The Superbowl discombobulated me a bit this week, but here we go. On to week 6.
Saturday: For Week 6 I’ve chosen to write up an SF idea I’ve had in my list for a while. It started as a prompt at Liberty Hall Writers. I did a minimalist version of the idea then and hope to expand it this week. The market I’ve chosen to target is Allegory. It publishes interesting stuff, usually with a quirky bent, and they’re nice to deal with.
We’re looking for good, solid fiction. We specialize in the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genres. We will consider other genres, such as humor or general interest, provided that the work possesses an original, “quirky” slant in the Northern Exposure, Ally McBeal vein.
Here are some basic “do’s” and “don’ts”.
DO give us strong characters and good plotting. DO put clever, but logical twists on the end of your tales. DO experiment with new ideas and unusual writing styles, but without falling into traps of contrivance and cliché.
DON’T submit any stories based on movies, television or any printed media not your own. DON’T submit reprints without including the name of the publication in which the work first appeared, along with the date of publication. DON’T send more than one story in the same submission.
Our payment rates have recently changed. We now pay a flat rate of $15 (U.S. dollars) for each story. We’ve changed this because, due to budget restrictions, we’ve been forced to turn down some longer stories that we felt had real merit.
Sunday: Life paused for the Superbowl. We went down to my brother and sis-in-law’s house. Wonderful food (too much of it), not so wonderful outcome.
Monday: I wrote my literary flashes for the week and read some more Pride and Prejudice. I must say I’m impressed with the chapter in which Lizzy changes her mind about Darcy. I love it when a character, or a real person, can let go of a deeply held belief when presented with evidence to the contrary. We seem to have such trouble doing that these days.
Tuesday: Today was given over to Triangulation. I made a dent in the slush pile, accepted one story, recommended three to other editors and rejected a bunch with comments. Tiring.
Wednesday: Every once in a while I must deal with a crisis of confidence. I’m sure most of you have the same struggle. This week has been a case in point. I chose a fairly innocuous story that I’d already roughed out, yet have been unable to sit down and finish it, mainly because every word I type feels wrong. It’s painful just to sit at the keyboard, knowing I have nothing useful to say. The interesting thing about Write1Sub1 is that it forces you to confront that head on rather than letting it totally derail you.
Thursday: More of the same, I’m afraid. I did some reading and tapped out a slightly revised version of my story for Sue to read. As anticipated it’s not nearly where it needs to be yet. She did come up with an idea that helped me visualize how to get there. Now I have to find the words to do that and the confidence to work through this. I am lazy. For me, that equates to “unwilling to embrace my passion”. Passion is energizing, but it can also be very painful to feel something intensely and struggle to bring it into the world with insufficient tools. The thing my mind refuses to understand is that I have the tools, I just need to commit myself moment by moment. Rather than focusing on failing at a thousand projects, focus on succeeding at a segment of one in this moment. If I can bring my thinking around to honestly accepting that premise, I believe the entire Write1Sub1 journey will take a different path. Rather than trying to avoid missing the deadline each week, I’ll be anxious to get going on whatever today brings. It’ll be interesting to see what my blog entries read like at the end of this year. Will I transform or will I remain stagnant as a writer?
Friday: Sue’s birthday today. We went out to eat and to an art show in Youngstown (some very interesting work). Chris Barzak bought dessert 🙂 In a strange way this “lost” day was encouraging, as was the art show. The variety of approaches and perspectives reminds me that there is room for me in this world, even if I’ll never be the most accomplished person in the room. I was also able to accept another short story for Triangulation today, which is always a bit of a lift. I did work through the first scene of the story revision as well. Two more to go.
Saturday: I polished and subbed ten micro-fictions today. I worked on this week’s story, but did not finish it. I think I’m going to have to modify the way I do this process. Having unfinished stories hanging over me seems to keep me from accomplishing much of anything else. For the coming week, I’ll start a new story and see if I can’t put the unfinished one out of my mind. I’m still writing at least one flash each week and subbing more than one story, but I’m disappointed that I’m not getting more done on longer works yet.