Saturday, June 27, 2009

Submissions

According to his bio, Philip K. Dick once had seven short stories published in one month, June 1953. I managed to submit five stories this month. Of course, if Dick got seven published, one has to wonder what his rate of submission was. Back then, he obviously didn't have Duotrope to track his submissions; he typed everything, probably with carbon, and put it in the mail by hand. My acceptance ratio so far is 50%, which is higher than average. If his rate was as good as mine (granted, it was probably better), Dick could have been submitting 14 stories a month in order to get seven published, therefore, possibly, writing two a day. When did he revise? Did he have a crit partner?

Jesus.

There was a thread the other day on Absolute Writers Water Cooler where one author was asking others what their yearly goal was for submitting short fiction. Some people tried for six a year. It's sad, but I think that is what is going to be the dividing line between a writer who can call herself a writer, and one who just write as a hobby. You can't live on six stories a year. Some claimed to be working on novels; that's cool, but still... The payoff on a novel might be better in the long run, but short fiction will keep you active and engaged a lot more, not just in writing, but in the industry. Everything changes so fast these days, you've got to constantly monitor and submit and be be involved, get your name out there. If I ever decide to write a novel (which I am more and more shying away from) at least I'll have had X number of short stories published first. I'll have gotten my feet wet, and I'll have something of a following. That's what's important, after all.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Editing

As mentioned last week, my story "To Wade Alone" came in second place in the On the Premises "First" contest. Thursday of this week, I got the edits from the editor, Tarl Roger Kudrick. I'm not sure if he is the one who actually did the edits or not. They were spot on, though. As a writer who would like to someday do this as a living, I have adopted the philosophy that I will pretty much do whatever the editors ask of me, simply because, in a sesnse, they've bought the story, and I see no reason not to customize it for their market. They are going to know what their readers want, after all. They are the ones that will have to field the fan mail or hate mail when the issue comes out. And of course, for the most part, I want to work with the editors again, so it helps to create a sense of cooperation rather than one of opposition.

On the other hand, since I work as an editor too, I always grit my teeth when I open a file to see what's been done to one of my stories. I worry that The Chicago Manual of Style may not have such a prominent place on their desks as it does on mine. It's always a great relief to find a copy edited as competently, if not more so, as I could have done for someone else.

As for current work, I've had a stroke of inspiration for an upcoming anthology from Rymfire Books. They don't pay very well, but the themes they've come up with are quite inspiring. The first story I'm writing for one of their books is for the heavy metal horror anth. Thanks to Brett Schultz for his guidance in all things Scandinavian and metal.

I don't write much horror, not since "Behind the Yellow Wallpaper," really. And that only released in my copy of The Deconstruction Quarterly, which had a circulation of about five. I see this as quite an entertaining challenge, really, to try something new in a genre so populated with pat plot twists and archetypes.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Contest, On the Premises

I found out this morning that my story "To Wade Alone" placed second place in the "First" contest at On the Premises. After the editing process, it should be available on their Web site.

Also, in regards to the story that will be appearing in the inaugural edition of An Honest Lie, I received the artist agreement today, and things seem to be progressing easily along with that.

I'm not one of those authors to complain about theme issues of journals or sites; on the contrary, I love them. I love taking the theme and coming up with the most bizarre interpretation of it I can imagine, working in all kinds of different elements, but keeping it within the bounds of what I think an editor is going to want. That is a lot of fun.