Thirty-one days into 2018 and my New Year’s resolution of writing a blog entry weekly remains intact. My two other resolutions of exercising more and eating fewer donuts have gone completely awry. Somehow I’ve actually ended up doing the opposite: exercising less and eating more donuts. How does that happen? Oh yeah, Dunkin’ Donuts keeps introducing new menu items like the Brownie Batter Crumble Heart Donut. According to the Dunkin’ Donuts Newsroom, which is where I get all my news, the Brownie Batter Crumble Heart Donut is “a heart-shaped donut with brownie batter-flavored buttercream filling, frosted with chocolate icing, and sprinkled with brownie crumble.” C’mon, I can’t compete against something with the words “brownie” and “batter” and “butter” and “cream” and “filling” and “chocolate” and “icing” in the description. And then they make it heart-shaped. Are you kidding me?
At least I can lob a couple of legitimate excuses at the exercising resolution. For example, it was cold here in Alabama this month. Go to a gym, you might ask. I’m sorry. I have sensitive olfactory organs, and I can’t subject them to the smell of a gym. Plus, I don’t care to see some guy named Rock Stone walking around with his shirt off flexing his six-pack abs. The pride I have in my two-liter bottle abs is too tenuous for that.
To sum up: Resolutions 2, Me 1. However, Meat Loaf did say “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad,” so I’m writing my own song, “One out of Three Ain’t the Worst.”
January was a productive month for me. I had two 100-word short stories, “The Snowman” and “Patience,” published on the Horror Tree website for their weekly feature, “Trembling With Fear.” After spending half of 2017 trying to get published on Horror Tree, I was pumped to finally break through. In fact, I celebrated by eating a Brownie Batter Crumble Heart Donut. I felt like last year’s rejections strengthened my writing. It forced me to focus on amping up the quality of my stories by editing and revising them down to the nitty-gritty heart of the matter.
It also confirmed what I already knew. Don’t give up just because you’re rejected. Trust me, if you write and submit, you’ll get rejected. My submissions get rejected more than they get accepted, but I’ve never thought about giving up on writing stories. If you’re passionate about writing, you’ll do what it takes to get better. You have to believe in yourself, which I always thought was a worthless cliché until I started writing.
“What’s upcoming?” I ask myself since no one else is asking. Well, self-deprecating humor for one. Seriously, I should have my third 100-word short story appear on Horror Tree’s “Trembling With Fear” in February. It’s a creepy Valentine’s Day drabble titled “A Poem for Annabel.” And the roses ain’t red in this one, folks. In March, my long-awaited (by me, at least) short story “Demon’s Lament” is scheduled to appear in Fantasia Divinity’s The Heart of a Devil anthology.
Right now, I’m writing more fantasy stories than horror. I submitted a comedic story for an anthology with a magical crime scene investigation theme. I teamed up a hard-boiled human detective with a wise-cracking pint-sized fairy to investigate “The Case of the Troll with No Eyes.” I feel good about that one. I’m also finishing up an emotional fantasy story for a noblebright anthology due tomorrow. Noblebright is a subgenre of fantasy, highlighting goodness and decency. When I get that one done, I’ll have ten stories submitted to various anthologies, floating around waiting for acceptance or rejection.
Until then, I’ll think I’ll eat another Brownie Batter Crumble Heart Donut.