Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to announce the latest development in my writing career: I have sold two more books to the Hachette Book Group (formerly Warner Books).
What two books are these, I hear you ask?
<g> The deal is open-ended: two novels, title and content of said novels to be determined later. I have ideas for what I’d like to do, but none of that is settled yet. The contracts, however, are drawn up and on their way to me, so it’s official. I’ll make further announcements when I know just what I’m going to be writing.
The server’s getting hammered, but it’s fun.
Untitled Sequel to the De-Titled Urban Fantasy
2,024 / 120,000
I’m way behind on the plan for this thing, but hey, I wrote tonight. Good for me. I think I’m at the stage where I need to pat myself on the back for that, and not beat myself up for the prior slacking.
Problem was that I just didn’t know how much I should be letting them talk about in this first scene. Problem was solved by letting Kim talk politics. Problem with that is that Kim’s apparently itching to become a rabid activist, about half a novel too soon. Must alter calculations accordingly.
Once again, we have a demonstration of the maxim that one should think, not twice, but seven or eight times, before deciding not to send a particular story to a particular market. It is the editor’s job to reject it, not yours; certainly you should not send it if it’s explicitly against their guidelines (your dragon-and-unicorn story to Analog, frex), but if you just think it’s a matter of taste, send it anyway. Case in point: the story I wasn’t sure was even worth submitting anywhere (“Selection,” the second-person thingy, for those who critiqued it) got past the slush reader at F&SF and garnered a nice alas-o-gram from GVG.
So I guess it doesn’t suck half so much as I had feared. Cool. ^_^
Does anyone in the Bloomington area know of a good dermatologist I could go to for scar treatment? I’d even be willing to drive to Indy, if that’s what it took, but Bloomington would be better, since it’ll take quite a few visits.
A power surge took out half our networking equipment yesterday, so if you’re awaiting a response to any e-mails, etc, be advised that I probably won’t have access again until tomorrow at the earliest.
“The Moon and the Son”
Even shorter than I thought it might be, which is both good (it means I was able to finish it today, despite stalling out Thursday and doing nothing Friday) and bad (it’s really more the skeleton of the story than the story itself). But hey, it’s done, and first drafts are allowed to suck. I think I wanted to be writing something else, but nothing suggested itself, and I wasn’t about to start something new with only a day to complete it.
So. Four short stories in four weeks; good for me. “The Deaths of Christopher Marlowe,” “Waiting for Beauty,” “Degrees of Heresy,” and “The Moon and the Son.” (Hmmm — maybe “A Heretic by Degrees,” instead. Still not settled on a title for that one.) I realized, looking back at my records, that I needed this challenge more than I thought; in the fourteen months or so prior to starting it, I’d written a whopping three stories. (Marketable things; I’m not counting two very brief bits written for games.) Sure, there was a novel in there, but what about the months that weren’t spent on the novel? What about the days when I could write both at once? Three stories is beyond pathetic.
I don’t feel up to Jay Lake’s standard of a short story every week, without fail, but then again, the man also wrote a novel at a speed that makes even The Vengeance of Trees, my seven-week novel, look lazy. On the other hand, I can do better than three stories a year. I think I might try keeping to a standard of one a month. I can manage that, right? I think that if I just sit down with Peter Pan for a while, I can write “The Last Wendy,” and then I really want to come up with a Changing Sea short story for Clash of Steel‘s pirate issue. (Certain individuals I know might want to take note of that, too.) We’ll see if I can manage it, but really, I ought to be able to.
Now, however, I shall take a break, and try not to start mentally revising something already.
“Kerfuffle” is such a great word.
I’ve said before that my usual mode of feminism is to wander blithely about doing whatever it is I feel like doing, happily oblivious to factors that are supposed to be oppressing me into not doing said thing. I won’t claim it’s the best mode in the world, but it works for me.
So apparently one of the things I’ve been oblivious to is a perception that F&SF (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, for those not eyeball-deep in the field’s jargon) is unfriendly to women writers and/or readers. As in, they publish substantially more men than women (a verifiable statistical fact), and perhaps publish fiction of a more “masculine” type (an evaluation that’s being vigorously debated in many places). This all came to my attention through a pair of posts by Charlie Finlay.
The chain goes thusly: Fewer women send stories to F&SF than men. Fewer women are published in F&SF than men. (Side tangent on the chain: this may mean fewer women read F&SF than men.) This creates a perception that F&SF is not friendly to women. Therefore, fewer women send stories to F&SF than men.
Watch it go round and round.
Charlie’s suggestion to fix this is to schedule a day (August 18th) for a hundred women to send stories to F&SF. I haven’t waded through the morass of responses to his suggestion, but I did make a comment I decided I wanted to elaborate here, namely, that I have no particular interest in participating. Why? Because I send to F&SF all the time anyway. I have no fewer than thirty-four rejection half-sheets from them (some from JJA, some from GVG), and I’m expecting my thirty-fifth any day now. Some women may have given up on subbing there due to a perception that they aren’t welcome, but I’m not one of them. I could send in a story that day, but I don’t really see that it would constitute much of a message.
I’d be more interested if the campaign was to get a hundred women who have given up on sending stories there, or who never tried at all, to send something in. Reportedly both John and Gordon have said they would like to publish more women, but they don’t get enough subs from them. Provided they’re telling the truth (and I’m happy to grant them the benefit of that doubt), then we don’t need to be sending a message to F&SF. We need to be sending a message to the women who are avoiding it. (And, perhaps, F&SF needs to send out a message of its own — but that isn’t in my control.) Bombarding F&SF, not with women as a blanket category, but with voices they haven’t been hearing, strikes me as a more meaningful response to the situation.
One way or another, once “Selection” comes home, I’ll be polishing something up and adding to their slush pile once again. If I’ve felt unwelcome there (i.e. those thirty-four rejections), I’ve attributed it to my lack of writing skill, not my gender.
Not a good idea to put off starting my fourth story until Thursday. It’s going to be a stretch, getting this one done in time.
And what is the story, you may ask? Is it “Kingspeaker,” as I said it might be? Or “The Unquiet Grave”? Or even, perhaps, “The Last Wendy,” which made a raid on my attention recently?
“The Moon and the Son”
Of course not. That would make far too much sense.
Another low estimate for length; who knows if it’ll be at all accurate. I hope so, what with the late start and all. Not to mention that I’m going to have “Hijo de la Luna” on repeat the whole time; for the sake of me having any liking for that song by the time I’m done, I hope this doesn’t take long.
And then maybe I’ll write “The Last Wendy.” Not on a one-week deadline, mind you, especially as I have to read Peter Pan and let it compost first, but soon after. And maybe “Kingspeaker.” And “The Unquiet Grave.” Just because they got mugged by a baby-stealing celestial object doesn’t mean they don’t deserve some love, too.