Posts Tagged ‘editing’


My Editor is Constipated

And by my editor, I mean me, or that neurotic, picky me that’s in here somewhere. Lately, I edit for all of 15-20 minutes before I can’t even stand to look at the page anymore. What I do during that time works out pretty well. But damn! I’ve got stuff to do, let’s go! Normally I can do this stuff at quite a stretch. Not lately.

I think part of my resistance to editing is that I’m officially stressed out. Being stressed and nervous about a number of non-writing things doesn’t create the greatest environment in which to work. Kind of sucks all the air out of the room, really. I can sit and think about submitting to several publications I want to, and imagine which stories in revision will be best for which markets. When it’s time to revise, though, nah. Just a funk. Incidentally, while staring at the wall earlier I discovered that if you say funk loud enough and with enough intensity and a really hard ending ‘k,’ it’s almost as satisfying.

If my editor is a bit constipated, then my writer must have been eating her fiber. After deciding to scale back to the monthly Write 1 Sub 1 in which I’ll only commit to writing one story per month instead of one per week, I wrote 4 stories in 2 weeks. Two were just under 1,000 words, but the other two are about 3,500 and 6,500 words. Funny how that burst happened once I decided to take the pressure off. Two of them made up both stories I wrote in June (one on the 29th and one on the 30th, no less). The other two were in July. Technically, I’m done for the month as far as new writing, and had promised myself I’d be editing recent stories. Interestingly, I have a brand new crop of story ideas that won’t leave me alone and I keep thinking how I should be writing, instead.

I only have 8 submissions out right now, 5 stories and 3 poems, but I have heard from 3 editors. They each let me know that my submission was in the “maybe” pile, with varying levels of enthusiasm about the writing and likeliness that it would be accepted. One poem that’s being held started out as super-short, darkly odd flash fiction. I rewrote it as a poem, and took it from darkly odd to darkly odd and funny (I think). I’ll be extra tickled if that one runs, because it’s gone through so many changes and was submitted to one of my favorite places. It’s nice to hear from editors when they know they’re going to hold something for a while. Those editors are much better than mine. (Yes, that was a whinge.)





Knots and Loops and Tangles, Oh My!

A few days ago I complained that the stories I needed to revise looked like a refrigerator box full of knotted up Christmas lights. I’ve just done a bit of untangling, and discovered two strands of lights where I thought there was only one.

My week 8 story, a story that was rejected by the narrowly-focused anthology I wrote it for and sent it to, has given me some grief. The only other places suitable for it all want a maximum length that’s about 700 words shorter than my story. And the story itself, even if they didn’t have the length requirement, would still need some changes to be suitable anywhere else. I wasn’t sure for a while whether it would be worth trimming down by at least 700 words to be able to submit somewhere else. I thought about trunking it.

I’ve been working those damn knots today, even used my teeth a couple of times, and discovered what really needs to happen to that story. It needs to become two different stories, each slightly different in tone from each other and from the original draft. Problem solved, I think. Has to be right because the idea of cutting it up and weedwhacking it into two separate creatures feels right and not at all painful. I’ll have to do a significant amount of writing and revision on both halves, but that feels okay, too.

It’s 60 degrees outside here, so I’m going to think hard about the different ways I could play these two stories while I’m doing something outdoors.

One knot down!


Friday, March Madness Update

When you work from home as a freelancer, TGIF loses its luster a bit. I’m still glad it’s Friday, though, because I think I’m going to actually not do any work over the weekend and pick back up on Monday. Not that I worked all that hard this week. I took it pretty easy, because I think I needed to.

So yesterday was one of “those” days. I stopped thinking about knots and instead spent time making a nice dinner. Eggplant parmesan, garlic bread, salad and even peach cobbler with ice cream. Ate entirely too much while, of all things, watching TV. I don’t watch much TV. I record a few shows I like–Modern Family, Raising Hope, Ricky Gervais–and watch them when I don’t feel like doing anything else. My daughter and I shoveled food in and enjoyed a few of those last night.

That must have done the trick, because I felt more “back” today. I still didn’t unknot anything–didn’t try–but I made some notes on one of the stories I’d intended to write this week and even produced one new very short-short odd little thing.

Then I got a rejection. Yesterday, that probably would have driven me bugnuts. But today, I could handle it. I immediately resubmitted it somewhere else, and then submitted 4 more pieces to 3 different markets right afterward, in determined and heated revolt. This is Sparta!

March Madness: I haven’t finished submitting this week (I don’t think) but so far I’m at 15 submissions for March to 7 different markets. That puts me at 17 pieces out there, but also means I’m waiting to hear back from only 9 places. I can’t seem to nudge that up, as every time I’m ready to I hear back from one or five in a single week. The rejection today was the only one this week.

I sent one new short-thing today, but the rest were resubs except one poem that had never been submitted before. All my subs this week went to markets I’d never tried before, which is a bit exciting in itself. I’m off to get some writing done right now, and I think tomorrow might just be a knot-untying day.


One of “Those” Writing Days

Today is one of them.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not discouraged, not at all. In general, I’m very positive and upbeat about a variety of things today.

But this morning, I looked at an old story and a couple of recent first drafts, and felt like I was staring into a refrigerator box full of knotted up Christmas lights. I know I’ll get them untangled eventually, but damn. And I might get impatient in the middle and start yanking. That would be bad.

I think today is a day for structuring new things or even writing rought draft material instead of editing. Also, chocolate.