Thursday, June 14, 2012

Surprise Publication

I'm excited to announce that my twitter-length tale is currently up on Nanoism! It's a very short story (133 characters, to be exact), but it had a surprisingly long road to publication.

It was a struggle to get this particular idea down to fewer than 140 characters. Case in point: When I showed my first correct-length rough draft to my husband, he thought that it was a charming love story about two dogs. Well, I guess you could kind of  Nope, not even close. He'd apparently forgotten that 95% of what I write skews dark. More importantly, I'd apparently lost some meaning with all the cuts I'd made to get it under 140 characters, and I desperately needed to spend additional time rewriting to make it clear!

I finally came up with a (very different) version that I liked and sent it in. My three previous Nanoism submissions had all been rejected within a week or two, so when I didn't hear back for a month, I got hopeful. When I didn't hear back for three months, however, I figured I should follow their instructions for lost submissions and send the story again...except I couldn't find my final version anywhere. Not in all my files, not in my email history... nowhere. After I was done panicking and mourning its lost and bemoaning the evils of technology I tried to rewrite it, of course, but I couldn't quite get it right and I was busy with a number of other stories at the time, so I decided to wait another month and worry about it then. 

Then yesterday I received an email from the editor at Nanoism apologizing for the delay and letting me know that my story had been accepted and would be immediately published on the site. *Cue Surprised & Happy Dance!* It's an honor to appear on Nanoism, a site I've enjoyed reading since I first discovered twitter-fiction. Plus it's always nice when a situation rewards my tendency to procrastinate ;-P. 

Thanks for reading and best of luck with your own writing, happy puppy love stories or otherwise!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Upside of Rejection and the Downside of Cannibalism

Oh, hey, it's June already.

I still feel like I’m only orbiting the blogosphere at a distance, accomplishing much less reading, commenting, and (especially) posting than usual, but at least I seem to be in good company. Late spring seems to be a common time for bloggers to either burn out or step back a bit so that they don’t burn out. And there’s nothing wrong with taking in some fresh air and sun, especially if the only light you’ve seen this winter is the weak glow of your computer screen. (Just don’t forget your Extra Strength Sunscreen for Writerly Hermits).

Fortunately my short story writing has stayed productive, including 2 new submissions and 3 resubmissions this month. I’m still not ready to take on the weekly Write 1 Sub1 challenge (hats off to you crazy Bradbury clones), but it feels good to meet my monthly W1S1 goals with room to spare.

While I’m still receiving mostly rejections, they’re starting to get personal… in a good way. It’s amazing how encouraging a little “P.S. Almost” at the end of a form letter can be. Even better was a rejection letter that said my story had made it to the final round and included a list of different editors’ comments, which boiled down to: “very well-written but a bit too creepy for us; please submit again, but something without cannibalism next time.” It was immensely encouraging, because now I know that my writing has improved and I just need to be much less creepy  submit my darker stories to different markets (and maybe wait until there aren't so many real life news stories about crazies trying to eat people, because it's actually getting rather disturbing out there).

Of course I’d ultimately rather see my name in print (and on a check :-P) than receive a nice rejection slip, but I’m still feeling grateful to those editors, eager to submit other stories to those markets, and quite optimistic about my writing overall. I’m also still waiting to hear back about a handful of other submissions, so who knows what June will bring? There’s nothing to do but stay positive and keep writing and maybe stop with the cannibalism stories for a while because really, Jillian, people are going to start to wonder.

I also read seven books this month, but only ONE of them was from my Off the Shelves List.
*hangs head in shame*
*curses the library for being so tempting and free*
*waves at Madeline, who seems to have the same problem* 

But again, there's always June! 

How was your writing/reading/life in May?