Happy past and impending holidays! This year has been….Alright it’s only December 1, so I don’t have to write a year-end post yet, right? Good. This won’t be that.
This past month has been a challenge. I struggled with feels after rejections. I fought through more rounds of preschool grunge. I got just enough good news and found time with friends to keep me sane. I may not be on-track to sweep my goals for the year, but HOLY HECK I’ve accomplished a lot.
Two of the things I’ve accomplished include two lovely stories out in the real world. If you’re looking for works to nominate for any of the various writing awards, I’d be honored–of course–to have your consideration. “The Moon, the Sun, and the Truth” ran in Shimmer‘s July/August Issue 38. “Phalium arium ssp anams” aired as Cast of Wonders‘s episode 256, also in July. This is also my second year of eligibility for the Campbell Award.
With no further ado, here’s how this month stacked up for words.
- Words Written: 10,276 (YTD: 153,199 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
- Works Complete: 0 (YTD: 8 | 2017 Goal: 10)
- Submissions to Paying Markets: 3 (YTD: 79)
- Books Read: 2 (YTD: 26| 2017 Goal: 30)
- Short Story Rejections: 2 (1 personal).
- Two of my stories are officially in editors’ hold piles. Yay!
- Querying agents is hard. There will eventually be a whole post about this.
- I finished Part 1 of my new novel. I like it so far (that’s not always a given).
- I wrote 15 reviews for Publishers Weekly this year and I’m really proud of them.
- I’m on programming for both Arisia and Boskone! More on that soon!
WELL. After almost two years of yammering about my writing goals, I actually forgot to write up my progress against my goals for the year until it was a few days into October. Things have been understandably crazy: my kid started part-time daycare in September; we’ve survived a few rounds of requisite “grunge” and “spikey death” that comes with exposure to bipedal germ factories and fall weather; and I’ve been querying agents with The Botanizer.
Not posting last month’s round-up is a great example of the many, many little things that have gone, are going, and will go wrong in my life. The accumulation of these little failures eats away at me. Add forgetting something like this–that I actually enjoy–to the trickle of rejections for my novel and for my short fiction, to the uphill battle of my immune system, to the ridiculous lack of sleep I’m getting thanks to my FOMO kid, and I start feeling really lost. No wonder my word count has been so low, two months running. I can’t just pass it off to “drafting is hard after revising for so long!” I’ve been in a gross, confusing, frustrating place with myself for two months running. And it’s hard to admit that all of those things piles up and affects my work, but really it does.
But here’s the thing I see as I look back. I kept at it. I sat my butt in the chair and I tried. No, I didn’t draft an entire novel in two months. No I never got to the end of Part 1 much less the rest of it. But I am working. And I like what I’m working on. And I’ve kept my short fiction on submission and I’ve kept at the querying. This is what it takes to be a writer and a mom and a wife and a sane person of my own making.
There’s a lot to celebrate after two months in a mire of life’s making. I can’t say I’m really out of it yet, but I’m going to take my wins anyway.
While I’m not doing #NaNoWriMo–I started this new novel back in September so that technically DQs me–I am definitely going to take part in the cheering and will take heart in all of the encouragement and excitement flowing as part of it. I have numbers in mind, goals I’d like to hit, but what I’ll really be glad of is getting to December and knowing I did my best with the hand I got dealt.
For anyone interested here’s where I stand on my goals for the year.
- Words Written: YTD: 143,419 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+
- Works Complete: YTD: 8 | 2017 Goal: 10
- Short Fiction Submissions to Paying Markets: YTD: 72 | Lifetime: 94
- I’ll probably hit my 100th submission this year; my 100th rejection will probably come through in the new year.
- Note that this does not count querying stats, which I’ll only share after that process has wrapped, whatever the result.
- Books Read: YTD: 24 | 2017 Goal: 30
Hey, guess what. That book I’ve been writing for almost three years? Yeah that one? Yeah I finished it. (Somewhere in the peanut gallery, someone shouts, “Again?!” To which I reply: “ITSTHEFOURTHDRAFTTHISISWRITINGHUSH.”)
It has been a highly consistent month of writing–I was either revising or writing all but four days this month–and it shows. The novel revision is done. The novella revision is so close. I got a new story out this month. And though the wins never come quite often enough to beat the brain weasels back entirely, I’ve been reminded again and again that friends and family help beat back the rest. The successes this month, the ending on a high note: that’s because I put the work in and because when it didn’t make enough of a difference I had good people there to remind me that I put the work in. So if you were one of those people, thank you.
