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100 Albums: The Shelters by The Shelters

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: The Shelters
Title:The Shelters
Released: 2016
Genre: indie garage rock


Closing out the year with a very cut-and-dry straightforward indie rock album. The Shelters are a throwback to 60s rock with a slight skew towards British Invasion--they even cover The Kinks' Nothin' In The World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl. They got studio time when Tom Petty heard a previous incarnation of the band and gave a couple of the members the keys to his home studio. He co-produced the self-titled debut from The Shelters and gave them creative feedback on the follow-up.

The Shelters bops along at a light and easy pace. It's got a few out-and-out rockers like the opening song Rebel Heart, but even slower jams like Surely Burn are constructed around solid hooks and strong pop sensibilities. It's a good time.

And that wraps her up. Happy New Year. Stay tuned for Wednesday when the nex…

100 Albums: "Paint Your Wagon" (1969 film) Soundtrack

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Lerner and Loewe, various
Title:Paint Your Wagon
Released: 1969
Genre: Lerner and Loewe, who are a genre unto themselves



Why does this even exist? The 1951 Broadway musical by Lerner and Loewe was not a success. So why would anyone try to adapt it for film nearly two decades later? Why cast Clint Eastwood--a white dude--as a character named Julio? Why cast Lee Marvin--who is not a good singer--as the lead in a musical at all? The adaptation might as well have been a complete re-write. In addition to changing Julio's name to "Pardner", songs and characters were added and removed, the ones that remained were moved around and given to different characters. Notably, the stage show's biggest hit They Call The Wind Maria (pronounced Mariah--I don't know why) was taken away from the lead and given to a tertiary background character named Rotten-Luck Willy. Who thought this was a …

100 Albums: "8-Bit Jesus" by Doctor Octoroc

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Doctor Octoroc
Title:8-Bit Jesus
Released: 2008
Genre: holiday chiptunes


Merry Christmas, those of you who partake! Because I miscounted, you get an extra post this week, and since today is Christmas, we're going to look at my favorite holiday album, Doctor Octoroc's chiptune holiday opus, 8-Bit Jesus, wherein Levi "Doctor Octoroc" Buffum re-imagines holiday classics in the style of various music from the hit games of the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

Feast your ears on Carol Of The Belmonts (Carol Of The Bells in the style of Castlevania), Kraid Rest Ye Merry Mother Brain (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen a la Metroid), and Icarus! The Angels Sing (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing a la Kid Icarus). And my personal favorite, linked above, Have Yourself A Final Little Fantasy. Not all of the songs are hits, but none of them are particularly long, so even the so-so ones pass by…

100 Albums: "Issues" by Korn

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Korn
Title:Issues
Released: 1999
Genre: nu-metal


If you ever wondered why so much of the early aughts rock scene was dominated by bass-y guitar crunch while dudes whined about their childhoods, blame Korn. Not that they should be held completely accountable for spearheading a movement that was largely implemented by lesser acts, but a lot of the aesthetic and subject matter of nu-metal was pioneered by Jon, Head, Munkee, Fieldy, and Dave. They were a gimmicky band to start out with--they played seven-string guitars with an extra low string (and a five-string bass, although that is already far more common) that were detuned an extra step, making the lowest string of the guitars and bass a fifth lower than a standard-tuned guitar. Detuning is already a thing hard rock bands to make their sound a little chunkier, so the idea here was that detuning so far down makes Korn the chunkiest, most metal b…

100 Albums: "Soul Power" by Curtis Harding

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Curtis Harding
Title:Soul Power
Released: 2014
Genre: soul power


One of the sources I go to for new music is the Next Music podcast hosted by Chris Bro, and a lot of what he features are new artists whose sound is a deliberate lo-fi throwback to older styles. Curtis Harding is squarely in that camp. He was born in Michigan but lacked a permanent home until he was 14 and his family settled in Atlanta. From there, he became part of the local music scene, backing CeeLo Green and forming a touring rock act before striking out on his own as a soul singer.

