Another good month. My SF/erotica story sold to the anthology Sex in the System, edited by Cecilia Tan and published by Thunder's Mouth Press. Tentative publication date is Spring 2006. I'm honored to appear in the same book as Joe Haldeman, Gavin Grant, Steve Berman, and many other fine writers.
Also, the galleys for my Asimov's story arrived on my birthday, together with the February issue, wherein I discovered that Sheila mentioned my upcoming story in her editorial about alternate history and Asimov's. (insert happy writer dance)
And now I better get back to writing...
A good month overall. Writing continues, however slowly. A couple of good reviews appeared for Fictitious Force's premier issue, which includes my story Watercolors in the Rain. The Nine Muses anthology, with my story The Colors of Tomorrow, is now available from Booksense and Wheatland Press. And both the contract and a shiny check arrived from Asimov's. If all goes well, A Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange should appear in the June 2006 issue.
Writing. Querying. Submitting. Etc.
There are times when a writer fears they are struggling in vain. That their best work isn't good enough, or even if it's good, it's not saleable.
A couple months ago, I deleted a story. It was a good story, but very long, and I had run through all the markets that accepted novellas. Friends gave me excellent feedback, and I revised the story a couple times, making it shorter and sharper with each pass, but after more rejections, I finally decided it just wasn't going to see print. This grieved me more than I can express.
Days later, I found a nearly-current version on another computer. I still loved the story, but only one editor had expressed more than lukewarm interest. She loved it, too, but she said it was far too long for the magazine.
Cursing myself for a fool, I printed the story out and read it through. Found several places where I could cut and compress. Found more places where a few words or phrases could go. Slowly, the novella became a novelette, and with some nervousness, I asked the editor if she would consider a new, shorter version. She said yes, and after a couple more exchanges, she sent me an acceptance email.
A Flight of Numbers Fantastique Strange will appear sometime next year, in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
There's a lesson here. One I'm holding fast to while I query agents and editors for my first novel, which I also love dearly.
Whew. A difficult month just past. I have parted ways with my agent, and am now searching for another. Though it was a scary move, I truly believe I made the right decision. Then there was the SF/erotica story. Story. Fought. Every. Word. However, I have a complete draft, and readers report that it really does work. After I make another pass to fix and tweak some problems, off it goes to its intended market. Meanwhile, I am fiendishly writing notes for the next installment of THE EDGE OF THE EMPIRE.
The first three chapters for THE EDGE OF THE EMPIRE have gone out to readers. After writing some plot notes for the next section, I'm taking a short break to write an SF/erotica story, but then it's back to pirates and romance...
On the way to Hawaii, I was ambushed by a new novel idea involving swashbuckling, romance, and pirates without shirts. It's called THE EDGE OF THE EMPIRE, and it takes place in the same world as PASSION PLAY, about five hundred years earlier, but this one will stand alone.
So far, I have a general plot outline and chapter one...
Writing, revising, and waiting. However I shall take time in July to attend Readercon. Will I see you there?
Busy, busy month, and all in good ways. I sold my new short story "The Colors of Tomorrow" to the anthology The Nine Muses, edited by Deborah Layne and Forrest Aguirre. The editor from Fictitious Force tells me that my story "Watercolors in the Rain" will appear in the magazine's first issue. And the workshop proved both exhausting and exhilarating. I came back with four new stories, plus a lot of new skills and renewed confidence in my writing.
I sold a poem! And a short story! And wrote a new short story!
The workshop approaches rapidly, so in between writing and critiquing and work and house renovations, I'm also reading assigned books and gathering items needed for the week.
One set of revisions done. Feedback simmering on the backburner while I write some short stories. Preparations underway for the workshop I will be attending in May.
In much sadder news, our old cat Zoe died suddenly a few weeks ago. We got her as a kitten, nearly fourteen years ago. It's hard to believe that she's really gone.
Revising. Noodling. Marking up drafts. More noodling. Pondering words and motivations. Short sprints of writing. All part of making serpentine progress toward my goals with this novel. I want to make it right.
Last year, my entry for January read "And so a new year begins. I'm torn between hopeful and anxious, wondering what lies in the coming months."
Last year, my aunt died. So did a dear friend. Last year, I earned my black belt and made a few cherished milestones in writing.
This year is a new year, but my feelings are like echoes of the old year. What lies ahead? Good things, I hope.