Tag Archives: submissions

Spring Sunday Stats #9: Five Weeks To Go.

I realize it’s been a couple of weeks since I posted, but I’m insanely busy at work, the last days of school have lept us hopping, and I’m staring at 40 like a deer in the frakking headlights.  In five weeks, I turn 40, and I’m trying to figure out whether I qualify for Social Security yet.

Meanwhile, did I mention that my dad is finally retiring at the end of the month?  He’s 72, and has worked 6 days a week since roughly the Kennedy administration.  You can bet I don’t complain about my hours too much when I’m talking to him.

I’m going to have to keep this short — the kids just got back from playing with the neighbors (from what I can tell, the younger boy from across the street hit Junior in the ass with a whiffle bat, which pissed him off, so he and Unfocused Girl took their sidewalk chalk and came home).  Next up, stats and the usual whining.

On Writing: Project Hometown now stands at 8,640 words, which means I’ve written 4,218 words in it since my last post.  I also submitted the revised and greatly reduced “Jimmies” (now down to around 3400 words from 5200) to a semi-pro online market.  The editor is posting some of her comments on slush submissions on Twitter, which is simultaneously fascinating and unnerving.

I have to admit that the outline I did for Project Hometown over the winter has been an enormous help, and is largely responsible for me being able to make any progress at all.  I want to recommend the Snowflake Method again to anyone who is interested in putting together a detailed story outline and character information before starting a new project.  After writing Meet the Larssons with nothing more than a few pages of notes I threw together just before I started and having so much trouble with the first draft and then the revisions, I’m very happy with the results from outlining first.  The extra work up front is really paying off for me now.

On Running: Pretty good day today.  The weather was ugly – gray, cool, drizzly – but not actually that bad for a long run.  I did 10 miles in 1:27:08, which is better than I’ve done through most of the spring, although not as good as last week.  I had two mid-week runs (one intervals, one not) on the treadmill at the gym over lunch, for a total of 18.86 miles for the week.  Not perfect — I’m shooting for 20+ per week — but considering what the last few weeks have been like, perfectly acceptable.

Last week my Sunday time for 10 miles was even better:  1:24:06, on a beautiful, sunny day, warm but not too warm.  I’m working on improving my stretching and easing back on the painkillers, which seems to be working.  The ITB pain in my hips that was bothering me all through March, April, and most of May hasn’t come back except for the occasional twinge, which is good.  My hamstrings are still incredibly tight, but I’m working on them.

Junior’s looking for me, so it’s time to go.

Winter Sunday Stats #7: Watching the Ads, Having an Argentine Malbec.

… because I’m an effete liberal snob.  Actually, I’ve enjoyed the game a lot more in the last couple of years since we got the HDTV; I do love the Super Bowl ads, though.  I’m very curious to see how they change this year, considering our current high-speed train trip to economic armageddon. If I had to pick a team, I’d root for the Steelers.  First, all of America is Pittsburgh now, given the economy.

Second, I’m not going to cheer for any team that never plays home games in the snow.

On to the stats:

On Writing: Not much accomplished this week, due to massive amounts of work for my day (and night) job.  I got a few pages further on the revisions of Meet the Larssons, up to page 208.  “Jimmies” was rejected not once but twice — one market had it for six weeks, the second for less than 24 hours (love the markets with the fast turnaround) — and is now back out on submission again.  I try not to get too wrapped up in the short story submissions; it’s a cold cruel world out there, and editors of even small webzines receive far more manuscripts than they could ever accept, no matter how good they are.  Still, I’m particularly fond of “Jimmies,” and I think it’s the best short story I’ve written so far.  More than anything else, I feel like it deserves a home.  I suppose I could just post it here, but that will be my last resort.

I also made the mistake of typing out a 1200-word summary of a post-apocolyptic science fiction novel.  I’ve put a lot of effort into outlining Project Hometown, and expect that to be my next novel when I get further on the revisions to MTL, but this other one — I’ll call it Project Werewolf, even though it isn’t about werewolves — looks like fun.  It’s the shiny new object.  Pretty.