Soul Power is another one of those records where what you get is exactly what it says on the tin. It's an old-school groove. The one exception is the song I Don't Want To Go Home which is a garage punk song that's been adapted to Harding's voice. The standout on the record is the anthemic Keep On Shining (linked above), but all of th…

100 Albums: "Love Everybody" by The Presidents Of The United States Of America

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: The Presidents Of The United States Of America
Title:Love Everybody
Released: 2004
Genre: power pop


The Presidents Of The United States Of America burst onto the 90s rock scene with Lump, an up-tempo number that was just weird enough to sit neatly in second-wave grunge. They were goofy punk with a gimmick: the entire band only used five strings. The singer/bassist plays a "basitar"--a guitar that only has two lower-gauge strings (read as: bass strings) and the guitarist plays a "guitbass" which has three guitar strings. There's a sense of punk minimalism that I admire in that, although their songs have some remarkable underlying complexity. They only use five strings, but they really use them to their fullest extent.

Love Everybody is the album the recorded after a brief hiatus in the early aughts. It's a little less self-serious than previous efforts--not that POTUSA…

100 Albums: "Hints, Allegations, & Things Left Unsaid" by Collective Soul

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Collective Soul
Title:Hints, Allegations, & Things Left Unsaid
Released: 1993
Genre: singer-songwriter alt-metal kind of


By 1992, Ed Roland had all but given up on being a musician. He'd studied composition at Berklee College Of Music and been active in the Atlanta club scene for the better part of a decade. He'd worked in a studio engineering and producing for local artists. He'd formed and dissolved two separate bands. His bands had been staples of the club scene. He'd been featured in a movie-of-the-week and even profiled on local television, but he just couldn't get any traction. Frustrated, he decided to shift his efforts into publishing. He got some friends together to record a quick-and-dirty promotional demo in a basement and started shopping the songs around for other artists to cover. The lead song Shine was an instant hit on college radio. Pressured to put on …

100 Albums: "Random Album Title" by deadmau5

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: deadmau5
Title:Random Album Title
Released: 2008
Genre: progressive house/trance


Random Album Title is the third album from Canadian house/trance maestro Joel Zimmerman under his stage name deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse" and not in any way related to Danger Mouse). He performs in a stylized mouse head helmet because after Daft Punk, that's what EDM artists just do anymore. His album titles all have bizarre names, like Album Title Goes Here, 4x4=12, and--a personal favorite of mine--W:/2016Album/.

Random Album Title was deadmau5's breakout record, largely on the strength of the single I Remember, which is just one hell of an earworm. I heard it during the club scene in the 2010 remake of GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo Wii and decided I had to know more about what was going on with whoever this artist was. I Remember was also the fifth single from this album, which just proves …

Out Now: "Autoimmune" in DreamForge Magazine

Hey y'all,

My story Autoimmune is in the new issue of DreamForge Magazine, which you can read with your very own eyeballs! The online version is paywalled, but if you're already a subscriber, click here.

And if you're not a subscriber, now through January 15th you can save $5 on a subscription.

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100 Albums: "Watashi Wo Onigashima Ni Tsuretette" by Wednesday Campanella

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Wednesday Campanella
Title:Watashi Wo Onigashima Ni Tsuretette
Released: 2014
Genre: J-pop rap


Suiyōbi no Campanera, anglicized as Wednesday Campanella, formed in Tokyo in 2012 as a side project for label manger Dir.F. He met musician Kenmochi Hidefumi in 2011 and they named the band after the day of the week they practiced on. They met singer KOM_I, then a high-schooler with no musical experience, at a house party and invited her to join the band. He liked the way her voice clashed with his music. They've been putting out music constantly ever since. The rest, as they say, is art.

