Friday, January 28, 2011

Short Story News

I'm thrilled to announce that my short story, Running Empty in a Land of Decay, will be included in the March 2011 issue of Niteblade, a very nifty magazine of horror and fantasy. What's my story about? You'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Be Careful...

I see writers frequently posting on blogs and on Twitter about rejections they've received from literary agents. I always feel a bit uncomfortable seeing those comments. Unless you are incredibly lucky, rejection is a part of the publishing business, and I can't help but wonder: Who else is reading those posts? If you post your ten thousandth rejection, might not an agent who has your manuscript think perhaps those other agents had a good reason for the rejections? Might not that taint their opinion of your work before they've even read it?

Granted, some people don't blog or Tweet under their real name, but still, nothing on the net is truly anonymous. Sometimes it's not a matter of can you say these things online, but should you? You just might be shooting yourself in the proverbial foot.

It's easy to feel frustrated and overwhelmed or to wonder if it will ever happen. Trust me. I've been there. Just stop and think a bit before you unleash your frustration on the world. Rejection happens. You can't control it, but you can control your own response.

And don't get me started on writers who routinely make public slurs against agents or editors or publishers. People see it, folks; they talk and they remember. Wouldn't you rather be remembered for something like, oh, your work?

And if you haven't read it yet, you should definitely go read this article by Andrew Shaffer.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Growth

(This post was inspired by Patty Jansen's blog post about submitting short stories. Read her post, which is wonderful, in my opinion, then wander back round these parts and see what it prompted me to think about. Or heck, just stay on her blog for a while, she has lots of great posts, and come back here whenever. I'll be here.)

Selling a short story to a zine is a pretty amazing feeling, but once a story of mine is in print (whether it's actual print or online text), I have trouble reading it. When I do, I'm hit with a barrage of thoughts: 'No, that sentence would be better this way.' 'Why did I use that word? This one works so much better.' Ugh. And at that point, there's nothing I can do about it, which of course, leaves me frustrated. My internal editor is ruthless, and she's never ever satisfied. Plus, she changes and grows with each piece I write.

Growth as a writer is a funny thing. You can't see it when it happens, but take a look at a story you wrote a year or so ago, and you will. By that token, while at times it's painful and other times surprising, reading older stories is a worthy lesson.

If nothing else, my internal editor's voice piping up is a sign to me that I've grown. If she ever falls silent, I'll know I've reached a point of stagnation and need to work harder. Stagnation is a dark, unwelcome place indeed. For me, falling into that trap would be just as horrible as tumbling into a sarlacc pit. I don't just expect growth, I demand it of myself. If I don't grow, I fail as a writer.

And I refuse to fail.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thoughts on a Sad Day

I make it a point not to discuss religion or politics on this blog, but I wanted to say that my thoughts are with all the families affected by the violence today in Arizona. I wish for continued healing for those injured and solace for the families of those whose lives were lost.