Tuesday, April 10, 2018


As I've been saying in the last couple of posts I'm moving my web presence to WordPress. There are a few reasons for this, the main one being I just felt it was time for a change. Tonight I won't be copying a posting from this page to paste onto that one. This will be the debut of a blog post written strictly for the new venue. It can be seen at Dane Baylis Undeterred in a short while.

If you've been following or just visiting this site from time to time I'd like to extend a very warm invitation to visit at the new digs. No need for house warming gifts, just drop by and say hello!

Dane F. Baylis.

Thursday, April 5, 2018


I Said I Was Moving

     Anyone who has visited this site in the last few days or has been receiving my blog updates is aware that I am moving from the place I've occupied for sometime on Googles Blogger service. I have opened a new page with WordPress and taken the next step in my life as a professional writer by purchasing a domain name. I am not comfortable suddenly jumping from one platform to the other, so I will be transitioning from one to the other over the next couple of weeks. The new site bears the same name (Dane Baylis Undeterred) and can be found at this link Dane Baylis Undeterred.

I'm really looking forward to old and new acquaintances dropping by too check out the new address!!! See you there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


This Isn't Goodbye. I'm Just Changing Neighborhoods.

For those who have been with me a while, and those who come and go, I'm going to be moving. No, not in the physical world. Here in the digital. I've decided to open a new blog location featuring the same irreverent, and at times irritating, content. I'm heading over to WordPress where I'm in the process of constructing some new digs. (You have no idea the amount of stress and aggravation this entails).

The new place will have the same title, 'Dane Baylis Undeterred' but it will be at a different web address. More on that as I progress with the design and decorations. For those of you who have been with me a while I extend a heartfelt invitation to come over and say hi. If you're just finding this older site, hey, try the new one.

My thinking in this isn't all that original. It's a case of the old adage, "Location. Location. Location." Things have been really cozy here but just haven't produced the results I'd hoped for. Of course, I'm risking discovering it wasn't the place but the proprietor. Anyway, I've invested a few bucks to see what happens as far as how it affects exposure and response. I'd like to make it as welcoming as possible as I keep pushing out into the literary world in hopes of that break.

It's all a tad nerve wracking but I've got my fingers crossed. Hopefully it doesn't turn out that what was really crossed were my wires. I'll be posting in both locations for a while until I get a sense of what I'm doing at the other site.

Again, my deepest thanks for anyone who has been a repeat visitor. I hope that some of what I've said here has had a positive effect on you and maybe prodded you to take your own chances!!!

Monday, April 2, 2018


     Any journey, great or not, has a beginning. Before the first step is taken. Before the first bit of dusty road, stretch of water, or mile of empty air is traveled the trip is begun. It begins, first, with the desire to go from here to there. Next comes the questions of what mode of transportation will be necessary? Is it possible to pick between more than one? How far are we going? How long will it take? When we arrive, what will the weather be like? Do we speak the language? Do we carry the right currency? Will we be welcomed or regarded with something less than bonhomie?

     This is the real life of the writer. All the minute details that make up the stories we compose. Who is the protagonist? Is this a man or woman, a boy or girl? How old? From where? Height, weight, complexion, hair color? What is their educational background and social position? What do they do for work? Married? Divorced? How many times? Straight? Gay? Bisexual? Asexual?

     Where does this person live? Have they always lived there? Are they just passing through? What year is this? What else is going on in the world? Who is their main antagonist? Is this another character or are they in conflict with something inside themselves?

     The more questions you can think of to ask about your story and the characters that populate it the better able you are to bring depth and insight into your creation. You may very well not use a fraction of what you uncover, but how much more rich a world you will lead your readers into.

     I've encountered a number of writers who skip past this step. They wander about in incomplete surroundings trying to get us to believe in characters who lack emotion and lineage. They give them abilities or revelations that don't hold up to investigation. They put them in places that are no more than the empty facades on which Hollywood screenplays are too often hung. In the case of fantasy and heroic fiction, they arm them with weapons without having any idea how they are to be employed or, worse yet, endow them with some magical 'ability' to make up for any lack of connection to the believable.

