S1.37 Vein Raiders


Vein Raiders is written by S.H. Mansouri.

Vein Raiders was first published in The Machinery – A Literary Collection

S.H. Mansouri lives in southern California with the love of his life, Cymphonee. After receiving his B.S. in biology from the University of California, Riverside, he worked as laboratory technician on projects ranging from blood-borne pathogens to malaria research and prevention. He’s been published in Acidic Fiction, The Manor House Podcast, The Dead Oaks Podcast, Cirsova Magazine, Best Horror Shorts, 2015, From the Dragon Lord’s Library, L0W L1f3 cyberpunk Magazine and more. He writes fiction full-time from a fly-infested patio and hopes to finish his first novel, Children of a Fallen Sky, before the end of the year.

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.



I’m going to fail at NaNoWriMo

I’ve never failed at it quite like this, but wow am I going to fail.

Frankly? I’m not even trying anymore. Which super isn’t like me. 

I know what the problem is. I’m recording a novel. This…might be something I do very little of going forward. A big part of it is just how I operate, how my brain works. The project isn’t due for months, literally months. But I cannot handle having it hanging over my head so I’m pushing everything else aside it work on it. 

It gives a weirdly false impression of how I work when I do this. And I’ve done a bunch of novellas, but primarily novellas and projects that are 2 weeks of work or less.  I can get them done and have the feeling of accomplishment. (Which I super love.) But they aren’t hanging over me until I finish them (well they are, but they are much easier to be done with).

I’m working with an author I think is great and I trust to do all the right stuff or I wouldn’t be working on another novel (that wasn’t mine!) at all. But even still? I’m going to be more wary. 

So…a note to future me

This feeling of panic happens, you have to set aside all other work and record as long as you can and then edit during the week and you leave no time or brain space for other creative endeavors. It is ok to do it, but know that until you finish the project, nothing else significant will happen. Accept that.

For current me?

It’s ok to focus on getting this done. But then no excuses, buckling down to try to get this edit finished. I’ve got a good plan. I’ve got a good start. A good strategy. Good characters added. Good characters removed. (Appropriate maybe…they aren’t all …good…) But I don’t have words that aren’t “good” right now. So finish. Get the editing done. Get the last recorded. Get the changes recorded. 

Then sit down in December and January and hammer out Jenna’s story. Take the chisel and really work that draft into something worth sharing. 

And write a short or two in the meanwhile. 

No more excuses.

Art is important. 

So yes, I’m going to fail at NaNoWriMo, and it’s not great, but it’s ok. I’m learning something important. Hopefully I’ll actually take the lesson to heart this time. If not, future me, knock that shit off!


Loud does not mean extroverted

I’m loud. Like really loud. My voice is loud. I tend to be physically loud (I make big gestures, I take up a lot of physical space). I can fill a 1,000 room + space without an issue. 

I’m also incredibly introverted. I’m not good with people. I come home to my space, quiet, safe, human free space. I expect days of quiet alone time after I have to do an event or a party. 

People seem to be deeply confused. I can loudly, and quickly, and enthusiastically say that NO! I am not outgoing! No! I am not an extrovert! No! I am not!

But what people hear is the loudness. They can’t imagine that I am exhausted within minutes, that the idea of “just go be social” is very tiring. 

On the other hand I have someone close to me in my family who is very quiet, sits quietly, and is incredibly extroverted. He is absolutely happiest when surrounded by people. He wants to be in all the social situations.

If you put the two of use in front of most people they’d usually guess he was introverted and I was extroverted. 


I only feel better when I have time alone, quiet, self, inner focused time. I only feel like me when I have time to be me.

But I’m still going to be loud, even when I’m only 10% me, when I’ve been out and surrounding by humans. When I’m exhausted and not ok. I’m still going to be loud. I’m still going to wave my arms around when I’m talking.

So don’t try to tell people what they are, especially when they look horrified when you try to box them into a box they do not belong in.


S1.35 Starlight

Starlight by Eric S Fomley.