- Words Written: 4,281 (YTD: 116,508 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+) Concerned that this bullet has been low for months? Yeah, me too, but that’s only because I’ve been revising and bumbling about with flash. Just wait till I start the next novel.
- Works Complete: 1 (YTD: 8 | 2017 Goal: 10)
- Submissions to Paying Markets: 6 (YTD: 58)
- Books Read: 3 (YTD: 16 | 2017 Goal: 30)
- My story “The Moon, the Sun, and the Truth” over at Shimmer has gotten some great reviews (links on my bibliography page!)
- 7 rejections this month, with 2 gut-wrenching, celebrate-the-honorable-loss personals
- This is big so I need to say it again: I FINISHED REVISING THE BOTANZIER!
- I started revising my friendly-contest-among-pros-winning novella and it’s…really guys, it’s good. I can’t wait to share it.
- Still fundraising read a bit more here.
- Days I’ve written/revised this month: 27/31 (Does another victory lap)
- Days written since the inauguration: 150/222
- Longest streak: 31 days (SO CLOSE)
So what’s on the docket for next month? Botanizer-related stuff that I’ll share in one big post (or maybe a series) at some point; sending out the novella to a few sensitivity and beta readers; and starting the next big project. I’ll keep you posted!
I’ve announced many places, but wanted to make sure I’d updated my WordPress followers too: you can now read “The Moon, the Sun, and the Truth” on Shimmer‘s website for free!
I’m very lucky to have had some nice feedback from reviewers and am always open to conversations about my work here or on Facebook or on Twitter.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Where did this month go?! I spend one weekend away and it all disappears out from underneath me.
I feel like I spent all month working on two chapters because, really, that’s what happened. But then I look a everything else I accomplished (*cough* skip to days written *cough*) and I feel a bit better.
- Words Written: 4,417 (YTD: 112,227 | 2017 Goal: 200,000+)
- Works Complete: 1 (YTD: 7 | 2017 Goal: 10)
- Submissions to Paying Markets: 10 (YTD: 52)
- Books Read: 1 (YTD: 13 | 2017 Goal: 30)
- Two of my stories published this month: one in Shimmer and one on Cast of Wonders.
- I have not submitted my new thing. I think it’s complete, but we’ll see; I want to sit on it some more. I started two other short stories but they’re definitely not ready to be submitted!
- 9 rejections this month, all forms.
- I applied for two grants!
- Botanizer is more than half-revised. I’m working through the last 50k (or so). I think I’m going to get to the end of this and not know what to do with myself.
- So that weekend away: I spent it running base camp for an amazing fundraising hike that I’ve participated in for 9 years now. You can read a bit more here.
- Days I’ve written/revised this month: 27/31 (WOOT! I did my job this month and had my butt in my chair!)
- Days written since the inauguration: 123/191
- Longest streak: 31 days (SO CLOSE)
How lucky am I that I get to write up two of these posts so close together?!
My flash story, “Phalium arium ssp. anams,” went live on Cast of Wonders over the weekend. I love this production and I am so proud to be an officially podcasted writer thanks to the Escape Artists family.
Of course, it’s also brilliant that Cast of Wonders snagged Leigh Wallace‘s artwork for the episode cover. You’ll hear more of it if you listen and can read more about the back-story there on my sale post.
I hope you’ll consider giving this a listen!
Isn’t this beautiful? Weird, wonderful, strange, and awesome? Well it’s the cover for Shimmer Number 38, and my story–“The Moon, the Sun, and the Truth”–is one of four stories in its digital pages.
I am really proud of this particular story for many reasons. It gets at the heart of some of my political anxieties. It was one of the first flash pieces I’ve attempted–and then got longer upon revision. It appears in a magazine that I absolutely love and respect. And it’s just…well fun for me in many ways.
You can read the story now, today, this very minute by purchasing the issue or a subscription. If you do this, you’ll also get to read a short interview by each of the authors in the issue. Shimmer does release its stories online over the course of two months so you can read my story in August if you prefer to go that route. The choice is yours.
I’d also like to shout-out to TOC-mate Andrea Corbin, a fellow member of the Boston Speculative Writing Group (BSpec!) and an all around awesome person. I’m honored to share a cover with your name and our fellow 38ers 🙂
I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!