The 2013 Writerly Recap

Yup, it’s that navel gazingish time of year again when New Year’s provides me with as good an excuse as any to to take stock of my writerly shenanigans.

So, 2013. It’s the year that came riding in on a wave of awesome, yet now looks poised to trickle out with a whole lot of meh. The first half of the year, I was feeling good about my writing (but not in an unhealthy and complacent I-don’t-need-to-improve kind of way), selling stories consistently at the pro level, and had gotten acceptances from a couple publications I previously hadn’t been able to crack. But that all came to abrupt end in September, when a months-long dry spell in both the writing and selling of things began, which in turn makes me feel like I’m back at square one. Again. So, um, happy new year?

Anyway, the awesome was awesome while it lasted, so with fond remembrance of its awesomeness, here’s 2013 in a nutshell:

Published in 2013

Sold in 2013

Four of the stories above, plus these two forthcoming in 2014:

Writerly Progress

Sadly, I’ve barely written a thing fiction-wise since September. Or blog-wise either, as you can probably tell by the silence and cobwebs here. Stupid non-writing life getting in the way. But before that, fiction was accomplished. I finished major revisions on an older short story and wrote six new stories. One of those stories went straight into the trunk, sure, but two of them sold pretty darn quickly, so I call it even. The rest, though, are traipsing around slush piles with heads bowed in shame as they collect more rejections.

I also managed to return to revisions on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel this year. I didn’t get very far into them before my fall semester began and school work took precedence, but my brain has clearly still been plugging away at the novel even when the rest of me hasn’t. I recently had a big old revelation about one of my protagonists that is going to seriously change several things in the story. In a good way, I think. I hope. Mostly I’m just grateful that my brain had said revelation before I got to rewriting the parts of the novel it affects.

So, what awaits me in 2014? For starters, I intend to make some more headway in the novel revisions before my spring semester starts in late January. And then, LAST SEMESTER EVER, PEOPLE! By May, I’ll have my master’s degree and should finally have time to be a writer again. And I’ll be able to read for fun again instead of spending all my time on textbooks and dry academic articles. Damn, I miss fiction.

Flash! Ah-ah!

Three quick flash-related things:

Flash thing the first: My flash story “The Perfect Coordinates to Raise a Child” is now up at Daily Science Fiction. You know, for you heathens who missed it in your inbox two weeks ago because you don’t subscribe.

Flash thing the second: I’m on deck at the Star-Dusted Sirens blog this week babbling about Flashing vs. Showing Us Your Shorts. Your short stories, that is.

Flash thing the third:

You’re welcome. #SFWApro

Flashing, Star-Dusted Sirens, and the Return of the Novel Revisions

Wow, over a month since my last post. I’ve been more swamped with real life than I thought! While I could definitely use a ton more spare hours in my day, shiny writing-related things have still been afoot amid the craziness:

Shiny #1: Flashing! My story “The Swan Maiden” is now out in the current issue of Flash Fiction Online—the first issue put out under the leadership of FFO’s shiny new publisher, Anna Yeatts.

Shiny #2: More flashing! If you’re a Daily Science Fiction subscriber, my flash story “The Perfect Coordinates to Raise a Child” will be showing up in your inbox tomorrow (October 8). And if you’re not a Daily Science Fiction subscriber, the story will be available on their website a week later. Or you could, you know, subscribe.  Because it’s free. And awesome.

Shiny #3: I haz writing group, let me show you it. A few months ago, some other fine folks and I started The Star-Dusted Sirens, and now we have a blog where we shall babble about shiny writing-related things! We’re also on Twitter @StarDustSirens. Please check us out if you have a chance, if only to see the pretty logo that Katana Leigh created for us. Or you can take part in fellow Siren Naima Johnson’s contest to rewrite the first paragraph of Twilight.

Shiny #4: And last but not least, I’ve finally gotten back to revisions on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel! They’re very slow going thanks to that pesky school thing I’ve got going on, but I’ll take whatever forward progress I can manage at this point.
#SFWApro

Don’t leave me, summer!

One more week of freedom before my fall semester starts. My brain is finally emerging from its state of denial over that fact. But, to look on the shiny side of the crazy busyness that fall will bring, this will be my final year of grad school. Two more semesters and I’m done, baby!

This summer was strong with the shiny side of the Force, so I’m going to miss it. Two stories that I had lots of fun writing (“The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen” and “Memories of Mirrored Worlds”) were published. There was traveling awesomeness—France in July, several jaunts to the shore in August. When not gallivanting about on vacation, I took full advantage of my summer break from school and choir rehearsals to tackle lots of personal projects I had put off during the school year.

