Posts Tagged ‘writing challenge’

08
Sep

Jill put flowers up at 7×20

Jill put flowers, reprinted from NanoismWee bio. And one more thing.

I’m also finding myself somewhat in agreement with this Tumblr post I came across, kind of ironically, on Twitter.  Self-Loathing 101: Thought Verbs by Chuck Palahniuk.

While I agree that there are some writing teachers and bits of writing advice out there designed to belittle you/make them feel superior/make you write like them, among other things, I do think Palahnuik’s challenge on getting rid of thought verbs is a great one, and probably isn’t the best example that could have been used to make the point.

 

 

01
Jun

Write 1 Sub 1 May Recap, June Plans

May. Was. Insane.

Not because of anything writing-related. Life in general is intensely stressful at the moment, and I have too much to do with little time to do it. This summer is going to be so busy that I’m unsure of my ability to write something everything week, but I plan on trying. If I can’t do it, then I’ll crank it down a little for July (and that may be necessary whether I make it in June or not).  I managed to pull it out in May, but just barely.

Wrote:

  1. *must stay anonymous for another week–Horror
  2. She Can See Her Face in It — Literary
  3. Two-Story Outhouse in Gays, Illinois — Literary
  4. The Universal Message of Men’s Nipples — Literary

 

*The anonymous story was submitted to the bi-monthly Shock Totem flash fiction contest. I counted that as a submission, because technically there’s the possibility of winning some sort of prize. Only the top winner gets anything, and even then publication seems pretty unlikely. This story may be my first submission of June, because I don’t have high hopes for winning. The voting ends June 7th, so I should be able to send it to another market within a day or two of that, after one change that I wish I’d made before sending it to the contest.

I also worked a little on the novella, and wrote a 3,200 word story as a gift for someone, so that one won’t be submitted anywhere.

I made 7 submissions in May, so I’m all right there.

 Accepted:

  1. Manny’s Candy accepted by Books of the Dead Press for the upcoming Zombie Kong anthology.

 

This was a great acceptance for me. It’s a solid, semi-pro market that has published stories by lots of names I not only recognize, but whose stories I’ve been enjoying for years. This is the one I was gritting my teeth over. I’m so thrilled with this!

Publications:

One publication in May: They Named the Dog Irony at Cuento Magazine .

June Plans

I’m going to have to treat June the same way I did May, and plan on finishing 5 stories within the month to average 1 a week. I can’t guarantee each week will give me time to finish something, so this is my modification to make staying in the challenge possible. I’m not entirely sure it’s going to work this month, but *crosses fingers*.

Ironically, given that plan, I have two stories that I must finish within the first couple of weeks. One was requested for an upcoming podcast launch this Halloween–I was thrilled to be asked to submit! The other is for an anthology with a July 1st deadline. I’d hoped to write that one long ago, but I’m down to the wire on it now. The other two stories will probably end up being flashes, simply because I will have so little time to devote to them.

I’m hoping to get more of the backlogged stuff out, too. I have way too many in revision stages, and it’s getting a little embarrassing!

02
May

Write 1 Sub 1 April recap, May plans

April was a busy month. It took me up to 49 total submissions for 2011, 12 acceptances (6 of those W1S1 stories) and 22 separate things written for the year, not counting the in-progress novella, which will make it 23. This was also a busy month for publications.

So I’m an April Witch for meeting the W1S1 goals for the month. (Some would argue that I deserve that label in all the other months, too.)

Wrote:

  1. Hunger and So Tired (both micro-fiction) — Horror
  2. A Better Place (1,600) — Horror
  3. For Want of a Common Tongue (2,600)– Fantasy
  4. When they Come (130) — Literary
  5. *Incubus (almost 16,000) — Erotic paranormal romance

 

*This one is still in progress, but the wordage is enough that I’m comfortable counting it as one week’s work! 🙂

I made only my bare minimum 4 submissions this month. One was accepted within a few hours and went up in April, too. One had to be withdrawn because the email kept bouncing. The other two are still out there. There are a couple of reasons I only submitted 4 times. 1. I burned myself out on the process in March, I think. I went gung-ho, which is fine and fun. But it was also a lot of work keeping track of everything and going through the process so often. I anticipate many more than 4 submissions in May, though nowhere near March’s number. The other reason was that April was a generally busy month and a bit overwhelming.

