Sunday, July 17, 2011

Update Shmupdate

Well, it's been a week since The Absent Willow Review accepted my well-traveled short story "The Machine," and I really haven't come down from the high yet. I've suffered one rejection since (of course) but I've also finished and submitted another story, and we all know that new stories have a cleansing quality about them.

While I have officially backed off of the W1S1 challenge, I'm still using it as something of a yard marker as I go about my writing. And with all of the W1S1-created stories I have out in the slushiverse, I still feel like part of the family. To their immense credit, nobody over at the Absolute Write forums has kicked me out of the W1S1 lounge.


Speaking of W1S1, my April story "My Ray Gun and Me" is still out at a certain market that shall remain nameless, and pretty well beyond the expected response time listed on the website. I've queried to see if they can get a move on, but have yet to hear anything back. Hey, I understand being busy, but queries should get priority.

Blink-Ink has yet to get back to me regarding the Blink-Noir issue. The confirmation email I received in May said they would be reading for the issue in June, but we're more than halfway through July with no answer. Have you or anyone you know submitted to this market, and if so, have you heard back?

In an unusual twist, most of the stories I still have out have, at least according to Duotrope Digest, outlasted other submissions that were sent in more recently than mine. I have been told that this is a good thing, that it could mean I've made it to the "Maybe" pile, but I (obviously) don't know how true that is. It's certainly a change of pace from when I first began submitting work a couple of years ago, as those stories tended to come back well under the expected response time. I think I mentioned before, AWR, the market that just accepted "The Machine," once rejected a story of mine in one day. And it wasn't the first one to do that, so I guess this can't be bad, right?

Okay, anyway, I haven't been able to give a positive update since I joined W1S1, so let me get to it.

Thomas Jefferson (3600 words)

Thomas Jefferson (Machine of Death Vol 2)

Summer of Change (Electric Spec)

The Machine (The Absent Willow Review)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One Hand Giveth...

Well, I spent about a day and a half walking on clouds after the sale of "The Machine" to The Absent Willow Review, but I knew at some point the writing gods would remind me what it's like on terra firma. That brings me to my latest rejection for "Summer of Change," one of my last W1S1 stories.

Last? Let's say latest. But in truth, I don't see W1S1 in my near future. I had planned on giving a few excuses involving my hectic personal life, but I don't need excuses, I need reasons, and the reason I'm taking a break from W1S1 is because I just don't see the same quality in my W1S1 stories that I see in my other writing. I re-read "The Machine last night and found that it's better than anything I've written in months. Not that the idea is necessarily better than, say, "Summer of Change," but it's more polished, has a better narrative flow. There's a voice that I don't have in the other work. It's no coincidence that "The Machine" has been revised (not rewritten; revised, polished) three or four times.

I'm not a quick writer, and I've found that the longer I stay in the challenge, the more difficult it becomes to meet the deadlines. I moved from the monthly to the weekly challenges because I thought it would light a fire under me--which it did--but ultimately the same thing happened, and I spent more time worrying about getting done than getting it done right

Things could change, of course. They usually do. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Short Story News


After a total of 8 rejections and 396 total days in slush piles across the nation, my short story "The Machine" will appear in the September 16 edition of The Absent Willow Review--a market, by the way, which once rejected a story of mine in one day. Yes, that's right: One day.

I can't even begin to describe how thrilled I am by this. My only other full-length short story to be published suffered no rejections before its acceptance at Midwest Literary Magazine, so this is the first time I've had one of my stories get kicked around until it finally found a home. I've always been proud of the story, and it is immensely gratifying to know it has finally found a home. In a way, I'm sad in a way, because this is the end of the line for a story that I really loved, and often tweaked and tinkered with until I felt it was right. Well, the time for that is done, and it's bittersweet. It's really awesome, of course, but in its own way, it's kinda sad!

But I have to admit, I needed this. I haven't posted here lately because I really haven't been finishing stories. I'm still writing, but the W1S1 challenge really hasn't been my focus. Just feeling generally gloomy lately, I guess. But this is just the tonic I needed!

Now back to work with me!