Whereas my other favorite female-led Japanese rap act draws influences from dub, funk, and classic hip-hop, Wednesday Campanella's music is more informed by J-pop and Euro-style EDM. Opening track Sen no Rikyu could have been written by Moby, meanwhile Demeter could be the theme song to a girly high school anim…

100 Albums: "Fire" by Electric Six

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Electric Six
Title:Fire
Released: 2003
Genre: sophomoric disco-punk


Electric Six is only one or two steps removed from being a novelty act. The man who sings and does the bulk of the songwriting goes by the stage name Dick Valentine, and that should give you a good feeling for the band's aesthetic. Their songs are mostly about--to the extent that they're about anything at all--partying, sex, and drugs, but generally on very silly terms. They found success with the single Danger! High Voltage (the slightly-NSFW video couldn't be embedded, but you should absolutely go watch it right now) that may or may not have featured a pre-fame Jack White on backup vocals. Sources conflict.

Fire is the band's only successful album, although they've kept going, releasing a total of 14 studio albums. I saw them in concert a few years ago and Gay Bar just about brought the house down. The soun…

100 Albums Supplemental: CDs On Tape

So here we are... closing out November with the final 100 album supplemental.

A few posts ago I mentioned that my dad used to put his vinyl albums on cassette. Well, today I want to talk about me putting CDs on tape.

I was obsessed with CDs from the time I was in middle school, and began collecting music aggressively through record clubs--I was a member of both Columbia House and BMG at different points in my life. But I never had a car with a factory-installed CD player until... well... about six years ago. Oh, I rigged up tape adapters and what-not, but as a teen and college student, mostly I would take my favorite CDs and put them on tape--and this was how I consumed most of the music I listened to. Gas was cheap in the late 90s, so I was in the car constantly. Not surprisingly, some of my favorite albums today are the ones I listened to over and over again in the car because they fit conveniently on a blank tape. Format, as they say, drives function.

Blank tapes were available in …

100 Albums: "M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull" by Jethro Tull

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Jethro Tull
Title:M.U. - The Best Of Jethro Tull
Released: 1976
Genre: classic prog


What do you do when you're a working band in England in the 60s and are so bad that you can't get booked at a club more than once? Obviously, you keep changing your name, and that's exactly what Ian Anderson's band did. Names were supplied by staffers at the band's booking agency, and when they finally got asked to come back, they were playing under the name Jethro Tull, after the famous 18th-century agriculturalist who perfected the horse-drawn seed drill.

Music. It's glamorous, yo.

For most of its history, Tull was mostly Anderson, who would play the flute while standing on one leg and wearing a codpiece, although Martin Barre was the guitarist for the entire period covered by this album. M.U. was the first proper greatest hits album for the band, containing only one new song called Rai…

100 Albums: "Boy King" by Wild Beasts

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Wild Beasts
Title:Boy King
Released: 2016
Genre: dreamwave art pop


We're following up The History Of Apple Pie with Wild Beasts, so welcome to English Synthwave week.

Boy King by Wild Beasts is one of those albums where I can never remember which is the band name and which is the album name. They're an English synthwave band who are rocking that 80s nostalgia sheen super hard. Boy King is the band's most successful album and also the last full-length album they recorded before breaking up in early 2018 to pursue solo projects.

The music is all compressed drums with sawtooth synth pads slathered with delay. Every now and then a guitar line wanders in and plinks out a few notes, as if unsure if it's supposed to be there or not. The sound is big and atmospheric and bright and danceable and vaguely dark and creepy. It's like someone watched the trailer for The Neon Demon and said…

100 Albums: "Feel Something" by The History Of Apple Pie

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: The History Of Apple Pie
Title:Feel Something
Released: 2014
Genre: indie dreamwave alt-rock



The History Of Apple Pie are an English rock duet who started throwing songs together and posting them on the internet. They got major label attention from this, came up with a band name by Googling random things, formed a touring band, put out two albums, and then silently disbanded a year later.

What a time to be alive.

