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Archive for November 17th, 2010

Reboot

Auguste Deter. Alois Alzheimer's patient in No...

Abject Contemplation

Well, it’s been a while and a lot of muck has oozed under the bridge, but I’m back. For the next few weeks I plan to use this forum as external validation for my daily writing. If I do not produce enough for a given day, feel free to heckle mercilessly.

First, a sales update, and it’s altogether too much like the economy.  There are a few glimmers of good news, but it’s mostly depressing. To the good, I was featured over at trapeze magazine in October. They published not one, not two, but three tweets and an interview. Thanks to Jessica Otto for offering me a chance to bare my tiny talents in public. I also won their first annual Halloween tweet contest.

My story for Daily Science Fiction has not yet appeared, but it should soon. I’ve been impressed with their selections. The quality is a bit uneven, but what can we expect for a story almost every day? I especially like that they’ve published a wide variety in subject and approach. If you don’t already, you should subscribe to their feed. A story a day keeps Alzheimers away (one can hope).

The bad news is that I’ve not placed anything else, despite many submissions. I’ve now been aggressively marketing my work for one year:

  • 171 submissions (this includes twitter as well as short story subs)
  • 22 acceptances
  • current accept rate is 14.57% (some subs have not been decided).

I have stories at Strange Horizons and A Fly in Amber that I’m relatively hopeful for, but everything else is the usual crap shoot.

For the past month I’ve been participating in weekly flash challenges at Show Me Your Lits and Liberty Hall. In each case, one writes a story in 90 minutes based on a set of prompts, then posts them on a private website for comments. This has been a positive experience and has kept me writing through this difficult time.

Difficult, did I say? Why, yes, now that you ask. It started with my failure to make the top three at Writers of the Future. Shortly thereafter we heard from our agent that she does not feel she can market our fantasy novel as it stands. This was followed by news that Sue’s book is not selling up to publisher expectation, despite numerous excellent reviews and tireless promotion from Jackson Kaguri. Then, my suggestion for a continuing series based around New Castle history and heritage  was turned down by Edge of Propinquity.

Is it any wonder I’ve had difficulty bringing passion to my work lately? Fortunately, my insanely stubborn resolve has begun to surface again and I’m now:

1. reworking the fantasy in a more traditional epic fantasy vein. It’s definitely more along the lines our agent suggests. I started chapter 3 today.

2. plotting a new story for the Writers of the Future contest. I plan to finish the rough draft by December 1 and workshop/polish it prior to the Dec 31 submission date.

3.  Polishing stories from the flash challenges and sending the better ones to market (I’ve

submitted 3 so far)

This diagram, or map, illustrates the relation...

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4. Reading from a classics list. Current project is Pride

and Prejudice by Jane Austin. I’m a third through and I gotta tell you, it’s a bunch of names squawking at each other right now. I’m not compelled. The last couple chapters have begun to pull me in, though, so maybe…

I’ve also accepted a challenge to write and submit a story a week in 2011. If I can’t improve enough to sell my stuff on merit, maybe I can wear them (editors) down.

Bamboo slivers make wonderful motivational tools

Tune in tomorrow for an update of my projects. If I’m not making the sort of progress I should be making, I trust you’ll hold my feet to the fire and ridicule me roundly.

Three Cheers for Ramey!

If I am making my goals, give me a little encouragement,  okay?

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