Come One Come All to the Niteblade Fundraiser

If you haven’t heard, Niteblade Magazine is running a pretty spiffy fundraiser all week from April 16 to 20th. There are all sorts of cool prizes you can win, and who doesn’t like prizes, am I right?

Donating will help the magazine offset its operating costs for another year. Why not pitch in?

They published a story of mine last year and are made up of some pretty cool people. Head on over there, read some stories, and if you’re feeling generous, donate. You could bid on or win things like short story critiques, knitted scarves, signed ARCs, books, or even a crocheted two-headed squeaky dog. I’ve got my eye on that last one.

So go on, spread the word, and keep this high quality publication afloat for another year.

Confessions of a Submissions Slacker

Those of you who follow my blog (or read my ravings on Twitter) know it’s been a busy couple of months. Still, I’m not one for making excuses and I have a confession to make:

My submission numbers have been pretty poor, yo.

Last year, I was excellent at resubmitting stories. Rejection comes in? That sucks. Oh well. Off to the next market. But this year, rejected stories have been piling up on my harddrive. They sit there mocking me with their potential, erm, potential. “We are finished,” they cry, “no one is reading us!” they moan. “Nobody loves us,” they say in some other fashion.

And while I’m getting slightly better at resubmitting stories that are rejected, there’s still a whole slew of them sitting and waiting to find new markets. I have a backlog. The worst part is I know these stories aren’t doing me any good just sitting there. Finding time is difficult for researching new markets and organizing submissions. Like most writers I know, I use Duotrope to keep track of everything. Other than that, I use the post-it feature on my Mac’s Dashboard to note which stories are currently on submission and which ones still need to be sent out.

It may not be a perfect system, but it works for me. Well, it works for me when I actually use it. Still, I have 13 stories on submission right now and 7 I need to kick back out the door. It was worse last month, trust me. I also have 4 poems that need resubmitting.

*sigh* It’s easy to get overwhelmed with writer to-do lists. It never ends, really. Even blogging on a regular basis has eluded me.

What’s your strategy for keeping your submissions “out”? What do you do when you amass a backlog?

I’m off to go send out all the stories ever. Or, you know, try to resubmit one story before another rejection comes in. *hides from her inbox*

Busy Writer is Busy

Okay, so I should probably clarify the title of this post. “Busy Writer is Busy Doing Everything Except Writing.”

Sigh. It’s true. I haven’t been too productive the past two months. But I have good reasons, I promise. Well, sort of good reasons. There’s no good reason, is there? Oh well, just lie to me and tell they’re good enough.

My husband made this. He is awesome.

Back in January, my husband and I decided to start a magazine. It’s called Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi and it’s pretty awesome. However, while we were preparing to launch the submission guidelines we got some news: I’m pregnant.

We launched the magazine guidelines anyway, but ever since the middle of January, not a whole lot of creative writing has been getting done. Between doctor’s appointments, trying to figure out how in the hell we’re going to pay for all of this birthing stuff, and reading slush, there hasn’t been a lot of time to put pen to paper.

Some days I’m okay with that, other days I get mad at myself. Such is the nature of the writer’s mind. We all hate ourselves a little bit, don’t we? However, I feel like things are slowly turning around. I have a short story in progress. I need (NEED!!) to rewrite a story for a third time for the Bibliotheca Fantastica anthology. I have another short I need to edit and kick out the door. Plus, I got a rewrite request on a story the other day and I’m working on that, too. See? Progress!

And then maybe, just maybe, I can tackle edits on Dr. Fantastic. Finally. After much procrastination. I need to do it. Feel free to poke me about it, too. I need pushing sometimes.

This is my very loose plan of action, but I thought you all deserved an update. It’s been too long.

A (Belated) Update: 2 Stories Published

I’ve been really slacking on this blog stuff. But with the holidays squarely behind us, I’m slowly getting back on track.

Which leads me to two important announcements: I’ve had two stories published since I last posted. The first is in the December 2011 issue of Fantastique Unfettered. It’s called “The Bachorum Principle,” and was born out of anger. I can honestly say it’s the most disturbing story I’ve ever written.

The second appears in the January 2012 issue of Bards and Sages Quarterly. I wrote “Little Brother” in 2010. I don’t remember what inspired it, other than wanting to write a horror story from a little boy’s point of view.

The new year is off to a decent start with two new short stories drafted and a third in progress. How are you progressing toward your goals so far this year?

A Very W1S1 New Year: A Review

I realize this is late for a year-in-review post, but this is really more for my own amusement and record than anything else. Self-indulgent? Maybe. But here it goes anyway.

As a part of 2011, I joined the W1S1 effort. That is, I strived to write and submit a story each week. Though I started in June, I kept on track for quite a bit. I eventually dropped back to the monthly version of the challenge because I was trying to finish the draft of my novel. Still, I kept up with that version as well.

So, what’s the verdict?

The six months I participated in W1S1 in 2011, I wrote more stories than I ever had before in any previous year. Here’s some stats:

Drafted: 16 brand new stories

Revised: 12 stories

Submitted these 12 stories along with 7 others from 2010

Rejections: 99

Acceptances: 4

Pending: 14 (including 5 subs made in 2012)

I don’t like making new year’s resolutions, but I feel confident this year is going to be a good one for writing. Though it’s somewhat out of my control, I’d like to make several more sales this year, including to pro markets. I’d like to be able to join the SFWA by the end of the year.

Nothing’s guaranteed, but I know I won’t get anywhere unless I write. And write. And write some more. And once I’m done, I need to submit. And submit. And submit some more.

Here’s to a prosperous 2012 everyone!

Short Story Nominated for Pushcart Prize

I received some rather exciting news yesterday. A short story of mine that was published in September, “Maribelle Remembers Ice,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Rhonda Parrish, editor of Niteblade, nominated my story along with five other pieces for consideration for the small press award.

This is pretty awesome. I’m honored that my story was included. Pardon me while I go perform a celebratory dance.

The Short Story-Novel Balance

The title of this post would imply that I’m able to balance both short story writing and novel writing at the same time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case. New short story ideas are so bright and shiny, I must write them RIGHT NOW! Of course, that puts my novel on hold and prevents me from achieving my long-term goals. Cue the sound of my depression creeping back…

So, now that I’ve wrapped up a short story for an anthology, no more bright and new short stories for me. Nope. I’m done. If I get an idea, I’m jotting it down or making a brief outline but THAT’S IT until my novel draft is done.

You know I started this novel for NaNoWriMo last year? Yeah. Pretty sad. And I just now reached 64k. Granted, I had to backtrack and dump about 30k a few months ago to add a new POV character, but still. I can’t help but think, “I should be done with this by now,” every time I open up Scrivener to write.

Alas, it won’t get done unless I, to quote a certain captain, “Make it so.” That’s why I’m putting a moratorium on new short stories and even revisions of drafts I’ve already written. Apparently, I can’t be trusted with working on multiple creative projects.

I’d like to have the novel draft done by November 27. If I write 1,000 words a day from now until then, I should reach 100k. I might not need all of those words, but I’d like to allot for them anyway. Once the draft is completed, I’ll worry about revising the handful of short stories I have sitting on my hard drive as drafts at the moment, maybe pen a new short or two, then dive into structural and plot revisions. I hope I can clear plot problems up in one go and then tackle the details, but there’s no way of knowing until I start.

In other words, I’m getting serious, yo!