I wanted a little logo for my books. I’ve been calling my publishing self Broken Snowshoe after my beloved cat Bob. Despite his many challenges he was always loving and happy and made those around him happy too. I asked my daughter Anna to design me a something, combining Bob and books. This is the logo she created for me. I love it.
Then as an added surprise, for Christmas she made a little clay model of it for me. It’s even cuter! Here’s to creative and thoughtful kids!
Now I just need to finish my books so I have something to put this logo on. Coming soon. . .
I’ve been a good little writer lately in that I have finished several short stories, and more importantly, I have sent them out. In fact, I have more stories out on submission right now than I have ever had out before. I may have more out right now that I have ever sent out in an entire year. Not that I have a huge number of submissions out – just that I am usually so bad at finishing and being brave enough to submit at all. There are usually months of getting up the nerve to research markets and all the rest of the process. I’m going to go even further in patting myself on the back because two stories were rejected last week, and I already have them back out again. Maybe this isn’t all that impressive, but it is a step forward for me, so I’m telling you about it.
I use Duotrope.com to find markets and track my submissions. One of the neat features of Duotrope is their statistics. They have the percent of submission from their users that are accepted or rejected for each market. Further, they have the average time it takes for a reply, and the average time for a rejection versus for an acceptance. From the markets I’ve looked at, it seems like rejections tend to come a lot quicker than acceptances. However, I have found myself paying way too much attention to how long my story has been with a particular market – is it closer to the rejection time, or the acceptance time? I check on that much more often than can be healthy.
There is writing advice I’ve heard frequently to finish your story, send it out, then don’t think of it – just write the next thing. I thought that as I wrote more (like I’m doing now) that would be easier. Turns out, I’m actually obsessing more though. I think when I sent one thing out every 6 months or so, and I wasn’t doing much writing in between, it was easier to forget about. Now that I write every day and send things out as regularly as I can manage, it isn’t ever far from my thoughts. Still, you don’t move forward or grow as a writer doing things they way I was doing them before. I have to hope, and believe, that this is better, even if it’s stressful.
Maybe stories really are like children in that way. Having more of them doesn’t mean you care about each individual one less. It just gives you more to worry over. Or I’m just a person prone to excess worry.
I just listened to episode 87 of Cast of Wonders. It was very exciting to hear my story narrated for audio. The whole episode was great. The story after “Immersion”, called “Influx Capacitor” by Eric Juneau is hysterical.
My super short story “Immersion” is scheduled to be on the Friday episode of the Cast of Wonders podcast. They are a YA fiction podcast. I’ve been listening to it for a couple months, and I encourage you to also head over to hear some of the others stories. They play great stuff!
In January, I announced that I was going to try to write a short story a week for the first three months of this year. Probably unsurprisingly, I had some mixed results.
I did not accomplish a story every week. I think I ended up with 5 finished first drafts and at least one or two other stories that puttered out into bleck. What surprised me was that most of my stories ran much longer than I had expected them to. So some of them, I was just working on for more than one week.
My other problem, is that I kept getting ideas for the new novel I wanted to start. I got more and more excited about working on it that I ended up going back to it in the middle of March, so I didn’t go quite the whole twelve week working on just short stories.
Now, however, I’ve gotten to a point where I need to do some significant research before I can move on in the novel. So I think I may try to return to short stories so I don’t stop writing while I do the research.
Problem is, I also need to squeek out some time to edit the short stories so I can decided which of them might be worth sending out. So much to do!
Some good news – an older and very very short story of mine has been accepted for the Cast of Wonders podcast. I don’t have a date yet, but I will post it as soon as I know. But don’t wait for that – I have loved every story I’ve listened to over there so far. Check it out.
My short story, “In the Eye of the Beholder” is in the current edition of “Cover of Darkness“ from Samsdot publishing. It’s the story of a scientist studying alien creatures on their home planet, and discovering that they are not what they first appear.
I’m so looking forward to reading the other stories in the anthology.
I started to write this story for a writing exercise for an online critique group I belonged to at the time, but I couldn’t get it to fit into the 400 word limit the exercise required. Instead of fighting the word count, I decided to skip the assignment that week and write the story the way I wanted it to be. This should be a reminder to me that they best way to increase my odds of getting my work published is to actually finish something and start submitting. Finishing is a weak area for me.
So anyway, go out there (or click over there) and get a copy. Then come tell me what you think of it! I don’t see the ebook up yet, but will post about that when it shows up.
I was playing with the setting here on Blogger a little while ago and found out that I could make stand alone pages in addition to traditional blog posts.
“Cool!” thought I. “I can make a page that links to my published works for folks to go see.”
So I set out to collect some links and set the page up. That was a depressing night, let me tell ya. One of my first publications seems to have removed me, and a bunch of older pieces from their archives all together. My one paid, print publishing credit is now out of print. Then there was that local dog newspaper, that doesn’t have anything online to send anyone to. All I was left with was my book reviews from an independent arts and culture paper that I wrote over 4 years ago, and just learned has closed down too. Who knows how much longer that archive will be around.
So even though I’m still writing, I haven’t published anything in so long, stuff is starting to disappear. They say to be careful because stuff on the internet lasts forever. But it turns out, it sometimes only lasts as long as they want to pay for hosting.
It was a wake up call. I need to get submitting again! So I did. So far, no sales, but some very nice and encouraging rejections. And, naturally, some not so encouraging rejections. That piece I mentioned awhile back that I was very hopeful for was rejected. I almost gave up on it. I felt like I’d sent it everywhere. Thank goodness for the Duotrope submission tracker. It gave me another reality check – I’d only sent it out four times. So out again it went. And I just sent out two other stories tonight. Hopefully, I’ll get to make that ‘Publishing Credits’ page up later sometime this year after all.
Even better. I finished a new story. And – if you can believe this- it’s more than 300 words long. I’m a big non-finisher, so I’m proud of this little achievement. So after a little polish, it’ll be sent out into the big world of slush piles too. Wish me luck! (Is luck okay for writers? I’m pretty sure I don’t need to break anything. Humm. . . )