2006 – Year of the Writer

Not officially, but for me, 2006 is going to be the year of the writer. I want to have several manuscripts ready for submission by the end of next year, and I’d like to see at least a short story published. Hmmm, means I have to write a few; better get cracking.

This is serious and here’s my plan for the next few months:

1) Do the final edit of the short story for the 2005 Anthology in December 2005.
2) Collect all the 2005 Anthology stories in January 2006 and start submitting.
3) Finish edit of Cat’s Eyes by January 2006.
4) Write a short story (up to 5000) for the Women’s Weekly short story competition. Due beginning of February 2006.
5) Have Cat’s Eyes professional edited in January/February 2006.
6) Start writing Disappearance (sequel to Cat’s Eyes) in February 2006.
7) Do final revision of Cat’s Eyes and start submitting no later than April 2006.
8) Continue planning book 3 and another stand alone novel between now and when Disappearance has been written.

When I relate this to my previous post — a lonely writer is a productive writer, for me anyway. 😀

Personal Rant

Warning: This is a personal rant, so you will miss nothing if you decide not to read on.

The anthology is a project I put together to help get unpublished authors published. In 2004, there were ten successful stories (including mine) and they still haven’t found a publisher. My attempts to recify this keep coming to a dead end and I fear that the only way for these stories to be published is to look into becoming a publisher myself and self-publishing.

However, the participants are not doing their part. I ask questions, I get no reply. I give reports on where the queries and/or submissions are at and I get no feedback. I feel like I’m dealing with dead people (this doesn’t apply to everyone; two people have been consistent in their attitude and enthusiasm, and I thank them for that, it’s the only reason I’ve carried on).

I believe in the stories and their authors. I believe the published book would be a stepping stone for everyone concerned, but if the authors don’t care enough to actively take part in discussions or can’t be bothered spending an hour or so finding more links to help me place these stories (let alone visit the board in the first place), why should I bother?

The 2005 participants have to be “ordered” about too and I can see that the same thing will happen with the second batch of stories. It’s getting on my nerves.

The anthology is a collective project. It’s in our best interest that everyone pulls together and makes decisions, rather than leave everything up to me. I’m willing to pay for paper, ink, postage to and from the destination – it’s cost me almost $400 to date – and I’m willing to write the queries and submission letters, and keep track of the endless “not interested” replies and ensure there are five queries out at any one time.

All I ask in return is NOT to have to plead and beg for feedback and replies, and for the authors to show an interest. Is that too much to ask? Don’t they care where THEIR stories end up? It’s so frustrating.

Then, to top things off, I had a friendship that I valued (a lot) which feels like it’s no longer a friendship. I’ve struggled for two months to hold onto what used to be there, but I fear the thread is fading (and quickly). This has left me with feelings of loss. I may have to make a decision about this issue soon because it’s causing me stress. I don’t need stress in my life, my health won’t allow it. However, the way it’s going I won’t have to say or do anything because the friendship is dissolving all by itself. *sigh*

I’m feeling let down but I can’t tell if it’s all in my mind, or if it’s real. It was so much easier when I thought I was the only person in the world writing a novel.

Getting Back On Track

The end of the month is fast approaching, and it’s time for me to make a decision. I listed my options on 12th May. They were:

1) Work on my Sam novel. This is a young adult fantasy novel.

2) Continue with the collaborative novel. Chapter 20 has been completed, which is a stones throw from the climax.

3) Plot out Book 2 in the trilogy. I know what the story will be about and several chapters have been written but it needs a thorough overhaul.

4) Write some more short stories until the edited verson of Book 1 comes back.

However, I have another option to add to this list.

5) Continue on with a romance manuscript that I started a few years ago.

Here are my thoughts on the above. It’s always encouraging to have options, it means I won’t be drying up (running out of things to do) any time soon. However, there are only so many hours in a day and since I work full time and do have a family, my time is limited. I want to use my time wisely.

Options 1, 4 and 5 can wait. Besides, with number 4 I might find time at work to write a short story.

