Sunday, November 20, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: cyberpunk sequel madness (and assorted esoteria)

I know you're all very surprised, I'm doing NaNoWriMo this month. And can I say how goddamn delighted I am by the SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE theme that the flair has? I already bought a participant t-shirt, and I'm debating on when to order the winner shirt (I haven't won yet, but....)

I'm not writing a space novel this year (though I did last year!). No, this year I'm writing the sequel to the novel that I wrote in July for CampNaNoWriMo. I really liked those characters, actually, though I will confess that bits and pieces of their personalities and tics may or may not come from characters I've played, and may end up in some way familiar to people who were in those games with me. Other things, most things, are fresh. But, in July, the novel was a cyberpunk diamond heist carried out by three young independent women. This month, the novel is two of the three, and something to do with militias and hijacking army supplies and what they spent their money on from all those diamonds. Because the characters don't know yet, I don't have to know yet, isn't that great? I think that's great.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

I finished October Madness early. No, I don't care that early is "cheating".

I don't know what it was this year, all those stories on submission made me super frenetic about how I had all those stories on submission. So I loaded up the submission queue super quick and then crouched over my email like


But, I soldiered on and got it done!

31 submissions for the 31 days of October! Of those 31 submissions, I have received 11 rejections. I'm not going to give you the form/personal breakdown, but I will tell of those rejections was a one hour rejection,which was a first. I mean, don't get me wrong, the agony of Schrodinger's Submission is real, but one hour? Ouch.


I also know that submissions are very subjective. There could be a specific issue an editor is building, and an editor's taste and vision is always a factor as well. It isn't necessarily a value judgement. Etc. Etc. It's hard to keep that emotional balance on a day when you get 4 or 5 rejections, though.

But, the fact that I still have 20 submissions from just October is staggering. And 5 more from prior to that, with a grand total of 25 submissions, 24 of them unique submissions (I simultaneously submitted that one story which had its submission birthday. What've I got to lose, right?) That's an awful lot of short stories I think are ready enough to be out there, just waiting for the right editor and market to say yes, and that's something I'm pretty proud of.

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!