sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I've done something to screw it up. I don't know what. The possibilities are myriad. Maybe I've been sleeping on it funny. Maybe I've been sitting differently on the sofa since we added some padding to fill out the cushions. Maybe it's the cumulative effect of sitting/standing at my writing desk for the last year. Whatever it is, there's a band across the middle of my back that's really tight, and a muscle on the left side at my waist that lies in wait to ambush me if I move wrong. If I lean forward or twist wrong--wham! It's like a momentary charley horse. It's annoying, and painful. I've been trying to exercise it, and stretch it, hoping to work out whatever kinks I've got, but so far I haven't had much luck.

In other news, the wasp nest is still there. Haven't gotten around to practicing chemical warfare yet, but soon...

In other other news, Twoson and I ran two 10-minute intervals today. We've been running together for the last few weeks, doing the Couch Potato to 5K program. Which, as faithful readers will recall, I've done before. When I decided to take it up again, I suggested to Twoson that he might like to join me, and he did. It's been a pleasant experience; he's been very good about sticking with it, and I think he likes being in better condition as a result. (We do a lot of gamer-style reinforcing talk about it while we're out; we're earning XP, buying up our stats, unlocking Achievements, etc.)

In still other news, I received three rejections over the last couple of days, but I sent all the stories back out tonight--all via email submissions. We'll see how they're received. This time for sure!

Stories in Circulation: 12
Rejections: 55
Stories Accepted: SEVEN
Stories to Resubmit: 0

Novel Queries: 2 Novels in circulation, 10 queries out (5 each)
Novel Rejections: 8 (all on the first one so far)

sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
And I'm still on track to finish this novel by the end of the month. Just under 6,000 words to go. Today I feel like the novel just doesn't have what it takes to be a worthwhile read. But then I remind myself that I thought the first one was utterly worthless when I finished it; in fact, I filed it away for a couple of months intending never to unearth it again. Eventually my lovely and talented wife convinced me to take a look at it and lo, it was a lot better than I remembered it being.

I fully expect this one to go the same way, so I try not to let my day-to-day worries/fears/insecurities about it prevent me from working on it. Sometimes it's tough. But it gets easier with practice.

In other news, yesterday I got a rejection letter on "Drowned" from Alfred Hitchcock. So I promptly sent it off to their sister magazine, Ellery Queen. And if it doesn't sell there, I'll send it somewhere else again. Never give up, never surrender!

In other other news, my plans for this long weekend include yard work. The grass really needs cutting. But listening to the steady fall of rain outside tonight, which follows a couple of weeks of frequent rain...I'm not sure it'll happen. The forecast called for sunny weather this weekend, but the weather man's been known to get it wrong occasionally. I guess we'll see.

Stories in Circulation: 11
Rejections: 40
Stories Accepted: SEVEN
Stories to Resubmit: 0

Novel Queries: 1 Novel, 4 queries out
Novel Rejections: 6

Project 1: Starship Repo Man (Tentative Title: Nine Tenths of the Law)
Words Written: 94,253

sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
The rejections have been flowing into my mailbox and my email box of late. I've gotten rejection letters from three of the initial five publishers I sent my novel to, and one of the second-round submissions. That's fast! I was expecting not to hear anything for months, but I've gotten responses very quickly in these cases. Huh. Two of the rejections had a personal touch, two were standard boilerplate rejections.

I also got a rejection letter from Analog today for "In Adversity". It's back out alread (gotta love email submissions). I also got all three of those stories from the dead market back into circulation.

The lovely and talented wife remarked today that she was pleased and surprised by how well (how calmly and philosophically) I've been taking the rejections. It was nice to hear, but on the other hand, I didn't think my reaction was particularly noteworthy. I've known for a long time (since long before I started trying to sell my fiction) that writers have to be prepared to wallpaper their homes with rejection letters before they're likely to succeed. So just shrugging and filing the rejection letter away and sending the story out again is just...what you do.

It helps, I think, that I'm circulating a number of stories. If I were sending out one story at a time, and waiting on pins and needles by the mailbox to see if it had been accepted, I'd be a lot more invested in any particular story's success or failure. As it stands, a rejected story is just one of many, and mostly just means I need to decide where to send it next and get it out the door. If you're busy enough with writing projects, you don't have time to obsess over the rejections.

April isn't far away and then it'll be time to start my next novel. I have no idea what I'm going to write. But then, I had no idea what I was going to write in November when did NaNo. And yet I managed to produce one. So I'll do it again. Flying by the seat of my pants isn't the most calming approach, but it seems to be what works for me.

