Still Writing

A couple of months ago, I submitted a story to an anthology. I was shocked to see, according to my Duotrope submission tracker, that it had been almost a year since I had submitted anything. Then I remembered receiving a rather harsher rejection on my last submission than I had received before. What was worse was that I sort of agreed with the points it made, and I felt embarrassed for submitting that story. However, I remember thinking, that I would just do better next time.

Looking back now, I see that I was not as thick-skinned as I thought I was. I let that stop me. I felt none of my stories were ready, or good enough. I have several short stories in finished first draft form that I have never bothered to go back and polish up for submission. It is well past time to get over that and submit again.

On a more uplifting note, I got a note that the story I sent in has been short-listed for the anthology. Not an acceptance, but enough to help me feel braver with continuing to send my work out.

For a long time now I’ve heard, or read about Holly Lisle’s writing classes, and found myself at last looking around her site. The How To Write Flash Fiction The Doesn’t Suck class is free, and even though I feel fairly comfortable with flash fiction, I decided it was a good way to see if I liked her classes before spending money.

I am not finished with all the lessons yet, but so far the class is just plain FUN! I’m writing stories that I know I would not have come up with in my usual method of sitting around thinking up ideas. Some are very silly, some maybe a little too heavy for the length I’m trying to work with. One turned out to have no Sci-Fi or fantasy elements in it at all. I have no idea if they will turn out any good, but writing is a lot more fun than is had been for me lately. I think I will definitely be looking at some of her other classes to help me through some problems I’m having getting my novel moving.


Moving Backwards

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. . . )