Monday, October 23, 2006

5%

Well, my hopes weren't high...

Finally got a decision on 'Medea's Children' from Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show. After 360 days since submitting (just five days short of the full year, drat it!), new editor Edmund R Schubert replied with a polite 'no'. Space in the zine is limited, he said, although he wanted to let me know that my story was in the top 5% of all stories submitted in the past year, and invited me to submit more work in the future. That's very encouraging.

Unfortunately, what could have been my very first pro sale, has now turned into, well, nothing. Zilch. A year of waiting and worrying, wondering whether or not to query, wondering if my story was lost in the slush vortex - the usual writer's angst. And in the end, there really is no prize for coming second, not in the world of short story publishing. IGMS was pretty much the last suitable paying market for 'Medea's Children' - mainly due to its word length. I've now submitted it to small press print zine Jupiter SF. Their only payment is one contributor copy. Right now, I just want the story published. Can't wait another year or two waiting, wondering...

Dark Recesses Press (who published my story 'The Midnight Men' back in July), have just rejected my latest dark fiction piece 'The Glamour'. Shame. I was paid $10 for 'Midnight Men' in issue 4. From issue 5, DRP began paying pro rates. That just sums up my luck, really.

Still, onto brighter things...

Began work on the second draft of Lazarus Island last week. Reached about page 62-3 and left it at an exciting point. The story is really growing into itself, if that makes any sense.

Also doing some preparatory work on Novel #2. The working title is 'The Estate', but this may, obviously, change. I'm quietly excited about it. The storyline draws together some very interesting and thrilling subjects - everything from asylum seekers, chemical warfare, and East European folklore, mixed together with a generous dose of modern supernatural horror. Writing starts November 1st.

As that American bloke with the loud jumpers used to say, "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stairs..."

Or something like that...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Back on Track

Last Wednesday I sat my exam for this year's Open University course (The Nineteenth Century Novel) and afterwards felt a huge wave of relief that it was all over for another year. It's been a tough year. A new job, a new baby, constant financial worries, etc, all added up to probably my least productive year for writing. Having said that, since last Wednesday I've been reinvigorated and now have all of my best stories out there doing the rounds:

Medea's Children - Has been with Intergalactic Medicine Show for a year now. Final Decision pending.
Juju - Hub Magazine
Pleasure Units - Forgotten Worlds
When I have Fears that I May Cease to be - Heliotrope
The Glamour - Dark Recesses Press
Symbiosis - Entry in Specficworld's Short Story Contest (Results Oct 30th)
Defence Mechanism - Aoife's Kiss

Hoping to get some good news in the not too distant future.

I'm gearing up to tackle the second draft of Lazarus Island very soon, but I'm also contemplating having another go at National Novel Writing Month again this November. I've got a handful of novel ideas simmering away nicely on the backburner. But which one?