Come to My New Blog!

If you followed a link here from a comment I made on somebody's google blog, I would love to have you visit my blog, but this is no longer it. While I may occasionally post things here again once in a long while, virtually all my content will be at from here on out. If you were curious enough to come this far, why not give me one more click?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Submitted "War Crimes"

I submitted "War Crimes," the story of mine I'm proudest of, to Baen's Universe's online slush pile. Now I feel like a presidential candidate awaiting early returns. While I waited, I read through some of the other submissions and thought, I'm not totally out of my league here. Ew, wait, that's not humble and people like humble. I don't mean I thought I was better than people. A decade and a half of no publications attests that I'm not. Just that I didn't feel unworthy to even approach the slush pile.

I really like that you get to submit and get critiqued at the same time. Nobody comes away completely empty-handed, it seems. Even if they don't end up buying your story, you get a crit out of it.

I intend to crit some of the other stories there while I'm killing time, but I'll wait until I start to get some responses of my own, just to know if I have any business whatsoever telling anybody else how to write. See? The old insecurity always raises its head, no matter how cocky I get.

But at the risk of sounding cocky again--and it's not, it's just the opposite, you'll see--I reread "War Crimes" today and was blown away. Not that I think I'm so good, but that I don't know where the hell that story came from. Even if nobody ever publishes it, if I could write like that every day, I would be beyond ecstatic. There's all these neat places where something early in the story resonates beautifully with something later, and I think, how the hell did I do that? If I could write like that every day, I'd feel legit. I'd feel like I'm not a pretentious knob calling myself a writer, regardless of whether I ever sell a work. Because that was a story I'd like to read.

But I can't write like that. I seem to have one flash of brilliance every two or three years, at best. I'm sure the conventional advice is to keep trying, and of course I will do so. But damn.

I've got a handful of other stories sitting around in my hard drive, but I'm going to wait on them a bit. I'm so impressed with the way Baen seems to work, with the fact that I can get a crit, if nothing else, that I'm inclined to give them first dibs on my stories.

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