Friday, October 31, 2014

And now we wait

All right, the last day. The last story (which is also the most recently finished one) is making its way through the Internet tubes to

And now we wait.

And tomorrow, we begin NaNoWriMoing, which hopefully distracts me from the 24 stories still on submission (2 of which from before the "game" started). 24 things on submission; that's more than I've ever had out in my life.  So I need to not stare at little charts on the Submission Grinder, hoping one of those numbers is near mine. And fearing one of those numbers is near mine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Almost Done....

Only a few days left in October Madness (October Insanity? October "for the love of God, somebody publish my stories"?) I've gotten two rejections in the last two weeks, one on teh 23 and one on the 28. Those stories have gone back to the end of the queue.

I've submitted a story to The Book Smugglers, because they're doing short stories now and holy shit was the first one amazing. Go read it now, it's called "Hunting Monsters" and is by S. L. Huang.

I've sent stories to Fantasy Scroll Magazine, The Stoneslide Corrective (where my friend Libby has some stories published, and just recently won a contest), Lakeside Circus, Daily Science Fiction, and The Virginia Quarterly Review.

I've edited, finished, and written from scratch a number of stories this month (two of my submissions were 100 word flash for Janet Reid contests). I'll have a more full report next week, after it's all over and after NaNoWriMo has begun. I feel like I've done quite a nice job keeping myself from overthinking my NaNoWriMo project (though man, Space keeps intruding. I need to write a space novel soon. But not this month. I don't think. Maybe it'll ambush me anyway.)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Digital Vatican

You may or may not be aware, the Vatican is digitizing its collections.

Think about this a moment.

There are things in the Vatican collections which are entirely unique. Hundreds of years old. Fascinating and beautiful and even, dare I say, education and/or informational. And they're digitizing it. I cannot begin to describe my joy. 4000 manuscripts. It's too much to ever get to, I'm sure, but it's there and I'm happy. It's one of those things I think about sometimes; the Vatican contains so much history, which hardly anybody is able to scratch the surface of. Access is limited (though I confess I don't know the full details of this. I'm sure scholars are permitted to do research there. I'm sure showing up at the Vatican and saying "let me in, I'm Catholic!" though true, would not just let me in.)

The Oxford library (the Bodlein Library specifically) has also made some of its super old manuscripts available online, for free.

Another fantastically amazing religious book which is available to view online now is the Gigas Codex, which translates to "Giant Book", but is also referred to colloquially as the Devil's Bible. It's the "real" Bible, as it were, in Latin [of varying dialects], but also contains a big huge picture of the devil, and then other non-Christian-Bible style documents. Oh yeah, and legend has it that it was written by a monk who traded his soul to the Devil so the book would be finished in one night, like some kind of fucked up Christmas Carol. National Geographic did a neat documentary on it, and it really is a huge book. Like, coffee table sized.

Pope Francis actually puts quite a lot of emphasis on the Devil, mentioning him in speeches fairly frequently. I confess I haven't really paid attention to prior popes' speeches, so I'm not familiar with all of the content. It could be that secular media are just blown away that we Catholics still believe in such things, I don't know. This year in May was the 9th annual Exorcism and Prayer for Liberation conference in Rome, and Pope Francis has only been pope since 2013, so clearly the Devil has still been in mind.

Though I don't think you need me to tell you I think Pope Francis is a rock star. Calling out a Bishop for spending millions on his official residence? Not picking up the red leather shoes the former Pope Benedict had made for him? Auctioning his own Harley (and leather jacket) for charity?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Don't be that creeper

Not too long ago, I mentioned in a post about submissions and rejections that a writer is never to engage. Don't reply to the rejection. Don't reply to your reviews (should you be lucky enough to have reviews). Don't do it.

No idea what this is from. I lazy and found it here in an image search

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lazy Link Roundup™ October 20 2014

So I haven't had any rejections in a few days. It's kind of weird. I've submitted to Spacesuits and Sixguns, Betwix, Tin House, and Asimov's Science Fiction since last I reported. A couple of days I've subbed two in one day, but overall I have 26 submissions planned just now, even if they don't match properly to the days. This week's Chuck Wending flash prompt is only 500 words instead of 1000, so I may dash that out to bring the current total to 27. Another couple stories are almost done, but I know better than to try too hard with shorts.

In novel prep news, a couple of links I've perused lately. Not all of these are novel prep, but some are. It's almost always justifiable.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Obligatory NaNoWriMo 2014 post

As you well know, NaNoWriMo approacheth. I think this year's theme, Your Boundless Novel, is really pretty neat. They also are having a pre-sale of the winner shirt, and I really like that too. Though I'm confident in reaching 50k, I'll stick with my tradition and order the shirt when I've won.

I've tentatively titled my project The Twelve Apostles. I'm expanding on a short story I wrote in college; it was so nice of me to leave all this expandable material laying around, wouldn't you say? I've begun to think I should do some kind of an outline this week, of the high points at least. It's the novel I thought about writing last year and did not. I know how it begins, and I'm pretty sure I know how it ends, which is a leg up on some of the things I've written (or half written, as the case may be).

It's interesting, coming to NaNoWriMo after a month of submissions. Especially since I re-read, edited, and wrote so much material in October as well (no, I didn't keep track of word count). I have a distinct sense of what my particular writing's flavor is, or what I perceive it to be. There are themes across my short stories I didn't necessarily decide, consciously, to include. There's a certain act structure I frequently follow. I also know how to delete giant swathes from an MS, which is frequently necessary. First drafts are first drafts, and as I've taken to saying, National Novel Writing Month sounds better than National First Draft Writing Month. If you reach 50k, that's awesome. If you write anything at all, that's awesome. But don't pretend it's ready for professional consumption, because unless you're Marilynne Robinson (who reportedly does not edit a whole lot, but probably does not also speed draft), you've got a long road ahead of you. Getting it on the page is the first monumental step when you're making a novel happen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rewriting (my) old stories

Doing this October Madness thing (which apparently is a sports term? Stupid college sports taking terms. Whatever) I've had to delve into my backlog of existing material and read it over to see what was worth sending out. What adjustments had to be made, what could be added, what could be cut. I haven't yet finished any of my tail-end stories, or the ones which were just a sentence and a title, but I did some serious work on stories I wrote in college when I was very full of myself.