids that age can be! [but] …it’s not quite right for [us].”
    • “Some great details put us immediately on stage… [but] …the narrator is lost in this draft.”

Stories Published in 2020

Seven stories were published by six venues in 2020.

On April 28thMystery Tribune published “Tour De Forest” (910 words, 4 minute read). This story went through several versions prior to finding a home. One outlet requested a stronger “sense of place” which led me to conduct more research on a mountainous region in France, where the story is set. 

On August 4thMicrofiction Monday Magazine published “Business as Usual” (100 words; 1 minute read). I know a guy who knew a guy that wore corduroys with lobsters on them.

On September 5th365tomorrows published “Carried Away Forever” (558 words, 3 minute read). This story started as a contest submission in 2017 soon after the Las Vegas music festival shooting. It was rejected 13 times and went through multiple wholesale rewrites. It came together after switching the narrator from a man to a woman.

On October 30th, London-based Storgy published “Substitutions” (48 words, 1 minute read). The original idea for this microfiction piece arrived while I listened to an NPR story about Thanksgiving family recipes, and a person discussed a few of her favorite (and secret) substitutions.

On November 3rdDaily Science Fiction published “Holes in the Fence” (935 words, 4 minute read). This story found firmer footing after a wonderful person and friend died in 2019. He made powerful arguments with a light touch. “Holes in the Fence” is dedicated to Jim Fendig. 

On December 1stMystery Tribune published “Too Hip to Upgrade” (583 words, 3 minute read). My first published noir story: in a dark, futuristic Beantown, two criminals struggle to cooperate or get the job done.

On December 22nd101 Words published my Christmas-themed “Party Crasher” (101 words, 1 minute read). Based on the comments and emails, this has been one of my most popular pubs to date.

Enjoy the stories and thank you for reading!