This is my 200th post, kids. 200 of these beautiful bad boys. WOOOO!
It seems like only yesterday…
So, in honor of me putting up 199 posts of consecutive nonsense, and being that this blog was started with the idea of centering on me and my writing and the journey I take towards publication, I thought we’d do a familiar little dance, one we haven’t do in awhile, something sorely needed and sorely missed, that’s right, folks, for my 200th post:
Just to catch you all up, my dear and constant readers out there, on what’s new with me and my writing.
Well, let’s go then…
Gunslingers of the Apocalypse
I sent out a whole new batch at the end of February and updated/re-queried some of the older active ones. The rest of the older, still active ones may need updating-re-querying or possibly an admitting of defeat in a couple of weeks here. So, the new ones went out and I think there were 12 active ones. The next day? Rejection. BOOOOOO! But… I also received a request for the first three chapters! YAY! So, I sent that out and will hopefully hear back in a month or so. Fingers crossed, peeps! Since then, I’ve received another rejection. BOOOO! And the remaining 9 sit quietly. I’ve also updated my Spread Sheet, trolling through the Agent listings and digging out another dozen or so plus names. Basically, I’ve got my thumb firmly on it and my eye to the future!
The Little Things
My Loft class has been going gangbusters. I submitted this to the class after some tweaks that reflected some of the more recent feedback and the returning critique was not only strongly positive, but no one hit on the same stuff as last time… which is very good. So, I have a stack of returns to go through, then I’ll add some generally pretty quick and easy edits and then… I think it’s done. I’ll return to sending this puppy out to fiction websites and hoping for the best.
Short story projects
My goal is 6 to 8 quality stories ready to submit by spring/summer. This may be overly ambitious. So far, I have almost 1. Other than that, Monster is waiting for more edits, but I am nagged at by the idea that it may be too unwieldy, just plain old too large to be a 7000 word short story. Maybe it’s a novel or a short novel. I’m going to look more into that in a couple of weeks. I have a third story I am almost done with the first draft of, but I’m wary of that one. The theme hasn’t really popped for me yet, but I’ll wait until it’s actually done before I get too concerned. Other than that… I’ve got my little book full of ideas with 5 or so (and one really good phrase) jostling about at the forefront, clamoring to be worked on.
1. A creepy Craigslist job ad
2. A near future museum heist during civil unrest (the term “Combat Librarians” lights me up).
3. An agoraphobic survives the end of the world
4. A man’s ashes launched into space
5. I want to poke at my “Scrappers” comic book idea
6. “Two houses, both alike in dignity, one of flesh and the other: steam.”
Will I get them done? Will they work out? Will they be any good? I don’t know, but I feel like this short story exercise is important to my writing muscle, so I mean to see it through. I intend for it to be in good strong shape come spring/summer, because that’s when I’m really going to need.
This will be a crossroads for me, I think. Do I pick up Bastard out of Minnesota and continue on? I certainly know it well, not to mention the fact that I’d really like to. But then there’s that thought: What if Gunslingers goes nowhere? That’s a very real possibility, not only with the current state of things in publishing, but with this being an author’s first novel to boot. I don’t want to throw valuable time into a series with no outlet, I’m not writing Fanfic for fuck’s sake! I mean I could get technical and say: “Gunslingers isn’t my first novel.” But it is. So, if not BooM, then what?
Monster may be a novel. I can see it working. It’s got a relatively simple story set in an interesting and expandable world with greater implications. There’s blood and guts and betrayals all up and down it. It might be a short novel (shorter… for me), so maybe I should try to knock it out?
Also, there’s the previous book, the one I was working on five plus years ago before I plucked Jack and Noelle and a bunch of zombies out of the middle of it and plopped them down into their own book, and well, it’s still there, still strong, still interesting. It turns out, removing all of that stuff didn’t hurt the structure (it's an epic fantasy/alternate dimension/magic and tech mash up kind of thing, a twisted Once and Future King with a female protagonist); it may have helped it, in fact. Anyway, it’s been poking at me lately, so maybe there’s something there. Or maybe it can be combined with Monster? I don’t know, but it’s yammering and clattering around in the back of my head.
Finally, there’s this other one. It’s not as formed as the other options I’ve mentioned, not really, but it’s… enticing. Writing the Little Things really inspired me, so I was thinking of exploring that world a little bit more with some other characters and doing it big, you know? I’ve got a nugget of a story that’s slowly taking shape, but it’s still simmering…
In the end, I don’t know which way I’ll jump. It’s nice knowing I have options to explore, but intimidating too. I’m not sure I can work effectively on multiple projects. How do people do that? DO people do that? Maybe I could write out the beginnings for all of them and then just kind of hop back and forth as I need/want to and see. Maybe that will help determine which one gets the ultimate focus.
Who knows, I’ve got until spring/summer.
And that’s it, kids. That’s where I’m at.
2010 was a year of editing and preparation, so 2011 is going to be a year of new writing (and querying). It seems like a lot ahead. I’m excited to get to it. These first two months have been rough, so March is when it’s slated to begin. March: writing and P90x. Then, when summertime hit my mind and body will be ready. New novels, new projects, new starts.
Stay tuned. Wish me luck. Keep your fingers crossed.