Sunday, October 18, 2015

Who are you people and why are you in my house?

Okay, we've slid past October's halfway point. Where am I? Where are you?

On my last post, I was only five days in; by now, I've submitted short stories 18 times (note I did not say "I've submitted 18 short stories"; more on that in a moment) and send out two queries for THE LAST SONG. I finally looked at my submission spreadsheet, and realized I probably wasn't going to hear back from any of the rest of the agents I'd queried (I've got a full out still....fingers still crossed. But not enough to, y'know, make them go to sleep and fall off. Not at this point. I need those fingers. They're my typin' fingers). So I sent out two, both to agents who are fairly active on Twitter, and who seem to be fairly actively agenting (one of the agents I queried is, in fact, no longer agenting as of this fall). One of them is probably a long shot, as she's (if I remember right) Ursula LeGuin's agent. Reach for the stars, right? The other, he and I have talked about books on Twitter, and I considered putting that in my query as "personalization" and then told myself I was a nerd and left it out. Though I have finally remembered to have my publication credits in my query letter.

But I've sent stories out 18 times. Some of these stories were already rejected this month, and I dusted 'em off and sent them out to the next market. Some stories, I'm running out of places to send. Other stories, I have yet to finish or rewrite into better stories. I did make a folder of "things I want to finish" that were writing prompts in my library group. There were 18 of those; I finished one so far, and sent it out, of course. Arguably, it may need more editing. Arguably, it may not. My first and only published-for-money story was a flash piece I barely edited (shh, don't tell anybody). Sometimes they just work.

Right now, I'm waiting to hear back from Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The Cincinnati Review, Ellery Queen, Lamplight,, Fantasy Scroll Mag, the Writers of the Future contest, Betwixt, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine show. I have already had rejections (and this is for the whole month) from Nightmare magazine (twice! You can sub a story at a time, at least week in between rejections), Uncanny, Shimmer, and Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. Rejection is hard. It gets somewhat easier, or maybe just stings less, but it's still hard. It's still disappointing. But I keep going, especially since I've succeeded twice now.

And in the midst of this, of course there is also NaNoWriMo prep. My novel is "created" on the site, which amounts to I picked the genre (Science Fiction) and picked a title (which is currently Untitled Space Novel 2015.) I've been reading a lot of space stuff.  I've got a lot of crunchy somewhat sciency ideas hashed out for how the world "works" (and my intent is for it to be near future, hopefully this is somewhat plausible space sci fi). But characters? Plot? Only kind of. I've got a notion for an opening, a notion for a thing to go wrong that needs fixing. But I need characters, bad guys, a goal. Y'know, the little things.

And I just saw this on Twitter In many ways, it seems jusssst right:


  1. Good for you - you are totally in the swing of it! I was once told that every rejection is one closer to that acceptance, so the best thing to do is get them all out the way so you're on the road to acceptance. Good luck!

    1. Thanks so much! That's kind of how I look at it....I can't get an acceptance if I don't play the game, as it were, and when you play the game rejections come with it.