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So, the topic of this months blog chain for the AW forum is Second chances. I had to have a bit of a think about this topic as I actually could not think of an occasion where I could honestly say I remembered my being given a second chance. I am sure there were actually lots of occasions but my memory was not presenting them to me in an easy to access way. I suppose I could have talked about how I realised that I had actually met my wife several years before meeting her ‘for the first time’ but that seems a little too personal for a writing blog and, besides, I am not sure it quite fits the topic as intended. So, I was a little stuck…

Then it occured to me that this is the AW blog chain and late last year the AW moderators announced an anthology for members to submit to and I remembered that I had a second chance right there in that process.

First, some history…

Macallister Stone, the overall owner and moderator of Absolute Write announced a call for submissions for a speculative fiction anthology by members of the AW Forums. This thread became one of the longest forum posts in history* and currently stands at 3244 posts. I talk about it in an earlier post Mistress of Suspense. Flush with recent success in publishing (i.e. one short story published…)I decided to risk my luck against the no doubt thousands of really very good writers and see if I couldn’t get a story into that anthology. So, I tidied up Dances with Drums, a story set in a world I created for the LRP game Waypoint. It was SF(ish) and I was rather proud of it, though it had yet to be picked up. I sent this off and hoped for the best.

It got rejected.

But there were some rather nice comments given, including one which said that the world building was interesting and very well done. I had some problems with trying to give too much information in one sentence, however…

Given that the deadline was still far away and the rules allowed for this, I decided to throw another hat into the ring and sent off An Element of Desire, my contemporary fantasy which had also not yet found a home.

This, my second chance, fared somewhat better. I got a response saying that they really, really liked this and that it was being put forward to the ‘second round’. At this point, it basically came down to what space there was available for the stories to fit in the anthology. I was tentatively optimistic…

At this point MacAllister showed the world how she was a Mistress of Suspense (see the thread and my post for the full story) as she kept us all on tenterhooks for ages while, slowly, the second rounders were whittled down to a list that fitted into a normal sized anthology.

I didn’t make the final cut. Sometimes second chances don’t come out either. However, this showed me that there was a market for the things that I write. All I need to do is polish it up – tidy up some issues with grammar, for example. The one sale was not just a random fluke. Both stories went out to beta readers as soon as they were rejected and I am in the middle of revising them both for submission to other markets sometime in the near future. In the meantime, I am writing other things…

If you want to read the final anthology, it is now available for you to buy from a number of locations, all of which are linked from this url:

http://absolutewrite.com/absolute-visions/

When you buy it and read it, remember that these were the stories which beat my exceptional efforts. Therefore, they must be absolutely phenomenal…

*Well the longest I have ever seen…

If you want to follow and comment on the other posters in this blog chain, feel free to click the links below…

Turndog-Millionaire – http://turndog-millionaire.com/ (link to this month’s post)
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
magicmint – http://www.loneswing.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Tomspy77 – http://thomaswillamspychalski.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
LilGreenBookworm – http://themayhemofwritingsahm-style.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
LiterateParakeet – http://lesliesillusions.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
AFord – http://af12.webs.com/ (link to this month’s post)
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Bogna – http://bemaslanka.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
kiwiviktor81 – http://storygenerator.net/ (link to this month’s post)
randi.lee – http://emotionalnovel.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
These Mean Streets – http://ohno-anotherwritingblog.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
areteus – http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Domoviye – http://living-working-in-china.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
julzperri – http://www.fishandfrivolity.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Nissie – http://www.paperheroes.net/ (link to this month’s post)
in_one – http://quirkythomas.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
sambgood – http://www.samanthabagood.com/ (link to this month’s post)