On Running: Today it was warm enough to run outside, which was wonderful (even though my winter running gear doesn’t fit quite as well as it did this time last year).  I took it slowly because of the ice that was still on the ground, but still managed 7.12 miles in 64 minutes (8:59 m/m) — not what I’d like to do, not even what I’ve been doing on the treadmill lately, but reasonable for my first run outside in over a month, especially considering the ice, stoplights, etc.  My mileage for last week was just over 20 miles, which is where I want it to be regularly, at least until half-marathon season.  Two of my mid-week runs were in San Diego along the harbor, which beats staring out the window on the treadmill hands down.  All in all, a pretty good running week.

On the iPod: I’m still working my way through Scott Sigler‘s Ancestor — just two episodes left.  I picked up Infected at the bookstore this week, figuring Scott’s given me enough free entertainment.  I haven’t listened to much in the way of other podcasts this week while I’m listening to the audiobook.  I have noticed that I haven’t received a new episode of Escape Pod in my iTunes feed since January 9.  Usually the editor/host, Steve Eley, puts out a new episode every week, and based on the download numbers in his last metacast, EP has the second or third largest circulation of any science fiction magazine (including print).  There’s no information on the website about a hiatus, and several of the pages are disabled, including the forums. Steve took a hiatus last fall, and gave advance notice in the feed.  Since there wasn’t any mention in the last episode and there’s nothing on the site, I assume this wasn’t planned, and I hope he’s all right.

Final Note: Just saw the commercial for the new Star Trek prequel.  My shouted “Yes!” startled the children.

A Rejection. A Submission. More Outlining. No Editing. TGIF!

Just a quick update tonight.  Another rejection slip in today’s mail:  “Jimmies” was rejected by one of the big three pro magazines, the only one of the three that I thought would want it.  I spent a while this evening combing through my bookmarks of submission guidelines and finally made up my mind to send it to a semi-pro journal that I like; the editor rejected TTB a couple of months ago, but that hardly makes him unique.

I’ve just about finished writing the synopses of the story for Project Hometown from the viewpoints of each of the major characters.  According to the Snowflake Method (link on the sidebar under “On Writing”), the synposes are supposed to be one page for each of the major characters, and half a page for the minor characters.  That didn’t work for me; of the four major characters, the synopses are approximately 1200, 350, 750, and 900 words.  I’ll have to try harder for the minor characters to keep to a limit, or I’ll be dealing with them through the end of the year.  After I finish the character synposes, the next step is to go back and expand the overall plot synopsis.

No revisions this evening due to exhaustion, researching where to submit “Jimmies,” and (most important) much needed & wanted catching up with Mrs. Unfocused — it’s the first night since Sunday we’ve both been home all evening.  This evening she noticed I got a haircut.  I got it on Wednesday.

Tomorrow’s Saint Lucia Day, which means Unfocused Girl and Mrs. Unfocused bring up coffee and cinnamon rolls for us all to have in bed.  I love Swedish holidays!  Happy Saint Lucia day!

Saltwatch 2008-09:  Days after Dec. 1 without seeing a City of Chicago salt truck:  12.  The good folks at Chicagoist have been on this story for a while (here’s a link to a recent post about my Alderman ripping Mayor Daley a new one, which I’m glad to see, even though I disagree with his proposal to raid the Midway privatization funds to fund snow removal).  As a commenter said earlier this week, apparently Daley’s snow removal plan is to wait until Sunday, when it’s supposed to go up to the high forties, so the snow will simply melt.  Long-term, we can all just wait until June before leaving our houses.

Revising Meet the Larssons, Day 2: This Is Going To Take a While.

Today I started the “Manuscript Slog” portion of the Holly Lisle One-Pass Revision Process, which is just what it sounds like:  take page one of your manuscript, uncap your pen, and spread ink all over it until it is completely blue.  Pick up the next page and repeat until there’s nothing left.  I got through page 6 of the 500-page manuscript.  And I cut five of those 6 pages completely.  My self-imposed January 31, 2009 deadline feels a little optimistic at this point.

