I cheated on my novel this week.
I had all sorts of out-of-town company last week--including the in-laws, who are still here--and I'm still struggling to meet my writing goals for last week, so, in order to still get to feel some sense of accomplishment, I worked on my short stories over the weekend. I revised "War Crimes" and resubmitted it, and pulled out an old short I'd never submitted and found a market to submit it to.
I think the changes I made to "War Crimes" make it stronger. They help avoid one source of confusion and they make the ending stronger. I'm pleased with the commentary I got from Baen's Bar. That said, I don't think it's going to find a home there. It doesn't seem to be generating any interest. I think a problem with the model over there is it discourages interest in longer stories. People will read a 9,000 word story that has already been vetted for quality, but not so much an unpublished one by a stranger. So almost nobody reads it, and if almost nobody reads it, how can it possibly generate the buzz necessary to get published? They seem to be looking for short little action stories, not long morality studies with literary pretensions.
Of course, it would help if their site could stay up for 24 hours straight.
The other story I submitted was "Unintended Consequences." Yeah, that's a terribly trite title; I wish I could think of a better one. And it's the dreaded time-travel story, which makes it doubly cliché. But it's not a bad little story, I think. It's not really a trunk story, because it's not like it has made the rounds and been rejected; I literally have never submitted this story anywhere before. So typical of what I'm trying to move past . . . I've written so much stuff that I've either never submitted or only submitted once or twice. It's hard to motivate myself for that side of the art. Anyway, UC is a less ambitious/pretentious story. It's just a good old-fashioned (or, at least, old fashioned) sci-fi story about scientists and the uses/misuses to which they put their discoveries. It's got what I think is a nice twist in it, and a pleasantly frisson-ish ending. And unlike almost everything else I write, it's short. I hear OSC's IGMS is looking for short science fiction--apparently they're just inundated with fantasy--how's that for a turning of the tables?--so hopefully this will be right up their alley.
Not to wax too lyrical about the process of writing--but then again, that's the whole reason I have this blog: so that I can hide these raves where nobody who isn't interested can see them--but I've really been struck by how much better my life has been since I rededicated myself to actively pursuing my dream. Better in ways totally unrelated to writing. I've noticed I'm less stressed at work. I'm not investing myself in it twelve to sixteen hours a day anymore: eight is all you get, sorry. Whatever doesn't get done today will get done tomorrow. Or at the last minute. And that's okay. But the biggest thing I've noticed is that I've lost weight. I haven't made any effort to lose it; I haven't dieted or exercised, at least not consciously. It took me until later to piece this together, but here's what I realized: I tend to snack when I'm stressed or bored. When I write, I am neither of these things, and thus, I haven't been feeding my face as much. The weight loss hasn't gotten drastic yet, but it has gotten to the point where stuff that just barely wasn't fitting now just fits, and stuff that was just fitting before now fits better. How cool would it be if this kept up?!
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