Feel Something is guitar-forward dream-pop that is built around two main ingredients: singer Steph Min's etherial vocals and guitarist Jerome Watson's swirly leads that sound like they're barely holding on to the correct tuning. The songwriting is top-notch. The standouts are Tame, Jamais Vu, and Puzzles, but even the weakest song on this album is pretty good. The whole thing is energetic and positive. It doesn't really stick with you--it's an album you can completel…

100 Albums: "The Good Times" by Afroman

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Afroman
Title:The Good Times
Released: 2001
Genre: alt hip-hop dirty rap


It's easy to disregard Afroman as a one-hit wonder for his gimmicky slow jam Because I Got High. It might surprise you, then, to know that he's put out thirty-two albums since 1998. These are a mix of live, compilation, and studio records with titles like My Fro-losophy, Waiting To Inhale, Marijuana Music, and One Hit Wonder EP--a self-deprecating joke that's even funnier if you know what a one-hitter is. Pothead stereotypes to the contrary, this man is a workaholic. He started recording and selling mixtapes in eighth grade. He put out four albums in 2004 alone. The Good Times was his major label debut, and is basically a greatest hits album of his prior work, some of which had already been released independently.

This is some grade-A trashy party music. It's fun, it's laid-back, it's hilarious, and…

100 Albums: "Today" by The New Christy Minstrels

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: The New Christy Minstrels
Title:Today
Released: 1964
Genre: ensemble folk



This was an album I listened to over and over again on car trips growing up. It was fifteen hours in the van from our house to my grandparents', so we had a lot of time to burn. This was one of a number of records that my dad had on vinyl and had put on tape, and this was on a tape of folk songs alongside the Kingston Trio. The New Christy Minstrels were part of the early 60's folk revival that would be obliterated when Bob Dylan hit the scene. They took their name from Christy's Minstrels, an old literally-a-minstrel act that performed in blackface (that's just Christy's Minstrels--NCM didn't do that, although taking a name from a group that did is a little... icky). The racial undercurrents of the album are interesting. It was released the same year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation,…

100 Albums: "Fantastic Planet" by Failure

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Failure
Title:Fantastic Planet
Released: 1996
Genre: space rock


In the late 90s rock was being eclipsed by the bubblegum pop explosion. Grunge was fading from radio to make room for nu-metal and power pop acts like Blink-182. But there were a handful of weirder songs that slipped through into mainstream rock radio that felt like harbingers of an experimental direction that grunge might have explored if it only had a little more time. Stuff like Incubus' Make Yourself or Elwood's rap-rock reworking of Gordon Lightfoot's Sundown. Another one of these what-the-hell-did-I-just-hear gems was Failure's Stuck On You, from their sci-fi epic Fantastic Planet. It was nerd-voice crooning angst over guitars that alternately crunched and keened. It was like Weezer, but less polished and less immediately accessible. This was an act that aspired to be Pink Floyd, not Buddy Holly. It sounded li…

100 Albums: "Researching The Blues" by Redd Kross

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Redd Kross
Title:Researching The Blues
Released: 2012
Genre: power pop


Redd Kross started out in 1980 as Red Cross, a punk band whose first gig was opening for Black Flag. They remained active for seventeen years, putting five albums and three EPs, swapping out members, and changing the spelling of their name. 2012's Researching The Blues was their reunion record, and they've remained active since, although in a low-key kind of way. I mean... it's not like you knew who they were before this post.

Title notwithstanding, Researching The Blues is not in any obvious way influenced by the blues. It's straight up power-pop. High-tempo, fun, guitar-driven, danceable, and catchy. It's got an English garage rock vibe with some extraneous lead-guitar noodling. The best songs are the title track (embedded above), four-on-the-floor stomper Uglier, New-Wave aping The Nu Temptations, and …

100 Albums: "Is This It" by The Strokes

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: The Strokes
Title:Is This It (US Version)
Released: 2001
Genre: lo-fi garage rock


The early aughts were a confused time for rock. Grunge had died out, and while nu-metal was everywhere, it wasn't for everyone. There was a pop-rock-shaped hole in the musical discourse for people who liked rock, missed the fun side of alternative, and felt alienated by thrash-rap. Enter New York City's own The Strokes, the band that ushered in the garage rock revival that brought to prominence a whole host of acts name The [plural noun]. Their debut, Is This It was an immediate hit in the UK on its late summer release. It was scheduled to come out in October in the US with different cover art and a last-minute song swap following the September 11 attacks. The song New York City Cops was dropped and replaced with When It's Started.

