Monday, October 17, 2016

October Madness 2016!

Well, we're just past the halfway point on the month  (how did that happen?) and it's a good a time as any to give you a submissions update. I know you're eager to hear all about it!

This year, I got impatient and jumped the gun a bit on some submissions, so to date, since October 1, I've submitted 22 times (as opposed to the more correct 17, but whatever, this is my game, I'll play how I want ^^). I've gotten....almost alarmingly few rejections so far, actually.  4 so far, out of those 22 submissions.

I had a story pass it's submission birthday (365 days and counting!), so I went ahead and simultaneously submitted it elsewhere. 

Some of those stories are ones that I wrote just this year, as a part of my New Year's resolution to produce at least one short story a month. Some of the are stories I've written over the years, that I've edited and rewritten and, I think, made better. This is the obvious of objective, of course; I think my stories are pretty great, or I wouldn't bother.

My rejections so far are from Uncanny, Gamut, Fantasy & SciFi, and The Dark. I've turned around and sent each of those stories someplace else, of course, because that's the way it goes. And it helps me not dwell. At least one of those stories is kind of running out of places to go, but that's when I got both The Lion and the Dragonslayer and Sugar and Spice published, so there's that.

I've started a number of stories this month, and at least one of them is this close to being finished. I've also, I think, decided on my 2016 NaNoWriMo project, which will be a sequel to the cyberpunk novel I wrote in July.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Strange Horizons annual fundraiser!

Strange Horizons is a very, very good online magazine that publishes scifi/fantasy/whatever short stories, poems, columns, and reviews. I've been reading them for years, and been submitting stories to them for years as well. No "yes" from them yet, but I have gotten some very good personal rejections from them as well, not just forms.

They've got 8 days and change left in the fundraiser, and are at about $7500 out of their baseline $15,000 goal. It would be really great to see them reach it! They've got some great things they want to do, like publish stories in translation, do interactive stories, that kind of thing.

If you haven't checked them out, go. Do so. Here are some things I've really liked recently that they've published:

Million-Year Elegies: Oviraptor, by Ada Hoffman

The Beef, by J.D. Moyer

Noise Pollution, by Alison Wilgus

little stomach, by Charlotte Geater

You can donate to them via Network for Good, PayPal, subscribe to them via Patreon, or even send in a physical payment.  Strange Horizons is a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization and so in the United States, donations are tax deductible.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September 2016 Goals Roundup

Well. September seemed like a reallllly long month to me. You?

Lots of writing in September. A lot of it was Shadowrun writing (not the same character as in "A Shadowrun Story" which, improbably, has become one of the most popular posts on this blog, but a character with similar elements. She's also a decker, for one. It goes from there), and some of it was workshop writing, as my writing workshop has begun again. Workshop writing is not always complete, though I do have one flash piece to show for it, and what we did today (which is October 1, and will not count for my September goals, mais oui).

Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 2016 goals roundup

I finished my August Story early this month, so I blog early this month.

I really should blog more than once a month. You think? I think. Here's my best Elka picture to make up for it

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 2016 goals roundup

Well, July was more productive than I'd intended.

See, I'd set out to write a 25k word novella, a female-cast cyberpunk diamond heist. I thought it would be fun, I thought I'd have just a tight story arc about that one thing, kind of like how I wrote a novella on purpose in April. But no, I really liked the characters, I really liked the setting I was trying to pull off, and the story grew. Arguably, it's because sometimes I lack focus. Other times, though, the story length I intend when I get started isn't the one the story needs. I've done this before with two short stories I made into novels (The Last Song and the still unfinished biker exorcism novel). I'm doing it right now, I think, with a novel I'm making into a short story.

So my July project, instead of being 25k, reached The End at 44,400 words. I need to add about 20k more words of international hijinks in there (for whatever reason, everything just stayed in the same city until the epilogue, which doesn't really make sense for my larger vision of the scope, but works for a first draft. You can't fix what isn't written.

