2013 has been an excellent year for me, writing-wise. I’ve sold more stories this year than the last three put together. I’ve learned how to finish stories faster, instead of letting them linger for months in the second-draft stage. I’ve cracked some new markets—really aspirational ones, too.
I have also had at least one entire month go by without writing at all, and I’ve failed to make any progress on Draft 2 of my second novel, although I did cap off Draft 1 in an awesome two-week binge last winter. I continue to spend too much time looking around the internet for mentions of my work, time that I should spend honing my craft and reading others’ stories instead. I have a lot to learn about this business. Each hill I crest shows me a wider landscape to map.
I'm pretty proud of my 2013 output though. Here are the new stories of mine that came out this year:
"The God-Seed" (Crossed Genres, July)
Walking up Genesee Road in the country dark, I thought I was seeing the northern lights. Rose-coloured streaks, twisting upward, half-obscured stars on the far side. I stopped and threw my head back to look. Then I smelled smoke and I knew.
My parents' house was burning.
"...an odd little beasty, very understated in its magic, but its beauty lives in that understatement"--A.J. Fitzwater, Pickled Think
"Haunts" (Interzone, November)
The chirurgeon's knife severs my little finger from my palm, just above the mount of Mercury.
"You are permitted to look away," the chirurgeon comments.
I shrug the shoulder that isn't locked down, and keep watching. The knife, obsidian, joints me like I'm a bird.
"A portrait of extreme devotion to a craft, to a cause. Nice details of the duelists’ milieu."--Lois Tilton, Locus
"Your Figure Will Assume Beautiful Outlines" (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, November)
I spent every day of my first decadi in Savaurac staring at the likeness of a girl on a notice for corsets. I figured she was long dead of the clap, or maybe she only ever lived in some garret artist’s absinthe-blind eye...
"...an unusual story of strength and weakness, of the stupidity of the law, and of love."--Terry Weyna, Fantasy Literature
More of 2013 in numbers:
New stories published: 3
Reprints published in anthologies: 2
New sales to pro markets: 6
Reprint sales: 2
--I am now being solicited for anthologies—five requests this year already! I love this kind of writing, so far—it’s challenging and fun to find the right overlap between a “me” story and the requested theme, and it’s also very motivating to work toward a deadline. The first of these requested stories was successfully sold, and releases early in 2014. I hope these requests keep coming (hi, editors!).
--A couple of my stories have been illustrated. The first of these, “Haunts”, shows a beautiful, grim, spot-on portrait of the protagonist (posted here a couple of months ago). I haven’t seen the newest one yet (it’s for a story that hasn’t been publicly announced) and I can’t wait.
Wishing all of you a wonderful New Year, if you celebrate it, and a rich, productive, fascinating January.