Flasher and Grinder

A second rejection for Hitch arrived last week. It’s now out with a market that was probably a mistake; they get so many submissions, they want 90 days. I should’ve gone with a smaller market.

At least I have an idea of how to find one, now. Through my explorations of the Intorwebs, I found The (Submission) Grinder. They’re attempting to fill in the hole left by Duotrope going behind a paywall, so I’m less upset about finding out about Duotrope when their switch to a paysite was news. I’ve found several new potential markets, including some that want flash fiction.

I’ve never even tried to write flash before, so this weekend I gave it a shot. I like what I got, so we’ll see what happens when I submit it. Anyone up for a beta-read?


Progress sometimes looks like regression

The only downside to the Magic Spreadsheet is the lack of an edit-tracking mechanism. This can make “edit weeks,” which I’ve been on since about the 20th, look like a lack of progress at best, and a declining word count at worst. (My workaround for this is to track the time I spend editing, then log the “word count” I usually get in that amount of time. It’s not perfect, but it works for me. Now if I can just get the motivation to edit every day…)

The first draft of the latest WIP started out at over 10,300 words. I have it down to almost 9,600, with 9,000 as the goal. The edit revealed several weak spots; there are scenes to add, scenes to cut, and an infinite number of other places to improve things.

For 23 in 2013, I need to get A Hitch in His Getalong submitted somewhere. It’s been sitting here two weeks, which is about 13 days longer than it should have.

First rejection letter, huzzah!

I took a big step a couple of weeks ago: I submitted my first story for publication. This morning, the reply was in my inbox:

Thank you for your submission. “A Hitch in His Getalong” was
interesting, but unfortunately, it was not quite right for us at this
time. We have had to reject many good stories for a variety of
reasons unrelated to their quality. We look forward to future
submissions from you.

So a form email, only fifteen days after submission, and I’m just a little giddy about it. I’m not saying there’s no disappointment, but come on, it was my first submission of my first story. The chances of getting it picked up were Lotto-type odds. So yes, I’m a little sad about it, but on balance this is positive because:

  1. I get to send it to the next publication.
  2. I get to send Escape Pod the next story when it’s ready
  3. I have proof that I’m a working writer.

It might sound strange, but I’ve had “Get my first rejection” as a goal for over a year. It’s obvious to me now that I wasn’t taking it seriously, or it would only have taken weeks, not months. But this means I’m one tiny step from completing my first round of the . I’ve taken the step most people never get to. (You’ll have to get the ebook to find out what the steps are.)

The next story, Calculating the Volume of Solid Objects, is in editing. I’ve already cut it by almost five percent and I see places to improve and tighten it all through. (I have to get the word count down, though. It started out at 10,300. Waaaay too long.)