On Waiting, And A Few More Links
I am, by nature, a procrastinator, and that is why I have not written this post until today, as well as why I am writing it today rather than writing actual writing. While I really do have faith in the quality of my output, the quantity is shamefully low. With the exception of the amazing amount of stories we've produced for The Story Game, I have produced approximately seven marketable short stories in the last year and a half. Of those, nearly all have received favorable receptions from at least one market, but not a single one has sold.
So that takes me to the point of the post: Waiting. I’m awful at it. God awful. I have this list I’ve compiled of every story and each market it’s at and the expected time of response, and the next market to send it to, which all seems like a fantastic idea in theory, but it turns out that triangulating the exact dates you can expect a story to arrive is the worst possible thing you can do to yourself. I now spend a good half-hour a day frantically alternating between checking the list, Subbing the Blackhole, and my email account like some kind of cracked-out internet news junkie waiting for CNN to post Anna Nicole’s baby-daddy. As though somehow, magically, those numbers on the list will roll forward and, through a voodoo science not fully understood by men, force the editor of InterGalactic Medicine Show to pick my story from the pile of cast-asides and draw a smiley face on it.
This has yet to happen. Voodoo troubleshooting is in progress.
So waiting sucks, and it sucks even worse when you only have a few stories to circulate-- each one feels like the one that’s finally going to break through at any second and start a landslide. I know, I know, stop thinking about it and start writing more instead of waiting around, I’m well aware of the good habits I need to be establishing, etc., but doing so is easier said than done. Especially when you’re a procrastinator. So other than the chastisement, anyone have ideas about how to pass those long, dark hours huddled in a corner of your gmail account, eating nothing but spam and waiting for the Inbox to say (1)?
In other news, C has now finished her current WIP, which, I may say with complete ingenuousness, is not about unicorns (not that there's anything wrong with unicorns). Oh, and it’s literary. Oh, and it’s totally freakin’ awesome. We are in the beta reading phase, and I can’t wait for it to be ready to ship off-- the girl’s got mega-talent, and I know it’ll sell. I’m going to go read more of it right now.
Finally, a few awesome short-fiction critique sites to add to the collection of important links:
IROSF (Internet Review Of Science Fiction)- You have to get an account for this one, but at the moment, it’s free. Not always published on time, but well worth it when it comes. Most of this little newsletter-style ‘zine is chock full of industry news, analysis, and book reviews, but you’ll also find a good deal of writing advice and, the main attraction as far as I’m concerned, short fiction reviews by Nebula award-nominee Lois Tilton. In my opinion, these are the best short fiction reviews on the net, no offense to the other sites, though I will say that her review of one Halloween Night in a recent issue of Shimmer was embarrassingly brief
Tangent Online- Tangent is basically nothing but short fiction reviews. The best thing about Tangent is that they review absolutely everything that comes out in the Spec genres. They may be a little lenient sometimes, but that’s okay-- some of us need the help.