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Posts from the ‘One Year – One Hundred Rejections’ Category

July 2015 – Refreshed and Writing

We’re 2/3 of the way through summer and this month I feel as if I have really got back on track. Not only have I been working on my novella (I think it is a novella, but that could change.), but I also managed to mail out more submissions!

And I even wrote a new short story.

Yes, I know. In my last post I said I was going to ditch the short stories this summer, but there were a couple of places I wanted to submit to and their deadlines are September 1. So I took a couple of days off and pounded out a new story. There is one more I need to write, but I will do that this weekend. So those will be off and submitted next month and then I can really concentrate on this longer piece. Also, I have two other stories that are ready to be submitted, but the journals don’t open until August 1, so those pieces are not included in this update. Here is my total so far:

Submissions: 8

Acceptances: 0

Rejections: 12

Still woefully low, but hey, if I’m going to fail at this, I’m going to fail. After all, the goal is to get myself submitting, writing, and (hopefully) published.

Also, can I say how wonderful reading is now that I am not in school anymore? One of the downsides to grad school is that I never seemed to have time to read for pleasure during the semester. I was either reading books for class, reading short stories for class, or reading my classmates work. It was only in those brief weeks during break that I could read for fun. This year between January and May (when I graduated) I read 3 books for fun.

However in July, I read 5(!!). FIVE books that have been sitting forever waiting for me to read them. Oh people, it is so nice to get back into the swing of things with my reading. Maybe in December I’ll do an end of the year post on all the books I read. But here are a few more that I’m working my way towards:

Stone Mattress – Margaret Atwood

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – NK Jemisin

The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen

The Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson

Yep, this was a good month all the way around. I hope your July went well too. See ya in August!

 

End of May 2015 — Back to the Real World

Ok, take two of this post. Don’t you just hate it when you write the whole thing, only to have the computer freak on you and then you lose all the writing???

Yeah, I hate it too.

It’s the end of May 2015 and the end of a busy month. It began with me graduating from school and getting my MA. After the celebrating died down, I’m back into the grind of everyday life before school. For the first time in three years, I actually have the summer off.

But it doesn’t feel like it.

I’m still writing, submitting, and trying to move my writing career forward. The high of graduating has worn off and now I’m back to the REAL work of a writer. The writing. Here’s where the challenge stands so far:

Submissions: 4
Acceptances: 0
Rejections: 18

I submitted everything from my thesis (complete stories – I had one that was an excerpt.) Plus one story is a hold over from December. One story came back a few weeks ago and I am debating where to send it next. I’m in the process of looking over all my work and evaluating which I should keep submitting.

The writing of new material is slow. Last year I was able to finish quite a few, but I don’t know… Now I feel stuck. I start a new piece, but then I just loose interest. Finishing has always been tough for me and usually I can power through. Not the case this month. Maybe I need to put this concern aside. Finishing is good, but lots of writer have more than one story going at the same time. The story will be done when it is good and ready. Better to look at the total numbers at the end of the year.

Yikes, we’re coming up on the mid-point of the year and my rejection numbers are tiny! You can see why this summer is going to be a busy one for me. I have a lot to catch up on. June will be over before I know it.

End of April 2015

Oh wow! What a month! My thesis is done, turned in, and returned with an acceptance! I took a big, cleansing breath and am ready to move to the next part. That is really about continuing my challenge. The rejections came this month while I worked. I was so busy writing, nothing was mailed out.

Here’s where I stand:
Rejections: 17
Acceptance: 0
Submissions: 1

Pitiful, I know. This weekend is looking quiet for me, so I will send out more. The hard part of school is over. Yet, I need to keep the pressure on.

I’m so far behind my writing goals, I think I may just scrap the first four months of the year. Better to not try and catch up and just write. I still have that longer piece I need to finish. It’s funny, but even though I’m not in school, I still give myself homework! Lol!

New Feature for Blog
Over the next month or so, I’m going to be adding a few new things. I want to add a (running) list of minority SF &F writers. Sparked by this article which ran in the Washington Post, I decided that I wanted to add another place for people to find these authors. Writers are out there, but they don’t get the same coverage that others do. There are no particular order, some might even be writers I don’t care for. If the writer has a website (if they are still living), I’ll link to it. I just felt like I hear too often, “I can’t find X” or “I didn’t even know about X.” So this is my little attempt to help you find X.

End of March 2015

Just a quick post. I’m working hard on my thesis and I’ve got to devote most of my time to that.

Rejections: 14

Acceptances: 0

Submissions: 5

Next month should see some changes in the numbers. But for now, nothing much has changed.

If you celebrate it… Happy Easter! Or Happy Passover!