Is This It has a raw energy to it. It bounces, grooves, and bops along f…

100 Albums: "Fallen" by Evanescence

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Evanescence
Title:Fallen
Released: 2003
Genre: nu-metal


Evanescence was a nu-metal band from Arkansas founded by guitarist Ben Moody and singer/pianist Amy Lee that blended abrasive guitars with soft, sweet piano and vocal melodies. It was a pleasant variation on the formula that had been established by Korn and then embellished by Papa Roach and Saliva (and it was absolute catnip to a Nine Inch Nails fan like myself). Their first two singles originally appeared as the most memorable things from a mortifyingly bad Daredevil movie starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. The soundtrack exposure lead to an album and was immediately greeted by some kerfuffle about whether or not Evanescence was a "Christian" band or not. Bring Me To Life, the debut single, had guest vocals from the singer for the Christian metal band 12 Stones. Since the album didn't have any cursing on it and a few…

100 Albums: "Weezer (The Blue Album)" by Weezer

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Weezer
Title:Weezer (The Blue Album)
Released: 1994
Genre: garage pop rock


Weezer was formed by singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo in 1992 in LA and signed with Geffen the next year. Their debut, the first of many self-titled albums that would be referred to by the the dominant color of the CD cover, came out a year later, accompanied by a bizarre music video that was also the directorial debut of Spike Jonze. The video for that first single, Undone--The Sweater Song, became an instant hit and Weezer were propelled to instant stardom. They were at the vanguard of a poppier era of alt-rock. The Blue Album, which came out almost exactly a month after Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's death, helped define the sound of second-wave grunge. Whereas the initial grunge explosion was angsty, ironic, and hard-rocking, Weezer played bubblegum songs with distorted guitars. Their rock-can-be-fun-too movement wo…

100 Albums: "Mezmerize" by System Of A Down

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: System Of A Down
Title:Mezmerize
Released: 2005
Genre: Armenian speed-metal



When you absolutely need some Armenian speed-metal, accept no substitute. System Of A Down blends thrashing guitars with rich vocal harmonies from singer Serj Tankian and singer/guitarist Daron Malakian (who also does a lot of the writing). Add in Middle-Eastern melodic scales and a healthy dose of progressive politicking and you've got something unique, aggressive and at times oddly beautiful. Mezmerize was the first half of a double-album released in two parts--the second half, Hypnotize, came out six months later. Mezmerize is an album that is tightly tied to a specific time and place for me. It came out when I was living in L.A., which is also where the band members live and grew up, so it was littered with references that felt literally close to home. The first time I listened to the song Lost In Hollywood, I w…

100 Albums: "Art Angels" by Grimes

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Grimes
Title:Art Angels
Released: 2015
Genre: twee Canadian dream-pop




Born Claire Boucher in Vancouver, Grimes began putting music on MySpace in 2007. She's completely self-taught, produces all of her music, and might be the teensiest bit crazy. Her early work is rough, but by 2015, she'd perfected her blood-soaked dream-pop aesthetic--and if you want to see that aesthetic turned all the way up, go check out the video for Kill V. Maim. It gets weird. These days she's dated and broken up with Elon Musk and talked about changing her name to a mathematical constant, so... artists, amiright?

Art Angels took a few listens to really get under my skin, aside from Kill V. Maim which is just a flat-out earworm. The album goes hard on contrasting dark broody lyrics against a super-bright unironic bubblegum pop sheen. But you mostly get that sheen on a first listen. So a song like California co…

100 Albums: "Vs." by Pearl Jam

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Pearl Jam
Title:Vs.
Released: 1993
Genre: alt-rock post-glam grunge