Accepted:

  1. She Wanted a Romance on Classics Night, but it was His Turn accepted by Defenestration
  2. Foreplay accepted by Philly Flash Inferno
  3. Rumpelstiltskin’s Lament accepted by Luna Station Quarterly
  4. Propaganda (previously published poem) accepted by Niteblade
  5. Jill Put Flowers… accepted by Nanoism
  6. A Matter of Perspective accepted by Do Hookers Kiss?

 

Publications:

  1. A History of Conflict at The Eye of the Needle
  2. She Wanted a Romance on Classics Night, but it was his Turn at Defenestration
  3. Just in Case… at Trapeze
  4. Foreplay at Philly Flash Inferno
  5. Reasons to Kill in the anthology Leather, Denim & Silver: Legends of the Monster Hunter

 

I have my trib copy of the anthology, and it looks fantastic. My story is the first in the book, so the entire thing is included in the sample, which you can actually read on your PC, whether or not you have a Kindle. I’m really pleased with the anthology, and thrilled to have appeared in it!

May Plans

I’ve actually considered dropping back from a story a week to a couple a month for the summer, mostly because I have so much work ahead of me over at least the next couple of months. Throughout April, very often I felt like I was scrambling to keep up.

Instead, I’ve opted to do a sort of modified thing that will make it easier for me. Those doing Light Ray or Light Ray X 2 actually 1 story/1 sub or 2 stories/2 subs, respectively. While I’ll still be doing 1 of each per week, it will be on average rather than a hard and fast one per week, just in that 7-day timeframe. That should allow me to still average 1 story/1 sub per week, even if I have to double up some weeks, or do a few in a couple of weeks. That modification should make it possible for me to keep going on the weekly format.

Aside from a minumum of 4 stories/4 subs, I’d like to actually get everything that’s in revision out the door. That’s actually a lot–an embarrassing number of stories. It’s easy to glance down my W1S1 page and immediately see my biggest obstacle–calling revision finished. I can get the stories down pretty quickly. Revising them to my satisfaction sometimes doesn’t happen quite so snappily.

Everything I submitted in January has been accepted, which is pretty cool. But I still have two new stories I wrote in January that I’ve never submitted. I’m pretty sure W1S1 is designed to curtail that, so I must make a special effort this month to get the new stuff all out. That will probably limit new stories to the minimum, because I find revising and submitting takes me far longer in many cases than writing the first draft.

I hope everyone had a productive and successful April. I’m pleased with the first 4 months of 2011 as far as writing goes, and looking forward to May!

02
Mar

Write 1 Sub 1–February Recap, March Plans

I’m a February Fahrenheit winner, because I met (and slightly exceeded) my goals for the month! I wrote 5 new stories, heavily revised an old one and made 4 submissions. The page linked at the top is updated weekly with the status of my Write 1 Sub 1 Stories.

Write1Sub1WinnerFebruary

Wrote:

  1. Manny’s Candy (7,200 words) — genre (horror)
  2. Smoke and Drum (750 words)– genre (horror)
  3. Reasons to Kill (6,400 words) — genre, (horror)
  4. Skeins of Gold (1,400 words) — genre, (fantasy/fairy tale)
  5. Not Enough Steps in the Whole Freakin’ World — genre (horror/parody)
  6. Revised Sounds on Blacktop — literary

 

Submitted:

  1. Sounds on Blacktop — Threepenny Review
  2. Manny’s Candy — “Zombie Kong” anthology
  3. Reasons to Kill — Leather, Denim & Silver: Legends of the Monster Hunter anthology
  4. Not Enough Steps in the Whole Freakin’ World — It was a Dark and Stormy Night anthology

 

Rejections in Feb:

  1. Sounds on Blacktop

 

Acceptances in Feb:

  1. Reasons to Kill accepted by Leather, Denim & Silver for summer publication
  2. Mod accepted by Brain Harvest, will appear March 13
  3. A Light-Bulb Moment accepted by AntipodeanSF, will appear in August

 

Other Stats–more than anyone (except me) could possibly want to know:

Most stories in circulation at once in Feb: 6
Fewest stories in circulation at once in Feb: 2
Stories out end of day Feb 28th: 3
Stories out as of today’s date: 4

From Jan: 3 of the 4 stories submitted have been accepted for publication, 1 is still on submission.
From Feb: 1 of the 4 stories submitted has been accepted for publication, 1 was rejected, 2 are still on submission.

