Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Four Horseman Anthology Available Now

Yahoo!!!! It's out!

The Four Horseman: An Anthology of Conquest, War, Famine, and Death is available in both soft and hard copy at Amazon. My copy's already in the mail. I can't wait to get my hands on it and read all the great stories. There are some amazing authors contributing to this book.

Just as a recap, my contributed story is Judgment and is about Nita's journey through the afterlife.

It's so exciting! My first printed story print...with that new book smell...and crisp pages...and...okay, okay. Enough geeking out.

I hope you all get a chance to pick one up and feel free to leave a review on the Amazon book page...or here on my blog site.
Here's the link for softcover or hardcover if you'd like.
Okay, off to write some more. Good writing all!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finding the Balance

This month has been full of great revelations! I've really gotten back to basics and re-igniting that joy I talked about in the last posting.

It's been all about no frills, no pressures, and no structure. I've brainstormed when I wanted to and wrote when the mood hit. I've flittered from story to story. I've just let my Muse go where ever she wants to go. it's time for balance.

It's been fun and a great reconnecting experience, but it's no way to grow as a writer in the long run. Everything is a fine balance between freedom and structure. Too much freedom and there's no definition or achievement...just non-connecting experiences. Too much structure and there's no joy or reason to grow....just ever connecting tasks.

So, I'm at a point of finding that balance for me. I've laid out a small, no pressure plan that will hopefully be full filling the whole me. Within the next 6 months I'm going to:
  1. Finish outlining one planned fantasy/alternate reality novella
  2. Complete first draft of Sci-fi epic novel
Just curious, what kind of balance do you all put on yourselves? Or do you just let it flow as it will?

Good writing all!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Remembering the Art

Okay, I think I'm ready to talk about my Authonomy experience now. I decided to wait a week or so to get some distance and perspective on the journey. When I first looked into Authonomy, it wasn't something I thought would have such an impact. Because of this, I don't really remember how it came about that I found and signed up to the site.

Let me just start with the basics.
Authonomy: a public slush pile for Harper Collins publishing company.

The premise: a way for authors to beat the slush and rise to the top 5 for a review by a Harper Collins editor.

Cool points: One, reading tons of books. Two, global opinion/acceptance of book by actual readers.

So, I signed up and loaded my book. I decided to keep it up until I heard back from the other publishers I sent in that batch. Then I spotted the forum. Coming from a history of very positive forum experiences I was excited and immediately headed over to chat with other writers.

What I found was very...disheartening. Somehow, for many of the users, Authonomy slush pile became their primary writing site source. These people have been spending hours a day reading, backing, and promoting their same book for almost a year. Some, since 2008.

As part of the transparent nature of the slush pile, you get to see when people land publishing contracts with Harper, or contracts with other houses, or when people are picked up by agents. None of these people reached one of the top 5 positions. They were all picked up way before...during a regular slush pile time frame.

But to these people who have been on so long, the Top 5 has become some kind of Holy Grail. A place where everything will fall into place for their writing career. It was very heartbreaking to see the twisting of these artists and their art. And not only that, but the way they attacked each other. Instead of encouraging and promoting a community of writers, they slashed and broke the beauty of the art of writing.

It was a very different look at the industry and one that I must say put a halt on my creativity. Every time I've looked at my outlines or brainstorming ideas since the beginning of April, I felt disconnected. I needed to reset and reestablish my sense of art when it comes to writing.

It was a relief when the last day came and on a final cleansing breath today, and with the outpouring of my thoughts here, I think I see the beauty and joy of writing again.

Part of this revelation is a slowing of my ambition, which Authonomy has shown me can darken the joy of writing. There's no point in forcing my creativity if the end result is embittered success. I have decided ambition will have to take a back seat to joy and harmony.

Good writing all! (And always remember the happiness writing brings you.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March Status Check

Wow! That's the summary of March. All right! Let's get into the nitty-gritty that was March Madness. Let me just say, trying to write around flu, cold, and capital purchasing season - yes, it's a my work, which hits about this time every year - was something of a challenge. I'm not sure I fully succeeded but I did get idea stuff into written format.

New Story Ideas by Length:
Flash Fiction: 0
Short Story: 0
Novella: 0
Novel: 0
Series: 0

(Was that a trend? I think that was a trend...yup, that was a trend. Dang it!)

Current Story Progress:
Outlined: 0 (that would've involved new story ideas)
In Progress: 1 (was 2, but I had to sacrifice one for the good of my sanity this month)
Halted: 1 (aka "The Sacrificed")
Completed: 0 (but the 1 is really, really close)
Archived: 0
Published: 1 (The Patient, Foliate Oak's April 2010 Issue)

Agent/Publisher Search:
Queries: 6
Requests for Partials: N/A (all publishing houses and they wanted full manuscript)
Rejections: 2*

*Couple nuances to note here. Of the 6, I've heard back from all but 1:
  • 1 loved the manuscript, but just filled their purchases for 2010. Did state there might be an opportunity for 2011 if the book was still available. Personally, I'm really hoping not...but fall backs are good, I guess.
  • 1 turned out to be a scam (see previous post titled Know Your Worth).
  • And one was a submission to Harper Collins' slushpile, called Authonomy. My interesting journey through that will be noted in an upcoming post.
So, that leaves 2 full rejections, form and all.

Submission Status:
Submissions: 3 (running out of completed material here...I'm workin' on more)
Accepted: 1
Revise & Resubmit: 0
Short Listed: 0
Contests: 0
Rejections: 6 (2 were March submissions)
Waiting Response: 3 (1 sent back in December)

Okay, that's my claim to shame for this month. It's not as bad as it looks. I did get a lot of writing in but focused on one project that's due in June for an anthology. There was some research for my new novel tossed in there too.

Good writing all!