Stories in Circulation: 11
Rejections: 32
Stories Accepted: SEVEN
Stories to Resubmit: 0

Novel Queries: 1 Novel, 5 queries out
Novel Rejections: 4

sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I gotten some writing done on the novel. Not a lot as of yet, but some. It's a new scene, and so it's been going better than the revisions (slight changes and additions to existing scenes) I've been doing. I hope to do more on it, but I'll be leaving shortly to take my lovely and talented wife to a dental appointment. Depending on how long it takes, and how it goes, I may spend most of the afternoon waiting for her and/or taking care of her afterward. Still, it's a good start--and welcome change from the slow, painful writing of the last few days. It was good to have the words flow.

I also received a rejection from Beneath Ceaseless Skies for "In Adversity." The editor wrote that it wasn't quite right for them. But he added, "The setting felt more contemporary than we're looking for. I appreciate your interest in our magazine.  Please feel free to submit again."

Still a rejection, but I'll take it.

Project: Strange Attractors
Words Written Since Last Report: 815 (but it's not even noon yet today)

Stories in Circulation: 8
Rejections: 29
Stories Accepted: SEVEN
Stories to Resubmit: 3
sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I haven't written anything today. Well, okay, a couple hundred words, maybe, as I edited "Bound by Convention" before submitting it to a publisher a few minutes ago. I've mostly been doing the nuts n' bolts part of writing today.

I line edited "Bound by Convention"--I read it aloud to myself, thereby catching a number of typos and brainos and missed words, which I corrected. I changed a few lines here and there to clarify something or to tighten it up a bit. Then I wrote an email "cover letter" which included a two paragraph "blurb" for the story, as required by the publisher. Then I sent it off.

I sent it to the same publisher who just bought "Flying High" since it's a sequel of sorts. Same characters, same sort of story, but you don't need to read one to understand the other. I could have sent it off a couple of days ago, but I wasn't sure about doing so. But I wrote to the editor who accepted my first story to ask about additional submissions to them. For all I knew, they wouldn't want to look at another until the first one was done. She wrote back to say that they have a policy of not publishing more than one piece by a given author in any particular month--but otherwise, they're always happy to look at submissions. In fact, she told me I should add "in-house submission" to the subject line of any future stories I send them.

Hurrah! Doesn't mean they'll accept any given story, of course, but they're definitely more interested in additional work from people they've bought from before. Not a big surprise, I suppose--who doesn't want to work with known quantities? But still, nice to know.

On the other hand, I got a rejection email today as well. "Clean Up Detail" was rejected by a second market, albeit with a nice response:

"Thank you for submitting "Clean Up Detail" to [MAGAZINE]. It was well received here, but after some thought we have decided not to accept it for publication.

I hope you'll consider us again, and I wish you the best success in placing this story elsewhere."

I'm not entirely sure what "well received...but rejected" means, exactly. That they liked the idea but not the execution? But in any case, they wrote the magic words--"I hope you'll consider us again" as opposed to "never darken our doorway again"--so I will engage in the ancient art of Rejectomancy and assume that I'm hitting close to the target.

I've also already sent "Clean Up Detail" out to a third market. Go me!

And having seen a post on livejournal from someone who lost a lot of his (her?--I forget who exactly it was) correspondence due to computer issues, I reviewed my backup procedures and discovered a big hole.

I use Jungledisk to back up all the crucial files on my PC nightly to an offsite server. It's a cheap (less than a dollar a month) service, the files are saved elsewhere. I rest easier knowing that barring major disaster that takes out both MY computer AND the Amazon servers, my files are safe.

But I realized that ALL of my emails are saved in my Gmail account. If, god forbid, something happened to them, I'd be hosed. So I downloaded all my saved emails to Thunderbird here on my PC and added the mail folders to my nightly Jungledisk backup. I ran a very special one-time only immediate backup to make sure they were tucked safely away. I feel better now.

Words Written Today: None
Words Written YTD (since May 1): 90,633 - NINETY THOUSAND PLUS!
Stories in Circulation: 8
Rejections: 5
Stories Accepted: ONE!
sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
I got a story rejection by email this morning. The first paragraph reads as follows:

I’m writing regarding your April submission to [Magazine], "Story Title.” Unfortunately, this isn’t something that I can use in [Magazine], but you’re definitely on the right track as far as voice, style and category focus.

The second paragraph goes on to explain exactly why the story didn't work for her. So now I know how to tweak future stories to get a better shot at selling them. That's good.

I'm disappointed, of course, that I didn't hit the mark. But not terribly surprised. On the other hand this was a personal response, so in that sense I'm very pleased. The editor took the time to write me and explain why she couldn't use the story. That's a very good sign. I'm jazzed!

Lots of (non-writing) chores to do today. I'm gonna try to get some writing done, but...we'll see.

UPDATE! In the time it took me to post this and then go change into my running clothes, I received another rejection by snail mail. This one was from Fantasy & Science Fiction. Not so personal. But also, not a big surprise.

So I have two stories to resubmit somewhere. Off to run.


sinanju: The Shadow (Default)

August 2017

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