It’s been a pretty fun, exciting, and productive month. The only real negative was being sick. Early last week I caught a nasty head cold and ended up spending the whole week working from home. There were days were I woke up far too early because I’d become so congested I couldn’t draw breath. But sitting up helped with that, and by the weekend I was feeling much better. Well enough that I attended two different events, one of which I’ll talk about in the report. The other was the delayed Frederick Women’s March on Sunday. It wasn’t a huge turn out, maybe a couple of hundred, and it was a bit chilly. But the wife and I brought our signs and had a great time marching with the other protestors and listening to the speakers. Keep up the good fight, resistors!
Writing Conferences/Workshops/Classes/Professional Activities:
No classes or conferences this month.
For professional activities, though, we’ve got some big changes. See my previous post about joining the Frederick chapter of the Maryland Writers Association as the treasurer. We held our first official meeting, and I thought it went great. I’m very excited about being a member of the team and we’re enthusiastically moving forward with our plans. Our next meeting with be held on Saturday, February 16th, from 1:00 to 2:30 at the C. Burr Artz Library in Frederick. After that, we’re looking into moving the monthly meetings to Urbana for ease of use, but we’ll publish that info once everything has been confirmed.
Short story, Fishing Over the Bones of the Dragon, completed and I’ve begun submitting it to fantasy markets. The story is an examination of father/son relationships, PTSD, and other things that were weighing in the back of my mind.
I’m currently working on a short story called “Remember the Washington,” They Said as They Fed the Ugoxli. This is a science fiction story I’d put on the back burner a while ago but kept returning to. Several other short stories were started and put aside this month that I may return to in February, but this one continues to capture my attention, though it’s a difficult write, with strong undercurrents of racism that I’ve had trouble dealing with. I don’t want it to be trite or fascile. I don’t want it to be heavy handed. And I found getting into the head space of the original character I’d chosen to focus on so troubling that I changed things up and I’m writing from a different perspective. Seems to be working better this time, so I’m hopeful.
13 short stories on submission and 1 novella. Longest lead time is 185 days, but that story is currently shortlisted for possible publication and I should hear from them sometime in early March. I expect the novella will go close to a year before I hear any results given the lengthy response time of the company involved, so that’s to be expected. Several stories should come back after long submittal periods early in February.
14 submissions this month. A lot of stories came back after long periods on submission with final rejections in January and were sent back out, and several stories were submitted, rejected, and resubmitted again during the month. The new story has already been submitted 4 times, and rejected 3 (but with at least 1 of those being a very positive personal rejection).
13 rejections received this month. Interestingly, almost half of those (6) were personal and positive rejections, including one of the nicest rejections I’ve ever received from an organization. As I told my writing friends, I feel like I’ve become the master of personal rejections. So at least I’ve got that going for me.
No acceptances this month. 1 story on hold for possible publication.
Goals for February:
Finish one short story (stretch goal: two). Submit at least one new short story for publication. I still need to get to editing the new novel, but I think for my critique period this spring I’ll ask them to look over SUMMER, my second novel, which languishes currently in a folder and could use some love before I start submitting it around again.