Option 2 is so close to being finished that I feel I should take this option but the climax of this story is a huge battle scene that I’m actually fearful of writing (my collaborative partner was going to write this scene but has since decided to give up writing). I should tackle it but I know I will procrastinate in a big way with this one.

Option 3 is my preference but I really would prefer to wait for the comments from the editor on book 1 before I move on to the second installment.

So…this shows clearly which option I should take. Am I able to write that battle scene? That’s the big question!

Writing Update

It’s been a while since I mentioned anything to do with my own writing and I guess you’re wondering what’s going on.

As I reported a week or so ago, I’ve finished the rewrite of Book 1 in my triology and that has been sent off to the editor for a work over. I don’t expect to get anything back for a few weeks, at least, perhaps even longer. I know he’s extremely busy at the moment.

There are other projects I could go on with but May is a busy month where the 2005 anthology is concerned. The first workshop is in progress and I have four stories to read and crit by the end of the month. This doesn’t sound difficult but I’m a very slow reader and I want to give a detailed crit, so it does take many hours to do each crit each week.

What will I do when I’ve done them?

There are several options:

1) Work on my Sam novel. This is a young adult fantasy novel.

2) Continue with the collaborative novel. Chapter 20 has been completed, which is a stones throw from the climax.

3) Plot out Book 2 in the trilogy. I know what the story will be about and several chapters have been written but it needs a thorough overhaul.

4) Write some more short stories until the edited verson of Book 1 comes back.

Hmmm…I’m not sure what I’ll do. I need to give it more thought.

Flash Fiction Submission

Yoohoo! At lunchtime I posted my first flash fiction submission. It’s on it’s way to That’s Life! Fast Fiction Magazine – a magazine filled with short snippets showing different views on life. It’s an established magazine in this country and the rates are good–extremely good, in fact.

I think I need to put a submission chart together. If this story comes back to me then I want to be able to send it back out within 48 hours. 🙂

Update: Flash Fiction

A few days ago I mentioned that I’m trying my hand at flash fiction and that I had three stories outlined. One of those outlines is now a proper flash piece.

I needed a bit of encouragement with the piece though, as it’s not generally what I write, so I sent the story through to the AFWD Crit Group to see what the reaction would be.

The reaction was pleasing. Actually, it was inspiring. The women of the group said it touched them and that the words were powerful. The men had a problem with pacing, but could not deny the emotional side of the story. I agree with the pacing issue and will work on that.

The comments and suggestions given to me by these wonderful people will help me improve the story before I send it out. This one is definitely a “womens piece” so I will focus on women’s magazines to start with.

Flash Fiction

Having finished the rewrite of my novel, I’ve decided to spend a few weeks writing something different.

Flash fiction is ideal for submitting to magazines but I’ve decided that I won’t even try to write fantasy or SF flash; I’m going to write human interest flash stories. This will be like a holiday to me. 😀

Finding a market for these stories will no doubt be just as difficult as any other story, but I intend to approach woman’s magazine with these ones. So that gives you an idea of what type of story I’ll be trying.

I have three stories plotted (roughly) and two underway. I started writing the first one, but the second one was stronger in my mind. It comes largely from my own experience but major details are completely different. However, the emotions are not.

I’m hoping the stories will touch people’s hearts and “speak” to them.

2004 Anthology Update

As you know I’ve been trying to find a publisher for the 10 successful anthology stories from 2004. As a group, we’ve received a few dozen rejections but these were from query letters only.

However, just after the Easter long weekend I had an American publisher ask me to send the stories to him. The publisher is called Images SI, Inc and they print traditional books and organise audio books. The rate of pay is low but at least we will be paid (if we are successful) and for many of us it will be our first payment, which will take us from the unpublished side of the fence to the published. 🙂

The submission left on Friday. It was extremely expensive. I think the woman at the post office thought I was going to go into cardiac arrest when she said the cost, but I quickly recovered and now the parcel is on it’s way.

I really do hope and pray that this is going to be the first step to publication for us, but I also hope and pray that everything will be above board too. You know…payment of royalties, proper advertising, and continuing success for all the authors involved.

I’ll let you know what happens.