Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Ploughman" is Published, and My Fiction is in Print for the First Time (Or Second. I'm Not Sure.)

If everything goes well, this will be the first of several new blog posts over the next few days. I’ve got quite a bit of good stuff to impart to you, and it’s taken a couple months of hard, annoying work to do it. I’ll keep the first simple.

I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve had no trouble whatsoever getting my non-fiction work published. That is no surprise, but as most (if not all) of you know, fiction is my real writing love.

Back in 1991 or so, a publisher I believe was from Sacramento ostensibly printed one of my short pieces, “Wasteland,” in the small horror mag New Blood Magazine (circulation either 200 or 2000; I can’t remember). I say ‘ostensibly’ because I never received the copy of the magazine I was supposed to receive, though I did get a $35 check from New Blood. Was it published? I think so, but I’ve never seen proof.

I did cash the check. I am a writer, after all.

So with that questionable possibility of a chance of having a previous fiction publication out of the way, I have had no fiction published since then (maybe). So when San Diego Writers, Ink. (SDWI) announced that they would be publishing my short story, “Ploughman,” in their literary fiction anthology, A Year in Ink, Volume 4, I was suddenly very elated. I had sent two, but one made the grade.

I wrote “Ploughman” with my lightest touch, yet dealt with the thoughts of a man unjustifiably dying. It was unquestionably my most “literary” piece, so I wasn’t shocked when I learned that the piece that SDWI chose to publish was that one.

On February 15, pressured by members of the North County Writers of Speculative Fiction and even more strongly by my girl, Liza, I stood in front of the crowd at the Book Release Party and read the first half of the short story.

I was in print.

As surprising as it is to admit in today’s world, there are no plans to put A Year in Ink, Volume 4 – or any of the previous volumes – in an electronic form ready for download. So as much as I’d like to give you a link to follow so you purchase the anthology online, I can’t. This book is ink-and-paper, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m proud to be really published. I’m happy that someone felt confident enough about the work to pay to print it on paper, bind it, assemble a cover and contents, and put it on a shelf. That makes me happy. But that, however, makes it harder to acquire for some of you.

Who knows, though, that may change very soon…

Until then, if you’d like a copy of A Year in Ink, Volume 4, which features only two stories that could generously be called “genre” – mine, which abuts dark fantasy, and one other near-horror tale – you can acquire it from Amazon.  But if you really want it, may I suggest Powell’s Books?

(Buy from

Powell’s is a huge independent bookseller in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been there, and it simply is the best bookstore I’ve ever been inside. They are 100 percent indie, carry shelves and shelves of used, out-of-print wonders, and need support just like any other brick-and-mortar store.

(Buy from Powell's Books)

If you want a copy of the anthology, and you’re willing to buy it, and willing to support Powell’s… well, that would be cool.

Can I do anything for you?


  1. So.... Congratulations!!!!!!!!! This is awesome news, and you so deserve it. And good to see you back on twitter! Look forward to your other posts..

  2. Awesome Nick! I'm going to buy a copy ... love your stuff!

  3. Paws! Good to see you're still here! As much as I'd like to say I've just returned, prodigal-son style, I can't. I've just shifted my focus away from Twitter, to my blog(s), and now on to Facebook. I have to remember to return to Twitter, have GOT to spend more time here (time is the issue here), and spend quite a bit of time on FB. If you'd still like to connect, you really should hit me there. Some of our blog folks are there, and quite a few Twitterers. Ask David here; I don't friend just anyone. I'm a little exclusive, but I love my writers. :-)

    HOWEVER, I will try to post a bit more often now that I'm over a REALLY difficult and annoying patch at home and at school. I'll still be sketchy here, simply because I've become MUCH more politically active, and I'll be using FB and email for that. But hopefully I'll get things back in balance...

    David, thanks! As much as I'm not a fan of downloading fiction, in this case it would be PERFECT, and it's entirely unavailable. So thank you for ordering... so... what can I do for you?