Monday, September 6, 2010

Just Don't Tell Me I Suck! and The Words, They Are Always There, Unlike Your Cold Hands

Writing's not all fun and games. Unless you make a game of your rejection letters, I suppose. I've read that you could, for example, print them out, fold them into tiny footballs, and play tabletop football.

Meh. I just print them out and put them in a folder with the acceptance letters. Can't say they hurt too much. Thick skin and all that.

So this, yes, is a rejection. I've received two in the last two weeks, and both had been out for a while. Now that they're back, I need to decide what to do next. Here is my process:

First, I try to understand why a piece got rejected. If it's because it's good but not great, I may post it here and/or to my DA. If it's utter crap, I relegate it to the "rejected" file on my USB and it never sees daylight again. And if I think it's good, it'll be submitted elsewhere. Perhaps, for instance, I realize that a piece simply wasn't right for that particular publication. So I search for the right home for it.

This one, I think, is a good concept.


There's something wrong with it, and I'll be damned if I can figure it out on my own. I've had this idea for well over a year, and I've tried several different ways of putting it on paper, but nothing seems to jell the way it should. This was my best attempt, and it got rejected once, and I am throwing it up here in the hopes that I can learn something from you.

Critique requested.

A Piece of Advice  -- 800 words. Link goes to my DA account.


It's taken me all three days of this holiday weekend to approach something resembling "rested." I am saddened by the fact that I've got work tomorrow, as I could use one more day to really get back to myself. The past six weeks have been hell, work-wise. Not just the load, but the scorching temps, a near-constant that drained me. On Friday, I thought I actually wouldn't be able to do another single thing -- and that was when I woke up. After I locked my keys in my car that afternoon, I took it as a sign from the universe that I needed to STOP everything.

I do overburden myself, this is true. But in the last month or so, it's become ridiculous. Right now, I'm making a list of things -- other than my job -- that I want to do, and then I'm taking a good look at everything to see what can be accomplished without breaking myself in two.

On tap: I'm riding the noir train over at A Twist of Noir. Many thanks to Christopher for dropping me a line and reminding me that I had a ticket. I'm 655, which gives me lots of time, and I'm so glad to be doing this. Now for an idea, LOL!

Two short stories that have been in the works for most of this year. Both will top out at 8-10,000 words before editing, and they're completely different genres. I am committed to both of these, not least because they both occupy very special places in my heart, so besides the noir, these make up my top three assignments.

I've got my pieces mostly finished for next month's publication of my first chapbook at Deadly Chaps, but I'd like to write a few more, to give JQ, editor, a wide selection to choose from.

Other than those, I've got pieces out and awaiting response, and accepted pieces that won't be up for a bit. So... I'm thinking that after these, I buckle down and take what I've learned in the past year and, you know, write that fucking book.

Remind me of that when I'm talking about writing new fics, LOL! Oh, and 3WW and OneWord don't count. Those are just fun. :)


  1. I think this story is perfectly crafted up until the sentence ”He´s got it.” Then it becomes a bit messy. I like Pamela and I like the last paragraph, but there´s something about the parts in between. I´m all for leaving lots of space to the reader, not over-explaining everything but allow people to make their own interpretations and draw their own conclusions. This story however, benefits from your comment about zombies, and that makes me think that maybe you should include something pointing the reader in that direction. The title is obviously a clue as well, and a good one, it adds to the story. But yeah, maybe some more guidance to what you´re going for.

    I really like the idea, what a sucky special ability! Totally creepy, I can´t see why you wouldn´t get this published in horror or sci fi/end of days places =)

  2. Thank you. That's a great insight -- I like the opening bits, but once I hit, "He's got it," then it begins to unravel. Like a sock that started out great, but now, nobody can wear it. LOL.

    Also, yes, I think you have a point re: too much space left. You know I like to leave things up to the reader, but in this case, I think I've been too vague.

    Thank you again! You've been really helpful.