After an amazing August, with Worldcon and TWO story sales (one announced, one with a signed contract still pending a publishing date), I am now officially a member of SFWA. It seems like a lifetime ago when I first dreamed of joining the ranks of the many writers I admired. I took the long road getting here, but I’ve arrived, and I’m still working to improve my craft and make the next leap. And the next. And the next.

I plan to continue writing and publishing short stories. I find the form appealing. You can get in and get out quickly, and it’s not a long stretch of time from start to finish of a story (though some linger for years in folders before you come up with the right ending). It teaches you to write tightly, concisely. But publishing a novel is the big goal now, and seeing if I can establish a career as “professional writer.” It may never be enough to do it full-time, but hopefully enough I can focus on it more and my day job far less.

With that in mind, it’s on to my September report . . .

Writing Conferences/Workshops/Classes/Professional Activities:

The Frederick chapter of the Maryland Writer’s Association held an open mic night in conjunction with Sky Stage on September 11th. It was definitely a success, though I would have liked to see more people in the stands. But it was a strong enough showing that Sky Stage management has already said they’d like to do it again next year. So stay tuned for those announcements in another, oh. . . eight or so months.

Finished:

Nothing finished this month.

WIP:

I got into a groove in September. I tuned into The Stone in the Skull audiobook late in the month, which helped nudge my writing in the direction I wanted it to go, style and voice wise. I added 32,087 words on the novel in progress, for an average of 1070 words a day. The novel has broken 100,000 words now. I suspect the first draft will finish up close to 200,000 words, although probably 1/3rd of that will be tossed or heavily re-written. We’ll see how the editing goes, but I expect the final second draft to end up around 150,000 words.

Outstanding:

9 short stories outstanding as of October 1st. Longest lead time is 107 days. No short stories are currently shortlisted (the one I mentioned last month was rejected as “doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the commissioned pieces,” but it was a nice personal rejection).

Submissions:

2 submissions made this month.

Rejections:

2 rejections received in September.

Acceptances:

No acceptances in September

Goals for July:

Continue WIP. Add 35,000 words. Prep for NaNoWriMo in November, with a goal of another 35 to 40,000 words. Attend one-day workshop on October 12, The Emotional Craft of Fiction, led by Donald Maass.

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