Starlight was originally published in The Flash Fiction Press

Eric Fomley lives in a small town in Indiana where he works as a facility manager for a large retail company. In his spare time, he enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy stories, tinkering with his own stories, and playing more than a small dose of fantasy video games. You can catch a lot of his ramblings and future publications by following him on twitter @PrinceGrimdark.

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.

Listen to 600 Second Saga


Random Roundup

Mostly not of this earth, but a little of this earth. Just a normal random roundup.

Also humans.

Fire, watch it burn - from Pixabay
Fire, watch it burn – from Pixabay

Not of this Earth

Planetary rings are incredibly beautiful. They may be the remnants of the destruction of dwarf planets.

The rings are pieces of Dwarf Planets that got torn off in passing, which were then ripped to pieces!

Juno – I don’t care how old this is – is out of safe mode and awesome. NASA is awesome. Humans managed to send tiny hunks of metal, plastic, and glass and throw them super hard and whoop they went out into space and made pictures of planets that we can see (and that we can’t) as just little specks of light. Humans. Can. Be. Awesome. Then again, robots are the ones doing the hard work. Packing up, leaving home, journeying through potentially lethal and unknown space to explore the universe. Didn’t humans used to talk about going out and exploring? Now we just let robots have all the glory?

At least that will be another reason for AI to not want to bother to destroy us. If you write about AI I can’t recommend this enough.

The true understanding of natural language, the breadth and generality of human intelligence, our ability to both play Go and cross the street and make a decent omelet—that variety is the hallmark of human intelligence and all we’ve done today is develop narrow savants that can do one little thing super well.

A quick funny – sort of funny?

Whatever public works is important. Or pay the troll!


S1.34 The Visitors

The Visitors is written by Mileva Anastasiadou.
It was previously published by Maudlin House in June.

Mileva Anastasiadou is a neurologist, living and working in Athens, Greece. Her work can be found in Ofi press magazine, Infective Ink, the Molotov Cocktail, Foliate Oak, HFC journal, Down in the Dirt, Minus paper, Massacre, Pendora, Maudlin house, Menacing Hedge, Scarlet Leaf Review, Nebula Rift, Idler, Litterateur online and soon in Midnight Circus, AntipodeanSF, Big Echo:Critical SF, the Ham, Blood and Thunder:Musings on the Art of Medicine, Hindered Souls, Sick Lit, the Potomac, Front Porch Review, Jellyfish Review and the Fear of Monkeys.

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.

Listen to 600 Second Saga


NaNoWriMo progress update


The good

I’m getting somewhere. I’ve dug back in and set things up and am through the first few scenes. I think I am actually doing a lot of what needed to be done. Gently weaving in some character things, some backstory (apparently it felt a little out of nowhere to show 3/4 of the way through that the MC had been imprisoned…yeah, trying to front load that tidbit), physical descriptions, and world building. My first pass through beta readers felt confused and didn’t know the characters well until much later on. I know this is an ongoing problem. I don’t describe enough.

So I’m doing that. And I think I’m doing an ok job. At least adding in enough that I’ll have something to work with rather than writing a stick figure in a white room. (Fine for some flash fiction, but not really ok for a novel, let alone a trilogy.)

The bad

I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed, underaccomplished, and bad. Just bad. I’ve only gotten most of 2 chapters done. I’ve not crossed 10K which is really where I should be by now. I’ve got a long way to go.

The hopeful

The podcast is still going very well. It’s part of what keeps slowing me down. I really do love the chance to share and promote other authors. I’m still trying to make my own work happen, but I put the narration and the podcast first, and I’m entirely good with that. 

I’ve also done some other good things like I’m a guest on a great podcast Getting Publishing this week. (I’ll share a link when it is out.)

I’m doing ok (I think) of sharing and updating on Twitter. 

And I am actually making progress. And despite all the things, I think that is enough of a success to feel hopeful that I will keep moving forward to where I need to be on this.

Where are others at? NaNoWriMo? Other projects? Anyone else doing a Not NaNo thing and feeling a little weird about it?