Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's NaNoWriMo Time Again

. . . and again, I'm participating despite the feeling that I'm setting myself up for undue stress and disappointment.

 I'm karabu at the NaNo website. Send a friend request if you're NaNo-ing too.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Too much information?

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 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.

Friday, May 23, 2014

I Won Books!

Recently Jim Hines, an author I like and follow on various social media, mentioned a giveaway for some of his books that I have not yet read. I clicked through to a site for S.J. Abraham (geeky writing - sounded right up my alley) and found myself completing several of the tasks for entries before I realized I was wasting my writing time. I wasn't going to win anyway.Although he had good short stories on his site, so I put it into my blog feed for future reference.

I was happily surprised to get a notice the next day that I had won. I was even happier when the books arrived a few days ago. I have actually won a couple of other online giveaways from an author and a crafter, and not received the promised prize. Hint - that didn't help convert me into a fan.

So, this is just a public thank you to Mr. Abraham. I recommend both his and Jim Hines stories if anyone is looking for a fun read.

On another note to follow up on my last post - my story was accepted to the anthology, but the whole project folded shortly thereafter. So I sent it back out to avoid pouting about it. These things happen. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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.