Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 in Review

Some statistics from the writing trenches this year:

Rejections nearly tripled vs previous years.  Not an accident--submissions also nearly tripled.

Acceptances dropped, with no new pro sales in this calendar year--only reprints.

Of course I feel less than happy about that, but I see it as a result of a strategic change I made: I focused on my novels in the early part of the year, and didn't finish any new stories until quite late in the year (and still haven't finished the final drafts of a couple of them).  I now have a nice crop of things that are ready, or almost ready, to submit in the new year.

I got to see my work reprinted in not one but two print anthologies, which was pretty exciting--I now have two lovely paperbacks on my desk, between bookends which are optimistically huge and heavy, built to bracket a whole lot more books.

I remain less prolific than I would like, and too easily derailed by life events.  My goals for 2013 include constructing a writing plan that will hold steady not only in the weeks where everything is golden, but in the weeks where I have a three-day migraine, a plumbing leak, a bachelorette party, a bike race, a funeral.

I have been watching the Nebula Suggested Reading List on the SFWA forums with great enthusiasm, as two lovely people have recommended "Nightfall in the Scent Garden" there.  I've recommended two stories myself, and if you're a nominating SFWA member I encourage you to read and consider them--"Immersion" by Aliette de Bodard and "At the Foot of the Lighthouse (Todai Moto Kurashi)" by Erin Hoffman.  Both of these stories are brilliant, complicated and emotionally hard-hitting.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

twelve twelve twelve

Revising a story.  It's hard, so I made a playlist.

Tori Amos, "Night of Hunters"
Matt Mays, "Take It On Faith"
Handsome Family, "If the World Should End in Fire"
Handsome Furs, "Repatriated"
Black Keys, "Sinister Kid"
Metric, "Clone"
Divine Fits, "Salton Sea" and "For Your Heart" (yes, they get two, they're that good)
Lana Del Rey, "Blue Jeans"
Whitehorse, "Peterbilt Coalmine"
Cat Power, "Ruin"
Joel Plaskett Emergency, "Somewhere Else"
Neko Case, "Hold On, Hold On"
Patti Smith, "Changing of the Guards"
Cyndi Lauper, "True Colours"

What do these songs have in common?  Well... this story, I guess.  It's all so very subjective.  I'm on the second-last scene and I think it needs hot chocolate.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us"

Revisiting the ending of SCARS OF KINSHIP, because this book has come close to convincing people to represent it, but not close enough, and I finally figured out the way in which it was a copout.

If I were a quicker learner, a brighter mind, a more diligent worker, a more serious introvert... but I am what I am, and I have done what I can.  And I think it's pretty fucking awesome.