In 1990, singer Andrew Wood died of a heroin overdose a few days before the scheduled debut release from his band Mother Love Bone. Wood's roommate, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, approached MLB's bassist and rhythm guitarist, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, about putting together a tribute album. They agreed, and brought on board Soundgarden's drummer Matt Cameron and couple of newcomers that Gossard and Ament had been jamming with, lead guitarist Mike McCready and singer Eddie Vedder. The tribute album was called Temple Of The Dog and it spawned two hit singles in Hunger Strike and Say Hello 2 Heaven. Afterwards, Cornell and Cameron returned to Soundgarden and the other four became Pearl Jam. (And, because the world is teeny-tiny, Cameron is now Pearl Jam's drummer, although he didn't join until 2002). Pearl …

100 Albums: "Our Newest Album Ever!" by Five Iron Frenzy

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Five Iron Frenzy
Title:Our Newest Album Ever!
Released: 1997
Genre: Christian ska-punk


In the mid-to-late 90s, ska became briefly relevant, mostly in the underground and college scene. A few ska bands broke into the mainstream and then disappeared like Reel Big Fish or The Mighty Mighty BossTones, but the most notable remnant of that movement was some ska-adjacent acts like No Doubt, Madness, and Sublime. As I mentioned in the my Christian rock supplemental and the entry for Pspazz, the 90s saw a huge emergent Christian rock movement that generated some actually-pretty-incredible music. Part of this included a ska scene, with a number of bands gaining traction like The O.C. Supertones, Insyderz, and--my personal favorite--Five Iron Frenzy. FIF formed in Denver as a side project by members of a thrash metal band called Exhumator who realized they didn't actually like thrash metal all that mu…

100 Albums: "A Place In The Sun" by Lit

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Lit
Title:A Place In The Sun
Released: 1999
Genre: power-pop


In the early 90s, a rock act called Stain started getting traction in the LA area. They put out a demo and then an EP, signed to the label, got sued by a guy in Texas who was also using the band named "Stain" and changed their name to Lit. (Aaron Lewis's band Staind also got sued, but apparently that extra "d" was all the change it needed.) Lit's first album was called Tripping The Light Fantastic, and it was released by Malicious Vinyl, after which the label promptly folded. Lit then signed to RCA and in 1999 put out their most successful album, A Place In The Sun, which found success for the band as a slightly-less-juvenile alternative to Blink 182. It's not deep, it's not sophisticated, but it's solid, well-executed, and tons of fun.

The song everyone remembers from APitS is My Own Worst Enem…

100 Albums: "Lost Highway"

Kurt is going through his favorite records. Read the explainer or view the master list.

Artist: Various
Title:Lost Highway
Released: 1997
Genre: industrial death-jazz


Before Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross started winning Oscars for their movie scores, Reznor cut his teeth producing soundtracks for what passed for "artsy" mainstream films in the 90's. The most successful of these was Lost Highway, the soundtrack to the batshit crazy David Lynch film of the same name, in which Bill Pullman is stalked, convicted of murder, transforms into Balthazar Getty... something with Robert Blake... Giovanni Ribisi's in it... look, it stops making any sense at all after about forty-five minutes. Watch it while on drugs, I guess.

The album is anchored by the Nine Inch Nails song The Perfect Drug which is one of my favorites of theirs (and one of Reznor's least-favorite, oddly enough). The disc is bookended by David Bowie singing different renditions of a song called I'm Deranged.…

"Writing Lots 2: Submitting Lots" by Dawn Vogel

Hi, I'm Dawn, and I'm back to talk about submitting stories and poems, and how I have such high numbers of submissions.


First off, as I talked about previously, I write a lot, which means I have a lot of stories that can be submitted at any given time. A lot of what I do to keep my submissions numbers high is juggle the stories, so they go to the right markets in the right order. Obviously, I'd love to have all my stories sell at pro-paying markets. Failing that, there are excellent semi-pro markets that would also be great homes for my stories.

The trick for me is to make sure to keep current on sending out stories to markets, and not let a huge backlog accumulate. In my world, that means that in the morning, I go through my inbox to see what stories have been rejected while I slept. If there are any there, I try to find a new market to send them to in the morning, before my workday starts. There are some days when either I can't find a good market to send a specific …