     Research is everything to a writer. From the inception of a tale to finding a plausible market for the finished product. How many times have I heard of writers just shot gunning something out there in hopes it would hit a target? The literary marketplace can be a cold and lonely enough place even when you think you've applied due diligence. Getting something, anything, published can be a real arduous trek and an incredible accomplishment. How much more so when you are approaching all the wrong people with the wrong goods?

     Right now, I have several pieces of short fiction, a number of poems, and a completed novel out to different venues for consideration. I spent days and untold hours getting to know the inhabitants of the fictions I created. I invested weeks, months, and years in the writing and re-writing of every one of them. I spent time researching queries and submissions. I've retired any number of works to the, "I'll revisit that idea again" file. Nothing gets sent out or resubmitted without being re-read and if need be re-written.

     What's my point? Nothing great was ever created from thin air. Nothing worth reading was without history and complexity. That which went into the story or the marketing. If it seems such a simple, but precise, concoction you want to bet it was sweat over and worried about. Every thing you do as a writer demands you to live in its skin and breath its air. Research is the blood of the written word. Without it, you're dancing with cadavers. 

Friday, March 16, 2018


For those of you who have been following this blog, (God I hope someone is), you're aware I've been working on a novel length work of Science-Fiction for some time now. Well---Drum roll please---Ta-Da, I finally hit a point where I can say, I think I'm ready to start the next step! The writing's done, 315 pages and 83,000 words later, and I won't go into how many drafts, I have a story, "EYES LIKE WALLS". Now all I have to do is find an agent who will give it a look, and hopefully they can find a kindhearted and forgiving publisher with the insights of a Jesuit Priest and patience of a Buddhist Monk.

I've been told time after time that the writing part is something you should enjoy because the selling part is a real uphill slog. I'm not unfamiliar with that process, though on a smaller scale. I write a good deal of short fiction and have to endure finding homes for those works. Honestly, the best advice I can give anyone is avoid the drama of sitting around idle while you're trying to pedal a completed project. Move ahead with another, and another! Getting published on any scale in any venue can be a slow process. If you're hitting the refresh button on your email account all day long you're only going to make yourself nuts.

I've been working on an outline for the next book while I was massaging the rewrites of the present one. During my breaks in between revisions I've written more short fiction and edited some poetry submissions. This has all been the easy part - Or at least that's what I'm supposed to believe - Marketing the thing (And myself in the deal) I've been told will make one wonder what the hell they've gotten into. Well, time to find out.

In the meantime, I'm considering posting some limited abstracts of the work for comment. Anyone have any ideas on this? I tend to be mildly paranoid about the idea. I had a bad experience with someone years ago involving a script. Let me know your thoughts, feelings, experiences. I'd REALLY like to hear from you!

Sunday, March 4, 2018



Woke up this morning and reminded myself it was Sunday, my down day. So I got a cup of coffee, went about my ablutions, then stepped off to the kitchen. The lady who has been good enough to allow me to reside under her roof for thirty-eight years (Without bludgeoning me to death with a rock in my sleep) had expressed a desire for Mediterranean omelettes. In view of her tolerance and kindness, I felt it a small recompense.

The cooking done I perused the local paper and looked back on my week. Sixteen active short story submissions had become fifteen active submissions with the receipt of an email rejection. A problem easily rectified by finding another publication to inflict my warped world-view on. Another poetry submission sent out and a few more to pay attention to. First draft of another short story started, outlined in my head and only needs to be populated, put into a setting, the intricacies of human interaction given voice...etc.

Most of the week was consumed with the latest revision to my novel, EYES LIKE WALLS. Not going into which rewrite this is, suffice to say I've been at it since early August of last year. In the meantime, queries sent out or updated to the venues I've sent short stories to. Some of these are bumping up close to a year in the "Under Consideration" category. When you're pushing close to double the "Normal Response Time" you start fluctuating between wanting to buy a lottery ticket or gargle razor blades! Throw in agonizingly slow responses to inquires and you wonder what made you think writing fiction was a good idea?

Like I said - Today is supposed to be my fucking DAY OFF! But, in the middle of trying to shut it all down and read a book, I remembered I'd promised to be more timely in my blog posts. So here I sit, in the same chair I sit in pretty much six days a week, trying to be witty and creative while wondering if any one's reading these things besides me? (Something even I try to avoid except during the revision process.)