It sounds a little worse than it is.  I’ve known for a while that much of the first 20,000 words of this draft are more backstory than story, but it’s still a little sad.  If these pages are representative of the first (roughly) 75, it means that virtually all my first three weeks of writing will get cut — not just revised, but tossed completely.  I’ll salvage what I can, and maybe post some pictures once the manuscript starts to look really grotesque (which was one of Unfocused Girl’s spelling words for today’s test).

The thing about the One-Pass Revision Process is that it does not lend itself to working on the train, because you need to spread out with all your papers and whatnot.  What to do, what to do.  Yesterday, I wrote an 1,800 word short story between the train rides and lunch; I’m going to try to hold off revising it until I’m further along with MTL.  I mailed “Jimmies” off to a magazine, one of the pro markets that requires a hard copy submission, so I had to go to the post office near work, which is a pain now that it’s really freaking cold.  I’ve got another short story in revision mode that I want to let sit for a little while.

So what to do this morning?  Why, I started work on my next novel, of course.  Thanks for the suggestion, honey!  For the next novel, I’m trying Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflake Method of outlining and planning a novel.  I know, I know; I’m now stuck using two different people’s methods or processes or whatever; maybe they work for these poeple, but that doesn’t mean they’ll work for me.  That’s why I’m trying them; if they don’t work, I’ll try something else.  Right now, I’m just in the outlining phase, so the worst thing that can happen even if I decide I hate outlining is that I start the actual writing of the novel better prepared than I would have been.

Breakfast with Santa tomorrow, which will be fun (even if the breakfast itself isn’t so hot).

Quick Update from the Road.

I’m traveling today, but when I get home in the morning I’d better send that story that was rejected a couple of weeks ago back out, because (*cough cough submission scorecard on the sidebar cough cough*) I no longer have any short story submissions pending.

W00t!

TMI.

I have two stories out on submission right now, to two different markets.  I sent “Dear Mr. President” out at the end of July to an online magazine; its submission guidelines say that writers should not expect a response for at least three months.  I hardly think about this story at all; I’ll start wondering about it if I don’t have a response in another month or so.

I sent TTB to a different market.  This outlet does not provide any guideline for response time; instead, it provides detailed statistics, like Duotrope, but counting every single submission and response.  I can check the numbers, and see that for short story submissions, they sent their most recent response on Sunday of last week, and the earliest story submitted that has not yet been rejected or accepted was submitted back in June; the average time for a rejection is just over a week, but the average time for acceptance is four months.

If I hit REFRESH, maybe the statistics will update.  Not this time, at least, not for responses, but four more short stories have been submitted since the last time I checked!  More competition!  Arg!

This is ridiculous.  When the editor has reviewed my story, and has made a decision about my story, I’ll get an email.  Finding out when the last response was sent out to someone doesn’t tell me anything, because if I don’t have an email, then it wasn’t sent to me.

REFRESH.  Nothing.  Crap.

Thanks for the detailed statistics.  In addition to getting me to push that damn button like a lab rat trying for cheese, those numbers have given me something worse than a jammed right index finger (REFRESH – ow!):  hope.  See, the average rejection time is just over a week.  The editor has had TTB for 24 days.  So is TTB an outlier?  So damn long that it takes a while to turn it down?  Or is it possible that it’s been shortlisted, and weighed against the other stories coming in?

REFRESH.  Ow.  Nothing.  Crap.

Another Rejection, Another Submission.

That was a fast turnaround; TTB got its third rejection yesterday (no personal comments), less than 24 hours after it was submitted. I’ve sent it on to its next potential home already, which will probably have a somewhat longer turnaround time. Ah, well.  The Democratic National Convention played havoc with my writing this week, but at least I got the story out for consideration.  Twice.

So how about you?  What have you got outstanding, sitting in a slush pile?  How long has it been out there?