I kept knocking, but Blogger wouldn't let me in. :( For some reason, today, apparently, I am acceptable. I'll take it while I can.
The new issue of Luna Station Quarterly is live, and you can find a reprint of one of my very favorite pieces, The Devil Wants a Word. Big thanks to Lily Childs for first featuring it during her February Femmes Fatales.
LSQ is run by women and features only female authors. Each issue contains some of the best fantasy, sci-fi, spec fic and general mind-fuckery around. If you're a female author -- go to their submissions page!
In other news, right now I've got two stories in anthologies coming out this fall. One is fantasy, the other magical realism. Unfortunately, I missed a deadline for two submissions last night. I spent a lot of yesterday trying to work out the kinks in one story. Huge thanks to Duni, who helped me work through the "wrong-ness", although I fell down on making it right. Here was the basic issue: My original idea was more suited to a novella. I'm not particularly a "plotty" writer, but this one actually had some twists and mystery. I found it intriguing and exciting enough to write... and then I ran up against a word count limit for this particular submission. I ended up cutting a lot, and it became confusing and all the punch went out of it.
Last night, I was incredibly depressed because I wouldn't make the deadline and couldn't "fix" the story, but today, I'm realizing two things: First, there are more submissions. Goodness, Duotrope never stops updating with possible markets. And second, a story needs to be told the way it should be told. Breaking it will not make it whole again. (er, except in some cases, which is a rambling ponder for another time)
I've also realized that I no longer accept laziness in my own writing. I've always strived to improve, and the craft of writing wholly consumes me, but there are many times when I say, "Fuck it," and send something out, even though a tiny voice inside tells me that no way is that story good enough. I no longer do that, a habit which has been creeping up on me for months. Heck, I've been sitting on a short story for a year now because the right market didn't exist. An editor-friend told me that he'd publish it, even though it went way over his word limit and wasn't exactly what he published, and that was very nice of him. But I said thanks and that I'd wait. And now, a year later, just as I was about to go to bed last night all aggravated with myself, a market for it appears. It's perfect.
So. Time, patience, and effort. Am I surprised that this is what it takes? Yeah, probably. Don't all those other writers just churn out stuff, like, with no effort?
And very clearly can you tell those who do. I don't want to be this second type of writer. I want it to be appear effortless -- but really have taken a lot of hard work. So the story yesterday, the one that tripped me up? It's already in its third or fourth draft, and if it takes six or seven, I'll get it right.
It's hard to type with a kitty on your right elbow. I don't wish to disturb Gryff's snooze, so I'm off. Have a great day.