Mid-March Post 2015

Not much has changed. I got a couple more rejections, but I have refrained from mailing them back out. One side effect of my school work is that I keep focusing on rewriting and redrafting. So now I’m looking at everything I have ever written and saying – Must rewrite before I send out.

It’s like looking in your closet and hating everything you own. That blue skirt? It would be perfect if it was an inch longer. Or that pink top? If only you had some white pants to go with it… I look at my writing wardrobe and I just want to change everything.

But, but, I have no time. This damn thesis is preoccupying all of my attention. So this challenge has come to a grinding halt. I still have stories out, but I’m not submitting. Once I graduate in May, business will pick up. But for now, the numbers are tiny.

Rejections: 13

Acceptances: 0

Submissions:6

Other thoughts:

Damn shame about Terry Prachett. Such a fun writer.

I didn’t know this was a thing, but apparently there are lots of girls who read and talk about their book hauls on Youtube!!??? WHEN DID THIS BECOME A THING. THIS IS SO AWESOME! I need to do this. It looks like so much fun. But alas, my computer is so old that the camera stopped working years ago. And I don’t have a smart phone (yet). So no Youtube for me. Maybe when I manage to get a new computer, I will start. I think that will be fun.

Get in Trouble

Speaking of books – I got the new Kelly Link book a few weeks ago (see pic). I haven’t dived into it yet because I am reading The Historian. (I know I am a few years late to that party, but better late than never.) But as soon as I finish, I’m on to Link’s book.

I still need to get Trigger Warning. Also this spring Kate Atkinson’s new book in the same world as Life After Life will be released. It’s called A God in Ruins. If you didn’t get on board the Atkinson train in 2013, I would suggest you do so now. And if you love Downton Abbey this is in the same vein. Not so much upper and lower class soap opera stuff, but the time period is the same – early twentieth century England – and it has plenty of drama.

Side note: Margaret Atwood has a new book out in the fall. I don’t know what it is about, but I know I will be buying it.

Oh, and a new writer name Benjamin Percy has gotten on my radar. Really, where have I been? I read and excerpt of his book, Red Moon, and I am hooked. That book (or any others he has written) is on my To Buy list. I love discovering cool new (to me) writers.

So that’s it. Challenge is slow. Lot’s of new books out there (or forthcoming). Plus – new season of GOT in April. Yep, it’s starting to look like spring. The sun is shining and it’s starting to warm up. Cherry blossoms are almost here.

Spring 21

End of February 2015 Update & Trunked Stories

This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but I forgot. Nothing changed in February. No rejections came in, nor did I mail anything else out. I think the cold weather and the snow slowed everyone down. I know I feel like a slowpoke.

Rejections: 11
Acceptances: 0
Submissions: 8

One thing I didn’t mention last time concerned a flash fiction piece I have trunked. I like the story, but I have learned that even the mere mention of vampires (even if there isn’t a character in the story!) makes most editors roll their eyes. After getting comments about how they are sick of vampires (again just mentioned, not actually what the story was about or even an important plot point), I realized that this story needs to sit for a while. Too many other writers are sending these stories out, and I can’t expect my story to be treated any better.

It’s a hard thing to let a story go. I have a few that I wrote years ago, but I probably will never rewrite them. I want to work on projects that I am excited by and not cling to works that are flawed and might never been very good. Part of me used to believe that, given enough time, the story will work itself out. But I’m not so sure anymore. Sometimes, I think I just didn’t write a good story.

Yeah, sometimes I write bad stories.

For whatever reason, I needed to write it down. But I can’t treat every piece like a precious, unbreakable object. Sometimes I just write a story to see if I can write in a certain style or subject matter. The challenge interests me.

Now I realize, not all of those stories should be shared. Or maybe I shouldn’t try and sell them. I can always put them up on this site. The two stories up right now, I chose to share because I didn’t think I should sell them anywhere else. Comfort Zone has the main character die at the end and that is so overused, no one would want it. (Although I still like it and am quite proud.) Triton’s Fist was written for a contest and I didn’t like the idea of sending out such a specific story anywhere else. I’ve heard editors are annoyed when they get left over stories from contests. It was a short, creepy story I enjoyed, so up it when too.

I guess I am learning to let go. Not every story I write will be successful. The important point is that I keep writing, because I do have some stories that I think are very good. I realize not that I will never run out of ideas. In the past, I worried about this. But thanks to my challenge last year, I know this is not true. Just when I think I have run out, I get two more. (or more!)

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
–Leonardo da Vinci

Never did that quote ring more true than now. This story will be put aside with the others. Those stories that I find interesting, but I don’t want to put any more thought or energy into them. Maybe I wrote them just for fun, or maybe I thought it would turn into something more significant. All I know for sure – I am done (for now) and I have other work to do.