Wednesday, February 01, 2006

At Least I'm Submitting

Writing that is. I've been writing for years, but had never submitted anything for publication anywhere until last year. Last year I sent one short story to Glimmertrain, which received a very nice rejection letter. It was the only thing I submitted, though I actually found the letter encouraging rather than discouraging. I think I still had a hard time believing that I could write anything that other people might want to read. Nice comments from friends and family are all very well, but they aren't the people who will send you checks.

Being on Damn Interesting! seems to have given me the boost I needed, though. They may not be paying me, but people are reading, and they seem to be liking what I write - even though non-fiction essays aren't my best medium.

And that may be what it took to kick me into action. Because it will be at least another six to eight months before I have a novel I can start sending off, if I'm going to publish anything in the meanwhile, it's going to have to be in my less preferred modes. But if my non-fiction, which I never even considered as a possible publishable commodity is being well received, then surely my short fiction will be passable somewhere? And (God knows) possibly even my occassional forays into poetry - though a poet I am definitely not?

So, I have another short story out with Glimmertrain (they write such nice rejection letters), and the original one simultaneously submitted to The Missouri Review and Ploughshares. Later this week I'm planning on revamping a somewhat tongue-in-cheek poem for submission to Cicada. I'm a little nervous about the simultaneous submission, but MR responds in 30 days, while P takes five months, and both allow for simultaneous submissions, so I'm thinking it's relatively safe.

After that finding things to submit gets a little trickier. I have about three poems, none of them horrible, but not any great shakes either, and four short stories, three ultra-shorts (< 200), and one longer one still in draft. I'm going to have to get cranking to keep up with my self-imposed goal of one submission a week.

On the novel front, I have made some progress in planning the revamp of Ghost Dancer (all right, I'll start actually using my working titles. Initials were just too coy.) A friend made a brilliant suggestion for a secondary plot, which if worked right should solve many of my character continuity problems. (Thanks, Beth!). The Flayed Queen is mostly on the back burner right now, though I really need to hump my way through the first draft. The Oddities (my collaboration with a friend - more hers than mine at this point), really needs some more attention from me. I have two scenes in mid-write right now, and I'm trying to poke my brain to come up with some more.

Mostly I need to get out of crisis mode, and back into regular daily writing. Daily fire-fighting is not conducive to good output.

But tomorrow is S's birthday, and the kidlets still need to get him presents, and we're suddenly having a school crisis ('nother post aborning there), so there are a couple of crises yet to deal with before I can settle.

I just wish I could be certain that by the time I deal with a and b, c, d, and e won't have arisen. Given my usual life, it's almost a guarantee that they will.

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