Ah, November. You have been both cruel and a delight. The cruelness comes from two fronts: the house is hating us right now and springing leaks from every pipe; and Netflix/Marvel are canceling my favorite shows. Granted, the former is more important than the latter, entertainment is just… entertainment. There are plenty more sources of it in the world. But as a boy, I valued comics – particularly Marvel comics – far and away above other sources of pleasure. My mom and dad bought me these three little black and white reprint collections of the first appearances of Spider-man, the Hulk, and the Fantastic Four, and I must have read them a million times (accurate estimate).

Now a middle aged adult, seeing all those characters I love come to life over the last twenty years has been amazing. Not the crappy television shows we had in the 70’s and 80’s, with poor writing, poor acting, and truly poor production qualities. Generally good writing, some pretty solid acting, and amazing CGI. And Daredevil, though never high on my list of “must have” comics, has been brought to life in such a compelling way by Netflix and Marvel that he’s become a favorite. The show was really well written, the actors perfectly chosen, and it set the ground floor for an entire suite of shows on Netflix that interacted with each other in often intelligent and insightful ways. Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Ironfist (except for that first season). . . I loved them all. Now it appears all of them will be canceled, and if that’s true, well… I don’t see a lot of future for Netflix for me. I’m there mainly for the Marvel content, and I’m not wedded to anything else they are showing. Yes, they’ve got some good shows. I’ve started watching Peaky Blinders, and it’s amaze balls. But… it’s not Marvel, not tied to my childhood loves. I can take it or leave it in the end, just as I have many other great shows.

The house is another ball of wax. We had rotting windows in August when we got home from vacation that needed replacing. Since then it’s been a litany of problems: blown out water heater that needed to be replaced; a pinhole leak in a pipe that necessitated repairs; a washing machine that started leaking from the tub and had to be replaced; and now the fridge died over Thanksgiving, the smell of freon the day before our holiday celebration a punctuation point to the care and feeding of “Old Homes.” But when they delivered our new fridge, only then did they tell us “copper line, we can’t touch it.” Well thanks, wish you had told us that prior to the delivery. But that led to the discovery of another leak, a bulging ceiling tile, and a dousing of water when I pulled it out of the way. Now I’m having the plumber return, replace all the copper in that area with PVC, replace the fridge line, and generally get us “right” so we can stop dealing with water in our basement. Sigh… and I had high hopes of paying off student loans this year, not racking up more credit card debt. Alas, such is life. I’m lucky that I can afford this, I know far too many folks who would have been broken by any one of those problems and done the rest of the repairs themselves as cheaply as they could. My dad always did copper pipes himself, which is why they were always breaking again.  🙂 (Love you dad!)

But the joy came mid-month. More about that in my monthly run down.

Writing Conferences/Workshops/Classes:

Nothing attended this month. I did receive some positive feedback on advice I’d been sharing with new writers on a Reddit forum that has me wondering if perhaps I might look into writing coaching as a future career.

Finished:

No new stories finished this month. 38,000 words written on the Novel in Progress as part of my Nano push to try and finish. Still probably 15,000 words shy of that, though, as the novel continues to expand, but hope to wrap up in the next two weeks.

WIP:

I’ve had to jump around a little in writing scenes to keep productive. There’s a big section missing concerning the second heist which leads to the climax. I’ll probably write that last since it’s giving me fits to try and figure out. It has to be good, clever, and surprising, at least according to my view of what makes for good heists in literature and cinema.

Outstanding:

11 short stories still on submission, 1 novella. I pulled back the poem, She Challenged the Moon to a Duel, after it was rejected because I want to play with the formatting a little. Longest wait time is now 207 days from that same magazine, and I’ve reached out to them again in frustration. But, I see others on Submission Grinder posting rejections with 200+ days, so hopefully they will FINALLY get to it soon. Next longest is the novella at 113 days, but I expected that given the long time it takes Tor to get back to folks  (currently sitting at 197 in the queue, about half of where it was when the submission period ended, so I expect at least another 100 days until I hear something).

Submissions:

4 submissions made this month, all of them rejections received in November.

Rejections:

6 rejections this month, 1 personal and positive. 1 story needs to be resubmitted (rejection came in a few days ago), and 1 poem pulled back for re-working.

Acceptances:

My first pro sale! The Fairy Folk will appear in the upcoming December issue of Andromeda Spaceways Magazine! After several personal and positive rejections, and being held previously but ultimately rejected in their final decision, it’s finding a home, and I couldn’t be prouder.  I’ll post a link to the website and the magazine once they’re back up (currently they’re making changes and their site is down).

Goals for December:

Finish the first draft of the WIP, tentatively titled “Breaking the (Immutable) Law.” Eat, drink and be merry. Start 2019 with a positive note as I frame a copy of Andromeda Spaceways for my office walls.

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