Anyway, tomorrow it's back to the title page of the novel and the start of another pass through that. Honestly, each time has gone quicker than the last and I've pretty much hammered out or body puttied over the more glaring wrinkles and dents. Now I'm down to the fine tuning and, this next phrase could be the hex, pretty happy with what I've got. 82,000 words in 44 chapters on 312 pages. All I have to do now as far as heavy lifting is concerned is send out the query letters and proposals to agents. But what's a couple of more hours a day at the keyboard?

Do me a favor once in a while? Go to the bottom of one of these posts and send me a reply. I won't sell you to the trolls of marketing, trust me. I would just like to know someone is reading this drivel and what your thoughts are. Thanks, Dane F. Baylis.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018



I'll be the first to admit this entire writing thing can be devastatingly lonely. However, if writing is as much a part of your makeup as eating, sleeping, copulation, and neurosis - There's only a few remedies open. The first, of course, is to become stunningly famous and spend the rest of your life on a never ending book tour (Want to bet how long it takes for adoring fans to start becoming life sucking drains on your time and creativity?) I get it, no fans = no income. The converse is also true. Fans equal demanding crowds who never want to see you evolve or change.

So, what else is there? Alcohol and drugs? Not bad, if you can find the balance between inebriation and creativity. Not to mention all the brilliant young careers, and lives, ended in a stupor. Of course, you could turn out to be the next Charles Bukowski and make eighty proof self-abuse into a genre. But the odds aren't with you, take it from a non-practicing alcoholic. (Then again, I was never really a practicing one. No practice necessary. I had it down coming out of the gate.)

You could throw in the towel. If you're like me you stand in front of the bathroom mirror first thing in the morning wondering, "What's the fucking sense?" An hour later, and a couple of cups of coffee, I'm in front of this damned keyboard - Write, revise, submit, rewrite, revise, submit. It's what you do. PERIOD!

There's another route. The 'Writers Group'. As they used to say, "Here there be monsters". Not all groups are the same, just as all writers aren't. With the Internet there sprang up any number of groups. I don't know about you, but the whole faceless entity judging my work from afar, robbing me of the opportunity to choke the life out of some bastard I'd reached an impasse with just doesn't play.

There are, of course, long running local writers groups. The ones that are dominated by either memoir writers or those devoted to illustrated children's books. The first generally turns out to be people committed to leaving a written record of their existence to their great grand kids. The second, well - I'll leave that one alone.

Lately I've run aground on the shores of 'Meet Up'. Again, I urge caution. Being the only entity in the room sporting gonads I immediately wondered after my sanity. When the main pursuit of the other faction turned out to be fantasy novels they've been working on far too long I definitely got the feeling I'd slid a bit over the edge of the map. Not that you can't get something out of any critique done with sincerity and candor, but sometimes gender warfare is camouflaged beneath the most pleasant of approaches.

I'm nostalgic for an earlier time. One when writers got together with one another through a shared mutual appreciation and knowledge of each others work. When we pushed one another for originality of subject, plot, and language. Before the entire world thought it was going to conquer the literati fortress with self-publication. I'd ask for honesty in that also, but I'd rather not be implicated in some inadequate sot's suicide.

What's my point? If you must have companionship, exert the same discretion you would choosing a puppy. Preferably pick one with some training and a bit of pedigree. Not a thoroughbred, but one that won't piss in your shoe, eat your lunch, and keep you up all night with its whining. Find that one you can spend a lazy day walking down the local rail line and splitting a beer with. (Yes, I have unabashedly contributed to the substance abuse of a canine.) Find the kind of companion who will help you dig an escape route under whatever fence you find yourself stuck behind. The one who knows where the free eats are and the occasional bitch in heat.

If you really feel out of place in a group, duff it and move on. Better morose and lonesome in front of a typewriter than listening to inane drivel you have utterly no interest in. Above all remember, if you write for any reason other than you simply have to write, you're a god-damned liar. Any really good endeavor should cause you great discomfort south of your navel before it lifts you to the stars.

Then, get up tomorrow morning, look in the mirror, and ask yourself, "What's the fucking sense?"

That out of the way, GET TO WORK!