Overall: I’ve submitted 5 of the 9 original stories written this year, 4 still need to be revised and submitted–2 from each month. Of the 4 acceptances for the year, 2 were new fiction, 1 was previously published and revised, and 1 was written last year and revised in January.

My short-fiction word count for February, without counting revision words, was 20,250 words. While word count isn’t my goal, I was still gratified to see I’d written that much. I managed two stories during week 6, a flash of less than 1,000 words and the longest original story I’ve written to date. January topped out at 5,345 words, but that’s in part because two of the “stories” were Twitter fics, totalling less than 50 words between them.

I wrote last month that I hoped to get two older stories out the door in February. I ended up submitting only one, but I wrote 2 stories one week, which I hadn’t planned on. I also wrote that I had at least 2 anthologies I wanted to write for. I wrote for 3, with 1 story accepted so far and the other 2 still pending.

For March:

I’d like to get at least one more older story out this month, and maybe some poetry. I’m not counting poetry in my W1S1 however, even I write something new. My focus here is fiction.

I still have one anthology due in mid-summer I want to write for, and I’d like to do it this month that way if it’s rejected soon enough I may have another chance. There’s an anthology due at the end of the month that I have an idea for, too. It’s a sketchy idea, so I’m not sure. Aside from those, I have some ideas with no markets in mind that I plan to tackle before the end of the month.

February was great on the writing front. I hope that extends into the spring!

01
Mar

4 Responses in One Week–3 Acceptances, 1 Rejection

I’ve updated the My Works page with the new forthcoming pieces and links where I could find them. Also, my site was offline for a bit because I, not my wonderful webhost, screwed up the billing cycle. Organization is not my strong suit. I know this. Please don’t point and laugh.

So a late update: The 7th week of the year, the week of the 13th, brought me 1 rejection and 3 acceptances. The rejection was the old story I’d pulled out and managed to revise with what I thought was a much better ending than it had before. The note came late on Sunday night, starting the week. Small bummer, but it didn’t bother me too much. I’d sent it to a brutal market and had expected a rejection. (My intention was to send it right back out, and I haven’t done that. I’ve resolved to do that this week, along with a new submission for week 9.)

The first acceptance came on Wednesday the 16th, with a story I’d submitted two days before as my week 7 sub. I’d managed to write 2 stories during week 6, and this was the second one. It was pure fun, so having it accepted was a thrill. That made my week.

But then Saturday came, and made it even better. Saturday the 19th was a magical day for me with 2 acceptances.  Two in one day! Felt fantastic. Neither “qualify” as Write 1 Sub 1 publications, because they were both stories written or mostly written before I started the challenge. I’d revised them and made them my week 3 and 4 submissions. One was previously published in 2004 as a super-short of only 69 words. I expanded it out to over 100 to let it breathe just a little. The other was written in August of 2010 but needed some work. One acceptance came in the evening, and a few hours later the other came. What an awesome day!

My week 8 story is written and has been subbed, so I’m on track for the month and ready for March. I’ll post with the details when I get my shiny February Fahrenheit badge.

The downside to getting so many responses during that week was that I went from having 6 stories circulating to having only 2 out there. Now I have 3, thanks to my week 8 submission. It’s much easier to fret when you only have two or three out than it is when you have 6, I find. Writing the stories has been the easy part of the challenge for me (so far), but I really resist fast submissions. I’ve done it—the first acceptance of the year was written two days before I submitted it, and it was fairly long—but I don’t like it.

In that case, my goal for March is to submit more than 1 per week so I can build my out-on-submission number up. I’d like to get all the stories written this year so far out on submission before April, as well as at least two that will be written during March.