February 20, 2013

Pro Sale #2

Allow me a moment of own-horn tooting. I learned yesterday that "The Taking Tree," my answer to a horrifying book from my childhood, The Giving Tree, will be published by Daily Science Fiction.

This is me, saying, "Woot!"

I love all my publications, but this one pleases me more than most. For one thing, it's a market to which I've submitted many times in the past, and it feels nice to get some love after eleven "no"s. For another, it's a "pro" sale, only my second one. This sale also holds the land-speed record for sales, having only been to two markets.

It also surprises me, because while I rarely write flash fiction, both pro sales thus far have been flash: fiction under 1000 words. This makes me wonder if I'm doing something right with flash, or something wrong with longer fiction.

Along those lines, I think I'll go try to edit a 500-word story down to 250 for a flash contest. Why not?

February 13, 2013

Becalmed

Like this. Not going anywhere.

(I stole this gorgeous photo from the
Folkestone Camera Club gallery;
it's the work of Frank Barraclough )

There's an ebb and flow to this writer's life. Submissions go out and come back in, and because I am an impatient person I tend to order my submissions based on response times. If the world made sense, this would result in a constant flow of rejections, older ones coming in after months at markets, newer ones every few days.

Of course, that assumes a steady output of stories, one after another. This seems like a reasonable assumption, because I learned long ago that I must finish one project before starting another. It's simple physics, really: projects at rest tend to remain at rest.

And yet, in actuality responses tend to cluster. Supposedly swift markets end up taking six months, getting my hopes up while simultaneously robbing me of the urge to write. Maybe this is just me, but when the responses aren't coming in, the words don't get out as well either.

In other cat-vacuuming, I just realized that I have never had a story accepted in March, April, or December. My best month for acceptances seems to be August. The six-month period from December to May has only yielded a total of four sales, while the other half of the year is responsible for ten. Ebb and flow.

This is all fascinating to me, probably boring to anyone not-me. Hey, other writers: do you have a season that seems to be more successful for you?