I've had great feedback on my short story "Sugar and Spice", published in the Summer issue of The Sockdolager. It was a story I really enjoyed, which has gone through a few iterations, though all very similar to the original, and I'm really pleased that it found a home.

I've also had good feedback on "The Lion and the Dragonslayer", in the Mosaics 2 anthology (of course I read the reviews. How could I not?) Several of the reviews on Amazon and on Goodreads mention my story specifically, and one of the reviewers say they really want more of The Lion! I do have other Lion stories written, but no others have been accepted yet. I should probably do a new one of those this year, edit it, and start it on the submission circuit.

In story submission news, I have 11 stories currently submitted. One of those is still an October Submission, and I'm interested to see if it will reach its submission birthday. How does one celebrate such a thing? By considering it a "no reply means no"? By drinking a miniature bottle of Kraken or Crystal Skull Vodka? I'm not sure it's a cake occasion, but maybe it is. Suggestions welcome!

Monday, July 4, 2016

June 2016 goals roundup

First off, if interested, you can read the story I mentioned in my May roundup in the summer issue of The Sockdolager! My story is entitled "Sugar and Spice" which, by the way, is a title I'm happy with for once. The rest of the issue is good too, so I do invite you to peruse. It was a pleasure working with the Sockdolager folks, and it's a pleasure to be in that issue. If reading online isn't your thing, you can purchase a physical copy of the issue here for $7.

In May, I got no story acceptances, but did receive several helpful rejections. I discovered that the New Yorker's form rejection is very nice and mild (or I got the nice and mild one). I have 11 stories on submission right now; it should be 12, just have to send that other one off somewhere. It's funny, for me, the "odd stories out" are the ones with no speculative elements. They still have their oddness, though, which I think makes them difficult to place.

In May, I didn't write a new short story from scratch. See, briefly opened a submission window for novellas, so I edited and revised an older novella I'd written. And, because the minimum required word count was 20,000 and I was at 17,000, I added about 3,000 words to the story. That's about short story length, and I feel it strengthened and updated the overall work, so I'm going to count it, for the purposes of my "write a story every month" goal. I did a bunch of writing that I'm happy with . Good enough! Really, this novella is something I've consistently been happy with and, as always, I very much hope the answer is yes.

Though that's kind of my approach to submissions in general. I always hope the answer is yes. I submit to markets I'd be happy to see my stories in. I aim high for my submissions, and I keep trying.

Keep trying!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May 2016 goals roundup (And another acceptance!)

I'm very happy to say, I've had another story acceptance! My short story, currently titled "Sugar and Spice", will be in the Summer 2016 issue of Sockdolager magazine. This is my second story acceptance this year, and I don't think it will ever stop being thrilling.

I got a couple of very nice personalized rejections for my short stories this month. One of them has prompted me to get a few more sets of eyes on that particular story, and I'm chewing on the comments now. The other personal rejection was more "we really really liked this story, it just didn't fit with our magazine, please keep us in mind for something else." And while yes, that still means "no", it's the best possible "no" one can receive.

I wrote one short story in May, keeping me on track with my New Year's resolution. That makes 8 stories written this year. I don't intend to stop at 12, if I reach 12 before the end of December; even if I double up in a month, I still want to write new words every month. And it's nice to see my "packet" of stories grow. Some of the stories I've submitted, and still submit, were originally written in college. Regardless of their current states, as they've been edited and rewritten and what have you, I've put in a lot more writing time since college, and do think (hope?) that my writing, and sense of story, has improved since then. Hence, the need for new words, not just retreading old ground.

I do need to consider what I want to write in July, for Camp NaNoWriMo. My library writing workshop has June off, and will return in July for "camp". I don't hold them to writing a book, not least because everybody's goal is not to write a book, but I think some manner of goal setting dimension should come into play for July specifically (suggestions welcome).