And there was writing time. Lots and lots of glorious writing time.

I went into this summer with a writing goal: there were several short stories I wanted to get revised and sent out, and once I did that, I could finally go back to the long-neglected novel revisions I’ve kept threatening to one day resume. It is with a proud wielding of the productivity stick that I declare that goal met. The short stories in question have all been prettied up and submitted, and last week, I blew the dust off the novel revisions.

And to add to the summer shininess, I can announce another sale! NewMyths.com (who previously published my story “The Cycle of the Sun”) has accepted “The Perfect Instrument” for their March 2014 issue. “The Perfect Instrument” had originally sold to an anthology, but the project fell through before publication, so I’m happy the story has managed to find a new home.

Blog all the things!

Lately life seems to be happening faster than I can blog about it, which is in many ways a good thing. It’s also probably what Twitter was created for, but unfortunately, Twitter and I don’t quite get each other. We’re like co-workers who can get along perfectly well in the workplace, but in social situations we just sort of stare awkwardly at each other and make lame comments about the weather.

Anyway, the things! I must blog them!

Thing #1) If you haven’t read “The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies because you prefer to have someone else read your fiction for you, you’re in luck! The story is now available as a shiny podcast, where it receives a wonderful narration by Tina Connolly. So if you’re in the mood for a lighthearted tale about death, go forth and listen!

Thing #2) Daily Science Fiction has launched a Kickstarter campaign.  Among the rewards being offered are short story critiques by DSF authors like myself and many other awesome people. So if you’re a writer, you have a chance to both support an awesome publication and get feedback from one of the authors they’ve published. If you’re not a writer, there are other rewards available, so check it out! Because DSF? Totally worth it, if you ask me.

Thing #3) If you’re reading this post on my website and not Livejournal (and really, are there more than like five of us even left on LJ at this point?), you may have noticed that things look a bit different. I didn’t plan to spend my entire weekend redesigning my website, but I did. Was I procrastinating? Yes. Should I have been writing instead? Yes. Do I regret it? No, because the whole process inadvertently led to me to The Copenhagen Chansonnier, a medieval music manuscript with awesomely whimsical drawings of things like the lady conversing with a snail dude in my website header. You’re welcome.

Thing #4) Somewhere in all of the craziness that is my schedule, fiction has been accomplished! I’ve finally gotten around to revising some flash pieces that I wrote back in January, right before my spring semester from hell devoured all of my writing time. One of those flash pieces has already sold, one is making the submission rounds, one needs just a bit more tweaking before I send it out, and the fourth one is no longer a flash story—it got expanded into a 3,400-word horror story and has just started wandering around Submission Land looking for work. And it has creepy puppets. With nasty defecation habits. Once again, you’re welcome.

#SFWApro

France, shiny writing news, and the impending arrival of the cymbal-clapping demon monkeys

Life has been so amazingly nice to me lately that I’m expecting the other shoe to drop at any moment, complete with an army of cymbal-clapping demon monkeys. I’m a pessimist like that. But in the meantime, I shall revel in the shiny!

I just got back from a rather lovely trip to France with my husband’s family. Much awesomeness was experienced. As an opera nerd, getting to see the Palais Garnier was the highlight for me during the few days we spent in Paris. After Paris, we took a barge cruise through Burgundy, which rocked on every level—the food, the wine, the weather, all the places visited, the amazing crew, and the chance to go bicycling along the canal route. But now, alas, I am re-adjusting to real life, where lunch sadly does not include wine and a ridiculous number of cheeses.

There has also been continuing writing-related shininess, most of it occurring while I was off learning just how rusty my French has gotten:

* My story “Memories of Mirrored Worlds” is now available online at Daily Science Fiction;

* Last week I got another acceptance from Daily Science Fiction for a flash piece called “The Perfect Coordinates to Raise a Child”;

* And finally, “The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen” from issue 124 of Beneath Ceaseless Skies received some nice comments in reviews at Locus Online and Tangent Online. BCS will also be offering the story as a podcast sometime in the near future, which I’m quite looking forward to hearing.

One more burst of shiny!

Ok, so one more shiny announcement before I disappear for fabulous vacationy adventures:

If you’re a Daily Science Fiction subscriber, my story “Memories of Mirrored Worlds” will be showing up in your inbox this Friday, July 5. If you’re not a Daily Science Fiction subscriber, why the heck not? It’s free, people! But seriously, if you’re not a subscriber, the story will be available on their website a week later.

#SFWApro