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End of August 2015 – Up for the Challenge

Here we are at the end of August. The second half of the month moved much slower for me. Only two rejections came in, but I have noticed that right at the end of the month/beginning of the new month is when a lot of notices are sent out. So over the next day or so I may hear from a few places.

Numbers for August:

Submissions: 12
Acceptances: 0
Rejections: 23

I think in the last post I counted a story twice, because all my stories are out now, but I still have one less than before. (That’s what I think happened, but not sure.) I don’t really do simultaneous submissions. Most places that I want don’t allow them, and I have gotten out of the habit. Maybe if I wrote more literary fiction I could do that, but the speculative fiction is a no go.

Anyway, there are now twelve unique stories out, and I hope to increase this over the next month. Last year, I did a personal challenge called “Short Story September.” I wanted to write a new story every week. This year, I’m going to bump it up and write one every day. No idea whether this is a good idea or not, but I want to break out of my rut. I’ve been working on this novella, but it is still unfinished. I like finishing stuff. Gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Some days I may write a flash piece and then get back to the novella. Others may be spent just on the new story. Either way, I’m going to get a few more new things written. Even if I don’t get thirty stories done, I’ll take any new stuff. My major clean out showed me a few pieces that I didn’t finish or only wrote the first paragraph. Because of school, I had to put a few things on the back burner and so now is the time to finish them up, while I’m still excited by them and want to finish.

The “wanting to finish” is important. Sometimes if the story is boring me, I know I shouldn’t continue to write it. If the enthusiasm is gone, I’m gone (and probably the reader too). Focus on the other that are still alive for me. Those are the ones I have to bring into the world.

Still continuing on my reading streak, although I only read four books this month (Gotta get back on track!). Next few months will have a flurry of new books coming out: Rushdie, Franzen, Galbraith (Rowling), Sanderson, Due, my favorite author Atwood, and quite a few more. So, lots to look forward to in the fall.

Mid-August Update 2015

Quite a first half for August. One of the places I sent a story to (way back in the winter) closed up shop and I didn’t notice until this month. Bummer, but the story went back out into the world and will hopefully find a good home. Also during the last update I mentioned there were a few that didn’t open until August 1. So three of those submissions happened quickly.

Ok. Let’s get to the numbers so far for this month.

Submission: 13
Acceptances: 0
Rejections: 21

August has been both busy and dull. I find moments of incredible productivity when I’m writing and submitting. Then, I can spend two or three days tinkering through a scene and putting down only a few hundred words. It has been a while since I wrote anything close to a long piece, so I both remember this feeling and marvel a the newness of it. I’m hoping to finish by the end of the month.

I also did a summer clean out of my workspace. After school was done, I noticed that my apartment was drowning in paper, revision notes, and info. I had to organize. A couple of good hours a day sorting, tossing, and filing paper work worked wonders for my sanity. I don’t feel so disorganized anymore. (I even have a dining room table again!)

So I am feeling quite productive this month and hope to continue this pattern.

Some Thoughts on Book Collecting

I woke up this morning thinking about Michael Hurley. If you’ve never heard of him, you are not alone. He was one of the greatest book collectors in the US (He died in the 80’s.) A while back I came across his name and saw a few articles that talked about him. My jaw dropped. Here was a guy who devoted his life to finding books (really amazing books). I can only wonder what they didn’t find and record before his stuff was auctioned off.

Who wouldn’t love to have a first edition Raymond Chandler, or a signed Stoker (!!). Wow!

One of my most popular posts was when I found my 1st edition Atwood book. That was an amazing day and I consider combing thrift stores and rummage sales to be modern day treasure hunting. There is nothing quite like the rush of finding a gem is the most unlikely of places.

Along with books, I have been lucky to finds some cute clothes (like a Maggie London dress for $3.50!) My cousin once found some Prada shoes for $2. And don’t even get me started on my couponing clearance finds…

I guess I had to remind myself that treasure is all around us. Magical, amazing things are out there waiting for you to find. Sure you may not want a Maggie London dress, but maybe you will find that perfect phone case, or stumble on the best ice cream you’ve ever had.

Let’s all go treasure hunting!

One of my best finds.

One of my best finds.

I Joined Twitter

After going back and forth about this, I finally decided to join Twitter. Feel free to follow me.

My handle is @shoutattheabyss.