Despite what the title of this post suggests, I’ve been rather productive this year. Right now I’m writing a sequel to Saudade, the story published in FIYAH fall 2018. I’ll be the first person to tell you sequels are usually unnecessary, but as a writer, it’s sometimes easier to dive back into a world you know than one you don’t. The characters can grow, usually for the better but sometimes for worse. I can pick up on threads I touched on in the original novelette, but didn’t take time to flesh out. And maybe I just want to write something for the hell of it, a story I can enjoy. That’s good enough reason for me. Continue reading “Climbing out of the doldrums”

Cover art by Ejiwa Ebenebe aka @artofedge

Since I’ve already shared this news on my other platforms, I should let my WordPress followers know I’m officially in Issue 8 of FIYAH. I blogged about the editing of my novelette, Saudade, over the course of a few posts here. I’ll likely make an e-book of them in the near future.

Writing a first draft the pessimist’s way

Editing the pessimist’s way

Finishing your draft the pessimist’s way

Thanks to everyone who’s supported me so far. We made it!

Follow me on Twitter @oldmannelson

On July 31st, I submitted a short story to FIYAH Magazine, a speculative fiction online magazine for black writers. I wrote a 13,000 word story about a woman whose ship crashes to Earth. She enlists the help of a local boy to help collect money for her shuttle repairs, and the story follows how they survive in the lowlife backstreets of Seoul, Korea, while avoiding a bounty hunter. It’s the kind of story that someone like me would write, honestly and truly. I spent many weeks on that project trying to perfectly craft every single sentence into a masterpiece. But when my editor asked me if I was relieved to finally be finished, I told him that I’d never be satisfied with my work. Why is that? Continue reading “finishing your draft: the pessimist’s way”


If you’re like every other writer I know, you likely have dusty sketchpads or old Word docs full of stories and ideas. Once in a while, you go back to those ideas and say, “I really need to finish this before I die.” In my case, I’m resurrecting a short story for Fiyah Magazine, which has a July submission I’ve had my eye on. The problem, of course, is that my old story was garbage. How will I know when it’s good enough to share? Continue reading “writing a first draft: the pessimist’s way”