Wednesday, February 8, 2017

From A to Z

Three years ago my friends and I started a group to help authors find publication. After we stopped meeting, I realized my last story to see the light of day was with a local magazine a decade ago.

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Then a writer from one of the critique groups I attended made a comment, "He doesn't have anything known out, but he writes cool, weird stuff."


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This challenged me to Try (Just a Little Bit Harder).
It was tough to find publication because my focus was on three novels. Self-publication wasn't right for me, so I knew it'd be a long road ahead until a manuscript was accepted. In the meantime, I needed to have works out there: Build a writer portfolio.

Edgar Allan Poe came to mind. A big motivator due to our commonalities.

Let me count the ways:
Same birthday
Same middle name (named for my OBGYN)
Writers of dark stuff
Eye bag issues
American authors
Scarves look terrible on both of us
We're rather tormented
A few of my bar buds have compared me to him at random
And my first name, Bertram, is Germanic for bright famous raven
As you're probably aware, he wrote about one of those. So I bought this:

Just a quick shout out to my cousins. No worries, I do love you all, but not in a Poe way.

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The famous quick fic author, inspired me to get on the short story train.

I looked to mine from university and wrote a bunch of others. Then set a goal:
Have a story published from
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Roughly 400 rejections came. One magazine wrote back that my story wasn't good enough for them. Between us, there was a typo in their rejection letter, so I was able to laugh about something at least. I got an email from one editor that read, "I didn't like your story." Readers have done this as well. A lot of publishers rejected my first, second, and third submission. All of this pushed me to improve and keep at it.

Back when Ishaan Literary Review honored me with my first short story publication, Poisoned Heart, I'd read the response as if a rejection and didn't realize it was accepted until a writer friend posted the story on her social media page.

Studied line-editing and works of authors such as Ernest Hemingway and Shirley Jackson to learn to use my words sparingly. Soon email requests from editors for microfiction stories started to come my way. One editor told me, "We'll pass on the short story you submitted, but please send us one of your micros," which was accepted a few hours after its submission.

My goal was reached within three years time through hard work and long hours of writing, editing, submitting, and repeating. I know this will lead to my novels getting accepted one day. Diaries of Karma has already won two awards. People often email me asking about Demon Blade Bearer and Milhama's release, so I know it's a matter of patience.
Enjoy the stories below, share them if you have time, and please check out my other works. Note: This wasn't to brag, rather to motivate others to try.

Australia Day in Costa Rica with Thought Notebook
http://www.thoughtnotebook.org/anm/artbase/?a=380&z=1
Bummed with MicroLiterature
http://www.microliterature.org/bummed-by-bertram-allan-mullin

Crimson with Yellow Mama
http://blackpetalsks.tripod.com/yellowmamaarchives/id553.html
Death Pie with Bartleby Snopes

















Evolution with Antiphon and the UK Library Archives
http://www.antiphon.org.uk/index.php/act-two-12/409-evolution-bertram-mullin
Fly Me to the Moon with Over My Dead Body!
http://www.overmydeadbody.com/fly2moon.html
Gumshoe with Akashic Books
http://www.akashicbooks.com/gumshoe-by-bam/
How My Life Changed the Time I Almost Got Mugged with Writer's Ezine
http://www.writersezine.com/2014/11/how-my-life-changed-time-i-almost-got.html


It's Always a Good Time with Tiny Text
https://twitter.com/Tiny_Text/status/666405461747363840
Japanese School with Escarp
http://www.escarp.org/posts/654352147354664960.php 
Kindness and Decency with Crack the Spine
http://www.crackthespine.com/2016/10/anthology-xiv.html
Like, Joe with Talking Soup
http://talkingsoup.com/short-stories/like-joe 
Mizu with A Quiet Courage
https://aquietcourage.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/mizu/
Not You Again forthcoming with The Stray Branch and past This Very Breath

On the High Hour with RoundUp Ezine
https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/36679886/vol-2-2/3
Pit Fight with Skrawl and Short-Story.me
http://www.short-story.me/horror-stories/761-pit-fight.html
Quickest Romance Ever with A Quiet Courage
https://aquietcourage.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/quickest-romance-ever/
Rejected with Oddville Press

Standoff with The Fable Online
http://www.thefableonline.com/2015/08/standoff/
Tale of Autonomy with Dead Guns Press
http://www.deadgunspress.com/tale-of-autonomy-by-bam.html
Untimely Demise with 101 Word Short Stories and FFM's first Anthology

Voitex's Poison forthcoming in the Dialogual Anthology

Wagashi with Silver Birch
https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/wagashi-story-by-bam-my-sweet-word-series/
X + Y = Z with Sygyzy Poetry Journal
https://syzygypoetry2.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/bertram-allan-mullin-2/
Yelling Unheard with Story64
http://www.story64.com/2922/yelling-unheard/
Zeitgeist forthcoming with HellBound Books Shopping List Anthology

This blog post was inspired by a friendly email from the folks at Prolific Press Inc. They have a new book of poems called, "Harborton" which I plan to review soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

Remember to remember . . .

















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